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.
A FRAGILE COUNTRY:
The lakes country of the northern St. Croix River watershed is one of nature’s gems. Rolling hills and unbroken forests meet unspoiled waters to create miles of granite-strewn shoreline, an area bountiful in fish and wildlife and soothing to the soul. Here lies the longest undeveloped stretch of boundary water east of Ontario and Minnesota, where you can sense wildness and taste serenity.
The shorelines and vistas of the Chiputneticook Lakes – North, East Grand, Mud, Spednic and Palfrey, offer remote and pristine values that have been lost elsewhere. Can we preserve these treasures?
Changing land ownership on both sides of the border, increased development and recreational use, as well as the fragmentation and over-harvesting of our forests are among the factors that can irrevocably alter our lakes region. Some of the things we have always taken for granted, such as unbroken shorelines, the sounds and sights of nature, and tranquility, are now at risk.
A COMMUNITY RESPONDS:
Observing these and other changes, a small group of Maine guides and local citizens in the Forest City area put together one of the first proposals before the Land for Maine’s Future Board. They garnered support from all quarters. This effort resulted in the State of Maine’s 1993 purchase of a 523-acre peninsula lying between Spednic and Mud Lakes including a magnificent stand of old-growth forest, the American side of Mud Lake Falls, conservation easements along the Spednic Lake Road and the outlet stream from East Grand Lake and fee ownership of four miles of lakeshore.
The success of the Spednic acquisition ignited the passion of many people to do more to defend the wild and natural beauty of the lakes region. It also provided a cornerstone for the preservation of important tracts of shoreland for future generations to enjoy. The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust was born in November 1994 when potential development of a small out-lot on Mud Lake, in the middle of the State of Maine acquisition, threatened the natural integrity of the earlier effort. The land trust raised money through contributions, shared the purchase cost with the State, and preserved the property in its original wooded condition.
WHAT IS THE WOODIE WHEATON LAND TRUST?
The land trust is a group of citizens like you, who share a genuine affection for the Chiputneticook Lakes region, and who are willing to do what they can to protect the natural beauty and remaining wildness of the area. Named for a legendary Maine guide who died in 1990, the land trust defends the lakes and shore lands of the northern St. Croix watershed.
Dedicated to preserving natural areas and habitat for the benefit of the general public, WWLT works quietly on a willing buyer–willing seller basis. As a nonprofit corporation, the land trust can own property, engage in conservation easements, and use other conservation tools. WWLT is not an advocacy group, although it will encourage and advise landowners, public and private, to manage their property with good stewardship and priority for natural values.
The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust is incorporated in the State of Maine as a nonprofit conservation organization (1995), has Internal Revenue Service status as a Section 501 (c) (3) charitable organization, and is governed by its own bylaws. Business is conducted by a diverse Board of Directors and group of officers. WWLT is a member of the Maine Land Trust Network and has a good working relationship with many state and regional conservation organizations.
WWLT has received formal recognition or awards for its outstanding conservation work from the St. Croix International Waterway Commission, Maine Governor John Baldacci, Wagner Forest Management, Inc. and the Northern Forest Alliance. By 2012, WWLT had more than 540 members, representing local citizens in both Maine and New Brunswick, and many distant states. Like you, these folks have a great affection for the lakes area and want to give something back. Their financial support has made a real difference.