Maine outdoor recreational users to be surveyed

8:19 AM, Jun 30, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine outdoor recreational users are being surveyed to share their opinions and experiences about public use of private land.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Maine Professional Guides Association, Maine Snowmobile Association, and the Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine are conducting the survey.

It will be sent to 1,000 recreational users across the state randomly selected from the state's license and registration databases.

In a news release issued earlier this week by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, officials said the data gathered will be compared to results from a similar survey sent to landowners.

In that survey, it was discovered that many landowners are considering posting their land against public access.  Several responses stated many landowners experienced unwanted recreational use of their land, and faced problems such as road damage and illegal dumping.  The data also showed that landowners strongly want to feel respected.

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife said the upcoming survey will ask comparable questions of recreational users.  

Dr. Jessica Leahy, an associate professor at the School of Forest Resources at the University of Maine in Orono, is conducting research to help address landowner and land user issues across the state.  

State officials said Dr. Leahy will use the data collected from the survey as part of her research.

In the news release announcing the new survey, officials said over 90% of Maine is privately owned, and the bulk of Maine's outdoor recreational economy is dependent upon access to that land.

An Outdoor Heritage Fund grant is being used to pay for the survey. 


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