LOVELL, Me. (April 13, 2023)—With support from the Open Space Institute (OSI), Greater Lovell Land Trust (GLLT) has secured two scenic properties for a historic and rural town in western Maine. Conservation of the properties will create new local and regional opportunities for recreation while securing land for forest carbon storage.
The properties, which total 354 acres, will expand protected lands along the Kezar River to over two miles and permanently secure the summit of a scenic hill, beloved for its expansive views of the White Mountains. With their protection, the properties have been added to the “Kezar Corridor Lands,” which now totals almost 1,300 acres of forests, ponds, wetlands, and will include recreational opportunities for public use.
OSI supported the project through its Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, which funds land protection along the Appalachian Mountain range — an area that is home to the world’s largest broadleaf forest, stores most of the nation’s forest carbon, and provides essential refuge for plants and animals at risk of habitat loss from climate change. The Fund is capitalized with major support by the Doris Duke Foundation, and additional support from other private foundations.
“The successful protection of these properties is a resounding achievement toward the Open Space Institute’s long-term efforts to protect the fragile forests of the Northern Appalachians, and the wildlife they support, in the face of climate change,” said Joel Houser, OSI’s Director of Capital Grants. “We thank the Greater Lovell Land Trust for their tireless efforts to secure these lands, forever.”
The recently protected properties include the slopes and summit of Patterson Hill, a popular destination for hikers also accessible by snowmobile and ATV trails; and a large riverfront property that was once part of a tree farm. Together, the properties help form the scenic backdrop of Lovell, which was founded in 1774 and has a current population of approximately 1,100 people.
The Kezar Corridor Lands project is adjacent to other conserved properties owned by GLLT, the State of Maine, and private landowners who have placed conservation easements on their properties in the Kezar River watershed. These lands are part of the headwaters of the Saco River system, and support native brook trout habitat, important waterfowl habitat, hiking trails, managed forests, and a state-recognized groundwater aquifer.
In addition to OSI’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, The Land for Maine’s Future Program and the U.S. Forest Service’s Community Forest Program provided funding. Several other generous donors — including The Conservation Fund, the Stifler Family Foundation, and many private individuals — also contributed.