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The Rural Maine Reporting Project is made possible through the generous support of the Betterment Fund.

East Grand Watershed Initiative completes preservation of 12,000 acres along Maine border

East Grand Lake, as seen from Peekaboo Mountain, in Aroostook County.
The Conservation Fund
East Grand Lake, as seen from Peekaboo Mountain, in Aroostook County.

It's taken more than a decade, but an effort to protect nearly 12,000 acres of forestland and more than 21 miles of prized shoreline along five lakes, including East Grand Lake in Weston, has been completed.

The land along Maine's eastern border with Canada will continue to be privately owned, remain on tax rolls and be sustainably managed for timber, according to an announcement from The Conservation Fund.

The Conservation Fund

The project, known as the East Grand Watershed Initiative, was planned as a way to provide permanent access for guiding, hunting, snowmobiling and ATV riding as well as fishing on East Grand Lake. It's a region that's well known for its traditional sporting camps and guide services and revered by sportsmen and women for its landlocked salmon, trout and bass fisheries.

More than a dozen public and private entities supported the project, which included funding from the Land for Maine's Future Program and the U.S. Forest Service's Forest Legacy Program as well as private grants.

The Conservation Fund and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands used conservation easements to protect the acreage in phases.

Bureau of Parks and Lands Director Andy Cutko says the project "provides immeasurable benefits to Maine people and wildlife."