Forests and Lakes – For People – Forever ®

Campaign Update: 6 Weeks and $1.2 million to Easement Deadline!

October 31, 2012

4 years ago today, Downeast Lakes Land Trust reached agreement with Lyme Timber on a plan to conserve 22,000 acres around the village of Grand Lake Stream.  Six weeks later, we purchased an option from Lyme Timber.

This launched the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project, an effort to forever secure the character of the region and the future of the village as a thriving, iconic destination for outdoor recreation in Maine.  Uniquely, the village of Grand Lake Stream also acquired 182 acres as economic development assets around the village.

We now have just 6 weeks left to complete the $15.8 million fundraising goal for purchase of a conservation easement on the property – and must raise an additional $1.2 million.  This will also provide an option for future purchase of the land for management as a Community Forest.

This is a beautiful, diverse mosaic of forests and wetlands, from Grand Lake Stream to Big Musquash, and from Taylor Island in Big Lake to Lower Oxbrook Lake.  The project has earned remarkable successes, including:

  • a unanimous town meeting vote to contribute $40,000;
  • a #1 national priority ranking from the primary forest conservation program in the country and a $6,675,000 Forest Legacy grant;
  • a commitment of $1,250,000 from the Land for Maine’s Future program; and,
  • $1,500,000 in challenge grants from the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and the Open Space Institute (leading supporters of conservation in Maine and the Northeast).

In total, over $14.6 million is committed to the effort.  Another $1.2 million in contributions is needed to earn the challenge grants and forever guarantee that the property will remain undeveloped and open to the public for recreation.

Thank you to everyone who is supporting this effort!  Please learn more about the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project here, and consider making a contribution of $100, $1,000, or any amount you can.

If you have friends, family, or colleagues that care about Grand Lake Stream, forests and lakes, or Maine’s environment and economy, please share this news with them and ask them to help spread the word.  Thank you!