Wild Success!

It is all mossy and moosey. In some of those dense fir and spruce woods there is hardly room for the smoke to go up. The trees are a standing night, and every fir and spruce which you fell is a plume plucked from night's raven wing. —Henry David Thoreau

The Northeast Wilderness Trust has completed its $1.94 million campaign to secure the Piscataquis Preserve, and launched a Piscataquis phase 2 effort to add another 2200 acres to the Trust’s wilderness holdings in the Greater Alder Stream/Piscataquis River watershed.

In December 2010 the Trust took title to some 1200 acres, including three miles of frontage on the Piscataquis River. Executive Director Jim Northup acknowledged with gratitude the many partners and donors behind this success, including the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Sweet Water Trust, the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Open Space Institute, and American Chestnut Foundation. “The enthusiastic, broad-based support that flowed to this conservation project was heartening,” he noted. “While the the waterfowl, Atlantic salmon, and chestnut trees may not be able to express it in words, I think we can say can that all the members of the land community share in this celebration.”

In February 2010, board president Tom Butler announced that the Wilderness Trust is starting a campaign to raise $1.75 million to acquire approximately 2200 acres centered on Levenseller Brook, contiguous with lands already protected by the Trust. “This is an outstanding opportunity to expand and help connect a growing quilt of public and private conservation lands in the Greater Alder Stream/Piscataquis River watershed,” he said. “These lands offer tremendous wildlife habitat and wilderness recovery potential, and we anticipate a successful effort to protect them.”

The North American Wetlands Conservation Council has recommended that the Northeast Wilderness Trust’s $1 million application for Piscataquis Phase 2 be forwarded to the Migratory Bird Conservation Commission for action at the Commission’s March 9, 2011 meeting. “We hope to have more good news to report soon,” said Butler. “Pending the Commission’s final approval of the application and Congress’s appropriation of the funds through the North American Wetlands Conservation Act, the Wilderness Trust will be launching the expanded Piscataquis Preserve conservation project in strong fashion.”

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