Open Space Institute Forest Protection

Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

Community Forest Fund Projects

Albany Town Forest CFF Vermont

Albany Town Forest, Albany, New Hampshire
In January, 2012, after a four year effort, the Town of Albany established its first community forest. The 300 acre property is now owned by the town, subject to a conservation easement held by the Upper Saco Valley Land Trust. The property is bordered by the scenic Kancamagus highway and lies at the eastern edge of the White Mountain National Forest. The land supports aquifer protection, diverse habitat types, and productive forestland and includes 1.5 miles of frontage on the Swift River. As a testament to the value of this project, the effort attracted federal and state grants as well as a sizeable contribution from this small, rural town.  OSI provided a $20,000 support grant and a $150,000 capital grant to help bring this project to a successful conclusion.

Easton Sugar Hill CFFCooley-Jericho Community Forest, Easton,NH
The Ammonoosuc Conservation Trust and four towns at the western edge of the White Mountain National Forest have established an innovative community forest. Management of the 844-acre woodland will be governed by a committee of residents representing the towns, land trust, and local user groups including hunters, mountain bikers, and educators. Proceeds from timber harvesting will go back to the participating towns, as well as pay for the costs of managing the forest. Conservation of the property maintained a working forest, protected wildlife habitat, provided public recreational opportunities and preserved a prominent ridgeline from inappropriate development. OSI provided $120,000 in grants to help bring the project to a successful completion.

Milan CFF

Milan Community Forest, Milan, New Hampshire

A rural town in New Hampshire’s heavily forested and economically challenged  North Country created its first community forest of 265 acres that will provide local residents with timber revenue, offer places to hike, hunt and fish, and protect important wildlife habitat. The two tracts that Milan acquired link existing town lands and are the first components in a community forest that will eventually exceed 1,300 acres. Many area residents earn their livelihood in the forest industry and understand first-hand the benefits of land ownership and forest stewardship.  Concern about unsustainable forest practices on certain ownerships in town helped spur the community to action.

 

Ascutney Mountain photo Jerry MonkmanWest Windsor Town Forest Addition - Ascutney Mountain, Vermont
With a significant grant from OSI’s Community Forest Fund, The Trust for Public Land protected 468-acres of the former Ascutney Mountain Resort adding it to the existing 1,112-acre West Windsor Town Forest. The town will manage their expanded forest for recreation, wildlife habitat, sustainable timber harvesting, and water quality protection. The land contains a key portion of a 30-mile network of non-motorized trails that have become a recreation destination, providing a boost to the local economy which declined precipitously following the 2010 closure of the Ascutney Mountain Ski Area. Conservation of the property knits together a 6,640-acre block of conservation land – one of the largest protected forest blocks in the region and an important east/west wildlife linkage.

 

Brushwood Community Forest Expansion, Fairlee and West Fairl

Brushwood Community Forest Expansion, Fairlee and West Fairlee, Vermont
In 2009, The Trust for Public Land (TPL) helped to create the 475-acre Brushwood Community Forest– a community forest project that generated support at the local, state, and federal levels.  Three years later, TPL and its project partners expanded the Brushwood Community Forest by conserving an adjacent 580-acre parcel. In its entirety, the 1,055-acre Brushwood Community Forest – located within a 28,000-acre block of unbroken forest –provides landscape-scale wildlife habitat, drinking water resources and opportunities for sustainable forest management and recreation. OSI supported the Brushwood project with a $20,000 support grant and a $50,000 capital grant.

 

Cady Hill Forest CFF

Cady Hill Forest, Stowe, Vermont
Stowe Land Trust led a community-wide effort to establish the 258- acre Cady Hill Forest, shepherding the project from start to finish and securing over $1.5 million from an array of supporters. Illustrating the broad support for the project, OSI’s Community Forest Fund’s $100,000 contribution was matched by substantial grants from the town and state, as well as donations from the two landowners and 650 individuals. Cady Hill Forest encompasses a state designated deer wintering yard, over 11 miles of mountain biking trails and productive forestlands that will be sustainably managed. The property lies at the heart of town, adjacent to an existing 60-acre town parcel and easily accessible by foot, bike and car. The land trust and state co-hold a conservation easement over the town-owned Cady Hill Forest.

Shea Community Forest

F.X. Shea Town Forest, Corinth, Vermont
A conservation minded landowner and the Corinth Conservation Commission worked together to establish the town's first community forest. The Commission had been actively seeking to develop a town forest when the owner of this 94-acre parcel came forward. The Commission worked to acquire this parcel, despite its relatively small size, because of its rich soils, high quality timber, central location and existing trail system. An OSI support grant of $16,800 has enabled the town to accept this land donation and hire a temporary, part-time coordinator to oversee establishment of the town forest.

Nulhegan Abenaki Tribal Forestland Sugar House, VT

Nulheganaki Tribal Forest, Barton, Vermont
With their efforts strengthened by a $39,231 grant from OSI, the Nulhegan Abenaki took ownership of the first Nulhegan tribal forestland in 200 years. The 65-acre parcel will be an economic, educational and cultural resource for the tribe, which worked with the Vermont Land Trust and the Sierra Club to acquire the woodlands. The Land Trust holds a conservation easement on the property to ensure it remains permanently undeveloped. The tribe will expand an existing maple sugar operation and also grow produce using small-scale traditional Abenaki agricultural methods. The forest will provide other economic benefits such as firewood for those in need, hunting opportunities, and a place to gather traditional medicinal plants. The tribe will use the forest to educate area children in traditional land stewardship and will use the land to hold meetings, events and celebrations. The trail system is open for public pedestrian recreation.

