Partnerships, community support, and fondness of place conserve 3,000 acres at Scammon Ridge
GREENVILLE — Scammon Ridge, the largest contiguous swath of undeveloped forestland in the town of Greenville, has now been permanently conserved thanks to the help of many people who appreciate the recreational opportunities so close to town and the distinctive views of the ridgeline that define the eastern side of Moosehead Lake. Not only is the scenic beauty of the natural landscape important to residents and visitors alike but the ridge also divides the headwaters for both the Penobscot and Kennebec Rivers’ watersheds.
The 3,000-acre property was previously managed by Lakeville Shores and is now owned by Scammon Ridge Headwaters LLC, a conservation-minded forestland investment group. A permanent conservation easement has been placed on the Scammon Ridge lands that will protect the property from being developed, keep it available for public recreational use, and ensure sustainable forest management.
“This land has traditionally been available to the public for outdoor pursuits such as hunting, fishing, and hiking. These activities will now be assured by the easement, and the significant wildlife habitat will be protected along nearly two miles of shorefront on Prong Pond,” stated Karin Tilberg, president of the Forest Society of Maine, which will hold the conservation easement in perpetuity. “The uptick in development pressure in the region, combined with the existence of approved developable lots on the parcel that are now extinguished by the easement, made this project especially meaningful as evidenced by the widespread community support for the project.”
Kay Johnson, president of Friends of Wilson Ponds, stated, “This project will safeguard against siltation of the adjacent water bodies ensuring quality fish habitat and other ecological benefits that would be harmed if there was development, paving, and resulting runoff on the steep slopes of Scammon Ridge.” She added, “Friends of Wilson Ponds, a local land trust, is proud to have been a significant partner in this conservation achievement.”
“I applaud the collaborative efforts of the Forest Society of Maine, Friends of Wilson Ponds, and the local community to secure this conservation easement in Scammon Ridge, undeveloped forest lands north of Greenville,” said U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine. “By preserving 3,000 acres of forestland, this project will help to protect vital watersheds and wildlife habitats while also safeguarding recreational opportunities on these lands for future generations of tourists and Mainers alike.”
“Sustainable forest management and supporting Maine’s forest products industry is critical to ensuring the success of our state and safeguarding our land for future generations,” said U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine. “I am delighted to hear Scammon Ridge is now permanently conserved; it’s a win-win for the economy and the community. This easement will be pivotal in meeting the goals of the Forest Opportunity Roadmap as well as providing another thoughtful opportunity to better protect our forests, habitats for wildlife and provide recreational opportunities for generations to come.”
To successfully complete this conservation project, Forest Society of Maine led fundraising and outreach efforts, with vital support from partner organization, Friends of Wilson Ponds, together raising more than $2 million. Essential funding included leadership grants from North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Maine Community Foundation donor advised funds, and Maine Mountain Collaborative. Additional critical support was provided by more than 120 local and seasonal residents of Greenville and Beaver Cove. We extend deep gratitude to all who helped complete this initiative.
The Forest Society of Maine already holds hundreds of thousands of acres of conservation easements surrounding Moosehead Lake and to the north and this adds an important piece to this conservation landscape. The Scammon Ridge property will continue to contribute to the local forest products industry by utilizing sustainable forest management standards in the conservation easement, and the landowner is committed to managing the forestlands for improved timber values and forest health. Keeping the Scammon Ridge Headwaters property undeveloped is an important part of the regional economic brand of “America’s Crown Jewel.”
The Forest Society of Maine, established in 1984, has helped landowners, families, and communities to conserve more than a million acres of forestland across the state for sustainable forest products, recreation, habitat for fish and wildlife, and historic and cultural values. More information about the Forest Society of Maine can be found at www.fsmaine.org.
Friends of Wilson Ponds works to protect and conserve Upper and Lower Wilson Ponds and their surrounding areas for the benefit of residents and visitors.
Scammon Ridge Headwaters LLC is a new for-profit timber investment fund developed by the Maine Mountain Collaborative, New England Forestry Foundation, and Quantified Ventures. The goal of the 94 percent Maine-owned fund and the larger Exemplary Forestry Investment Fund is to own and manage Maine forestlands for improved timber value, habitat, carbon, and local community partnerships.