international conservation significance and will be a showcase project for the Forest Legacy program.
MA, Metacomet-Monadnock Forest, ($245,000)- Metacomet-Monadnock Forest (MMF), ranked #2 by the MA Forest Legacy Committee and #17 nationally in FY09, is a landscape- scale project that links 1055 acres (7 easements/510ac & 4 Fee/545ac) of productive forest to over 17,000 acres of state forest and other protected land. MMF is the first of a multi-phase strategy targeting land in and around some of the largest unfragmented forest blocks in the MA portion of the Quabbin to Cardigan (Q2C) corridor. This FY10 application adds 2 new CE properties and 160 acres to the project. Spanning 4 towns, MMF is nestled in the forested viewshed of the Metacomet-Monadnock-Mattabesett Trail (MMM Trail) and would protect nearly 1¼ mile of the historic route. MMF includes 395 acres held by the Northfield Mount Hermon School (NMH). NMH, who owns another 1300-acre forest block that is under imminent threat since the 2005 campus closing, has indicated that if the Forest Legacy Program (FLP) funds MMF, it will participate in a 2nd phase. A 2nd institutional landowner with over 2000 acres and 1¾ miles of MMM Trail has indicated interest in a future phase if MMF is funded. MMF is a partnership between Mount Grace Land Conservation Trust (MGLCT), DCR, and the towns of Northfield, Warwick, and Erving.
MA, Southern Monadnock Plateau II, ($1,120,000)- The bi-state Southern Monadnock Plateau Phase II (SMP II) project – ranked #5 by USDA Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Committee – builds on a $2.5 million Forest Legacy FY07 award to conserve working forests highlighted in the USFS “Forests on the Edge” report as facing the highest threat of conversion due to increasing development pressures. This multi-year effort is creating corridors of protected working forests, linking more than 15,000 acres of state, town and non-profit land in MA and NH. Phase II includes 14 tracts totaling 1,825 acres of productive forests which support the local forest economy and provide excellent ecological, recreational and hydrological value. Phase II conserves Drinking Water Supply Protection Areas for 4 municipalities, and is in a U.S. EPA’s Watershed Initiative Grant Area. MA Dept. of Fish and Game identifies 730 acres as important for rare species habitat or part of large forest blocks critical to sustaining wildlife populations. Phase II includes 3 Core Focus Areas of the Quabbin to Cardigan Collaborative, a joint NH & MA initiative protecting large forest blocks. 7 active partners include 1 state agency, 2 municipalities, 2 multi-state conservation organizations, 1 regional land trust, and 2 local land trusts.
17. ME, Katahdin Forest Expansion, ($3,700,000)- The Katahdin Region, anchored by Baxter State Park, represents Maine’s largest block of contiguous conservation lands (over 500,000 acres) including 194,751 acres of easement lands protected through the Katahdin Forest Project (FY’05 FLP). The Katahdin Forest Expansion seeks to add five critical parcels, totaling 19,647 acres, to these conservation holdings. The three northern tracts (East Branch tracts) are located east of Baxter Park near the spectacular East Branch of the Penobscot River. They include the Millinocket Forest (4,956 acre fee), Lookout Mountain (3,574 acre easement) and Hunt Farm (3,073 acre easement) tracts. Acquisition of the East Branch tracts will secure critical snowmobile trails and recreational access. Further to the south, BPL seeks to acquire two tracts (one fee and one easement) totaling 8,044 acres surrounding Seboeis Lake. The Seboeis tracts (Seboeis South and West), which include 19 miles of shore and island frontage would complete the State’s conservation ownership around Seboeis Lake, a wilderness lake offering outstanding views of Mount Katahdin. All five properties have traditionally been under active commercial forest management and are key contributors to the local wood products industry.