Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, has named the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) as recipient of the 2011 Espy Land Heritage Award. Each year MCHT presents the award to an individual, organization, or coalition for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine.
“The recent land conservation accomplishments of the Downeast Lakes Land Trust are truly spectacular,” said Tom Ireland, Board Chair of MCHT, when presenting the award at the Maine Land Conservation Conference this past weekend in Topsham. “They set the standard in Maine, and indeed the nation, for the impact a land trust can have in sustaining a community’s way of life.”
Since its founding in 2001, DLLT has been a leader in efforts to conserve the lands which sustain the Downeast Lakes region’s economic vitality and recreational traditions. As of 2011, more than 350,000 acres have been conserved — protecting jobs, providing access to a world class fishery, and conserving sensitive wildlife habitat in one of Maine’s most spectacular natural settings.
“It is a great honor for Downeast Lakes Land Trust to receive the Espy Land Heritage Award. We thank the many supporters that make our accomplishments in Grand Lake Stream possible. This award comes at an important time for our community, with opportunity to create the 21,700 acre West Grand Lake Community Forest and fulfill our vision of ‘Forests and Lakes, For People, Forever’,” said Mark Berry, the Trust’s Executive Director, upon receiving the award.
DLLT sustainably manages the 33,708-acre Farm Cove Community Forest (including 71 miles of lakeshore) that provides jobs and local forest products, wildlife habitat, and recreation opportunities. DLLT provides guides and sporting camps an environment that supports their continued success, contributing to the preservation of the heritage and culture of Grand Lake Stream. DLLT’s current West Grand Lake Community Forest project seeks to protect 21,700 acres of additional forest lands that are essential to maintaining the character of Grand Lake Stream as an outstanding destination for outdoor recreation and a key link in a wildlife corridor between Maine and New Brunswick.
In honoring past President Jay Espy, the board of Directors at MCHT created a fund that awards $5,000 per year – with the winner able to direct the funds to the conservation charity of their choice. The Downeast Lakes Land Trust has chosen to direct their cash award to their West Grand Lake Community Forest Project.
For a video of the award presentation by Tom Ireland, CLICK HERE.
For a video of the award acceptance by Mark Berry, CLICK HERE.