KOKADJO — The Appalachian Mountain Club reports that more than 50 local workers, including a dozen Maine contractors, have been employed in the construction of its new lodge and cabins on Second Roach Pond near Kokadjo.
Located at the confluence of Second Roach Pond and the Roach River, seven miles from Kokadjo and northeast of Greenville, Medawisla Lodge and Cabins is set to open next summer. It is one of three wilderness lodges operated by AMC and open to use by the public.
The project includes nine new cabins, two bunkhouses, a waterfront pavilion and a new lodge that has a wood-fired sauna for winter use, according to AMC's progress report on the project.
The new lodge is off the grid and will be powered by a photovoltaic system. It also features composting toilets and extensive insulation.
AMC identified the following contractors as being involved in the project:
General contractor: E.W. Littlefield & Sons Inc., of Hartland.
Building subcontractors: Belmont Construction of Greenville, Snowman's Construction of St. Albans and CB Mason of Greenville.
Other contractors: Trafton Plumbing & Heating of Pittsfield, Malatesta Machine & Welding of Sangerville, Kodiak Steel Company of Clinton, O'Donald's Concrete of Newburg, Leone Concrete of Newport, Haley Concrete of Sangerville, Quality Insulation of Yarmouth, Kimball Masonry of St. Albans and East Road Electric of Greenville.
Main building materials supplier: Hammond Lumber of Belgrade.
Engineering services: S.W. Cole Engineering of Bangor.
Dining room furnishings, crafted in Maine from locally sourced wood, were purchased from Maine Made Furniture Co. in Rumford. Woodstoves in guest cabins were manufactured in Gorham by Jotul North America and purchased from Rocky's Stove Shoppe in Augusta.
The Medawisla Lodge and Cabins project is part of AMC's Maine Woods Initiative, an ambitious strategy for land conservation in the 100-Mile Wilderness region that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry and community partnerships.
An economic impact report prepared by David Vail, Adams-Catlin professor of economics emeritus at Bowdoin College, that was released earlier this year showed the AMC 's spending in the Moosehead Lake and 100-Mile Wilderness region has contributed nearly $16 million to the Piscataquis County economy and $22 million to the Maine economy since its Maine Woods Initiative was launched in 2003.
To date, through its Maine Woods Initiative, AMC has purchased and permanently conserved 70,000 acres of forest land, all open to the public; created more than 130 miles of recreational trails and opened three sporting camps to the public; established a Forest Stewardship Council-certified sustainable forestry operation that employs local forest products workers and supplies local mills, and developed partnerships with local Piscataquis County schools.
"AMC's significant investment throughout Piscataquis County in the renovation of existing buildings, construction of new lodges, land acquisitions, and commitment to hiring local residents has helped the county experience an increase in employment as well as recreationally based tourism," said Christopher Winstead, executive director of the Piscataquis County Economic Development Council, in a statement accompanying AMC's progress report on the Medawisla project.
Winstead said adventure-based tourism and outdoor recreation are two of the "greatest opportunities for economic growth within Piscataquis County" and credited AMC's investments in the region with helping visitors "make a deeper connection to the wonders our woods, waters and trails hold."
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