This page provides current and archived news stories along with accompanying photos and maps for members of the news media to download and publish. It also offers background information on Coastal Mountains Land Trust. If you have any questions or would like further information, please contact us.
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News Stories 2014 - 2015
Ragged Mountain Preserve continues to grow (12/23/14)
Raffle results are in! (6/5/14)
PHOTO: Passy Rail Trail receives support from Bangor Savings Bank Foundation (3/6/14)
(Rockport)--As 2014 wound to a close, three Maine land trusts conducted two land transfers to create one bigger and better preserve. First, the Nature Conservancy in Maine (TNC) transferred its Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve to Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Subsequently, Maine Farmland Trust transferred an adjoining property to the Land Trust. Known locally as the Maple Grove, this six acres has been added to the original preserve.
Conservation of the Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve was initially proposed in the late 1960s by A.H. Chatfield, Jr. of the Chatfield family that conserved Rockport's Aldermere Farm. It became a TNC preserve in 1972. The 19.5-acre property comprises most of three quarries, including Eells Quarry which is 180 feet deep at its deepest point. Spanning either side of North Main Street, it features frontage on the Goose River. The historic quarries once played a key role in Rockport's lime-quarrying past, with a train running from the open pits to the kilns on Rockport Harbor. This industrial history is still visible, if softened by the growth of surrounding forest in the many decades since.
Eells Quarry in the newly expanded Simonton Quarry Preserve
As the local land trust, Coastal Mountains Land Trust has been overseeing the preserve's stewardship for many years, so the ownership transfer won't change its general management.
"Coastal Mountains Land Trust has done a great job of helping us steward Simonton Corner Quarry over the past 15 years," affirmed Nancy Sferra, Director of Stewardship and Ecological Management for TNC. "We're pleased to transfer ownership of the preserve to be used for the Land Trust's ongoing conservation programs."
The Maple Grove addition, which was part of a larger farm property recently purchased by Maine Farmland Trust, contains a portion of the back quarry and will thus enable the Land Trust to improve public access to the area.
"Transfer of this property to Coastal Mountains Land Trust is one important piece of a plan to preserve agricultural land and open space associated with the conservation of the former Spear Farm in Camden and Rockport," said Adam Bishop, Project Manager for Maine Farmland Trust. "The Land Trust just made sense as the logical owner for this part of the property. Their ownership will allow for the preservation of an important historical resource, the quarries, while at the same time enabling continued management of the property's sugar bush."
The Nature Conservancy conserves land world-wide, and has protected over a million acres in Maine, including more than 75 preserves. For more information, please visit www.nature.org.
Maine Farmland Trust, a state-wide organization based in Belfast, works to protect farmland, and to keep farming in Maine viable and vital. For more information, please visit www.mainefarmlandtrust.org or call (207) 338-6575.
Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked to permanently preserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay region, conserving more than 9,700 acres since 1986. With the addition of the Simonton Corner Quarry Preserve, the Land Trust now has 26 preserves, all open to the public for low-impact recreation. For more information, please visit the Land Trust website at www.coastalmountains.org or call (207) 236-7091.
(Camden)--Coastal Mountains Land Trust added 42 more acres to its Ragged Mountain Preserve in December. The preserve now contains 508 acres spread across the mountain, adjoining the Camden Snow Bowl.
Rising from upper Barnestown Road, the property now known as the Little Ragged Ledges Tract features stands of mature trees, a perennial stream, and upper ledges that offer direct views of neighboring Bald Mountain and glimpses of Penobscot Bay. The property is essential to furthering the Land Trust's vision of the Round the Mountain Trail, as well--a future ten-mile multi-use trail that will one day circumnavigate Ragged Mountain. Its addition to the Ragged Mountain Preserve provides the first physical connection of that preserve to the 583-acre Bald Mountain Preserve on the east side of Barnestown Road.
