Rep. Arata's News from the Legislature

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Town of New Gloucester

385 Intervale Road, New Gloucester, ME 04260

(207) 926-4126 (phone) / (207) 926-4136 (fax)

Town of Poland

1231 Maine Street, Poland, ME 04274

(207) 998-4601 (phone) / (207) 998-2002 (fax)


Maine's Drought Task Force Proactively Convenes Ahead of Potential Drought

On Thursday, April 22, the Maine Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) commenced a preliminary activation of the Drought Task Force (Task Force) for the 2021 season.  The U.S. Drought Monitor mapping program shows extensive abnormally dry conditions across the State of Maine that exceed the threshold required for activating the Task Force.  Given that these conditions are occurring early in the year, and in combination with the many vaccination-related efforts taking precedence at MEMA, Task Force chairs from USGS and MEMA approved a preliminary activation of the Task Force.

Currently, about 55% of Maine is experiencing abnormally dry conditions, impacting 15 counties.  The majority of stream flows and groundwater levels are lower than average springtime conditions; though, recent rainfall has temporarily increased some stream flows in western and southern Maine.  River basin reservoir managers are storing more water than average in anticipation of abnormally dry conditions.  More precipitation is expected.  Task Force members will stay in close communication until the dry conditions subside.

In addition to drought monitoring responsibilities, Task Force partners are asked to report any drought-related impacts for which they are notified.  The Task Force’s preliminary response will continue for as long as appropriate until virtual meetings are deemed necessary to respond to drought-related impacts in the State.

For additional information, please visit


Attorney General and Securities Administrator Warn Public About New Phone Scam

Maine’s Attorney General and Securities Administrator are warning the public of a new phone scam from a caller claiming to be from the Internal Revenue Service.

In this scam, the caller tells the recipient that because they previously invested in binary options, they are now an accessory to an international drug smuggling ring and having an offshore bank account.  The caller said he would need to notify the local district attorney and the Maine Attorney General and then played what sounded like a police scanner, claiming to be having communication with the law enforcement officials via two-way radio.  The caller states he can settle the matter by either having "agents" go to the individual's house to arrest them or they could pay a $1,000.00 bond.

If you receive a call like this, do not be fooled.  No government agency will call you to demand you settle alleged criminal violations by either agreeing to arrest or paying a sum of money.

A binary option is a type of all-or-nothing investment contract where the investor predicts the value of an underlying asset (currency, stock, etc.) at a predetermined time or date in the future.  If the investor correctly predicts the asset price at the end of the contract, which can be just a matter of minutes, the investor receives the payout agreed upon in the contract.  If the investor is incorrect, the investor loses the entire amount invested.  Binary options are often promoted to investors by unlicensed overseas companies through unsolicited calls or emails.  The investment offers often contain promises of receiving matching bonus money after you invest.  Once the investor sends their money, the company stops responding and eventually disappears.

Consumers can contact the Office of the Maine Attorney General with questions or concerns about these kinds of scams or other issues they have had with a business.

Anyone who has questions about the authenticity or legality of an investment opportunity, or about the individual making the offer, is encouraged to contact the Office of Securities.


Maine Invasive Plant Control Grant Program Applications Now Open

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry's (DACF) Maine Forest Service (MFS) is providing up to $85,000 through 2023 for local governments, municipalities, educational institutions, non-profit organizations, and private family woodland owners interested in obtaining Invasive Plant Control Practice Plans (IPCPP) for their woods.  This new invasive plant management program is administered by the MFS and the Maine Natural Areas Program (MNAP).

Funded by a Landscape Scale Restoration Program grant from the USDA Forest Service, financial incentives for IPCPPs are available to public and private woodland owners with ten to one thousand wooded acres in Maine.  The program will reimburse up to 50% of the cost based on the number of acres.  An average small woodlot may receive up to $400 maximum incentive, while larger lots will have larger maximum incentive amounts.  The IPCPP provides woodland owners with maps and treatment recommendations for invasive plants.

The program's goal is to address invasive plants that choke out native trees, shrubs, and wildflowers in the eligible woodlands.  A corps of natural resource professionals trained through the program's Invasive Plant Academy will be qualified to develop the IPCPPs.  A list of trained plan preparers will be available on the MFS Invasive Plant Management Program Web page.

Landowners with approved IPCPPs will also be eligible to apply for the next phase of the program to receive free invasive plant treatment conducted by a contractor hired by the Maine Forest Service.

  • Visit the MFS Web site for the 2021 IPCPP application.  Applications are due by 5:00 p.m., May 31, 2021.
  • Access a list of natural resource professionals provisionally eligible to develop IPCPPs.
  • Visit the MFS Web site to learn more about the new IPCPP or call MFS Landowner Outreach Forester Andy Shultz at (207) 287-4980.


Maine Moose Lottery – Deadline Approaching!

The 2021 Maine Moose Permit Lottery application process is open!  Applications for the Lottery are accepted online only

To apply online, go to and fill out the online moose permit application.  There, you will be able to indicate several preferences, including which wildlife management districts (WMD) you are willing to accept a permit in, and if you would accept a permit in another WMD if your name is drawn and all of your top choices are filled.  You will also be able to select your preferred hunting season, whether or not you would accept an antlerless permit, and your choice of a sub-permittee.

New in 2021, the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is proposing an adaptive unit hunt to determine if lowering the moose population density in the western side of WMD 4 can lessen the impacts of winter tick.  Applicants will be asked if they want to apply for an adaptive unit hunt permit when completing the application. 

Applications must be completed by 11:59 pm (ET) on May 13, 2021.

The virtual 2021 moose permit drawing will take place June 12, 2021.


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