The Conservation Fund announced Monday it has purchased several parcels of forestland that total 15,408 acres in Oxford County — most just south of Bethel — from Chadbourne Tree Farms, LLC for an undisclosed price.

The fund’s acquisition is intended to protect the historic working forestland from development and to improve drinking water protection in the Sebago Lake watershed for residents in Greater Portland, said Ann Simonelli, the fund’s media director, in a statement. The purchase secures 33.5 miles of river and tributary frontage, including 13.5 miles on the Crooked River, which flows into Sebago Lake.

Simonelli said the fund was obligated by contract not to disclose the purchase price of the property acquired from Chadbourne Tree Farms.

“This forestland and its exceptional white pine timber resources reflect decades of long-term stewardship administered by my father, as well as generations of the Chadbourne family with the help of many skilled and hardworking employees, associates and contractors,” noted Bob Chadbourne, the 11th generation family business owner, in the statement. “The Chadbourne family is so very pleased to work with The Conservation Fund to ensure that these lands will remain forested and continue to provide timber resources and other benefits.”

Over the next several years, The Conservation Fund will manage the tree farms, located primarily in Oxford County, and work with the nonprofit’s partners — Mahoosuc Land Trust, Mahoosuc Pathways, Western Foothills Land Trust and the U.S. Forest Service — to put in place conservation strategies for the forestland.


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