In Maine, conservationists pursue a prize catch
It’s early—very early—and the low morning light is just beginning to pass through the dense foliage overhead. You can’t hear much above the chatter of the stream over stone, just the wind, when it picks up, and the occasional birdcall. Your hands are numb and your mind is clear when you spot the briefest flash of silver below the surface of the water. And then—at last!—there it is: the telltale tug of the line.
Anglers covet this feeling as much as they do the actual fish: it’s at the heart of well-earned weekend adventures and long-cherished family traditions across the country. But in the woods of northern Maine, moments like these are getting harder and harder to find—and not because the fish are getting any wilier.
For decades, the region’s timber companies have allowed public access to working forests for fishing, hunting, and exploring. Today, though, landowners are under increasing pressure to sell off key parcels to private developers. Once divided and sold, these “kingdom lots” are out of production and off-limits to recreation.
Part of the Kennebec River watershed, Cold Stream Forest feels peaceful and secluded but is remarkably accessible: it lies within a day’s drive of more than 70 million people. For the anglers among them, Cold Stream Forest is a rare gem. These 8,000 acres support more intact wild brook trout pond populations than all of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire combined—as well as critical winter habitat for deer and lynx.
With credentials like that, Cold Stream Forest is too special to lose. The Trust for Public Land is working hard to keep this place wild and open for everyone who wants to spend a quiet morning on the water. You can help.
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