- Category: President
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December 10, 2012
We’ve had a great year at the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust thanks to your support.
This summer the Trust advanced the cause of conservation and environmental education through our annual lecture/field trip series. This year’s highly attended events included three fly tying seminars by local guides, Syd Lea reading stories from his new book about the North Country, and Donn Fendler reliving his experience of being lost on Mt. Katahdin as a boy. Canoe trips to the Booming Out Grounds Ecological Reserve led by ecologist Janet McMahon and a tour of the 65,000 acre Spednic Lake Protected Natural Area led by Lee Sochasky informed us about environmental and political issues of timely importance. Securing the funding to sustain these important educational programs is a priority of the Land Trust.
Promoting our outdoor heritage and conservation with youth is essential if the next generation is to value the land and waters we have protected since our inception in 1994. Last spring WWLT board members and staff assisted the Chiputneticook Lakes International Conservancy board members with their landlocked salmon stocking program on East Grand Lake. Guides prepared a traditional shore lunch and demonstrated streamer fly tying while over 100 grade school students assisted Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife staff releasing salmon parr the students raised in school aquariums over the winter. WWLT also provided financial support and volunteers for the day-long outdoor adventure race sponsored by the East Grand School Outdoor Education Program.
This year we focused a great deal of attention on conservation of the Canadian shore by formalizing a cross border working relationship with the Nature Trust of New Brunswick. This effort establishes a framework to explore conservation opportunities and funding for potential projects over the entire length of the St. Croix River, including the Chiputneticook Chain of Lakes. Our relationship with NTNB has already opened doors with the Province of New Brunswick to participate in policy discussions regarding land use on Crown Lands. We have offered written testimony about increasing Protected Natural Areas, clarified exchange policies for lands bordering East Grand Lake, and raised the awareness of on-going cross border conservation efforts in Maine.
Our summer educational and outreach efforts are closer to implementation thanks to grants from two local banking institutions that will help complete the Land Trust Center’s upstairs apartment. Housing is the first of two critical needs in our educational and outreach efforts. Funding a summer intern program is second.
Building the capacity of WWLT to sustain the business of conservation is one of the most important investments we can make. Efforts begun in 2012 will strengthen our management and governance including sharpening administrative and executive abilities, broadening and diversifying funding, developing a planned giving program, and addressing board succession. Another major goal of this effort will be to find ways to better inform and meet the needs of our membership¾the cornerstone of the Land Trust.
Your contribution will help continue the lecture/field trip series, our educational and outreach efforts, and our ongoing responsibility to conserve the lands and waters of the St.Croix Watershed. We are especially thankful for your past support and ask that you consider a generous end of year gift.
Elbridge G. Cleaves
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