AUGUSTA, Maine (April 27, 2023) – Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) testified in support of LD 1167, An Act To Authorize a General Fund Bond Issue to Promote the Design, Development and Maintenance of Trails for Outdoor Recreation and Active Transportation.
You can read MOB’s full testimony here.
The bipartisan Maine Trails Bond bill (L.D. 1156) was introduced by state Rep. Jessica Fay, D-Raymond, and Sen. Russell Black, R-Franklin County, with cosponsor support from three Democrats, four Republicans and one Independent.
The Maine Trails Bond would invest $30 million in the design, development, and maintenance of non-motorized, motorized, and multi-use trails statewide for a variety of outdoor recreation activities like hiking, biking, snowmobiling, and skiing.
More than 280 organizations and businesses support the Maine Trails Bond, including the Maine State Chamber of Commerce; Maine Outdoor Brands; Maine Snowmobile Association; Maine Tourism Association; Environmental Priorities Coalition; Associated General Contractors (AGC) of Maine; and Maine Youth Camping Association; as well as land trusts; sporting camps; individual businesses such as L.L. Bean and Good To-Go; economic development organizations; trail groups; and cities and towns in all parts of the state.
“This Maine Trails Bond would reaffirm Maine’s status as a national leader in outdoor recreation and further boost our $3 billion outdoor recreation economy. Investments in trails are an investment in our entire state and have helped make Maine a desirable place to live, work, visit, and do business. Our outdoor brand and our outdoor industry will be strengthened by the Maine Trails Bond,” says Jenny Kordick, Executive Director, Maine Outdoor Brands.
“For more than 110 years, L.L.Bean has been dedicated to enabling everyone to experience the restorative benefits of being outside. Trails are the pathways to those spaces and to the restorative experience that our 5,000 employees help enable every day. They are also an essential component of Maine’s $3 billion outdoor recreation economy, which represents 3.6% of Maine’s GDP. Passage of the Maine Trails Bond is an investment in both our economy and in the well-being of Maine people,” says Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman, L.L.Bean
“The pandemic highlighted the need for close-to-home recreation, specifically the importance of better access to the outdoors for all as so many discovered the health benefits, both physical and mental, of spending time outside. This increase in participation by both residents and visitors has put a strain on ecosystems and infrastructure, reminding us of the ongoing challenges of overuse and revealing the need for investment in, and increased access to, trails and open spaces for resident quality of life, deeper visitor experiences, and long-term sustainable economic development,” says Carolann Ouellette, Director, Maine Office of Outdoor Recreation
“Skowhegan is investing in outdoor recreation infrastructure and providing free outdoor activities and gear to our local community members as part of our economic and community development strategy. In addition to building Maine’s first whitewater park with the Northeast‘s ONLY adjustable surf wave in our downtown river gorge, Skowhegan is planning for 50 miles of multi-use trails accessible via our commercial district. Like Skowhegan. the State of Maine needs to double-down on outdoor recreation infrastructure investment as a tool for economic development.” says Kristina Cannon, Executive Director, Maine Street Skowhegan
“All people should have the opportunity for positive experiences outdoors, regardless of where they live, their social or economic status. The Maine trails bond will provide Maine youth with safe, accessible outdoor spaces where they can integrate, connect and contribute to their community.” says Alicia Heyburn, Executive Director, Teens to Trails
We urge all our members to email the Appropriation Committee members below to support the Maine Trails Bond:
- Sen. Peggy Rotundo, Chair: Margaret.Rotundo@legislature.maine.gov
- Sen. Rick Bennett: Richard.Bennett@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Sen. Jill Duson: Jill.Duson@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Melanie Sachs, Chair: Melanie.Sachs@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Mark Blier: Mark.Blier@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Nathan Carlow: Nathan.Carlow@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Ben Collings: Benjamin.Collings@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Jack Ducharme: John.Ducharme@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Jessica Fay: Jessica.Fay@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Drew Gattine: Andrew.Gattine@legislature.maine.gov
- Rep. Ann Matlack: Ann.Matlack@Legislature.Maine.gov
- Rep. Rebecca Millett: Rebecca.Millett@legislature.maine.gov
- Rep. Sawin Millett: Sawin.Millett@legislature.maine.gov
Formed in 2017, Maine Outdoor Brands (MOB) works to unite and provide a voice for Maine’s outdoor industry in order to strengthen Maine’s outdoor recreation brand and economy. MOB is committed to seeing Maine-based outdoor product, service, and retail brands thrive. To learn more and see brands involved visit maineoutdoorbrands.com.