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 serve as an important stopover for migratory waterfowl. The greater Piscataquis Preserve area acts as a vital habitat linkage for many species, including wide-ranging mammals such as bear, marten, ermine, fisher, and possibly even the federally endangered Canada lynx. It will be conserved for the benefit of the multitude of creatures that call this landscape “home.”

+ Click on image to enlarge.

The Piscataquis chestnuts comprise what is thought to be the largest grove of wild, reproducing American chestnuts in existence, anywhere. The Trust’s acquisition ensures that this stand of trees will remain a seedbed of recovery—and a vital scientific resource for researchers with the American Chestnut Foundation who have been conducting research at the site under an informal agreement with the timber company that formerly owned the land.

The Northeast Wilderness Trust’s successful acquisition of the 1,200-acre Piscataquis Preserve in 2010, plus the conservation of another 8,230 acres of “match” lands marked the completion of Phase I in the greater Piscataquis conservation campaign. The Trust raised a total of $1.94 million for the effort, with individual gifts ranging from $10 to a $1 million grant; many foundations and scores of individuals from across the nation contributed to the project.

Learn More: Download Piscataquis Profile (PDF)

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