Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) Executive Director Mark Berry led a community information and discussion session concerning the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project in the town building of Grand Lake Stream last night.
The West Grand Lake Forest property wraps around the village of Grand Lake Stream, and is adjacent to other conservation lands, including the DLLT’’s 33,708-acre Farm Cove Community Forest. These lands are in a broader landscape of nearly 1.4 million contiguous acres of public and private conservation lands extending across the border into New Brunswick, Canada.
Currently, the West Grand Lake Forest conservation easement includes 17 miles of shoreline on West Grand, Big, and Lower Oxbrook lakes, along with frontage on Big Musquash Stream. It also conserves ¼ mile on the west side of Grand Lake Stream above Big Falls.
The DLLT, in attempting to purchase the land outright, seeks to manage it with the adjacent Farm Cove Community Forest. “We manage Farm Cove with a focus on wildlife habitat, public recreation, and a sustainable timber economy, and that would be our intention with the West Grand Lake property as well,” said Mr. Berry. “Our approach provides local people the opportunity to become stewards of the natural resources that support their economy.”
Questions and concerns last night focused on getting the balance right between ecological conservation and capturing the economic benefits the forest has to offer. Property owners on private roads abutting the community forest also discussed public access points and potential hiking trails.
Since its inception, DLLT has been community led and community driven. Thus, Mr. Berry called on all interested parties in the community to “Please share your thoughts, ideas and questions with us by calling, emailing or dropping by our office in Grand Lake Stream.”
Click here to learn more about the West Grand Lake Community Forest.
Download a map of the project area and surrounding conservation lands: WGLCF Detail & Context Map, 1pg 12.12hq