Supporters of Downeast Lakes Land Trust are likely aware that the trust has been working for several years to restore aquatic habitat – especially for brook trout – on the Farm Cove Community Forest (see Downeast Lakes Traditions, November 2010, for example).
This summer, with help from the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we are restoring habitat at 7 road-stream crossing sites, bringing the total to 16 sites restored since 2006.
At most sites, a bottomless arch culvert has been installed, which is designed to provide a natural stream channel for unhindered movement of aquatic wildlife and sized to withstand high stream flow events. These projects also employ local contractors and maintain roads that provide public recreational access and the opportunity to continue a sustainable timber harvest. In one instance, we installed a bridge. At a few other sites, we were able to remove an unnecessary road where access was possible using a different crossing.
The map below gives an overview of the locations where projects have been completed (three of these sites will be completed within the next two to three weeks). Below the map is a selection of photos of restoration sites, including pictures from before, during, and after restoration projects.
Downeast Lakes Land Trust has partnered with Project SHARE, a cooperative Downeast salmon habitat restoration group, on restoring sites within the Machias River watershed. In 2012, Keeping Maine’s Forests is helping to promote and encourage brook trout habitat restoration on forest lands across Maine.
The trust has identified at least 8 additional sites for aquatic habitat restoration on the Farm Cove Community Forest, and at least a dozen priority sites on the adjacent West Grand Lake Forest – the 22,000-acre property we are currently working to conserve.