Outdoor news

MDIFW: Supporting public access through outdoor partners program

By Staff | Feb 27, 2013

Augusta — The endless outdoor recreational opportunities that can be found across Maine would not be possible without the state’s many landowners who allow public access on their land.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Outdoor Partners Program recognizes the importance of that access and works to preserve and enhance it while improving relations with landowners and providing an opportunity for land users to show their support and gratitude.

“The recreational use of private property is extremely important for our outdoor enthusiasts and respecting landowners is essential to that use,” said IFW Commissioner Chandler E. Woodcock.

New this year, the Outdoors Partners Program is an updated version of the department’s Supersport program, which started in 1996 and had at least 1,000 designations every year.

Joining the Outdoor Partners Program is simple and can be done when one purchases any license or through the department’s online store at mefishwildlife.com for $15.

People who join the program agree to abide by a code of ethics that includes respecting the law, public land, landowners, other outdoor users, fish, wildlife and the environment. Those who join this program also agree to assist a landowner in the upcoming year.

In return, Outdoor Partners receive valuable benefits, including periodic electronic newsletters with timely information from Maine’s biologists, wardens, guides, snowmobilers, landowners and others, free passes to the Maine Wildlife Park, Swan Island and the North Maine Woods and discounts to a variety of places such as Kittery Trading Post, L.L. Bean, DeLorme and Cabela.

When you join the Outdoors Partner Program, a person's money helps fund enhanced law enforcement details in problem areas, equipment to investigate and prosecute landowner abuse and criminal trespass complaints and promotional and educational programs designed to improve and maintain access. Funding also goes towards IFW’s landowner sign program, which aids landowners in managing access on private land by offering an alternative to “no trespassing” signs.

For more information on the Outdoors Partners Program, go online to mefishwildlife.com.

Courier Publications sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@courierpublicationsllc.com.

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