Future Conservation Projects

Orono Land Trust TrailheadOutside of the North Maine Woods, more than half of the undeveloped land in Maine is privately owned.  Much of this land is held in relatively small parcels, and managed by local, resident land owners, who frequently have an interest in maintaining the rural character of their land – as long as it doesn’t cost them an arm and a leg to do so.  This provides small conservation-minded organizations and individuals (like me) with a great opportunity to have an impact on the local level.

Throughout Maine, there are dozens of land trusts and grassroots organizations that work with local land owners to arrange conservation easements and help them manage their land sustainably.  Within 20 miles of my house in Old Town there are over 70 miles of hiking, Maine Cross Country Skiingbiking and cross-country ski trails open for free public access.  Large portions of all of these trails are on private land, and the agreements to allow trails to be built, and people to use the land, were worked out by local citizens who devoted their own personal time and effort to foster these partnerships.

In future years, gasoline prices will make it increasingly difficult to afford long trips to the Allagash or North Woods to enjoy Maine’s natural beauty.  And our ever-expanding human population will put constant development pressure on open spaces within commuting distances of urban areas.  Therefore, local land conservation will be more important than ever.  Please join me in devoting as much time as you can to support grassroots conservation projects.  I believe that this is where average citizens can have the most positive impact.


“We don’t inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our grandchildren.”

Native American Proverb