2024 Legislative Session Underway in Augusta
The Maine Legislature returned to Augusta on January 3 to begin the second year of its two-year session. Committees are taking up hundreds of bills carried over from last spring and considering hundreds more before adjourning around mid-April.
A variety of issues related to Maine’s land trust community will be debated over the next few months. As he does every year, Jeff Romano will be closely tracking legislation and other public policy issues that have significant implications for land trusts and keeping you up-to-date. Jeff has posted a preview of this year’s session on the MLTN website. Highlights include legislation related to sales tax exemption, recreational trail investment, and the Open Space current use tax law.
Public policy updates and calls to action will be shared through the Maine Land Trust Network and on our website in the months ahead, to help your organization stay current on issues affecting your work.
Contact us any time to discuss policy issues on your mind,
Angela, Jeff, and Donna
Conserved Lands Registry Annual Reminder
It’s that time of year! As per 33 MRS §479C, a holder of a conservation easement or a fee owner of land held for conservation purposes that is organized or doing business in the State shall annually report to the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry.
Conservation Lands Registry accounts must be renewed annually between January 1st and March 30th. Renewing your account will allow you to:
The online Registry enables account holders to directly manage and update account information and records. The annual fee per organization/account holder is $80.00. Have your organization’s Registry account username and password available to initiate and complete the renewal of your the account.
Click here to access the online Registry. For questions about your organization or agency’s account or about the registration renewal process, please telephone (207) 446-8917.
Trail Damage Survey
The Maine Trails Coalition (MTC) has been working with partners on a Trail Damage Survey in response to the severe weather in 2023 and early 2024 that has impacted communities around Maine. Have trails you manage experienced beyond normal damage related to storms in 2023 and early 2024? They’d like to hear from you! They know that trail damage will likely not be found in some locations until spring, but we’d like to start collecting some information.
This 10 question survey asks some basic questions about where and what type of trails were damaged, estimated repair cost, will you be seeking additional funding to support repairs, and a short narrative to elaborate on your experience and concerns. Lastly, there is an option to upload a few photos.
MTC will use the data collected to further their advocacy in support of adequate funding to support trails and trail-related infrastructure in Maine. For any questions related to this survey, please contact Silvia Cassano, MTC Project Coordinator.
Breaking Ground: An Affordable Housing Resource Guide for Land Trusts
The topic of affordable and attainable housing came up at just about every regional meeting we held this fall. It’s an issue all across the state and nation. Land Trust Alliance (LTA) has published a helpful guide for land trusts that are looking at how they might be able to be a part of the solution to this challenge.
Breaking Ground: An Affordable Housing Resource Guide for Land Trusts is a free download available on LTA’s website. The purpose of this report is to provide a strong foundation for land trusts to gain literacy in the world of affordable housing, while encouraging cross-movement conversation and collaboration. After reading this report, you will:
The Alliance also presented a workshop last May called Introduction to Affordable Housing for Land Trusts. The recording of that workshop is available online at the Land Trust Alliance Resource Center.
Casco Bay Regional Shellfish Working Group Reports
Two final reports from intertidal access mapping work undertaken by the Casco Bay Regional Shellfish Working Group in the towns of Brunswick, Harpswell, Georgetown, Yarmouth, Arrowsic, and Phippsburg are now available. These reports have been posted on Manomet’s website and through the Casco Bay Regional Shellfish Working Group website.
Mapping Access to the Intertidal in Six Towns in Casco Bay presents an overview of the findings from mapping access to the intertidal across the six towns, with summary information about things like property ownership, status and type of access, and trends/challenges across the towns. There are also several examples of approaches different towns have taken to address intertidal access.
Guide to Developing an Inventory to Access Points to the Intertidal provides a step-by-step overview of the process for conducting the access inventories in Casco Bay, including templates for data collection, data sharing/ownership agreements, and outreach materials. It also includes a description of similar access work that has been done in Gouldsboro. The guide is intended to inform other municipalities who may want to take on similar work to inventory coastal access.
MLTN Lunch & Learn: Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, and Community Bulk Purchase of Biocontrol Beetles
Tuesday, January 23, 2024 via Zoom
Grab your lunch and join Colleen Teerling, Maine Forest Service Forest Entomologist, and Brad Weigel and Joan Ray of Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, for this Zoom meeting to discuss successful partnerships with local landowners interested in purchasing and releasing Sasajiscymnus tsugae (St) beetles on their private lands. For the last several years Coastal Rivers has been consolidating beetle orders with landowners in order to qualify for bulk pricing, as well as helping to identify good beetle release sites and assisting with the beetle releases.
This is an opportunity to learn what has been successful, and also to discuss some of the risks of this approach.
This event is free but registration is required. Register here. The session will be recorded and sent to all who registered.
