RUMFORD — Meetings will be held this week in Rumford and early next month in Rangeley as the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands begins its use management planning for public reserve lands in Western Maine.

The first is Thursday, Jan. 28, in the Rumford Falls Auditorium at 145 Congress St. (use River Street entrance), and the second is on Thursday, Feb. 4, in the Rangeley Lakes Regional School Multipurpose Room at 43 Mendolia Road.
Both start at 6 p.m.

Management plans for the bureau public reserved lands units are revised every 15 years on a rotation basis, Amy Hudnor, bureau senior planner, said in a Jan. 20 report.

This year’s land parcels are Mahoosuc between Newry and Upton; Bald Mountain in Rangeley; Four Ponds, which are just east of Mooselookmeguntic Lake between Routes 4 and 17; and Richardson Lake north of Andover.

“These lands contain valuable recreational resources, including the Appalachian Trail and the Grafton Loop Trail, as well as an ecological reserve, wildlife resources and timber resources, among other things,” Hudnor said.  

“We will seek to create a ‘vision’ for each Public Reserved Land Unit in the management planning process,” she said. “We’ll consider important recreation issues, including the broad question of which types of recreation should occur and where, and specific items, such as location and maintenance of trails, parking and other facilities.”

“We’ll also be looking at which areas are harvested for timber, managed for wildlife habitat, and allocated for special protection.”

Listening to ideas from the public is vital to bureau planning for public reserved lands, Hudnor said.

For previous management plans, hearing the different perspectives of participants has helped keep the bureau staff in touch with the interests and opinions of those who use and value these lands, she added.

The two scoping meetings mark the beginning of the public process for the Western Mountains Plan.

They will also assist bureau staff in writing the first draft of the plan.

Another public meeting will be scheduled later in the year to review the final draft of the plan and receive feedback

Written comments on the Western Mountains Region Management Plan may be sent to Amy Hudnor, senior planner, Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, 22 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

She can also be reached at [email protected]. For more information, visit:

[email protected]

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