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Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

 Record Group
Identifier: US-MeSA-09

Scope and Contents

The Maine State Archives (MSA) collects and holds the permanent historical records of the Maine State Government. MSA was created in 1965. By 1971, MSA housed the historical records that had been held by the Secretary of State, Legislature, Courts and Executive Departments. This included records from defunct agencies.

With the implementation of a records management system, groups of records were identified as having permanent historical value and were sent to the Archives after a designated period of time. These included Commissioner/Executive correspondence, meeting minutes from Boards and Commissions, as well as department-specific records.


  • 1899 -


Biographical / Historical

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (formerly Game) traces back to 1830 when wardens were first appointed by the Governor to enforce the moose and deer laws enacted that year. Two Commissioners of Fisheries were appointed in 1867. In 1880, the Commissioners were assigned responsibility for enforcing game laws as well as fish laws, and in 1895, their title was changed to Commissioners of Inland Fisheries and Game. The two Commissioners were later replaced by the Commissioner of Inland Fisheries and Game in 1917. Function Divisions were added as the Department mandates and responsibilities were expanded, e.g. Warden Service Aviation in 1937; Wildlife Division in 1938; Fisheries Division in 1951; Information and Education in 1955; Program Development and Coordination in 1968; Snowmobile Registration in 1969; Realty in 1970; Watercraft Registration and Safety in 1974.

Effective October 1, 1975, the Department was renamed the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. In 1984, the Department underwent its first Sunset Review by the Legislative Committee on Audit and Program Review. As a result, the Department was reorganized into the following: 1. Bureau of Administrative Services; 2. Bureau of Resource Management; 3. Bureau of Warden Service; 4. Office of the Commissioner, including the Division of Public Information and the Division of Program Development and Coordination.

In 2006, a statewide reorganization removed the financial and information technology functions of the agency and placed them within the newly-created Natural Resource Service Center and the Office of Information Technology. The Bureau of Administrative Services, as it was known prior to this reorganization became the Division of Licensing, Registration and Engineering in 2009 to more accurately reflect the duties of the Division. In 2011, the Division of Engineering was established as a separate Division to oversee maintenance, contracting and repair of Department facilities.

Maine State Government Annual Report 2013-2014


92.5 Linear Feet (96 containers)

Language of Materials


State Agency Schedules
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Maine State Archives Repository

84 State House Station
Augusta Maine 04333