VIENNA — The 60 acres that were once the home of outdoorsman, archaeologist and musician Peter Miller will host a year-long series of forestland conservation activities sponsored by the Kennebec Land Trust.

The first, set for 10 a.m.-noon Saturday on the Anderson Road site, is a property dedication and a thank-you to the Miller family, including the three sisters of Peter Miller who donated the land to the conservation group. Miller was 49 when he died in December 2009 of injuries suffered in a wood-cutting accident.

One of his sisters, Lynette Miller, said the family had been involved with the land trust previously when they carried out their mother’s wish to get an agricultural easement on her Flying Pond Farm in Vienna.

“As we came to terms with Peter’s passing, we had to decide should we keep it, should we sell it?” she said. “We were attached to it, but none of us could commit to managing the property and taking care of it.”

The family signed Peter Miller’s land over to the land trust in March. “Our hope is everybody will have a little piece of him through enjoying the land,” Lynette Miller said.

She said they also hope her brother’s log cabin — which he built with lumber he felled and sawed himself — is used for land trust programs.

“It was very cozy, but he also had a lot of friends with warm houses,” Lynette Miller said. “This time of year when baseball playoffs were starting, he would drop in on friends, much like (Henry David) Thoreau, who also had many friends.”

She, Robin Miller, of Augusta, and Holly Miller, of Hope, will be at the dedication ceremony Saturday.
A hike will follow the ceremony along a trail that  Lynette Miller’s husband, Marc Loiselle, helped to build along with volunteer steward, Andy Walsh, of Readfield.

The land is described by the Kennebec Land Trust as “a beautiful, 60-acre upland and wetland forest with stone walls, woods, roads and two small ponds. The mixed forest features white pine, eastern hemlock, red spruce, balsam fir, red maple, brown and white ash, and white and yellow birch.”

The event kicks off a series of 10 KLT Peter Miller Woodland Programs 2013-2014, on such topics as sustainable woodlands, trail-building and a chainsaw safety program.

Theresa Kerchner, executive director of the land trust, said the educational events are intended to profile the importance of Kennebec County’s forestland.

“This is one way we can highlight how important Maine’s natural resources are.”

The organization, which has planned a 25th anniversary celebration for Augusta 2014, now owns or has conservation easements on more than 4,600 acres.

“We have 40 miles of trails that are open to the public,” Kerchner said.

Betty Adams — 621-5631
[email protected]