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Forest Society of Maine announces 8,000-acre conservation easement adjacent to Canadian border

The Forest Society of Maine announced on Monday the completion of a conservation easement on more than 8,000 acres of forestlands in western Maine.

Forest Society of Maine President and CEO Karin Tilberg says the region is notable for its wildlife and water quality. It also preserves a travel route established by the original inhabitants of the area as well as a portion of the Benedict Arnold Trail.

She says what's especially significant is that the parcel, known as the Coburn Gore Forest, connects lands in Maine and Quebec for a total of nearly 200,000 acres that will be forever protected from development.

"So this was a hole, a weak flank if you will, in an area that now with this completion will ensure a resilient landscape where plants, animals and humans can take refuge and solace, and in this case there will be continued forest management on a good portion of the property," she says.

While most of the land in the Coburn Gore Forest will remain as a working forest, Tilberg says 1,100 acres are being set aside as an ecological reserve to allow nature to take its course.

Highly rated for its resiliency to climate change because of its elevation, the forestlands contain the headwaters that flow to the Chain of Ponds, Dead River and ultimately the Kennebec River. They are also distinguished by many wetlands that provide habitat for a variety of plant and animal species such as migrating songbirds, bats and several species of hawks and woodpeckers.

Tilberg says the project "builds on the growing awareness that Maine's forests are globally significant."

The family that has owned and managed the land for decades did not wish to be named.