The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, in conjunction with a broad range of partner organizations, announced Tuesday its comprehensive 10-year wildlife plan is open for public comment.

The plan, which is required by all states to be eligible for federal conservation money, was created with the input of 102 conservation partners, according to the department.

The last “Wildlife Action Plan” was completed in 2005. It is required every 10 years and identifies Maine’s most vulnerable fish and wildlife species. This plan, just like the one a decade ago, puts an emphasis on public participation in wildlife conservation, said Wildlife Division Director Judy Camuso.

The process in writing the draft plan was similar this time compared to 2005, said Michelle Smith, the communication director with Maine Audubon, one of the conservation partners.

“There was not anything done significantly different this time around. There was more of a rigorous approach, meaning less species are included on the list, which is a good thing, as it allows everyone to focus more effort on species that need it the most,” Smith said.

There are hundreds of wildlife species on the list.

Camuso said what is different this time, thanks to technological advances, is that the draft document is easier for the public to navigate on the department’s website. Interested readers can now search for a specific species, Camuso said.

The public has until Aug. 13 to review the document and provide feedback to the department, at or 287-8000.

The Wildlife Action Plan draft can be viewed here.

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