Friday, January 20, 2012

Federal Money for Maine Conservation

Valerie Tucker, writing in the Sun Journal from Lewiston, Maine, on 19 January 2012 shares conservation news under the headline "Maine gets $8.7M for 17,600-acre forest conservation project in Franklin County".

The opening sentence carries the surprising (in these tight economic times) part: "Federal awards totaling $8.73 million will protect two Western Maine forest properties from development." Federal money? For conservation??

Here are some of the details on what's being done.
Most of the funding — $7 million — which comes from the U.S. Forest Legacy Program, will go toward preserving 11,800 acres of Plum Creek's working forest on and around Crocker Mountain in Carrabassett Valley, according to the Maine Department of Conservation. [on which mountain logging, or "timber harvesting," will continue] ...

The land buffers 10 miles of the Appalachian Trail and will add 3 miles to snowmobile Route 115 of Maine's Interconnected Trail System, along with 4 miles of the ATV trail system. Protecting the property from development will guarantee access for other types of recreation, including hunting, hiking, mountain biking and cross-county skiing. ...

The second High Peaks Conservation Project is Orbeton Stream in Madrid Township, for which the state will receive $1.73 million for the purchase of a conservation easement over 5,808 acres of family-owned timberland. ...

The Orbeton property provides views of the Appalachian Trail and includes a 6.4-mile section of snowmobile Route 84 of Maine's ITS system, which will be made available for public use. ...

Snowmobile and ATV clubs will have new access to western Maine trails that previously been off limits.
I'm not personally a big fan of snowmobiles or ATVs, but there you go. These kinds of arrangements are always complicated. In this case, involving US Senators and several local groups: "Chris Beach, a member of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust and the High Peaks Alliance, said the funding acknowledges the tireless work of several local conservation and recreation groups."

SEE ALSO: Maine Public Broadcasting Network's web site for a story reported by Keith Shortall titled "Federal Funds to Help Preserve Land in Maine's Franklin County" on 19 January 2012.

AND the same information in on 20 January.

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