WHAT WE PROTECT
- Habitat supporting biological diversity
- Water resources, including rivers, lakes, wetlands, aquifers, and the bay
- Sustainably managed farms and forests
- Scenic landscapes essential to our sense of place
- Public access to natural areas for nature observation, hiking, paddling, swimming, hunting, winter recreation, mountain biking and other forms of outdoor enjoyment
- Trails and connectivity between people and nature
- Opportunities for building community
Coastal Mountains Land Trust owns over 5,000 acres of the mountainous region west of Penobscot Bay as permanent conservation land. These Preserves include many of the natural highlights of this area, and are managed to protect wildlife habitat and biodiversity, while providing a natural laboratory for environmental education and opportunities for low-impact outdoor recreation.
Looking for a new trail to explore? Explore our trails by town.
Conservation easements are recorded legal agreements between private landowners and the Land Trust that place perpetual restrictions on the use of the land in order to protect the specific conservation values of that property. The Land Trust agrees to monitor the property in perpetuity to assure that the terms and restrictions of the easement are being followed. Generally, easements are donated to the Land Trust by landowners who wish to restrict most or all future development on these properties in order to conserve the special scenic values and natural resources of their properties.
Although the landowner almost always retains the right to limit public access to his or her land, the public is benefited by conservation easements in many ways including permanent protection of open space, conservation of wildlife habitat, lower municipal expenses than developed land, improved water quality, and scenic protection.
The Land Trust is responsible for enforcing these restrictions in perpetuity. Conservation easements range from restrictions limiting residential or commercial use of the land to those that require the land to remain forever wild. The title stays in the landowner's name and the land may be used as before, leased, sold, or passed along to the landowner's heirs; always, however subject to the restrictions of the easement. Land conserved through conservation easements protects our mountains, streams, ocean and lake shorelines, forests, and fields.
Feel free to contact us for more information!
We have a strong stewardship program designed to protect the conservation values of our lands for the benefit of future generations. Our stewardship program is a year-round program implemented by staff and volunteers to monitor, maintain and manage our system of conservation lands as well as to enforce the protections described in the conservation easements we hold.
Community-Based Stewardship: The backbone of our stewardship program is the Volunteer Land Steward program, which deploys a well-trained corps of volunteers to support and accomplish the goals of our stewardship program. Guided by our professional staff, this program engages approximately 125 individuals each year in a range of stewardship roles and responsibilities including property monitoring, trail maintenance, and habitat restoration.
Preserve Management: Stewardship of our Preserve system begins with the development of a thorough ecological inventory which serves to inform the drafting of a management plan for each preserve. Outlined within each management plan is a detailed program for monitoring the property, maintaining its boundaries, developing and maintaining a trail system or other visitor enhancements, and ensuring that the ecological values of the property are protected.
Easement Management: Stewardship of conservation easements is achieved through careful planning, accurate baseline documentation of each easement property, annual monitoring, consistent documentation, and maintaining communication with the landowners whose property is protected with a conservation easement.
Coastal Mountains Land Trust regularly works with partner organizations and government agencies to develop strategies for the conservation of lands that have high conservation value to our community. In some instances, our role in such collaborations is to serve as the facilitator for a conservation deal, even though we may not end up holding a long-term legal interest in a given property.
Our goal as an organization is not simply to acquire land, but to help facilitate processes that help permanent conservation happen. Short of acquiring title to land, we have helped facilitate many important conservation projects over the years by serving as the local negotiator with a private landowner and/or by leading the fundraising effort or by acting as fiscal sponsor for a given project.
Examples of our facilitated projects include major additions to Camden Hills State Park, completion of a permanent conservation
easement for Sears Island, and development of the Belfast Rail Trail along the Passagassawakeag River.