Processing Your Payment

Please do not leave this page until complete. This can take a few moments.

June 8, 2021

Maine working forest projects slated for $16M in federal outdoors act money

an aerial view of a vast forest with a lake in the middle Courtesy / LandVest The 15,412-acre Chadbourne Tree Farms land in the Bethel area is one of the Maine projects slated for funding under the Great American Outdoors Act.

Two Maine working forest projects are slated to get around $16 million in federal money for the 2022 fiscal year through the Great American Outdoors Act.

The 13,500-acre Quill Hill to Perham Stream area in the High Peaks Region of western Franklin County is budgeted for $8.05 million for the coming fiscal year. Chadbourne Tree Farms, encompassing 15,412 acres in Bethel, is slated to get $7 million.

The funding is through the Forest Legacy Program of the Great American Outdoors Act, passed by Congress last year, which calls for $9.5 billion over five years for federal land maintenance and to fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The other Maine project specified in the budget is $7.6 million to upgrade the wastewater system in Acadia National Park's Schoodic Point area through the National Parks and Public Land Legacy and Restoration Fund, and $200,000 through the Interior Department's Land and Water Conservation Fund.

The LWCF also funds countless small projects across the country, including many in Maine.

The $2.8 billion, FY2022 budget was approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of the Interior last week, but because the LWCF funding relies on energy development revenues, it's not a sure thing that all the projects in that program will be fully funded.

The Quill Hill to Perham Stream project is ranked second in priority for funding, below the $20 million Montana Great Outdoors Conservation Project. The Chadbourne Tree Farms project is ranked eighth.

Chadbourne Tree Farms was acquired by the Conservation Fund, a national group, last July. A large portion of the land is in the Sebago Lake Watershed, which accounts for 16% of Maine's drinking water. The organization said the acquisition is intended to expand protection of the watershed, as well as protect the forest from development, improve recreational access, and sustain forestry operations and related jobs.

The Quill Hill to Perham Stream conservation project is a partnership of the Trust for Public Land, the state and the Nature Conservancy to project areas around the Appalachian Trail.

The Great American Outdoors Act funds projects from 2021 through 2025, with 70% going to the National Park Service, 15% to the U.S. Forest Service, 5% to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 5% to the Bureau of Land Management, and 5% to the Bureau of Indian Education.

A large part of the act takes care of the $12 billion maintenance backlog at national parks, including $65 million of work at Acadia National Park. The act also fully funds the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which is responsible for $18.4 billion in land acquisition and facility construction over the past five decades.

The two pieces of the act are expected to generate hundreds of thousands of jobs and support a variety of outdoor recreation businesses and communities. The act funnels billions of dollars into preserving and maintaining recreational land, creating a powerful economic generator for the outdoor recreation industry and potentially restoring jobs lost in the COVID-19 crisis.

Sign up for Enews


Order a PDF