Photo Credit: Jerry Monkman

About the awards:
AMC and The Downeast Lakes Land Trust were among four organizations submitting final grant proposals, and nine that submitted pre-proposals earlier this year. The proposals were evaluated and compared on nine criteria, and reviewed by an eight-member advisory committee.

Maine Woods Initiative:
In December 2003, AMC purchased a 37,000-acre tract near Greenville, Maine for $14.2 million from International Paper. The property, known as Katahdin Ironworks, is located in Piscataquis County, in Maine's fabled "100 Mile Wilderness." AMC is seeking to raise $22 million to cover the cost of purchasing the land, creating a stewardship endowment and paying off loans.

AMC intends to create a 10,000-acre ecological reserve, harvest another 20,000 acres and create a network of trails to facilitate recreational activities. It envisions reserves buffered by well-managed working forests that provide for the economic health of rural communities through a combination of sustainable forestry, value-added wood products, nature-based tourism and hands-on educational and recreational opportunities.

The acquisition is intended as the first phase of an initiative that could protect as many as 100,000 acres. The purchased lands could help tie together conserved lands in the Baxter Park/Debsconeags/Namakanta region to conserved lands in the Moosehead Lake region.

Farm Cove Community Forest:
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust has taken the option to purchase 27,080 acres of land around West Grand and Fourth Machias Lakes from Typhoon, LLC, which is represented by Wagner Forest Management. The New England Forestry Foundation will hold a no-development easement on the property. The partnership must produce $5.15 million by December 31 to close on the first parcel and $7.25 million for the remaining two parcels in early 2005.

DLLT intends to create a 3,560-acre ecological reserve and 3,751-acre late-successional forest; the remaining 19,769 acres of working forest will be managed for a variety of ecological values, including wildlife habitat and for high-value forest products, recreation and education. The total cost of the project is $16.5 million, of which $12.5 million if for purchasing the land.

The proposed community forest is located in the heart of more than a million acres of existing or proposed conservation lands in Canada and the United States, including various reserves that the State of Maine owns and is proposing to create. This project complements and builds upon the significant protection achieved through The Nature Conservancy's Phase I protection of 35,000 acres of land along the Machias River and The Conservation Fund's proposed protection of an additional 7,785 acres of land along the river and nearby lakes.

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