PORTLAND, Maine (May 26, 2021) – Maine’s $3 billion outdoor economy and success as an attractive place to live, work and visit depends on having robust outdoor recreation infrastructure including local parks and recreation areas, larger-scale conservation projects to draw visitors to rural Maine, trail networks, and accessible information about all of it. COVID-19 has driven unprecedented demand for outdoor experiences and has exposed weaknesses in Maine’s current outdoor infrastructure.
Along with our national partner, the Outdoor Industry Association, MOB is advocating for three state-wide opportunities to enhance outdoor recreation infrastructure in Maine:
Pass a new Land for Maine’s Future Bond
The Land For Maine’s Future (LMF) program is the primary funding vehicle for land and water conservation via matching funds garnered at the local, state, and federal levels. LMF provides recreational access across the state of Maine – including hiking, fishing, swimming, boating, and ATV riding.
Numerous bills have been introduced in the state legislature with proposals to fund LMF that MOB submitted testimony in support of, including LD 983, LD 687 and LD 1702. More information can be found here. A list of recreation areas created by the Land for Maine’s Future program can be found here.
Invest in Maine State Parks
Millions of people visit Maine State Parks annually, supporting our local outdoor industry with purchases of tents, sleeping bags, bug spray, and more. Our State Parks are a competitive advantage for the state and should be treated as such with increased investments to support trails, campsites, and bathrooms.
LD 700 which would provide $50 million to fund a backlog of deferred maintenance and facility upgrades at our State Parks. The Governor has also called for funding through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Act.
Create an Outdoor Recreation Grant Program for Maine Communities
Following models from other states, a community grant program administered through the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation could support design, planning, construction and improvements of other parks, trails, waterfronts, public restrooms and wayfinding signage projects connecting neighborhoods and downtowns to outdoor spaces.
More information on each proposal can be found here.
About Maine Outdoor Brands:
Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) is a growing alliance of 125+ outdoor product, service and retail brands in Maine committed to strengthening Maine’s outdoor recreation economy. MOB helped form the Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation and works to promote and sustain outdoor businesses in the state through collaborative marketing, advocacy, networking and knowledge sharing. For more information, visit maineoutdoorbrands.com
About Outdoor Industry Association:
Based in Boulder, Colo., with offices in Washington, D.C., Outdoor Industry Association (OIA) is the leading trade association for the outdoor industry. OIA unites and serves 1,200 manufacturer, supplier, sales representative and retailer members through its focus on trade and recreation policy, sustainable business innovation and outdoor participation. For more information, visit outdoorindustry.org.