West Grand Lake Community Forest in Grand Lake Stream, Maine

West Grand Lake Community Forest, Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Maine

Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) and the tiny yet vibrant community of Grand Lake Stream teamed up to preserve the 21,870-acre West Grand Lake Community Forest. This Forest, with productive woodlands and renowned trout fishing and hunting grounds, builds on DLLT’s adjacent 33,708‐acre Farm Cove Community Forest. And in turn, the Community Forests lie within a larger network of conserved lands that stretches across two nations and totals more than 1.4 million acres. The West Grand Lake Community Forest includes over 3,000 acres of wetlands, 17 miles of undeveloped lakefront, and 93 miles of stream frontage. The local community depends on these recreational resources and the timber base to sustain its economy.

Two Rivers, Machias and Whitneyville, Maine, CFF

Two Rivers, Machias and Whitneyville, Maine
Working with local leaders, the Downeast Coastal Conservancy conserved the Two Rivers community forest near the confluence of the Machias and Middle Rivers in downeast Maine. The land is bordered by the Down East Sunrise Trail, an 85-mile rail-trail,and was used by local residents long before it was permanently protected. The property boasts over 900 acres of well-stocked woodlands and 3.5 miles of river frontage. The Machias River provides habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon and other native fisheries such as Eastern brook trout. Sustainable forest management will generate revenue to manage the land and support local schools and public access to the river and woodlands is now permanently guaranteed. Conservation of the property builds on a landscape-level effort to conserve the Machias River from its headwaters and tributaries to its confluence in downtown Machias. A $150,000 OSI grant helped the community complete their first community forest project.

Raymond Community Forest, Raymond, Maine

Encompassing 356 acres, the Raymond Community Forest offers multiple long-term benefits for local citizens, including safeguarding lakes and wildlife habitat, and providing hiking trails and productive timberlands. In addition, the property drains into the Sebago Lake Watershed, which supplies drinking water for the Greater Portland area. Plans for the forest include establishment of hiking trails to the cliffs of Pismire Mountain, which will provide vistas of Maine’s Lakes Region and New Hampshire’s White Mountains. Plans for the lower elevation forest include low-impact multi-use recreational trails and sustainable forest management. Loon Echo Land Trust facilitated the project with the town and will own and maintain the property on its behalf.

 

Millstone Hill Community Forest

Barre Town Forest, Barre, Vermont
The Trust for Public Land, a local trails association and the Town of Barre teamed up to protect 355- acres of former quarry land as a new community forest. Evidence of the once thriving granite industry can still be found throughout the forest. As well as preserving a site of cultural significance, this project conserves wildlife habitat and water resources, re-assembles separately owned parcels to restore connectivity, and provides revenues from sustainable forest management. The property’s trails are part of a 70-mile network, a regional destination for mountain biking and cross country skiing. The project was among the inaugural recipients of funding from the US Forest Service Community Forest Program. OSI provided $220,000 in grants toward this effort.

Perley Mills Community Forest, Denmark and Bridgeton Maine, 2014
Thanks to the efforts of Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT), the town of Denmark, Maine, now owns the 1,455 acre Perley Mills Community Forest. Denmark residents voted overwhelmingly to acquire the land and to provide $25,000 to the project. Funding from OSI’s Community Forest program was also matched by donations from over 150 families and grants from 10 foundations, the state, federal government and the Portland Water District.  As well as being important for the local community, the land lies in the Sebago Lake watershed, which provides drinking water to nearly 200,000 Portland area residents.  LELT holds a conservation easement over the property, enabling the land to be managed for sustainable forestry while carefully conserving the wildlife habitat and water quality of the property’s four ponds and high quality wetlands. Recreational uses are also forever guaranteed, including three miles along the Narrow Gauge Trail, a multi-use, multi-town trail network.


Androscoggin Greenway Community Forest, Canton, Jay ME, 2014
Nearly 1250 acres of forestland along the Androscoggin River in Canton and Jay, Maine are now permanently conserved as a new community forest. After working on the project for more than three years, the Androscoggin Land Trust (ALT) purchased the land from Verso Paper Corporation, thanks to funding from the OSI’s Community Forest Fund, Land for Maine’s Future Program, Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program and numerous private foundations.

ALT envisions these diverse lands as a community forest that conserves local landscapes for wildlife habitat while ensuring public access and maintaining the land as a working forest. These properties, which include more than three miles of Androscoggin River frontage, are economically important to their communities. ALT will carefully steward the land, in partnership with the towns, to provide wood products as well as recreational access to the river and forests. OSI’s funding enables the community to have a voice in determining in how the land is managed and used in the future.

West Grand Lake Community Forest

West Grand Lake Community Forest, Grand Lake Stream Plantation, Maine

Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT) and the tiny yet vibrant community of Grand Lake Stream teamed up to preserve the 21,870-acre West Grand Lake Community Forest. This Forest, with productive woodlands and renowned trout fishing and hunting grounds, builds on DLLT’s adjacent 33,708‐acre Farm Cove Community Forest. And in turn, the Community Forests lie within a larger network of conserved lands that stretches across two nations and totals more than 1.4 million acres. The West Grand Lake Community Forest includes over 3,000 acres of wetlands, 17 miles of undeveloped lakefront, and 93 miles of stream frontage. The local community depends on these recreational resources and the timber base to sustain its economy. Also more info on this project here.


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