Leadership Grant

Evaluating Potential of Conservation Lands in Rural Downeast Maine, Year 1

$40,000 for 12 months awarded to Maine Department of Conservation in

To hire Misha Mytar as a full time Senior Planner with a regional focus on Downeast Maine. Misha's work will enhance the community development potential of Maine's Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) conservation lands in this rural area, and will expand the potential for BPL to be a leader in promoting nature-based tourism as an economic driver for the region.  The State of Maine will create this new position, the goal of which will be to develop a strategy for expanding the community and economic benefits of the 300,000 acres of public lands in the region. The challenges and opportunities presented by the Downeast region (consisting of the two easternmost counties of coastal Maine) are significant because of the abundance of public land, the great potential for increased nature-based tourism, as well as the high rate of poverty and limited economic opportunities for local residents. This project will leverage Misha's commitment to the region and her conservation planning and management skills.