This vantage point from Bald Mountain looks directly over at the Little Ragged Ledges Tract on Ragged
"We're delighted to have been able to conserve this particular tract, as it had previously been slated for residential development," stated Doug Sensenig, the Land Trust's Executive Director. "In land conservation work there is often only 'one bite at the apple' before a property is lost to conservation. We tried several times to buy what is now the Little Ragged Tract, losing out in each case to another buyer. But fortunately our patience and perseverance paid off for this key property."
Purchase of the Little Ragged Tract advances the Land Trust's ongoing Bald and Ragged Mountains Campaign, an effort to conserve 3,500 acres on these two mountains to protect their forests and farms, wildlife habitats, popular hiking trails, and scenic landscapes. Over half that goal has now been reached, and more exciting projects are on the horizon.
(Camden, ME)--Coastal Mountains Land Trust has achieved renewed land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.
"Accreditation has kept us focused on quality throughout our organization and has set a high standard for accountability to landowners, donors, volunteers, and our greater community," said Doug Sensenig, Land Trust Executive Director. "There is no doubt that the anticipation of re-accreditation kept us on our toes, which is where we want to be."
Since its formation in 1986, Coastal Mountains Land Trust has permanently protected almost 10,000 acres throughout the western Penobscot Bay region, including such community gems as Rockport's Beech Hill, Bald and Ragged Mountains in the Camden Hills, the Ducktrap River, and the Passagassawakeag Greenway in Belfast.
Coastal Mountains Land Trust was awarded renewed accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that are now accredited. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.
'Coastal Mountains Land Trust is one of the first land trusts to achieve renewed accreditation, a significant achievement for the land trust and significant major milestone for the accreditation program. They are an important member of the 280 accredited land trusts that protect more than half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust," said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. "Accreditation renewal, which must be completed every five years, provides the public with an assurance that accredited land trusts continue to meet exceedingly high standards for quality."
Each land trust that achieved renewed accreditation submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. "Through accreditation renewal land trusts are part of an important evaluation and improvement process that verifies their operations continue to be effective, strategic and in accordance with strict requirements," said Van Ryn. "Accredited organizations have engaged citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent."
According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.
"We're proud to display the accreditation seal," affirmed Sensenig. "It represents a sustained commitment to quality, hard work, and attention to detail that we want to communicate to our community. We're in this for the long haul, so it's very important that we do things right—accreditation not only ensures that our conservation work is top-notch, it assures the public that it is too."
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About Coastal Mountains Land Trust
Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently protect land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay region. The Land Trust has conserved almost 10,000 acres—including 25 preserves open to the public—that feature scenic landscapes, hiking trails, working family farms, clean water resources, sustainable forests, and wildlife habitat. For more information please visit www.coastalmountains.org or call (207) 236-7091.
About the Land Trust Accreditation Commission
The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., inspires excellence, promotes public trust and ensures permanence in the conservation of open lands by recognizing land trust organizations that meet rigorous quality standards and that strive for continuous improvement. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at http://www.landtrustaccreditation.org/newsroom/press-releases. More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website, www.landtrustaccreditation.org.
About The Land Trust Alliance
The Land Trust Alliance, of which Coastal Mountains Land Trust is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at www.landtrustalliance.org.
(Swanville) - A recent property purchase has added 160 acres to Coastal Mountains Land Trust's growing Meadow Brook Preserve in Swanville. Totaling 371 acres, the preserve now nearly circles the undeveloped Hurds Pond, Meadow Brook and their adjacent wetland system.
The newly added parcel, the third tract of the Meadow Brook Preserve, is an ecological complement to the Land Trust's preserve and its Hurds Pond Focus Area. Bordering a state wildlife management area, the property contains state-designated High Value Inland Wading Bird and Wildlife Habitat. The addition expands protection of the pristine wetland system, deer wintering areas, and inland wading bird habitat. In 2005 Coastal Mountains Land Trust's Board of Directors designated the Hurds Pond Focus Area as one of the Land Trust's highest priorities for its land conservation efforts.
