The Shores of East Grand Lake

Protecting, Preserving,
& Conserving

About

Woodie Wheaton Land Trust

A Traditional Shore Lunch on Dri-Ki Point

Conservation · Education · Community · Stewardship

Our mission is to protect, preserve, and conserve the land and water of the Chiputneticook Lakes Region of Eastern Maine and Western New Brunswick for the benefit of present and future generations. We act as stewards of the land, wetlands, timberland, lakes, and shorelines for year-round residents, Woodie Wheaton’s members, and its many, many visitors.

We create meaningful relationships within the community to build a common sense of purpose in conservation. We seek to strengthen the surrounding communities by promoting responsible community access, tourism, and sustainable economic development.

By strategically managing land through protection and restoration, we make it possible for individuals and families to experience nature in ways that leave lasting impressions. We connect people to nature and each other.

The Chiputneticook Lakes Region

The Chiputneticook Lakes Region is composed of a series of lakes that straddle the United States and Canadian border (in Maine and New Brunswick). The area serves as the headwaters of the historic St. Croix River. Our primary focus is on the international waters of East Grand Lake and Spednic Lake as well as Mud Lake, North Lake, Palfrey Lake, and the headwaters of the East Grand.

Visitors and seasonal residents make their camps along East Grand Lake’s shoreline, fish in the unsullied waters of Spednic Lake, and enjoy spending time in the surrounding towns of Danforth, Weston, Orient, Fosterville, Forest City (Maine), and Forest City (New Brunswick).

Preparing Fishing Lures on East Grand Lake

Our History

Woodie Wheaton (left) Sharing a Shore Lunch (c.1950s)

Formed in 1994 and named after famed Maine Guide, Woodie Wheaton, The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust (WWLT) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Woodie opened Wheaton’s Lodge on the shores of East Grand Lake in the early 1950s. As a Registered Maine Guide, Woodie facilitated an intimate exposure to the natural beauty and character of the area. The famed lodge attracted sportsmen from all over the country to the rugged and breathtaking region to test their skill on landlocked salmon, smallmouth bass, chain pickerel, and white perch.

vintage photo of woodie wheaton sipping a cup of coffee in the woods
Registered Maine Guide, Woodie Wheaton
black and white photo of woodie wheaton with lodge sign
vintage photo of woodie wheaton holding fish on the the shoreline
Woodie Wheaton (right) and the Daily Catch

WWLT completed its first fee purchase in 1996, after the Trust’s founders witnessed a floatplane landing on Spednic Lake and placing a “For Sale” sign on Birch Island and Little Bitch Island — properties widely considered the “crown jewels” of the lake. WWLT completed a 25-acre fee purchase of the islands, which was later conveyed to the State of Maine with restrictive deed covenants. Since then, WWLT has acquired more than a dozen properties for purposes of protection and preservation.

Work with Us!

Help us protect and preserve the region. We’re hiring!

Open Positions
Administrative Assistant
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Staff & Board

headshot of madison shaw

Madison Shaw

Office Manager

Madison started working at the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust in the fall of 2020 after receiving her MBA from Husson University. While being born and raised in Northern Maine, she has spent every summer at her family camp on East Grand Lake. In her spare time, Madison enjoys fishing, four-wheeling, paddle boarding, and snowmobiling.

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Jill Wheaton

Board President

Jill grew up spending her summers in Forest City, waiting tables and cleaning camps at Wheaton’s Lodge. Jill lives in Portland, Maine, and serves as the Director of Business Sales for Tony Robbins. She holds degrees from Stanford University.

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Anna Levitsky

Board Vice President

Anna served as the conservation manager and executive director of the WWLT for six years. She lives in Camp Hill, Pennsylvania with her husband and two dogs and enjoys traveling, hiking, kayaking, and shooting sporting clays. She holds a degree from Shippensburg University.

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headshot of shane wheaton

Shane Wheaton

Board Treasurer

Shane’s extended family has been rooted in the village of Forest City since the Wheatons opened the lodge on East Grand Lake in 1952. Shane is an avid sportsman and land conservation advocate. He serves as VP of Marketing at Iron Valley Supply Company and holds a degree in marketing from the University of Maine.

