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May 3, 2018

Conservation group acquires almost 18,000 forested acres Downeast

Courtesy / The Nature Conservancy, Mark Berry
Courtesy / The Nature Conservancy, Mark Berry
The 13,799-acre Spring River-Narraguagus Forest property in Hancock County — one of three forestland properties acquired by The Conservation Fund in Hancock and Washington counties — will be acquired by The Nature Conservancy. The Spring River-Narraguagus Forest spans 13,799 acres and is adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's 9,700-acre Spring River Preserve.

The Conservation Fund of Arlington, Va., acquired three forested properties totaling 17,881 acres in Hancock and Washington counties.

In a May 2 news release, The Conservation Fund reported that it collaborated with several organizations to purchase the properties from H.C. Haynes Inc., a forestry company in the Penobscot County town of Winn.

Joining The Conservation Fund in the collaborative effort are: The Nature Conservancy, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, New England Forestry Foundation, Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Downeast Salmon Federation. The land conservation initiative is designed to protect wildlife habitat, ensure future recreational access and support the economies of nearby coastal communities. The purchase was finalized May 1.

The lands will be conveyed to local conservation partners, which are raising funds to complete their acquisitions.

Here's what's being purchased:

  • The 13,799-acre Spring River-Narraguagus Forest property in Hancock County will be acquired by The Nature Conservancy. The Spring River-Narraguagus Forest spans 13,799 acres and is adjacent to The Nature Conservancy's 9,700-acre Spring River Preserve.
  • The 2,070-acre Venture Brook Forest property in Washington County will be acquired by the New England Forestry Foundation. The 2,070-acre property will be managed as a working forest, which is expected to help maintain forest jobs and provide fiber for local mills.
  • The 2,012-acre Meadowbrook Forest property in Hancock County will be acquired by Blue Hill Heritage Trust. The 2,012-acre property offers more than nine miles of roads through the woods, providing recreational access for bikers and stroller walkers. According to the release, the land is a vital link in a documented north-south wildlife corridor.

During its temporary ownership, The Conservation Fund will work with each organization to sustainably manage the forestland for the improvement and protection of both forest and aquatic resources, while maintaining current leases and public recreational uses. The Conservation Fund will continue to pay property taxes.

The Conservation Fund has worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect nearly 8 million acres of land, including over 440,000 acres in Maine.

According to its website, the seller, H.C. Haynes Inc., since 1963 has been a family-owned and -operated business. Its owns and manages various tracts of forestland throughout Maine, and operates as a wood broker and wholesaler, buying and selling forest products throughout northeastern United States and Canada.

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