For immediate release: March 10, 2022
Bangor, ME – The Forest Society of Maine (FSM) and Northeast Wilderness Trust (NEWT) announce the completion of the Grafton Forest Conservation Project. An area that encompasses some of the most spectacular scenery and finest remote hiking in Maine has been permanently conserved. This result came from several years of working with Wagner Forest Management, the state Bureau of Parks and Lands, and many groups in the Bethel, Maine region. FSM now holds a conservation easement on 15,000 acres of sustainably managed forests, and NEWT now owns 6,045 acres of critical watershed and high elevation habitat to be passively managed as wilderness. The Project is adjacent to the state-owned Mahoosuc Unit, the Appalachian Trail, and Grafton Notch State Park. Together these lands fill what had been an unprotected gap in a conservation corridor and connect hundreds of thousands of acres in the western Maine mountains to New Hampshire conservation lands. Project success protects these lands, which are rated highly for their resiliency to climate change, from conversion to non-forest uses in an area experiencing strong development pressures.