A Private Sector Answer to Meet Public Needs

Maine has one of the most active land trust communities in the nation, with more land trusts per capita than any other state.

Collectively, Maine’s 80+ land conservation organizations have conserved a little more than 2.5 million acres of the state.

  • 1,900,000 acres: privately-owned lands with legal agreements that limit development and protect natural resources. Most are managed as working forests, available to the public for hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor activities.
  • 600,000 acres: lands owned by land trusts as natural areas, scenic landscapes, working lands, and destinations available to the public for traditional outdoor recreation.

Most Lands Remain on Tax Rolls

All public land in Maine, the more than 1.3 million acres of conservation areas owned by Federal, state, and local governments, is exempt from paying property taxes. Since Maine land trusts provide similar public benefits as those enjoyed on government-owned properties, many land trust conserved lands are also eligible for property tax exemption. However, Maine’s land trusts keep nearly 95% of the 2.5 million acres they have collectively conserved on the local property tax rolls.

Land Trusts represent a small percentage of the value of all tax-exempt real estate in Maine municipalities.

Source: 2016 Municipal Valuation Return Statistical Summary Report, Maine Bureau of Revenue Services; 2017 MLTN Survey; and Governor LePage’s February 2018 report on Maine’s land trusts and non-profits

To learn more and find a land trust near you, go to mltn.org/trusts