The Nature Conservancy, the Forest Society of Maine and Plum Creek announced on May 15 an historic conservation easement on 363,000 acres near Greenville. The easement is the second largest in the history of conservation in the United States, and it serves as the missing piece that connects existing protected lands to create one of the nation’s most extensive conserved working forests. With this easement, more than 2 million acres of Maine is now conserved as a vast interconnected forest that stretches from the St. John Valley to Moosehead Lake to Mount Katahdin.
The new easement provides a bridge between existing conservation lands, including 29,500 acres in AMC’s Roach Pond Tract, protected as part of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, and 15,000 acres known as Moose River Reserve, which includes portions of Number 5 Bog and lands that provide access to the famous Moose River Bow Trip paddling route.
“The Maine woods is the last large and unfragmented wild place in the East, and this historic easement ensures that the remote and undeveloped character of this region will be retained, and the public will forever be able to access this land and enjoy its natural, scenic, and recreational assets,” said Walter Graff, senior vice president of the Appalachian Mountain Club.
The easement was finalized following the rejection of an appeal of a Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC) decision approving Plum Creek’s development proposal for the Moosehead region. During hearings on the original proposal and in meetings with stakeholders, AMC worked to ensure a plan emerged that provided permanent conservation, maintained the remote character of the region, preserved public recreational access, and provided long-term benefits to the region.
Read more in yesterday’s press release, and view maps of conservation land in the area:
Labels: Maine Woods, MAine Woods Initiative, Plum Creek