Benefiting Maine’s Economy

Land trust partner with many businesses and organizations.

With so many recreational amenities to offer, it is not surprising that land trusts throughout Maine are busy partnering in different ways with innkeepers, guides, outfitters, local chambers of commerce, and others focused on making Maine a more desirable place for visitors to explore.

Here are some examples from around the state:

Southern Maine

  • Great Works Regional Land Trust works with approximately 40 area businesses to promote the land trust’s recreational opportunities and to make their trail guide available to customers.
  • Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust (BTLT) is supported annually by more than 80 local businesses, including water sport companies, restaurants, book stores, hotels and inns. Each year, BTLT works with many of these business members to co-sponsor community programs and events.

Kennebunkport Conservation Trust (KCT) partners with local kayak, bike shop, boat trip, and yoga businesses whose clients visit KCT’s properties including the Edwin L. Smith Preserve.

Midcoast Maine

  • Damariscotta River Association (DRA) partners with 70 local businesses, including local hotels and B&Bs that offer DRA land trust trail maps to their guests.
  • Coastal Mountains Land Trust developed a ‘Take a Hike Brochure’ and ‘Conserved Land Direction Pad’ that is distributed monthly to area inns and the local chambers of commerce.

Case Study: Boothbay Region Land Trust

  • 16 Preserves: 1,169 acres
  • Hiking Trails: 32 miles
  • ATV/Biking Trails: 3 miles
  • Boat Launch: 1 site
  • Beaches: 2 sites 

Analysis completed in 2013 estimated that there are more than 67,000 visitors to Boothbay Region Land Trust preserves each year. Their preserve guide is the most requested brochure at the Boothbay Harbor Region Chamber of Commerce.

Young tourists enjoy panoramic views from Coastal Mountains Land Trust’s Bald Mountain Preserve in Camden.

Birdwatchers frequent Boothbay Region Land Trust’s Lobster Cove Meadow Preserve each spring.

Downeast Maine

  • Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) partners with 40 Grand Lake Stream guides who bring clients to their Downeast Lakes Community Forest. DLLT also invites a dozen area lodges and inns to direct their guests to fish, hunt, hike, boat, and enjoy other forms of outdoor recreation there.
  • Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Downeast Coastal Conservancy have worked with state and federal agencies, as well as 19 local businesses to publish Cobscook Trails, a trail guide distributed to residents and visitors of the Cobscook Bay/Bold Coast region

Northern Maine

  • The Nature Conservancy (TNC) provides 93 bear bait sites and each year welcomes more than 250 paddlers to their remote St. John lands. TNC also annually hosts nearly 5,000 snowmobilers on three trails that wind through their Debsconeag Lakes Wilderness Area.
  • A 2016 study conducted by economist David Vail, found that lodge guests, visitors, and activities within the Appalachian Mountain Club’s 75,000-acre Maine Woods property generated $2.18 million in spending in Piscataquis County in 2015.

Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s “Monday Music” series at their Tidal Falls Preserve in Hancock draws visitors and residents throughout the summer.

Western Maine

  • Sebago Lakes Region Chamber of Commerce and Greater Bridgton Lakes Regional Chamber of Commerce strongly promote Loon Echo Land Trust lands in marketing materials. Featured destinations include Pleasant Mountain, Hacker’s Hill, and the Raymond Community Forest.
  • Four local canoe/kayak/tube rental businesses and six drift boat fishing guides use Mahoosuc Land Trust’s four boat launch sites on the Androscoggin River throughout the summer.

In July 2017, Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) surveyed members of the Maine Land Trust Network, which includes most of the State’s land trust community. 70 organizations participated. Data from a 2015 MCHT land trust census was used to fill in gaps for those organizations that did not complete the survey.

Read the full report (4 MB PDF)

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