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June 16, 2022

King, Collins Announce More Than $16 Million for Maine Forest Conservation and Recreation

Funding to Quill Hill and Chadbourne Tree Farm comes from the Great American Outdoors Act championed by Senators King, Collins

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Angus King, Chairman of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, and Susan Collins, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today announced that $16,035,000 was included in the fiscal year 2022 omnibus spending package, as a result of the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act (GAOA), for Maine to conserve large swaths of forest and improve outdoor recreation. The GAOA provided mandatory, permanent funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which also includes the Forest Legacy Program (FLP). The FLP will be providing funds to conserve Quill Hill to Perham Stream in Franklin County and Chadbourne Tree Farm in Oxford County – opening up thousands of acres of forest to public access, supporting local communities, and protecting natural ecosystems for generations to come. Senators King and Collins both supported the bipartisan GAOA, which included the Restore Our Parks Act – a bill led by Parks Chairman King.

“The Great American Outdoors Act was designed to conserve land across the country and invest in the future of America’s natural wonders – and over the last two years it has done exactly that,” said Senators King and Collins. “This new funding for forest conservation in Western Maine will continue to deliver on the promise of the Great American Outdoors Act and help more people access Maine’s unmatched outdoor recreation. This is a significant investment in Maine’s public lands that will support untouched ecosystems, boost local economies, and help protect these extraordinary lands for generations to come.”

The funds will be distributed as follow:

  • $8,045,000 – Quill Hill to Perham Stream, Franklin County
  • Nestled in the heart of Maine’s High Peak region the 7,062-acre Quill Hill property and the 6,495-acre Perham Stream property are among the state’s best outdoor destination. These funds will help permanently protect and link these two properties in partnership with The Nature Conservancy and the State of Maine. This project will protect vital wildlife habitat, mitigate climate impacts, benefit local economies, and create public access to unique community amenities.
  • $7,990,000 – Chadbourne Tree Farm, Oxford County
  • The Chadbourne Tree Farm in western Maine is one of America’s prized white pine forests, with a rich family history and exceptional timber management background. These funds will protect over 15,000 acres of the Tree Farm so it can remain preserved for generations to come. A popular tourist destination, this protected land will also support Bethel’s extensive public trail network; expand and enhance outdoor recreational opportunities for residents and visitors; support local economies and businesses that rely on tourism and recreation; and provide a continued source of forest products for the western Maine economy and timber industry jobs.

The Forest Legacy Program (FLP) is a conservation program administered by the U.S. Forest Service in partnership with State agencies to encourage the protection of privately owned forest lands through conservation easements or land purchases. The program received permanent funding through the Great American Outdoors Act, and in 2022 is investing $218 million into 25 new projects to open up fishing, hunting and recreation opportunities across tens of thousands of acres nationwide.

Senators King and Collins have been longstanding advocates for preserving Maine and America’s public lands. In August 2020, the Great American Outdoors Act, introduced and negotiated by Senator King and cosponsored by Senator Collins, was signed into law. This bipartisan legislation provides full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund and addresses the deferred maintenance backlog at our national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national forest lands. 

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