DACF News

    Maine State Park Attendance Increases 8% in 2021, Resetting All-Time Visitation Attendance Record

    January 6, 2022 - Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) announced an 8% increase in final attendance for Maine State Parks in 2021 compared to the previous all-time attendance record in 2020. In 2021, Maine State Parks welcomed more than 3.3 million visitors, compared to 3 million in 2020. In addition, three of the last four years have reported record-breaking visitation across Maine's 12 State Park campgrounds and 48 State Parks and Historic Sites collectively. Continue Reading


    Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal Announces Maine Forest Service Ranger Chief Bill Hamilton's Retirement, Regional Forest Ranger Robby Gross Selected as Successor Starting January 1

    December 23, 2021 - AUGUSTA - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal today announced that Robert "Robby" Gross would serve as the next Forest Ranger Chief of the Maine Forest Service (MFS). Current Ranger Chief, Colonel Bill Hamilton, will retire on January 1. Chief Hamilton and Regional Forest Ranger Gross will collaborate on the leadership transition through that time. Hamilton served the Maine people for 42 years, starting with the entomology division and progressing through the ranks. He was appointed Ranger Chief in 2012. Continue Reading


    Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Encourages Pet Owners to Celebrate the Holidays Safely

    December 23, 2021 - AUGUSTA - With the holiday season in full swing, the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry encourages pet owners to celebrate responsibly by following six easy steps to help keep their pets healthy and safe. Continue Reading


    Central Region Forest Ranger named Valedictorian and recipient of Randall Parsons Award

    December 23, 2021 - AUGUSTA - Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Maine Forest Service (MFS) Forest Ranger David Loome of Millinocket was recently named Valedictorian, the James L. Handley Award, of the Maine Criminal Justice Academy's 40th Basic Law Enforcement Training Program. Valedictorian honors are bestowed on the student with the highest combined achievement for academics, firearms, professional values, and physical fitness. Ranger Loome was also recognized with the Academy's Randall A. Parsons "Iron Man" Award. Continue Reading


    Notice of Request for Proposal #202110155: Reducing Hunger and Promoting Maine Agriculture

    December 15, 2021 - The Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry is currently seeking proposals from Maine-based nonprofit organizations to help reduce hunger, promote Maine agriculture by purchasing directly from farmers and food producers, and provide subcontracts to other nonprofits conducting related services Continue Reading


    2022 Maine Agricultural Trades Show Goes Virtual

    December 8, 2021 - After carefully assessing potential risks to public health amid a sustained surge of COVID-19, the Maine Department of Agriculture Conservation and Forestry (DACF) announced today that the annual Maine Agricultural Trades Show (ATS) will be held online instead of in-person the week of January 10, 2022. Continue Reading


    Stephen M. Dickson Named Maine State Geologist

    December 7, 2021 - AUGUSTA - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal recently announced Stephen M. Dickson as State Geologist with the Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning's (BRILUP) Maine Geological Survey (MGS). Dickson was most recently the department's Acting State Geologist and BRILUP Director. He succeeds Robert Marvinney, who retired earlier this year, as Maine's fifteenth State Geologist. Continue Reading


    Mills Administration Announces Conversion of Abandoned Railroad Bed to Multi-use Trail

    November 30, 2021 - The Mills Administration announced today that an abandoned Maine Central Railroad Company corridor is being converted to a new multi-use trail. The trail, known as the Madison Branch, spans 32 miles across Kennebec and Somerset Counties and will become a major connector to the Maine Interconnected Trail System (ITS) and Maine ATV Trail System (MATS). The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) closed last week on the Madison Branch purchase from Pan Am Railways at the cost of just over a million dollars. Continue Reading


    Mills Administration Announces 2022 Farm to Food Bank Project Award

    November 22, 2021 - The Mills Administration announced today that nearly $38,000 will be utilized by a Maine organization to continue its efforts to reduce food waste by providing food to food pantries to feed Maine people. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has been awarded a $37,828 USDA Food and Nutrition Service Farm to Food Bank Project Award for work in 2022. This is the second year DACF has received Farm to Food Bank funding, which is part of The Emergency Food Assistance Program. Continue Reading


    Send Holiday Cheer, Not Pests: Follow Out-Of-State Plant Health Regulations

    November 22, 2021 - Many Maine residents' holiday celebrations are not complete without decorating with Maine-grown wreaths, trees, and other decorative plant material. Sharing this tradition by sending wreaths and trees to our friends and families across the country can help us feel more connected even if we can't be together this holiday season. The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) wants to remind Mainer's sending holiday greenery that they can save time, money and prevent product loss by shipping only healthy plant material. Continue Reading


    Commissioner Beal Announces Julie-Marie Bickford as Maine Milk Commission Executive Director

    November 17, 2021 - Augusta - Today, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal announced Julie-Marie Bickford as Maine Milk Commission Executive Director effective December 1. Bickford is assuming the role previously held by Tim Drake, who retired after 13 years of service. Bickford will be responsible for the administration of the Commission and be DACF's primary liaison to the dairy industry. Continue Reading


    Mills Administration Announces 2021 Specialty Crop Block Grants

    November 15, 2021 - The Mills Administration announced today that it is awarding a total of nearly $500,000 to seven Maine organizations to invest in innovative technologies and grow new markets for Maine's specialty crops. The Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is awarding $492,039 to Blue Barn LLC, Cumberland County Soil and Water Conservation District, Daybreak Growers Alliance, Maine Flower Collective, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, Maine Potato Board, and the University of Maine for projects that will expand research and innovation and strengthen agricultural sectors in Maine. Continue Reading


    Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Secures $500,000 to Bolster Stress and Mental Health Assistance for Maine Farmers

    November 10, 2021 - AUGUSTA- Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) Commissioner Amanda Beal recently announced $500,000 in United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) funding to provide stress assistance and mental health resources for agricultural producers across the state. The DACF received the grant through the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA). Continue Reading


    Roque Bluffs State Park Expanded with Pond Cove Island Acquisition

    November 9, 2021 - The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) is excited to announce that the Bureau of Parks and Lands (BPL) has acquired Pond Cove Island. The 50-acre Pond Cove Island, located in Englishman Bay, Washington County will be added to Roque Bluffs State Park. The island is located roughly a third of a mile from the mainland. It features nearly two miles of winding shoreline, gentle stone and cobble beaches suitable for landing kayaks and small boats, and open views of the Atlantic Ocean. Continue Reading


    Judy East Named Maine Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning Director, Stacie Beyer Becomes Land Use Planning Commission Acting Executive Director

    November 3, 2021 - AUGUSTA - Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Commissioner Amanda Beal recently announced Judith (Judy) East as the department's Bureau of Resource Information and Land Use Planning Director. East was most recently the department's Land Use Planning Commission (LUPC) Executive Director. LUPC Planning Manager, Stacie Beyer, was selected to succeed East as LUPC Executive Director in an acting capacity. Both positions took effect on November 1, 2021. Continue Reading