Alder Stream/Piscataquis River Project

Piscataquis and Penobscot Counties
Active Project Area

Image Alder Stream/Piscataquis Preserve, Maine

In remote central Maine, a roughly 20,000-acre complex of protected lands is being assembled by various conservation groups including the Northeast Wilderness Trust. These protected lands border Alder Stream and the Piscataquis River, and contain mature American chestnut trees, expansive wetlands, and Atlantic salmon habitat. The Trust is working actively with local partners to expand and further connect this network of protected lands, which includes partner holdings devoted to sustainable forestry, and organic farming.  As of fall 2015, Northeast Wilderness Trust owns more than 6,800 acres under forever-wild protection.

The Greater Alder Stream/Piscataquis project area contains one of the largest, most varied, and intact freshwater wetland systems in Maine. Recognized as vital at multiple scales, it is embedded within: (1) a Species-at-risk Focus Area identified in Maine’s Comprehensive Wildlife Action Plan; (2) a larger 88,000-acre area identified by The Nature Conservancy as a high priority Tier 1 Matrix Forest Block due to its unfragmented, high quality forest and wetland characteristics; and (3) the Piscataquis-Penobscot Rivers Focus Area of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Threats of fragmentation and loss of public access are high, and the wilderness recovery potential of the region is extraordinary—fertile ground for creative conservation action by the Northeast Wilderness Trust and its partners.

Alder Stream Preserve is open to quiet recreation and limited hunting, but requires a permit for access. Learn more about visiting Alder Stream Preserve and request a free access permit.

Image Alder Stream, Maine

Alder Stream

Atkinson and Milo, Maine
Fee Ownership; Completed Project

The Alder Stream watershed is a focus of the Northeast Wilderness Trust’s conservation efforts because of its biological richness, recreational opportunities and wilderness character. The Trust acquired the 1,500-acre Alder Stream property—located in the heart of the watershed—in 2006. The Alder Stream parcel is characterized by cedar swamps and rich bogs, conifer and northern hardwood forest, and a remote, wild character. The property contains extensive frontage on the Piscataquis River, an important river for Atlantic salmon recovery, and a significant section of the Alder Stream.

The Alder Stream watershed is home to a great diversity of plants, birds, fish, mammal, reptile, and amphibian species. The permanent preservation of the Alder Stream property is vital to the ecological health of the watershed and ensures that the watershed’s woods and wetlands stay intact …
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Piscataquis Preserve Phase 1

Atkinson, Maine
Fee Ownership; Completed Project

The Piscataquis Preserve, a 1,200-acre tract of conifer and deciduous forest, wetlands, and riparian habitat, was acquired by the Northeast Wilderness Trust in December 2010. The Piscataquis Preserve provides a critical link in the matrix of already conserved lands in the area and is adjacent to the 1,500-acre Alder Stream property that the Trust has protected since 2006.

With three miles of frontage on the Piscataquis River, extensive adjacent and nearby conservation lands, crucial habitat for rare and endangered species, and a one-of-a-kind grove of American chestnuts, the Piscataquis Preserve offered a rare opportunity to create a wild legacy for Maine and the nation. Complementing the Trust’s Alder Stream Preserve, the Piscataquis parcel extends the contiguous riverfront protection to roughly six miles.

Piscataquis Preserve encompasses 245 acres of “high value habitat” wetlands, which …
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Alder Stream Addition

Atkinson and Charleston, Maine
Fee Ownership; Completed Project

Northeast Wilderness Trust is thrilled to announce that it has purchased approximately 2,300 acres for addition to the Alder Stream Preserve. Protection of this key parcel significantly advances the ecological recovery of the area and brings the total acreage of the Alder Stream Preserve to just over 6,800 acres.

The Alder Stream addition (also known as Piscataquis Preserve Phase II) contains extensive wetlands that provide exceptional habitat for migratory birds and other wildlife, as well as approximately 15 miles of frontage along Levensellor Brook and Dead Stream, critical habitat for imperiled Atlantic salmon. In a bird survey of the property, 41 bird species were recorded; one highlight was a singing clay-colored sparrow—a species has been confirmed breeding only once in Maine.

According to Northeast Wilderness Trust Executive …
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