It’s been years in the works: A project so big, conserving land so cherished, it took all of us to protect it. Together, we connected more than 2 million acres of conserved lands—a vast interconnected forest that stretches from the St. John Valley to Moosehead Lake to Mount Katahdin.
With your help, in May The Nature Conservancy closed on a 363,000-acre conservation easement on prime forestland near Greenville. The historic easement became the second-largest ever completed in the U.S. and the very largest contiguous conservation easement.
“It’s the perfect piece to complete a 2-million-acre swath, which is the size of Yellowstone,” says Michael Tetreault, executive director of the The Nature Conservancy in Maine. “Picture this: 80 ponds in one easement. Or 800 miles of rivers. That’s the distance from here to Detroit.”
Now held by the Forest Society of Maine, the Moosehead easement guarantees public access for traditional recreation, such as hunting, fishing, camping at designated sites, canoeing and cross-country skiing. It also protects access to 160 miles of trails used by hikers and snowmobilers.
In the process, it conserves habitat for dozens of fish and wildlife species, along with rare plants. It also permits sustainable forestry, allowing forest products to continue to support the local economy and the many people who depend on it.
You supported our work through a complex, multiyear process involving numerous drafts of Plum Creek’s concept plan, hours and reams of public input and an iterative regulatory review. The amazing outcome: 96 percent of the land covered by the concept plan is now conserved.
“It’s been a long process, and it’s a done deal,” Tetreault says. “Now, there’s lots of great opportunity as a result of this project.”
November 14, 2012