At a Glance
Question 3: LAND FOR MAINE’S FUTURE
$5 million bond for land, water, and wildlife
Finance Mechanism: General Obligation bond (no new taxes)
About the Campaign
On the Maine statewide ballot this election is a ballot measure called Question 3: the Land for Maine’s Future Bond. If approved by voters, Question 3 will provide $5 million to continue the popular Land for Maine’s Future program. Since 1987, Land for Maine’s Future has conserved over 445,000 acres of natural areas, rivers, and lakes; 973 miles of waterfront land; developed 158 miles of recreational trails; expanded state and regional parks; and protected working farms. Question 3 is a general obligation bond so this measure will not raise taxes.
The ballot measure campaign is supported by a broad and diverse coalition, including The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Land, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Maine Audubon, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, and the Appalachian Mountain Club.
What's At Stake
Maine's economy and way of life is based on protecting its natural resources and quality of place. The livelihoods of Maine people, and the outdoor recreation they love, are threatened by the sale and subdivision and sale of forests, farms, and working waterfronts. Across the state, access for recreational users is increasingly limited.
For more than two decades, the Land for Maine's Future program (LMF) has helped ensure the state’s long-term environmental and economic health by conserving key assets like family farms, working forests, waterfronts for commercial fishing, and recreation sites all across Maine. At the same time it has preserved wildlife habitat, guaranteed access to lakes, rivers, and the ocean, and provided places for Maine people to hike, hunt, fish, camp and paddle.
In the past, voters have overwhelmingly approved ballot measures to maintain funding for the Land for Maine’s Future program: $35 million in 1987, $50 million in 1999, $12 million in 2005, $20 million in 2007, and $9.75 million in 2010. Maine municipalities have also invested their own dollars in support of local LMF projects.
However, funds for LMF have been depleted. Citizens, towns, and landowners around the state continue to approach LMF with critical conservation projects, but LMF cannot help until funds are renewed. Without additional funding, Maine will continue to lose family farms, commercial fishing access, working forests, snowmobile trails, shoreline access, and traditional hunting grounds.
Lands conserved through LMF are open to the public and secure access for hunting, fishing, and trapping, serving all Maine citizens-those who fish, hike, farm, raft, bike, hunt, camp, and snowmobile. Through conservation easements, it has kept forests and farms working, instead of being fragmented by development, allowing the land to stay in private hands.
The program has been an incredibly effective use of taxpayer dollars, leveraging nearly $150 million of federal, local and private funds. Since 2000, every LMF dollar has brought in three dollars of matching funds.
For a list of projects funded by LMF, go the LMF Project Center at www.maine.gov/spo/lmf.