As printed in the Portland Press Herald, Letters to the Editor
May 25, 2019
Last week volunteers helped clear the treadway for a new trail north of Greenville, a family-friendly hike to the shore of Prong Pond, with views along the way of Big Moose Mountain. It’s just one of many new and improved trails that the state of Maine and partners have completed in the area since 2012, when the Moosehead Lake region conservation easement was made permanent, growing public opportunities for hiking, biking, camping, boating and more.
Other changes are afoot. In 2013, the Moosehead Lake Region Economic Development Corp. was founded, a group dedicated to growing and attracting new residents, local jobs and businesses. The Moosehead Lake Region EDC has commissioned economic development and branding studies that are now being implemented. They installed new, consistent signage to direct visitors to landmarks and businesses, and negotiated the purchase of lakefront lands, downtown, for a combination of open space and development.
East of the lake, Appalachian Mountain Club has invested millions in beautiful, modern lodges and the largest network of cross-country skiing trails in the Northeast. Just a short drive south, in Monson, the Libra Foundation has virtually transformed the downtown, rehabbing old buildings into galleries and workshop space for artists. Funded residencies give writers, painters, sculptors and others the chance to fall in love with our state’s rugged, authentic highlands.
Conserved forests are an essential part of these initiatives. Forests give us so much: Good jobs. Great communities. A glimpse into the past. A place for fish and wildlife to thrive. The chance to explore. As a land trust for Maine’s North Woods, the Forest Society of Maine is committed to sustaining these values.
As Maine moves forward, let’s remember the Moosehead Lake region and its progress. At the edge of Maine’s largest lake, land conservation has laid the framework for a better future.
Executive Director, Forest Society of Maine