Scott Dickerson, the Land Trust's Acquisitions Coordinator, facilitated the addition to the preserve with Ethan Bessey of E.D. Bessey and Sons Lumber, a locally-owned and family-run timber company. Although they were currently harvesting the parcel, the Besseys agreed to reduce the harvest area in order to better protect the property's mature forest stands and provide a more robust buffer to Meadow Brook and its wetlands. The timber company allows unrestricted public access to their woodlands, and they were founding members of Project Landshare, a Maine program that encourages private landowners to allow public access and recognizes them for doing so.
The purchase was facilitated with generous support from an anonymous donor and the Maine Community Foundation's Pollinator's Fund.
Planning for the entire Hurd's Pond Focus Area is supported by funding from the Maine Community Foundation's Fund for Maine Land Conservation, and by advisory help from Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Together with its partners, the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition and Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, the Land Trust is planning public access opportunities on the pristine and undeveloped pond, including non-motorized boat access, hiking trails, and cross-country skiing opportunities.
We want to thank all who participated in the third annual Summer Sunset Party Raffle! Winners were notified after the drawing on May 30.
First Prize Winner: Summer Sunset party at Beech Nut, Brenda and Jory Squibb
Second Prize Winner: Two nights at the Samoset Resort, Martha Laitin
Third Prize Winner: Dinner for four at Saltwater Cafe, Lee Webb
Fourth Prize Winner: Cruise aboard a classic lobster boat with Camden Harbor Cruises, John Bement
Fifth Prize Winner: Limited edition nature photograph from MaineSeasons.com, Rick Ash
(Topsham) - Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization has honored Scott Dickerson as the recipient of the 2014 Espy Land Heritage Award. Each year MCHT presents the award to an individual, organization, or coalition for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine.
"Scott has worked long and hard to ensure that his land trust not only accomplished a number of impressive conservation projects, but also has much of the knowledge, capabilities, and resources to carry the trust's work forward over the long haul," said Tim Glidden, President of MCHT, when presenting the award at the Maine Land Conservation Conference this past weekend in Topsham. "His hard work, intelligence, and maybe just the right amount of stubbornness has resulted in a conservation legacy that has made an enormous difference in Maine."
Dickerson served for 16 years as Land Trust director before retiring from that position in February. Over the course of his career, he increased the amount of conserved land from 2,000 to almost 10,000 acres throughout western Penobscot Bay. He formed a 20-member coalition to protect the Ducktrap River, launched a campaign to protect Bald and Ragged Mountains, oversaw the rehabilitation of the 100-year-old stone hut on Beech Hill, and began a partnership with the City of Belfast that will yield a rails-to-trails greenway project.
"Thank you everyone at Maine Coast Heritage Trust for this honor, which is actually a collective award earned by all who work together to accomplish land conservation," said Dickerson upon receiving his award. "Ambitious supporters, volunteers, board members, and staff are the key ingredients of this award."
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. Dickerson has chosen to divide the cash award to benefit three recipients: the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition, to honor Cloe Chunn; the Friends of Sears Island, to honor Marietta Ramsdell - both Chunn and Ramsdell were key founders of their respective organizations - and Coastal Mountains Land Trust to support its permanent land conservation achievements.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust is a statewide land conservation organization dedicated to protecting land that is essential to the character of Maine, its coastline and islands in particular. Since 1970, more than 142,000 acres and 300 entire coastal islands have been permanently protected. For more information, contact Rich Knox, Director of Communications and Public Policy at (207) 729-7366, or visit www.mcht.org.
Present for the "big check" hand-off at Belfast City Hall: (front, from left) Chris Lobley and Cathy Reynolds of Bangor Savings Bank; Courtney Collins and Kristen Lindquist of Coastal Mountains Land Trust; (rear, from left) Doug Sensenig of Coastal Mountains Land Trust; Joe Slocum, Belfast City Manager; and Manley Rogers and Sean Ociepka of the Passy Rail Trail Campaign Committee.
