Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund

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Upcoming Meetings

The MOHF Board will meet via Zoom on Thursday, 5/5/2022 from 10:00 – 12:00 to review and vote on round 22-2 applications. The public is invited and grant applicants are encouraged to attend. Contact mohf@gwi.net by 5/2/2022 if you would like to register for this meeting.

What is the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund?

Big Bucks Ticket

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund (MOHF) helps fund critical wildlife and conservation projects throughout Maine.  The Maine Legislature established MOHF in 1996 with LD 717 "An Act to Establish the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund" in response to a grassroots effort led by Maine Audubon and the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine while joined by many other environmental interested parties.

The Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund helps fund critical wildlife and conservation projects throughout Maine. MOHF’s sole purpose is "maintaining, improving and expanding state and local natural resource conservation programs and associated compatible public uses." in accordance with the MOHF Strategic Plan (PDF).

Revenue is generated exclusively by a dedicated instant lottery ticket distributed by the Maine State Lottery.  Tickets are available at most convenience stores, gas stations, and other outlets where Maine State Lottery tickets are sold.

The MOHF Strategic Plan (PDF) requires that funds raised by the lottery be expended in four general categories:

  • Category 1: Conservation of fisheries and wildlife, and habitat (35%);
  • Category 2: Acquisition and management of public lands, parks, wildlife conservation areas, and public access and outdoor recreation sites and facilities (35%);
  • Category 3: Conservation of endangered and threatened species (15%); and
  • Category 4: Natural resources law enforcement and protection of public health (15%). 

Grants are awarded semi-annually to natural resource agencies in response to grant proposals.  To date, MOHF has awarded over 28 million to over 1200 projects.

For more information about the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund contact Carol Gay, Secretariat for MOHF, email: mohf@gwi.net, or (207) 458-8421.

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MOHF Guiding Principles

The following principles guide the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Board as it considers grant requests during its current strategic' plans duration. The Board will give preference to projects that most substantially accomplish one or more of these objectives:

  • Conserve the best of Maine's outdoor heritage and achieve outstanding natural-resource or recreational benefits;
  • Maximize degree and diversity of public/private partnerships or other types of matching funds; projects with a 1/3 or higher cash match are encouraged. Funds are intended to support only project-related expenses, including salaries. Monetary match must consist of funds raised specifically for the project proposed and does not include salary costs of natural resource agency staff that are funded by the State General Fund. In-kind contributions that occur during the duration of the project will be considered matching funds.  
  • Form alliances between natural resource agencies, interest groups, and organizations based on shared visions and mutual responsibility. These groups and organizations could include Universities, Municipalities, Conservation Groups, other Not-for Profits, and For Profit Corporations;
  • Address natural resource concerns of statewide significance and/or broad geographical distribution.

As noted in the MOHF Strategic Plan (PDF), applicants are encouraged to review and address State Priority Reports when applicable such as:

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Who Can Apply?

Any organization that can be established as an insured vendor with the State of Maine as well as any Maine State Agency may apply through a designated Natural Resource Agency Representative.

Partnership Note: It is not necessary to have partnerships; however, Partnerships with state agencies, municipalities, and other organizations are strongly encouraged and are scored accordingly as noted in the  Grant Evaluation Form (PDF).  A partner helps to plan or implement the project.  Partnership Letters of Understanding describing the partner's role in the project must be included with the Full Grant Proposal Application (PDF) to be considered a partner.

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How to Apply

Applications MUST be submitted through one of the following Natural Resource Agency Representatives listed below while adhering to the MOHF Grant Submittal Schedule.

Applicants should be prepared to discuss their project description, how the project meets MOHF Guiding Principles, Funding Category Selection, Budget, and Partnerships.  

Natural Resource Agency Representatives:

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When to Apply

MOHF Grant Submittal Schedule:

Applications are reviewed and awards are determined at the MOHF Board meeting, generally held the first week in May for the spring grant cycle and the last week in October for the fall grant cycle. Check the MOHF webpage, www.maine.gov/ifw/mohf or contact the MOHF Secretariat for exact dates. MOHF Board meetings are open to the public and grant applicants are encouraged to attend.

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What Materials Are Needed to Apply?

Grant Application Materials

The Full Grant Proposal Application (PDF) should be submitted electronically as a single pdf document as well as a hard copy.  This document should be no more than 5 pages (not including supporting documents) and the hard copy should not be placed in any binder of any kind.

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How are Applications Selected?

The Legislature created the seven-member Board to select projects that best meet the MOHF guiding principles based on the grant evaluation criteria and the funding allotment for the given round.

Three of the members are permanent: the Commissioner of Conservation, the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the Director of the Natural Areas Program.

The remaining four citizen members are appointed by the Governor to staggered terms: one from a state sportsman's organization, one from a state wildlife conservation organization, and one working in a field related to natural resources.

Projects are initially scored based on scoring criteria found in the grant evaluation form (PDF) by MOHF Staff.  Scores and category funding allotments are forwarded to the seven-member Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund Board for their preliminary consideration.  Final selection is made by majority vote of the MOHF Board after public deliberation at the MOHF Board meeting.

Permanent Board Members

  • Amanda Beal, Commissioner of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry
  • Judy Camuso, Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Molly Docherty, Director Natural Areas Program

Citizen Board Members

  • James Gorman
  • Samantha Horn
  • Peter SeeHusen
  • Steve Tatko

Staff

Carol Gay, Secretariat
Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund
37 Wiscasset Road
Pittston, Me 04345
(207) 458-8421

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Other Supporting Documents

Application Materials

Guidelines & Additional Information

Samples

State Priority Action Reports

Previous Grants Awarded

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For more information about the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund contact Carol Gay, Secretariat for MOHF, email: mohf@gwi.net, or (207) 458-8421.