FSM is currently working on several significant conservation projects throughout Maine’s North Woods. Two projects under way, involving approximately 29,000 acres of forests, are located in the western part of Maine (see Grafton Forest and Coburn Gore Forest below). Another project is located in northern Maine (see Fish River Chain of Lakes below). In all of these efforts, FSM is pleased to be working with landowners to address sustainable forest management and public recreational access, and include appropriate levels of ecological and cultural resource protection. These projects would connect to existing conserved lands providing enhanced habitat connectivity across the landscape. The Coburn Gore Forest and Grafton Forest projects, specifically, are connected through a long chain of conserved lands.
Fish River Chain of Lakes: The Forest Society of Maine has been asked by forestland owner, Irving Woodlands, LLC, to hold a permanent conservation easement on approximately 16,750 acres of forestland in the Fish River Chain of Lakes region. The Fish River Chain of Lakes in northern Aroostook County is a spectacular area with a string of lakes, rivers, and streams surrounded by managed forests. The easement is part of a Concept Plan being proposed by Irving and considered by the Maine Land Use Planning Commission. Click here to learn more about the Fish River Chain of Lakes Concept Plan.
Grafton Forest: FSM is again working with Wagner Forest Management on a working forestland conservation easement. This 21,300-acre parcel of land, located in the Grafton Notch region, is surrounded by conservation lands on all sides, including across the New Hampshire border, making it “the hole in the doughnut” in the Mahoosuc mountain range. The project lands border the Appalachian Trail (AT) and include two designated side trails for access to the AT. The area is used extensively by cross-country skiers, dogsledders, ATV riders and snowmobilers, and hikers. It also contains a main access road that is used by rescue and emergency services to access remote hiking trails.
Coburn Gore Forest: The Forest Society of Maine has a long-standing relationship with a family forestland owner in western Maine who is ready to put their land into a working forest conservation easement. Roughly 8,300 acres of well stocked forestland in Coburn Gore Township will be conserved along with one completely undeveloped pond (Crosby Pond) and one pond with very minimal development (Arnold Pond). Both of these waters, along with other wetlands in the area contain excellent heritage brook trout habitat. The project land borders Quebec on three sides and is bisected by Route 27. Of historic and cultural importance is the Benedict Arnold Trail which has been documented traversing the property. The Coburn Gore Forest project links conserved lands in Quebec to FSM’s Boundary Headwaters conservation easement to the south.