Downeast Lakes Community Forest: Lakeville Expansion

LakevillePhoto credit: Dan Jones

Twenty years ago, the residents of Maine’s Downeast Lakes Region rallied to protect their local land as a resource for all neighbors and visitors. The vibrant 55,678-acre community forest that they created has since become a model for the national movement. They demonstrated to the world that when we all work together, we can create a resource that serves the needs of the entire community. It’s a place for neighbors and visitors to play during any season, the sustainably harvested timber is a source of wealth for the community, and the protected land provides safe habitat for plants and animals. 

Today, we have the chance to expand this prized Community Forest by acquiring the Lakeville Tract. The 2,025-acre expansion, which includes old-growth type forest, wetlands, and streams, would protect one of the last undeveloped tracts of land on Sysladobsis Lake. The expansion would provide 2.7 miles of shoreland access for all to one of the most pristine lakes in Maine. Nearly all streams on the property are home to wild brook trout and feed into West Grand Lake, one of only four native sources of landlocked salmon in Maine. The property is already used by the community for hiking, hunting, snowmobiling, mountain biking, and other recreational activities. Together, we’ll turn those unofficial trails into a wild playground for neighbors and visitors alike. Working with the community, we’ll protect this land from the threat of development once and for all.