Flint Mountain
Wildlands Easement

In Albany Township, Maine, Northeast Wilderness Trust holds a forever-wild conservation easement on 295 acres. Owned by Mahoosuc Land Trust (MLT), this land supports red oaks over 100 years old and colonies of lady’s slippers orchids.

Flint Mountain Wildlands is MLT’s first forever-wild preserve, created to allow nature to flourish with minimal human intervention. MLT acquired the land and then donated an easement to the Wilderness Trust in 2023. Nearly all land in western Maine is managed, which inspired a Wildlands program established by MLT to support more wilderness conservation.

Not far from Albany Mountain, this land includes the summit of Flint Mountain. The ridgeline is populated by a forest of pine and oak carpeted with heath shrubs and brightened by pink lady’s slippers in early summer. A handful of enormous red oaks are well over 100 years old. These centenarians spent their youth in cleared pastures grazed by sheep in the 1800s. Today they are witness to a rewilded forest that has been promised a future of freedom. A feldspar mine at the top of the ridge, abandoned in the early 1900s, can be traced by a former road that is now a simple walking path. Since little or no logging has occurred in recent decades on most of this land, the forest is on its way toward healing and restoration from human impact.

“This project is an important part of a broader vision to create an expanse of conserved lands in the Sebago Lake watershed to protect drinking water, wildlife, and quality of life. Each time we add a piece of protected land to the puzzle, these impacts deepen.”

Karen Young, Sebago Clean Waters

Two streams that feed the Crooked River offer wild brook trout habitat. Outcrops of feldspar bedrock host porcupine dens and may provide shelter for bats. The Flint Mountain Wildlands lie between the White Mountain National Forest and MLT’s 12,300-acre Crooked River Headwaters conservation easement, effectively extending habitat protections within a known wildlife corridor. Forever-wild conservation of this land contributes to good water quality, helping protect the health of Sebago Lake, which feeds drinking water to the greater Portland area.

This project was supported by MLT’s Wildlands Fund, which protects land in its natural condition. The fund was established in memory of Ken Hotopp, an MLT volunteer and board member who was a naturalist and conservation biologist. Sebago Clean Waters, Portland Water District, and the Maine Mountain Collaborative provided further support, and landowner Ken Wille generously sold the land to MLT at a bargain price to make this conservation success possible.