Liz Thorndike

Private for Public

Open land is a gift, not a given

Unlike most states, Maine has a long tradition of public access to private land; but what that really means – and what private landowners expect – isn’t widely understood. Host Kris MacCabe will take listeners inside the long-standing yet delicate relationship between Maine’s owners and users – hearing from landowners about what motivates them to keep their property open for recreation and conservation, and in other cases getting the stories behind freshly-posted No Trespassing signs.

Meet the host: Kris MacCabe

Growing up in Maine, Kris always had a love for the outdoors whether he was hunting, fishing, or out on recreational vehicles. His enthusiasm for the outdoors inspired him to want to help protect Maine’s resources for future generations. In his current role as a Game Warden Corporal at Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, Kris focuses on landowner relations and helps manage a program that provides support to Maine’s private landowners and offers resources for outdoor enthusiasts to be responsible when recreating on private land.

Available wherever you listen to podcasts, or stream below.

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April 19, 2024

Episode 10: Backcountry Hunters and Anglers with John Simoneau

In this episode, Kris meets with John Simoneau, the New England Chapter leader of Backcountry Hunters and Anglers. Learn about the impact this organization has supporting private landowners and creating opportunities and relationships for land access. He'll also share some tips on finding local private land for outdoor recreation. Don't miss this season finale to learn how Backcountry Hunters and Anglers has worked to support outdoor recreation, as well as the benefits of becoming a member.

Learn more at

April 12, 2024

Episode 9: Sustainability of Land Access with Mitch Breton

We're taking another look at OnX Hunt with an eastern perspective from Maine resident and brand writer Mitch Breton. In this episode, Mitch shares the many ways OnX works to connect people and share good work being done across the nation through access and stewardship. OnX not only serves as a crucial exploration tool, but also acts as a gateway to nationwide stories, connections, and outdoor adventures. Discover the ways OnX supports conservation, adventure, and sustainability of land access.

April 5, 2024

Episode 8: The Origin of OnX Hunt with Ben Brettingen

In this episode, wing shooting manager and avid hunter Ben Brettingen reveals the origin of the OnX Hunt app and how this app evolved to be used in tandem with hunting and landowner relations. Join us as we uncover the game-changing features of OnX Hunt and look deeper at some of the differences in land access across the nation. There are more reasons than ever to cherish access to private land and the importance of preserving access for future generation.

March 29, 2024

Episode 7: Overcoming Property Abuse and Misuse with David Hanes

In this episode, Kris meets with Auburn Landowner David Hanes to discuss the challenges that he has faced with misuse of his private property and the choice that he has made to continue to keep his land open to the public. David shares some of the positive experiences that he has had with public recreationalists and why he feels those experiences outweigh the misuse. With 270 acres of private land, David remains committed to getting people out to enjoy the woods. Join us in thanking David Hanes for welcoming the public to his property at Butler Hill Farm.

March 22, 2024

Episode 6: Recreating in Maine's Working Forests with Bill Greaves

Did you know that North Maine Woods consists of 3.5 million acres between 23 industrial landowners?

North Maine Woods (NMW) was founded in the early 1970s to maintain balance between outdoor recreational useres and Maine's largest industry of timber harvests. Bill shares with us the history of NMW and reminds us that recreators are guests on private land. He recommends some best practices to keep in mind when interacting with the working forests.

Working together is the best way for us to continue to enjoy Maine's most remote wilderness.

Learn more at

March 15, 2024

Episode 5: Preserving Recreational Access to Private Land with Ben Carlisle

In many cases, the future of Maine's recreation lies with private landowners staying motivated to keep their land open for public access. In this episode, Kris sits down with Ben Carlisle, the president of the forest management company Prentiss & Carlisle. With a logging crew of 35 employees, this company manages 1 million acres, primarily within the state of Maine. Ben provides us with unique insights about what it means to work in the forest management industry and offers safety tips on what to look for within the working forests of Maine.

Recreationalists can help landowners want to keep their land open to the public through understanding of Maine's private forest industries and practicing respectful use of the land. Learn more at

March 8, 2024

Episode 4: Revving up Maine's Snowmobile Community with Matt Stedman

Have you ever thought about how much work goes into maintaining snowmobile trails? In this episode, Kris travels to Ashland and meets with Matt Stedman to learn more about his work to ensure Maine's trail conditions are kept in tip top shape. Matt is the Northern Region Vice President of Maine Snowmobile Association (MSA) and a forester for Irving Woodlands. He shares his dedication to the sport and how he is bridging the gap between recreational users and private landowners. From grooming to social media, snowmobile clubs have a growing need for volunteers. Join us to learn how you can help make an impact in your community and support rural economies.

March 1, 2024

Episode 3: Minding the Trails with Joe Kruse

Discover the art of trail grooming and learn about the pride and satisfaction that comes from repairing snowmobile trails for outdoor recreation. This week, Kris meets with private landowner and President of Coburn Summit Riders Snowmobile Club, Joe Kruse. There are many challenges that go into the maintenance of Maine's snowmobile trails, and Joe explains what it takes and how you can get involved in the preservation of Maine's legendary riding opportunities to be sure they can be enjoyed for years to come.

February 23, 2024

Episode 2: Sharing the Land with Doug Duren

Public access to private land is a mutually beneficial relationship between recreational users and private landowners. The key to this relationship is respect and appreciation for each other. This compromise is not something unique to Maine. In this episode, Kris meets with landowner Doug Duran to discuss his Sharing the Land initiative that branched out from his 430-acre legacy farm in Wisconsin. Learn about the impact that Doug has made across multiple states which has helped outdoor enthusiasts and landowners navigate the various challenges of landownership and wildlife management. Discover how keeping your land open can help with wildlife conflicts and why it's important to appreciate landowners who allow you use their land.

February 9, 2024

Episode 1: Achieving Your Wildlife Habitat Goals with Private Lands Biologist Joe Roy

In this pilot episode of the new Private for Public Podcast, our host Corporal Kris MacCabe sits down with Private Lands Wildlife Biologist Joe Roy to discuss how strategic land management can bring a diversity of species to your backyard. The State of Maine has over 22 million acres of land, and Joe is passionate about helping private landowners achieve their wildlife habitat goals. With over 15,000 species in Maine, you can manage any size property ranging from a small urban area to large industrial forests. Learn how you can manage land for habitats of small pollinators to large game species. You might be surprised how many different scenarios you can manage for!