Camden – Since 2003, the Town of Camden and Coastal Mountains Land Trust have been working together to fulfill a vision of permanently conserving and providing 4-season recreational opportunities on Ragged Mountain. On Monday, February 27th, this long-term collaboration reached new heights as the Town signed a deed transferring two mountaintop parcels totaling 63.58 acres to Coastal Mountains Land Trust as part of its expanding Ragged Mountain Preserve. The gift was made in support of the Land Trust’s Round the Mountain Collaboration, which is a community-based effort to permanently conserve over 1,400 additional acres on Ragged Mountain and to develop the Round the Mountain Trail system.
“The Town of Camden, inspired in part by the enthusiasm of its former Parks & Rec. Director, Jeff Kuller, has been supportive of the idea of protecting this mountain which is the backdrop to our community for a long time,” stated Camden Town Manager, Roberta Smith. “The Select Board was unanimous in its support for making sure that these two properties are permanently protected.”
Comprised of two landlocked tax-acquired parcels, the land gifted by the Town straddles the northern end of Ragged Mountain near “Little Ragged,” and includes examples of two rare subalpine natural community types and a plant listed as rare in the State of Maine. As part of the donation to the Land Trust, the Town of Camden has guaranteed, through retained deed covenants, that the properties will “be maintained for the benefit of the general public as scenic and natural conservation land without commercial, industrial, or residential development, and shall be made reasonably available… for outdoor recreation, nature observation, scientific study, environmental education, and similar uses of benefit to the public.” The Land Trust also plans to build a section of the Round the Mountain Trail across the lower portion of these properties.
“We are thrilled with this genuine endorsement from the Town of Camden, and its Conservation Commission and Select Board, for our efforts to conserve Ragged Mountain,” stated the Land Trust’s Executive Director, Ian Stewart. “Given the incredible habitat and recreational values of this mountain, and how much both of those contribute to the quality of this place, Camden has chosen to act as a real leader in this project to ensure that this part of our community will be here for people to enjoy forever.”
The Round the Mountain Collaboration is a community-based effort led by Coastal Mountains Land Trust, in partnership with Maine Coast Heritage Trust and a range of local community organizations, to permanently conserve our community’s water supply and open space on Ragged Mountain, and to develop the Round the Mountain Trail system. The Collaboration’s goal is to raise $4.2 million in support of the purchase of two easements protecting over 1,400 acres of land, build and care for the nine-mile Round the Mountain Trail and conserve three additional Ragged Mountain parcels that are needed to secure the full Round the Mountain Trail corridor. In addition to being the largest project in the Land Trust’s 30 year history, this project represents one of the most important long-term investments we can make to promote a healthy community through outdoor recreation and to maintain the quality of place which is so fundamental to the economic well-being of our community.
Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay. The Land Trust has protected over 10,000 acres to date, offering 40 miles of trails for public access.
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