Living

Community land trust event Nov. 10

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Land in Common (www.landincommon.org) invites farmers and homesteaders concerned about the future of their land to come learn about the community land trust model as a strategy for long-term land protection from 1-4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 10 at The Commons at Central Hall, 152 East Main Street. Hosted by Dexter-Dover Area Towns in Transition (DDATT) and Friends of the Piscataquis Valley (FOTPV), the event will feature a presentation and discussion led by Ethan Miller, co-founder of Land in Common and the Wild Mountain Cooperative farm in Greene.

In the 1960s and 1970s, people in the “back to the land” movement flocked to rural Maine to buy land, practice sustainable living and build vibrant community. Today, as we face an uncertain future, these homesteads are beacons of hope and possibility for another way of living.

But what will happen when their long-time stewards pass on? Will they be sold to the highest bidder and lost to development? Will they be unaffordable for less affluent or marginalized members of the next generations who seek to carry on the work of their elders?

Land in Common’s Homestead Legacy Land Access Project seeks to address these challenges by offering a community-based structure into which small farmers and homesteaders can place their land to ensure its long-term protection and stewardship.

First developed in the 1960s by farmer advocates and civil rights organizers, CLTs are built on the innovative idea of separating the ownership of land from the ownership of buildings and other “improvements.” The land itself is owned by the member-run land trust as part of a shared commons, removing it permanently from the market. This land is then leased to residents via an inheritable, renewable, 99-year, “ground lease.” Buildings on the land are owned directly by the residents themselves. Long-term protection of the land for agriculture, conservation, affordable housing, and other community-based purposes is achieved; while security, autonomy and participation in key land-related decisions by land residents is ensured.

Are you a farmer or a homesteader who is concerned about the future of your land? Would you like to see your land protected and cared for in ways that help to build a more just and sustainable world? This is the conversation for you!

It is a free event, and refreshments will be provided. Please contact Sidney Mitchell for more information at blackflybait@gmail.com or 564-8687.

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