Land Lines: Can you share some examples of innovative land conservation successes?
Jay Espy: In a remote area of eastern Maine, the Downeast Lakes Land Trust has been working for more than a decade to protect large swaths of forestland with extensive shore frontage near the community of Grand Lake Stream. These lands and waters have supported the timber and recreation-based economy for more than a century. [. . .]
Rather than simply wait for the inevitable development of seasonal vacation homes and resulting loss in local culture, the community has worked in remarkable ways to acquire tens of thousands of acres and miles of shore land for use as a revenue-generating forest, wildlife preserve, and remote recreational areas. Local business owners, fishing and hunting guides, representatives from state and federal agencies, members of the Passamaquoddy Indian Tribe, and elected officials from the local to the national levels have all joined forces with the land trust to acquire these properties and manage them for sustainable timber revenue, as well as for other traditional uses, including hunting, fishing, camping, and paddling.[. . .]
Jay Espy, President of the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation and former President of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, is one of Maine’s most accomplished conservationists (In 2011, Maine Coast Heritage Trust honored Downeast Lakes Land Trust with their annual “Espy Land Heritage Award“, named in honor of Jay). Jay was named the Kingsbury Browne Fellow for 2010-2011 through a joint program of the Land Trust Alliance and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and interviewed in the April 2012 issue of Land Lines, the quarterly journal of the Lincoln Institute. Downeast Lakes Land Trust is honored that Jay highlighted our work among the many important conservation efforts he is involved with.