The streams and ridges in Maine’s High Peaks region have long been a favorite recreation destination, and the intact forests store carbon that would otherwise contribute to climate change. But today, the region’s wild, woodsy character—including a portion of the Appalachian Trail—is threatened by encroaching development from nearby Carrabassett Valley, Rangeley, and Kingfield. In fact, The Appalachian Trail Conservancy named this stretch one of the ten most important landscapes for conservation along the entire 2,190 mile trail. The Ursa Major property welcomes trout fisherman, hunters, hikers, and snowmobiles.
Protecting this land ensured permanent public access in a part of Maine where many communities are looking for more places to get outside in all four seasons. We also maintained one of the most scenic views from the Appalachian Trail, conserved an intact working forest, and protected habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon and Bicknell’s Thrush, a State species of concern. Through a unique partnership, the project also helped the Navy meet their military readiness goals by buffering the SERE School, a remote training facility.