Maine is 89% forest—the most forested state in the nation. That means we offer critical habitat for wildlife, including the many plant and animal species whose populations are moving in response to climate change. Each decade, species are shifting their ranges an average of 11 miles north and 36 feet in elevation; this trend is expected to accelerate, with dire consequences. Many plant and animal species will have difficulty moving away from growing climate threats to find new places to call home.
TNC is leveraging groundbreaking science to respond. We’re identifying a network of unique locations that can withstand climate impacts, including vitally important Maine forests. This scientific learning drives our conservation planning and is a key strategy in our work to address climate change.
What We’re Doing in Maine's Forests
Our forests are an incredible natural climate solution. In addition to providing our clean water, hosting our recreation and powering our economy with wood products, they capture more than three million metric tons of carbon from the atmosphere each year. TNC’s Maine chapter is working to keep our forests as forests.
Establishing the Boundary Mountains Preserve
This new preserve includes headwater streams of the Kennebec River and runs along 12 miles of the border with Quebec, Canada. It will extend a corridor of permanently conserved lands northward to a total of more than 260,000 acres—representing a key link in a major pathway of ecological connection from the White Mountains through western Maine, the Quebec borderlands and beyond.
Partnering to Protect the High Peaks
TNC and the Trust for Public Land are working to protect the 13,557-acre Quill Hill to Perham Stream properties in the High Peaks of Western Maine. Protection of these parcels will expand an assemblage of connected, conserved lands to nearly 100,000 acres including lands adjacent to the Appalachian Trail that will provide essential wildlife habitat in a warming climate.
Forest Carbon on the Upper St. John River
The landmark 1998 Upper St. John River project has demonstrated how nature, economics and sustainable forestry can come together for the benefit of all. This project is now evolving as we implement a forest carbon offset project on 124,000 acres along the river that will improve forest stocking and health while generating new revenue to support forest conservation and climate change initiatives.
Securing Drinking Water at Sebago Lake
Forests that shade and filter water sources can improve and sustain drinking water quality. We’re working with partners to protect forested land within the Crooked River watershed, the primary feeder into Sebago Lake—the source of drinking water for one-sixth of Maine’s people. This approach maintains valuable wildlife habitat and eliminates the need for expensive water-treatment facilities.
What Forest Success Looks Like
TNC is identifying a network of unique locations that can withstand climate impacts, including vitally important Maine forests. This is a key strategy in our work to address climate change. As part of our Join Maine campaign, we are working to ensure these critical successes by 2024:
More than 350,000
acres of resilient and connected forest lands are permanently conserved.
At Least 2
additional ecological priority forest areas are conserved at an effective scale—at least 25,000 acres.
To achieve these goals, we are working to raise $52 million specifically for our work in this area, including $25.1 million in support from people like you, $9 million in public and partner funding, $15.4 million in market-based funds and $2.5 million in conservation asset donations. Learn more about our conservation goals and Join Maine.