AUGUSTA — Nine Maine property owners are being honored for keeping their land open to public access for outdoor recreation.

The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife held its annual Landowner of the Year awards ceremony on Tuesday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

Among the winners are small woodlot owners, the Penobscot Indian Nation, Plum Creek Timberlands and Heartwood Forestland of T4 R8.

The Land User Group of the Year is Molunkus Valley Snow Drifters of Sherman.

Fish and game Commissioner Chandler Woodcock says more than 90 percent of Maine is privately owned, so the generosity of landowners is needed to sustain Maine’s outdoor traditions.

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