We read Douglas Rooks’ column (“Conservation land a big draw,” June 6) with great interest and were pleased to see that the town of Wayne is considering expanding its publicly accessible waterfront. We are writing to share the full picture of the example in Brunswick that Rooks cited.

While the town’s decision to sell a tax-foreclosure property was the source of some local controversy, the story has a happy ending. The town reserved a significant portion of the sale proceeds, dedicating them to improving public access to Brunswick’s coast, an opportunity that is in particularly short and shrinking supply on the Maine coast. With generous and enthusiastic financial support from the town, our organizations, Maine Coast Heritage Trust and the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, came together to acquire and conserve 87 acres on the New Meadows River that provides public access to two miles of coastline, including highly productive clam flats. Community divided no longer!

We’d also draw your readers attention to the recommendations of a recent statewide Land Conservation Task Force, maineconservationtaskforce.com) released earlier this year. The 1986 effort referenced by Mr. Rooks led to the creation of the Land for Maine’s Future Program now popular across all of Maine that has assisted communities like Brunswick to conserve the cherished lands and waters that form the basis of Maine’s economy and quality of life.

The new report stresses the importance of community-led land conservation efforts like those in Wayne and Brunswick. Even as we write, the Legislature is considering a major new Land for Maine’s Future bond to support implementation of the task force recommendations.

We agree with Mr. Rooks: “Effectively combining conservation with economic development may not be the whole answer, but it’s surely a good place to start.”

 

Tim Glidden

president, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Angela Twitchell

executive director, Brunswick Topsham Land Trust


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