Bethel Community Forest

me_bethel_20180614_162Two women birdwatching in the new Bethel Community Forest in Bethel, Maine.Photo Credit: (C) Jerry and Marcy Monkman

We believe that community forests should reflect local values and fulfill residents’ vision for the future. The people who rely on the land are the same people who should make the decisions about how the land is used. That’s how 980-acre Bethel Community Forest came to be.

In partnership with the Bethel community, Mahoosuc Pathways, and The Northern Forest Center, we created a Community Forest that allows the community to leverage the Bethel area’s growing tourism economy and creates a recreation hub for residents and visitors alike. The forest offers miles of trails for hiking, biking and cross-country skiing --just two miles from the center of town.

If not for The Trust for Public Land and collaborating partners, it is likely this land would have been sold and developed, given the area’s proximity to Sunday River Ski Resort. But instead of condos, there is a community-owned forest that benefits from the local four-season tourism economy, protects the natural environment, and unites the community around a new shared resource.

 

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.