March 1, 2018 – The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust is pleased to announce a significant land acquisition within the East Grand Lake Watershed. The Headwaters Project will conserve 3,053 acres and many of the brooks and streams that nourish this clear water system.
The lands border 9.4 miles of Monument Stream in the town of Amity, and have both forested uplands and extensive riparian wetlands along Greenleaf and Glendenning Brooks. Abutting the southern border are 7,486 acres of land originally acquired in the East Grand Watershed Initiative, since conveyed to Maine’s Bureau of Public Lands and managed for its exceptional wildlife habitat. That project was also initiated by WWLT and acquired in a partnership with The Conservation Fund.
WWLT recognizes the value these lands have to the local community and intends to keep them open for traditional uses such as hunting and fishing. Founded in 1994, the mission of the Trust is “to promote the protection, preservation and conservation of land and water in the Chiputneticook Lakes region of eastern Maine and western New Brunswick for the benefit of present and future generations.” Consistent with this mission is the long-term stewardship of our forests, not just for the benefit of the natural world, but also to sustainably meet the societal and economic needs of local residents. WWLT is carefully developing a management plan to steward these Headwater lands.
The seller is Lakeville Shores, part of the H.C. Haynes family of forest businesses based in Winn, Maine. Portions of the land have been subject to commercial forest harvests for generations of ownership. WWLT will continue to pay property taxes and related forest fees due to their ownership of these lands.
Together, there will be some 10,541 acres of wild land under active conservation abutting the Canadian border in Amity and Orient. The Headwaters Project creates a rare opportunity to conserve land that has been documented as some of the finest unspoiled habitat for wild birds, aquatic mammals, and wetland vegetation in northern Maine. It hosts a vast wintering yard for whitetail deer, and is the largest area of “high value wading bird and waterfowl habitat” in the East Grand Watershed.
There are over 300 acres of wetlands in the conserved parcels, favored habitat for dozens of species of birds, some of which are rare and endangered. Monument Brook and its tributaries, particularly Greenleaf and Glendenning, have resident populations of wild brook trout. Protecting these wetlands and restoring riparian habitat for shade and sedimentation control are critical for the survival of brook trout. These and other biological and ecological considerations are an important part of the management of these lands.
Monument Brook establishes the International Boundary between Maine and New Brunswick, affirmed by the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. The use of its navigable waters and shore lands, now governed by two countries, provide a unique wilderness recreational experience.
Woodie Wheaton Land Trust has been interested in this land for over four years. Retired directors Elbridge Cleaves and Steve Keith have been enthusiastic about a conservation outcome, and their persistence and dedication deserves everyone’s gratitude. In the summer of 2017, WWLT directors were flown over the land in order to better see and comprehend the significance of this wild area. Canoe and ground tours were also conducted. The Trust was informed of the land’s ecological significance by the findings of professional ecologists and ornithologists. However, a degree is not needed to know this area is worth preserving.
Making this possible is a generous gift from Sam and Betty Shine of Indiana. Their affection for the area and profound interest in keeping these waters clean, along with their desire to see natural systems endure, has led to their support and encouragement of this project.
For further information please contact the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust at (207) 448-3250 or firstname.lastname@example.org