(Spotted this story by John Richardson on the Portland Press Herald website. It appears that wetlands and deer wintering habitats are the big winners, at least in this first round of grants. Both could use the help. – KM)
By John Richardson
Portland Press Herald, Jan. 7, 2010
A state conservation fund that collects fees from developers has awarded $1.8 million to projects that help restore or preserve wetlands and other wildlife habitats.
The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program was created last year to allow developers to pay fees when projects require the filling of wetlands or other impacts on habitat. Before the creation of the fund, developers would sometimes have to compensate for unavoidable impacts by doing individual restoration projects.
Fees are collected by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and then transferred to the Natural Resource Conservation Fund at The Nature Conservancy. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers also works with the fund to identify priority projects.
The $1.8 million announced today is the first round of grants from the fund and will help 11 public and nonprofit groups move forward on resource protection projects across Maine.
Here’s a link to the rest of the story.