Orbeton Stream, High Peaks
Owned by a small local family timber company, the 5,808-acre Orbeton Stream property supplies fiber to all major mills located throughout Franklin County, which has the highest percentage of workers in Maine’s forest products industry. The Trust for Public Land is working to protect the land from subdivision and development through the purchase of a conservation easement, which will help keep Maine's High Peaks forests working while ensuring access for recreation, including fishing for wild brook trout, hiking, paddling, and snowmobiling (the property includes a 6.4-mile section of Maine's Interconnected Trail System). Situated within the Appalachian Trail’s viewshed, maintaining Orbeton’s undeveloped state is central to preserving the scenic characteristics of this section of the trail.
A conservation priority for the state’s wildlife action plan, Orbeton Stream has been designated by NOAA as critical habitat for the federally listed Atlantic salmon. In 2007, for the first time in over 150 years, salmon reared in the Orbeton watershed returned from the North Atlantic Ocean.
Conserving the Orbeton Stream property will ensure a continued source of sustainably managed and certified forest products and protect an important parcel for outdoor recreation. This property is at great risk of development and without income from the sale of a conservation easement, the landowner will have few other options but to subdivide the property.
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