(NORTHPORT)--Elisabeth Wolfe and Michael Cunning recently sold to Coastal Mountains Land Trust two parcels of land which will add 11 acres to its McLellan-Poor Preserve in Northport. To facilitate the sale, Wolfe and Cunning generously donated partial value of one of the parcels to the Land Trust.
The Land Trust received the McLellan-Poor Preserve in 2007 as a bequest from Hugh McLellan Russell facilitated by Maine Coast Heritage Trust. The 66-acre property comprised two unconnected parcels located near the Belfast-Northport town line: one, larger section stretching north from Route 1 along the Belfast Water Company's Little River Reservoir, and another section lying a few hundred yards further north. The recent acquisition from Wolfe and Cunning will not only increase the size of the preserve, but more importantly, will bridge the preserve's two original sections. One of the two new parcels also provides viable access to the preserve from Herrick Road.
Development of public access to the newly-unified McLellan-Poor Preserve will now be feasible. The Land Trust will evaluate the site in the year ahead and plan a four-season trail from Route 1 to the Herrick Road, to be completed in 2015. The trail, anticipated to be about a mile in length, will wind through varied, scenic terrain featuring ravines incised by brooks and rolling, forested uplands.
One of the many scenic streams that lace the McLellan-Poor Preserve.
Scott Dickerson, the Land Trust's Land Acquisition Coordinator, noted the land owners' conservation-minded spirit: "Not only do we celebrate Elisabeth's and Michael's generous help in connecting the preserve, but this is the second critical deal we've made with them! In 1996 they helped launch our very successful effort to protect the Ducktrap River by selling to us one of the first parcels for that project."
Note: Most news stories below are in PDF format. Please be patient if you see a white screen for awhile--some of the older stories contain images, which may slow the download process on your computer.
Land Trust announces next Executive Director (10/25/13)
Letter of Commendation from US Representative Chellie Pingree in recognition of our Accreditation (10/3/12)
From Bangor Daily News (6/9/12): Land trust to open unique Rockport picnic cottage on select days
From Bangor Daily News (3/22/12): Hiking the Ducktrap River Preserve in the "Maine Matters" blog by Mike Webber
From Bangor Daily News (3/16/12): Bald Mountain Trail featured as a "one-minute hike" in the "Act Out with Aislinn" blog
2011 RUN FOR THE HILLS RACE RESULTS (9/10/11)
From the Bangor Daily News: My Favorite Places in Maine: Beech Hill Preserve (3/2/11)
From the Maine Sunday Telegram: a feature on our Beech Hill Preserve (11/20/10)
From the November - December issue of Maine magzine: "In Land We Trust," a feature by Maura Ewing on land trusts in Maine, including Coastal Mountains Land Trust (11/15/2010)
Executive Director Scott Dickerson's informational letter to the Camden Select Board regarding the Land Trust's conserved lands on Ragged Mountain in the context of potential wind power development there (mailed 8/23/10; posted here 10/8/10)
2010 RUN FOR THE HILLS RACE RESULTS (9/13/10)
LAND TRUST COMPLETES FIRST PROJECT IN MORRILL (11/25/2009)
Wonderful Maine Boats, Homes & Harbors magazine article on Beech Nut by Carol Des Lauriers Cieri, with photographs by Brian Vanden Brink (11/11/2009)
LAND TRUST COMPLETES BEECH HILL CAMPAIGN! (10/09/2009)
TOWN OF CAMDEN SIGNS RIVERWALK EASEMENT (5/1/2009)
BEECH NUT RECEIVES AWARD FROM MAINE PRESERVATION (5/29/2008)
DONOR ADDS LAND TO FERNALD'S NECK PRESERVE (4/16/2008)