Beginning with Habitat


 
 

Financing Habitat Protection

1. Opportunities for Financing Habitat Protection | 2. Impact Fees | 3. Local Land Bonds | 4. Current Use Tax Programs | 5. Grant Sources

Local Land Bonds

Many communities have, in part as a response to the success of the Land for Maine's Future Program (LMF), elected to send local land acquisition bond referendum measures to the voters. Local funding for land acquisition demonstrates a strong local commitment to land protection that usually offers a community more opportunity to leverage private and other public funds thereby stretching the local dollar. The table below summarizes local land bond and land acquisition measures that have been successful in the past decade.

Table 1. Recent local land bond measures in Maine.

Town
Date
Description
Funds Approved
Freeport
1996
Bond for specified park land
$450,000
Falmouth
1997
Bond for recreation and open space
$1 million
Scarborough
2000
Bond for parks and land conservation
$1.5 million
Freeport
2000
Bond for open space, habitat, and farmland
$500,000
Falmouth
2001
Bond for open space preservation
$1.5 million
Saco
2002
Bond for parks and recreation
$1.5 million
Scarborough
2003
Bond for natural areas and recreation
$2.5 million
York
2003
Advisory measure for dedicated acquisition fund
n/a
York
2004
Bond for specific open space purchase
$200,000
Total
-
-
$9,150,000

The success of a land bond effort depends on the municipality's ability to create a clear vision for conservation and open space lands within their town that is well-received and supported by its citizens. These efforts typically follow the creation of an open space plan with input gathered from public visioning sessions and that addresses the full range of open space needs including wildlife habitat, public access, recreational trails, and neighborhood green space. Bond expenditures also require well thought out guidelines identifying specifically how acquisitions will be prioritized (typically referencing priorities identified in an open space plan) and how proposed parcels are screened for consistency with program goals and objectives.

Attached below are examples of locally adopted measures including a land board charter, a referendum question to be put before voters, and a detailed acquisition evaluation methodology for parcels considered. Each town in Maine that has successfully passed a local land bond has followed a similar approach to that summarized in the example documents provided.

Example Tools

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