With more than half a million acres of public land in Maine, hunting, fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities are plentiful. These activities contribute over 40,000 jobs and $2.9 billion in economic activity. And thanks to a new bill championed by Sen. Angus King, public access to these lands could become easier.

Sen. King’s bipartisan MAPLand Act would require our public land agencies to digitize records of easements or rights of way across private lands, putting mapping data at our fingertips. Right now, access easements are found in dusty filing cabinets at local land management agencies, making it incredibly difficult to know which lands and waters we can access.

If Congress were to pass the MAPLand Act, it would expand public access opportunities and reduce conflict with landowners, because everyone would have factual information about access allowances and restrictions. Hunters and anglers hope Congress follows Sen. King’s lead and advances this important legislation.

Nelson Palmer

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