A lot of forestland in Washington and Hancock counties is going to be conserved for the use of the public due to a partnership between several agencies. On Tuesday there were 17,881 acres purchased by the Conservation Fund from H.C. Haynes Inc. The goal is to ensure recreational access for the future, protect wildlife habitats and support the local coastal communities economies. The three parcels purchased included land in Edmunds Township, Township 9, Township 16, Surry and Ellsworth.
Almost eight million acres have been protected by the Conservation Fund including the 440,000 acres in Maine. The span of the forest property in the Spring River-Narraguagus is 13,779 acres. This was purchased on May 1st. The Nature Conservancy partners include the New England Forestry Foundation, the Nature Conservancy, the Maine Coast Heritage Trust, the Downeast Salmon Federation and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
The Nature Conservancy will acquire the Spring River-Narraguagus Forest acreage of 13,779 acres. The Venture Brook Forest in Washington County will be acquired by the New England Forestry Foundation. This will be classified as a working forest. The Surry and Ellsworth Meadowbrook Forest consisting of 2,012 acres will be an acquisition of the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. The land has over nine miles of roads. The Conservation Fund will pay the property taxes and maintain the recreational uses for the public and current leases.
The purchase of the property was covered by private donations and a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Coastal Wetlands grant for $530,000 for the trust. The three goals for the trust are to protect the wetlands on the property, increase the involvement of the agency with the forestry management and to preserve both the traditional and recreational uses.
The management of the land is being referred to as a demonstration forest. This will provide landowners with educational opportunities regarding forest management. In addition the property will provide hunting access for the public and numerous traditional uses. The Meadowbrook purchase will be discussed on May 30th at a public meeting at the Surry Elementary School. The property tax for the property will be paid by the trust.