MONMOUTH — A Lewiston group dedicated to helping birds will be given more than 240 acres around Mud Pond in Monmouth as part of massive wetlands swap.

Central Maine Power Co. transferred the 241 acres to the Stanton Bird Club, CMP spokesman John Carroll said in a news release.

The parcel is marked by more than 7,400 feet of stream and 71 acres of wetland, 56 acres of which are described as “significant” vernal pool habitat. Another 63 acres are inland waterfowl and wading bird habitat.

The land borders Stanton Bird Club’s Woodbury Pond Sanctuary, a portion of which CMP will develop as part of its $1.4 billion upgrade to its bulk electric transmission system.

The Mud Pond transfer is one of 13 parcels of land totaling more than 4,600 acres that CMP is shielding from development as part of its huge Maine Power Reliability Program.

CMP is stringing more than 430 miles of new transmission lines and building five new substations over the next five years of the power reliability program.

The program spans 75 communities between Eliot and Orrington and touches 13 of Maine’s 16 counties.

“We are very excited about the Mud Pond property,” said Bruce Damon of the Stanton Bird Club. “We and other conservation groups have looked at the parcel for years and always thought it was a wonderful piece of land.”

The Mud Pond property will be protected by covenants agreed upon by CMP, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the bird club, Carroll said.

Damon said the donated parcel will add accessibility for club members. CMP is donating $25,000 toward the creation of parking, walking trails and bird-watching stations on the portion of the property open to the public. Damon said his club has already talked to other conservation groups about developing educational programs.

The property will be open for passive recreational use.

“The parcel is nice and flat and it allows our members greater access to new kinds of habitat that they haven’t enjoyed before,” he said. “These are wonderful wetlands. We’ve already seen a variety of migrating shore birds not present in our other sanctuaries.”

“We are proud that we are not only improving the reliability of CMP’s grid for the future, but we are also helping to preserve land for future generations,” said CMP’s Doug Herling.


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