Who Owns Maine’s Forest?
The forests of Maine stretch from
Kittery to Fort Kent and from Jackman to Lubec. In fact, forests cover 90%
(17.7 million acres) of the state, making Maine the most heavily forested
state in the country.
Northern and eastern Maine have
the largest tracts of undeveloped forest in the eastern United States. In
the western United States, large blocks of forest are publicly owned and
overseen by the federal government. Maine is unique in that the public
owns just 6% of forest in the state. The other 94% (16.7 million acres) is
in private hands.
The public owns roughly 6% (1,000,000 acres) of Maine forestland. Of that, the state of Maine owns Baxter State Park (235,000 acres), 55 State Wildlife Management Areas, 29 Public Reserve Lands (482,000 acres), and 32 State Parks (from 500 to 43,000 acres in size). In total, the state owns more than 800,000 acres of public land. The federal government owns the other 200,000 acres of forest, including the part of the White Mountain National Forest located in western Maine, Acadia National Park, and five National Wildlife Refuges scattered across the state.
Companies that own paper mills, sawmills and other wood processing facilities own nearly 28% (5 million acres) of the forest, including large tracts in northern and eastern Maine.
Large Non-Industrial Landowners
A handful of landowners own 14% (approximately 2.5 million acres) of Maine’s forest. Owners of large tracts of non-industrial forest include individuals, families and public and private companies. By definition, a large non-industrial forest landowner owns more than 100,000 acres.
Investment institutions, such as banks, insurance companies, mutual and pension funds and university endowment funds, own about 15% (more than 2.6 million acres).
Trusts and Conservation Organizations
Ninety-six land trusts and conservation organizations in the state own nearly 1.4% (251,000 acres). The Maine Chapter of The Nature Conservancy owns the largest parcel -- approximately 180,000 acres along the St. John River in northwestern Maine.
Native American tribes own roughly 1% (approxi-mately 184,000 acres) of the Maine forest. The Penobscot Tribe owns 124,000 acres of land, most of which is forested. The Passamaquoddy Tribe owns 144,000 acres overall, including 60,000 acres of forest.
What is the size of your town in acres? In square miles?
What percentage of your town is forested?
How does your town categorize land ownership? Where could you find this information?
Arookstook State Park was
acquired by donation of 100 acres from the citizens of Presque Isle in