Originally published in The Weekly Packet, May 2, 2019
Blue Hill Heritage Trust completes 2,033-acre purchase
Meadowbrook Forest will offer more than nine miles of woods road, providing recreational access for bikers and walkers as well as public access for hunting and other traditional uses.
Blue Hill Heritage Trust celebrated the purchase of another large block of forestland on the peninsula with its acquisition of Meadowbrook Forest on April 26. The 2,033-acre Meadowbrook Forest property, which straddles the line between Surry and Ellsworth, is the second largest parcel of land on the Blue Hill Peninsula, according to a news release.
BHHT’s Surry Forest is the largest, and like Surry Forest, Meadowbrook Forest will be managed for multiple uses. It offers more than nine miles of woods road, providing ideal recreational access for bikers and walkers. It is also a vital link in a documented north-south wildlife corridor on the peninsula. The property encompasses important coastal wetlands, which are a feature of high conservation value in the region.
Purchase of the property was made possible in large part by a National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant, administered by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Funding was also provided by the Anahata Foundation and private donors.
The purchase was part of the Maine Coastal Forest Partnership, a collaborative effort between The Conservation Fund, The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, New England Forestry Foundation, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, and Downeast Salmon Federation. The Conservation Fund negotiated the purchase of 17,000 acres of forestland in Hancock and Washington counties, and is holding the land while the other partners raise money in order to take long-term ownership. Meadowbrook is BHHT’s part in this larger project.
“No matter what your specific interest in conservation is—whether it’s recreation, hunting, wildlife or habitat protection—this property will be tremendously important,” said Hans M. Carlson, executive director of BHHT. “It represents a kind of big-block protection that just does not happen often on the peninsula. We are very excited, and very grateful to The Conservation Fund for helping all of us to succeed.”
“The goal of our Working Forest Fund program is to protect large working forests across the country from the increasing threat of conversion and fragmentation. We rely on partnerships with savvy organizations like BHHT to achieve permanent conservation solutions for these forested landscapes,” said Tom Duffus, vice president and Northeast representative for The Conservation Fund in the release. “BHHT is a leader in conserving habitats that define Maine’s way of life, and its vision for the Meadowbrook Forest incorporates multiple benefits for the community, wildlife and the local economy.”
The Conservation Fund currently owns and manages 81,000 acres of important working lands across the state of Maine, allowing time for its partners to secure funding and implement practical conservation solutions.
The Trust will manage Meadowbrook Forest as a demonstration forest, providing educational opportunities for local landowners interested in forest management practices, as well as public access for hunting and other traditional uses.
BHHT is a nationally accredited nonprofit, membership-based land conservation organization founded in 1985 by residents of the Blue Hill Peninsula in coastal Maine. It works to conserve the unique landscape of the peninsula: pristine shores, blueberry-covered hills, working farms, wetlands, forests, ponds, and breathtaking views. To date, BHHT has protected over 9,600 acres of land that will be forever protected for its recreational, scenic beauty, and historical importance. For more information about the Meadowbrook Forest contact Hans M. Carlson, 374-5118, email@example.com.