Maine Department of Natural Resources


In Maine, the Department of Conservation (“Department”) is responsible for the protection, preservation, and enhancement of the land resources of Maine.  The Department was created in 1973 pursuant to 12 M.R.S. § 5011.  It is responsible for ensuring a balanced use of the state’s land, forest, water, and mineral resources.  The Department promotes the sensible use of Maine’s scenic, mineral, and wildlife resources.

The Department is headed by a Commissioner of Conservation appointed by the governor[i].  The Maine Forestry Department, Maine Parks and Recreation Department, Maine Forest Authority, Maine Mining Bureau, Allagash Wilderness Waterway, and the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission are all incorporated into the Department[ii].

Pursuant to 12 M.R.S. § 5012, the Commissioner of Conservation has to perform certain duties.  Some of them are:

a)     Coordinating and administering activities of various bureaus under it.

b)     Planning departmental activities with the intent to promote efficiency of the Department and the bureaus within it.

c)     Making recommendations to the Governor and Legislature, regarding the changes required in the laws relating to the organization, functions, and services of the Department and its agencies.

d)     Preparing budgets for the Department.

e)     Entering into agreements with any person, corporation, or state, or local government agency or authority to further the objectives of the Department.  Such agreements are entered on behalf of the Department.

The Department of Marine Resources of Maine (DMR) also plays an important role in conserving Maine’s marine resources.  The DMR was established to conserve and develop marine and estuarine resources, and to conduct and promote research and development activities related to Maine fishing industries.

Pursuant to 12 M.R.S. § 6051, under the direction of the Commissioner of Marine Resources, the DMR can conduct and sponsor programs for the research and development of activities related to commercial and recreational fishing industry in Maine.  The DMR can carry out these programs with the help of other state agencies, federal agencies, or any other private institutions.  The DMR also advises and cooperates with local, state, and federal officials on matters relating to activities in coastal waters and implements laws and regulations needed for these purposes.

In Maine, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) carries out programs concerning fish and wildlife conservation.  The DFW was established with the goal of preserving, protecting, and enhancing the inland fisheries and wildlife resources of Maine[iii].   It promotes the wise use of the fish and wildlife resources of the state with the intent to preserve these resources for the future.   The DFW is headed by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife who is responsible for DFW’s control and administration.

Maine Department of Conservation

Maine Department of Marine Resources

Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

[i] 12 M.R.S. § 5011.

[ii] 12 M.R.S. § 5011.

[iii] 12 M.R.S. § 10051.