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April 9, 2009

Fishing spot focus of conservation plan

A conservation group plans to buy roughly 22,000 acres near Grand Lake Stream in an effort to protect the popular fishing destination and allow for further growth and sustainable forestry.

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust on Wednesday announced the proposal, which would prevent development on much of the remaining forest around the Washington County town and tens of thousands of acres to the north, the Bangor Daily News reported. The land transaction, which would take place over several phases, is contingent on raising $24 million. It would also preserve 17 miles of undeveloped shoreline along three area lakes, and conservation easements would ensure public access to the land and allow for sustainable forestry. Landowner Lyme Timber Co. agreed to donate 182 acres to the town that could be developed despite being surrounded by conservation land, the paper reported.

The Downeast Lakes Land Trust now manages 33,000 acres west of Grand Lake Stream and has secured conservation easements on more than 300,000 additional acres.

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