Maine’s Beginning with Habitat

Maine’s Beginning with Habitat is a statewide program designed to get local governments to plan for key natural resources while retaining their control over land use regulation through traditional comprehensive plans and zoning ordinances. This partnership of state government, the United States Fish & Wildlife Service and three nonprofit environmental organizations provides landscape-scale analysis of critical resources and works with local governments to protect these resources through traditional tools like riparian buffers, zoning, infrastructure planning and land acquisition. The program is entirely voluntary, so its success depends on county and municipal leaders seeing the value of collective action – a task that is aided by the broad recognition in Maine that natural scenery and resources are the state’s greatest social and economic asset.

Vital Statistics:

Chapter of the Book: 22

State: ME

Year Established: 2000

Geographic  Scale: Statewide

Mandatory or Voluntary over Local Government: Voluntary

Authorizing Laws: State

Agencies and Organizations:

Beginning with Habitat

Maine State Planning Office

US Fish and Wildlife Service, Gulf of Maine Program

Maine Audubon Society

Maine Coast Heritage Trust

The Nature Conservancy, Maine Program


Resource Mapping

GIS Data

Landscope America, Beginning with Habitat