Rugged and rural, Maine’s easternmost region is also facing economic hardship. Today, as the forestry and fishing industries continue to decline, recreation-based tourism is all the more important to the local economy.
Visitors to inland Downeast Maine encounter a land of sky lakes and ice-blue rivers. Local communities here depend upon the fishermen and hunters who flock from across the nation to take advantage of pristine waters and nearby wild forests.
Coastal communities, meanwhile, see tourists coming north from Acadia National Park or south from Canada to enjoy the land’s rugged coastline and its iconic lighthouses.
Through the years, OSI has supported the protection of nearly 400,000 acres of productive forests and pristine oceanfront in the Downeast Maine region. Our grants fall into two primary categories: projects that include coastal, internationally significant waterfowl and migratory bird habitat; and large forestland projects, including West Grand Lake and the adjacent Farm Cove—together making up the nation’s largest-ever community forest.