Northeast Wilderness Trust’s Wildlands Partnership program serves a critical goal set forth by Harvard Forest’s Wildlands & Woodlands initiative to conserve at least 10% of forestland as wilderness by 2060. The Wildlands Partnership unites accredited land trusts with resources to conserve wild landscapes across the Northeast Wilderness Trust’ region. At this time just three to four percent of the Northeast is protected as wilderness.
“We are pleased to be part of the Wildlands Partnership at the Northeast Wilderness Trust. Access to this program and the forever-wild easement protection at the Grand Lake Reserve supports our conservation goals and gives us a chance to educate visitors on the importance of wild places and permanency,” James “Wylie” Huffman, Executive Director of the Indian River Lakes Conservancy, said.
Grand Lake Reserve is home to several species which will benefit from forever-wild protection—from nine uncommon dragonfly and damselfly species, to the declining Whip-poor-will. Wilderness protection sets the foundation for old growth characteristics to return to Grand Lake Reserve. When logging is prohibited and management is limited to an absolute minimum, forest complexity returns naturally creating myriad niche habitats. This allows the wildlife that co-evolved with such conditions the space to thrive.
“Being at the center of the A2A, protection of special places like the Grand Lake Reserve is critical to ensuring the potential for wildlife movement across the St. Lawrence. We’re excited to extend Northeast Wilderness Trust’s forever-wild conservation efforts into this region with committed partners like IRLC,” Caitlin Mather, Land Protection Manager at Northeast Wilderness Trust, said.