Haystack Mountain in Waldo County is one of nine new parcels of land being conserved by the Land for Maine’s Future program. Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

Funding from Maine’s Land for Maine’s Future program is being used to help protect nine parcels totaling thousands of acres, Gov. Janet Mills announced Friday.

The parcels range from more than 2,500 acres near the Appalachian Trail in Franklin County to 155 acres in Wells for trails and to preserve habitat for the New England cottontail.

“These nine projects will preserve thousands of acres of land for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations,” Gov. Janet Mills said in a statement Friday. “I am proud that, through the actions taken by the Legislature and my administration, we are continuing to protect more and more of our cherished natural resources.”

Since lawmakers approved $40 million to reinvigorate the LMF program, Mills said, the LMF Board has approved 46 new projects totaling $5.19 million that is expected to leverage an additional $6.7 million in private and federal money.

The nine new projects are:

• Lexington deer wintering area in Somerset County, 1,452 acres, which will be acquired by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It includes high-value deer wintering habitat, freshwater wetlands and streams.


• Branch Lake expansion in Hancock County, 279 acres near Ellsworth that will connect with existing city green space and safeguard public drinking water.

• Haystack Mountain in Waldo County, which will be acquired by the Midcoast Conservancy, including blueberry fields, walking and snowmobile trails and a panoramic view from the 840-feet summit.

• Eastern Trail, cottontail habitat, which will be acquired by the town of Wells. The 155-acre property will allow for new trails and help preserve New England cottontail habitat.

• Maquoit Bay-Sherwood in Brunswick, 32-acres of upland and intertidal areas, including shoreland and wetlands.

• Rumford Community Forest in Oxford County, 446 acres between Rumford and Black Mountain with easily accessible trails.

• Salmon Falls tidal wetlands in South Berwick, 79 acres that will protect Salmon Falls River shore frontage and salt marsh.

• Kezar River south in Oxford County, a 1,377-acre property, expanding on land previously protected with LMF funding in 2022. It includes 4.5 miles of river frontage, wetlands and forest.

• High Peaks Orbeton Keystone in Franklin County, 2,666 acres – the largest of the nine projects. It will be acquired by the Bureau of Parks and Lands and improve access to existing state lands adjacent to the Appalachian Trail. It includes scenic streams and snowmobile and hiking trails.

The Land for Maine’s Future program was established in 1987 through a $35 million bond approved by voters. Since then, the program has conserved thousands of acres: including 70 water access sites; 67 miles of shoreline on rivers, lakes and ponds; 41 farms; 69 miles of coastal access; and conversion of 158 miles of former railroad corridors into recreational trails.

Comments are no longer available on this story