Overview

The Maine Futures Community Mapper (MFCM) is a web-based tool that helps Mainers: (1) identify locations that are most suitable for future development, conservation, agricultural uses, or forestry; (2) identify potential conflicts and compatibilities between different land uses; and (3) envision their future landscape under different possible scenarios of change.

Maine’s most important asset is its exceptional quality of place. Our communities are at the heart of that quality of place. Ensuring a future where Mainers can count on vibrant communities with vital economic development, coupled with a sustainable natural resource base, requires thoughtful planning. We developed the MFCM in partnership with dozens of stakeholders from the economic development, conservation, forestry, and agriculture communities to assist planners, citizens, policy-makers, and scientists in planning for our collective future.

Timeline

The MFCM is the culmination of four years of research conducted through the Maine Alternative Futures Project of the Maine Sustainability Solutions Initiative. Our stakeholder-driven land use research program worked closely with a large number of citizens, conservationists, scientists, business leaders, and policy-makers to develop a series of land use suitability models and alternative future scenarios. Our first focus groups, which included representatives from forestry, conservation, economic development, and agriculture, were convened in the Lower Penobscot River Watershed in 2010. In 2012, the project was expanded to include the Casco Bay and Lower Androscoggin watersheds. After the land use models were completed in early 2013, the Maine Futures Community Mapper was developed to provide residents, planners, and policy-makers new ways of envisioning their communities now and in the future.