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Jeff Ketchum

Board Secretary

Jeff resides in Portland, Maine with his wife, Lori, their son Lucas. Jeff is an avid sportsman who has followed five generations of Foster’s to Forest City each year. He believes in preserving and protecting land for the future generations. He holds BS degrees in education and public administration, and an MS in aging services.

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Paul Benny, Sr.

Board Member

Paul has been a regular Forest City visitor for more than 15 years. Paul lives in Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, Leslie. He is the President and COO of Tennessee Spring and Metal and Fluid Forming Americas, a past officer of the Nashville Chapter of Trout Unlimited, and a member of the Ruffed Grouse and American Woodcock Societies.

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David Bianco

Board Member

David was introduced to Forest City by long-time friends, Gwen and Randy Campos, and immediately fell in love with the area. When not running his business, A1 DataShred, David enjoys spending time with his wife and two children. He also enjoys gardening, beekeeping, and fishing. He holds a degree in anthropology from Franklin Pierce College.

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headshot of gwen campos

Gwen Campos

Board Member

After growing up in Forest City, Gwen now owns a summer home there where she enjoys time with her family! Gwen loves spending time outdoors with her husband and two sons. She lives in southern New Hampshire with her family and serves as an administrator at a local elementary school. She holds a degree in English from Franklin Pierce College.

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headshot of bill hamilton

Bill Hamilton

Board Member

A lifelong resident of the area, Bill is a third generation Master Maine Guide and the Chief Forest Ranger of the Maine Forest Service. He grew up in the sporting life (his parents owned sporting camps on Sysladobsis Lake in Lakeville) and knows the value of the areas protected by the WWLT. He and his wife, Pam Amero Hamilton, have a cottage on East Grand that was built by their family in 1964.

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Stephen Martin

Board Member

Steve and his family have owned a camp on East Grand Lake since 1990, treasuring the beauty, tranquility, and sporting opportunities the region has to offer. He particularly enjoys fly fishing and kayaking. Steve practiced ophthalmology in Aroostook County for 30 years until retiring in 2015. He holds an MD-PhD from the University of Rochester.

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Brianne O’Leary

Board Member

Brianne resides in Bridgewater, Maine with her husband, Tracy. Their two children also reside in Maine. She has spent summers camping with her family on their island in Forest City since she was a small child. She holds BS degrees in business administration and sustainable Agriculture. She is the Director of Agriculture SCA at McCain Foods.

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headshot of jamie plunket

Jamie Plunkett

Board Member

Jamie was introduced to Forest City in the 1950s. He and his parents stayed at the Dri-Ki camps on Spednic Lake. In the early 1960s his family bought a camp and property on the arm of East Grand Lake. Jamie is a retired University of Michigan clinical psychologist and professor. He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife, Marcy. They’ve been driving 1100 miles every summer to rejuvenate by the lake.

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headshot of reggie simons

Reginald Simons

Board Member

After visiting Wheaton’s Lodge for 25 years, Reginald purchased a cabin in Forest City in 2015. He has a lifelong connection with the outdoors, conservation and Maine. A recent retiree, he lives in New Jersey, with his wife and daughter. He hopes to spend his free time fly tying, canoeing, reading, horseback riding, and exploring new places.

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headshot of dale wheaton

Dale Wheaton

Board Member

Dale is a Registered Maine Guide and founding member and past president of the WWLT. He and his wife, Jana, owned Wheaton’s Lodge for 34 years. He’s also the past president of the Maine Sporting Camp and the Congress of Lake Associations. He also served on the St. Croix International Waterway Commission and was an associate professor of economics at the University of Maine.

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Pete White

Board Member

Pete grew up locally, in Brookton, Maine and with his wife, Julie, raised three children in his hometown. Pete enjoys canoeing, hunting & fishing, camping, hiking, and skiing. He raises and trains Morgan horses. For most of his professional career, he has worked at Woodland Pulp & Paper.

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