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Maine Natural Areas Program

Program Overview

The Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP), within the Maine Department of Conservation, serves Maine citizens as the most comprehensive source of information on the State’s important natural features. With landowner permission, the Program inventories lands that support rare and endangered plants and animals, rare natural communities, and outstanding examples of common natural communities. MNAP also provides objective and comprehensive information to equip decision-makers with the necessary tools to make informed and responsible decisions.

MNAP continues a strong commitment to conserving natural areas. The Program maintains a cross-referenced data management system containing current and historic information about natural features from across Maine. This information is shared with other State agencies, town planners, land trusts, and other groups interested in natural resource and conservation planning.

The Maine Natural Areas Program is a part of an international network of natural heritage programs overseen by NatureServe. This network contributes important information on Maine's native plant and animal species whose ranges extend beyond Maine's borders. In addition, MNAP works closely with the Maine Field Office of The Nature Conservancy and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on conservation efforts.

Program Mission

The Maine Natural Areas Program’s mission is to ensure the maintenance of Maine’s natural heritage for the benefit of present and future generations. MNAP facilitates informed decision-making in development planning, conservation, and natural resources management. The Program’s success relies upon using consistent and objective methods to collect, organize, and interpret information.

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