The Future of Work & Your Early Talent Pipeline
Tuesday, January 23, 2024 via Zoom
This event is possible thanks to a partnership between Maine Association of Nonprofits and North Carolina Center for Nonprofits
With the most racially diverse generation in history entering the workforce – GenZ – employers must assess relevant methods to develop and retain diverse early talent. Skills, jobs, and workplace dynamics have been significantly impacted by a global pandemic, new dynamics of work, and social injustices; organizations must adapt to the “future of work.”
During this webinar, Chelsea C. Williams, Founder & CEO of Reimagine Talent Co. will explore case studies to help you build and cultivate the early talent pipeline.
Learn more and get a link to register on MANP’s website.
NPS-RTCA Informational Webinar
Thursday, January 25, 2024 via Zoom
Do you have an idea for a park, trail, or conservation project? Could you use help building organizational capacity for your outdoor recreation and conservation efforts? The National Park Service – Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS-RTCA) is here to help with planning, design, and technical expertise!
You’re invited to join an informational webinar to learn more about NPS-RTCA and the 2024 application process.
Please register for the webinar using THIS FORM. You will receive a Microsoft Teams invitation with a link to join the webinar.
For more information about NPS-RTCA, check-out this 2-minute video and their conservation and outdoor recreation publication of services.
Regional Conservation Partnership Program Opportunities
Tuesday, February 6, 2024 by Zoom
The Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) offers several pathways to fund innovative projects that center partnerships and locally led conservation. Over 25 land trust projects were awarded funding for 2023 and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) wants to see that number grow!
If your land trust is looking for new ways to fund important regional projects, join NRCS for an overview of the program and information on how to get started.
Register on LTA’s website.
Introduction to Design Principles for Interpretive Signs
Wednesday, February 7, 2024 by Zoom
Cost: $75 for LTA members, $115 for non-members
Self-guided interpretive media, such as wayfinding or educational signage on trails, is an important tool for land trusts to meet their goals while providing a positive visitor experience. For signs to be effective, stewardship and communications staff must think beyond typical graphic design, marketing or other forms of “standard” visual media.
In this webinar, Andrea Denham of ADenham Consulting & Interpretive Design will show how holistic interpretive strategy incorporates specific principles of design with your goals in order to facilitate an impactful visitor experience.
Learn more and register on LTA’s website.
Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative Mapping Tool Webinar
Wednesday, February 14, 2024 via Zoom
The Northeast Bird Habitat Conservation Initiative Mapping Tool is an easy-to-use, interactive tool designed to help Regional Conservation Partnerships, land trusts, and practitioners use bird data to support activities such as habitat management and stewardship plan development, land prioritization and acquisition, and landowner and community engagement, all through the lens of bird conservation.
During this webinar, we’ll provide an overview of the tool’s data and layers, explore the tool’s functions, and showcase ways the tool is serving land conservation professionals. The tool showcases eBird Status & Trends (S&T) data for 43 priority bird species in five habitat types (forest, grassland, shrub/scrub/young forest, wetland/marsh, and coastal/shoreline). The NBHCI Mapping Tool provides data for 13 states in the Northeast, including Maine.
Decoding Nonprofit Finances
Thursday, February 15, 2024 via Zoom
Cost: $65 MANP Members*, $130 Nonmembers
Many nonprofit leaders are not trained with an accounting background and sometimes reading your financial statements can feel confusing and even overwhelming. Join Utah Nonprofits Association and experts from Tanner LLC for a high-level training on understanding nonprofit financial statements and managing cash flow projections. This is a one-hour session with 30 minutes for questions.
In this training, we’ll cover the following:
Learn more and get registration link and discount code at MANP’s website.
*Most MLTN members are MANP members. Contact Donna to check your organization’s MLTN membership status.
Jobs in the Conservation Sector
Look at all these job openings that have been posted in just the last 10 days, and there are many more listed on our website.
Stewardship Coordinator – Somerset Woods Trustees
Land Protection Manager – Georges River Land Trust
Land Steward – Upper Saco Valley Land Trust
Communications Content Specialist – Northeast Wilderness Trust
Summer Internships – Greater Lovell Land Trust
Seasonal Coastal Birds Biologist – Maine Audubon
Seasonal Coastal Birds Outreach Coordinator – Maine Audubon
Seasonal Coastal Birds Technician – Maine Audubon
Summer Internship NextGen Forest Program – Forest Stewards Guild
Field Ecology Internship – Maine Natural Areas Program
Invasive Plant Biology Internship – Maine Natural Areas Program
Laborer (Motor Vehicle Operating) – Acadia National Park
Sea Run Fisheries Monitoring Coordinator – Manomet
2024 Conservation and Outdoor Recreation Technical Assistance Opportunity
Applications Due: 11:59pm on March 1, 2024
The National Parks Service Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance Program (NPS-RTC) helps communities and public land managers in evolving climate resiliency strategies, developing or restoring parks, conservation areas, rivers, and wildlife habitats, as well as creating recreation opportunities and programs that engage future generations in the outdoors.
Community groups, nonprofit organizations, tribal governments, national parks, and local, state, and federal agencies are welcome to apply.