A conservation easement of 363,000 acres near Greenville owned by Plum Creek Timber Co. has been finalized. It's one of the largest conservation easements in the country.
The Nature Conservancy, the Forest Society of Maine and Plum Creek yesterday announced the agreement, which keeps the property accessible for recreation and sustainable forestry, according to a press release. The easement, which will be held by the Forest Society of Maine, will permit hunting, fishing, hiking and snowmobiling, as well as forest harvesting that meets the standards of the Sustainable Forestry Initiative. It will help connect existing protected lands in the area to create a 2 million-acre swatch of protected forestland.
It includes some land donated by Plum Creek and other parcels purchased by The Nature Conservancy using its own funds as well as some raised by the Forest Society of Maine. Mark Doty, community affairs manager for Plum Creek, told Mainebiz last year the purchase price was $10 million.
The easement was part of Plum Creek's development proposal for the Moosehead region approved by the Land Use Regulation Commission in 2009, which was followed by a legal challenge. In March, the supreme court upheld the project's approval, allowing the conservation easement to move ahead.
This item has been corrected from its original version.