On Dec. 10, Midcoast Conservancy accepted a donated Conservation Easement on 16 acres owned by Sue Walker and Bob Lightfoot in Whitefield. They named the property the Brook Floater property, in honor of the habitat for the rare Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) it protects on the Sheepscot River. Freshwater mussels are the most endangered group of animals in North America, as a result of development and industrialization of waterways.
Says Walker, “It was important to me that we help prevent habitat loss. Deer and turkey and other wildlife come through the property daily, which is why we wanted to include a wildlife corridor stretching to the road as part of the land conserved in this Easement. It’s so important that we do what we can to protect habitat for species of concern like Brook Floater and Atlantic Salmon.”
Says Lightfoot, “Placing a conservation Easement on this land was the right thing to do, on a lot of levels: for the river, the land, the wildlife, and for the planet.”
Chris Schorn, Midcoast Conservancy Senior Land Steward, says “The generosity and foresight of private landowners like Sue and Bob is a gift for all of us, as they are helping maintain the beauty and habitat of the area for the benefit of all.” Bob and Sue’s property will remain in private ownership, and the Easement protecting it from development will remain with the land in perpetuity.
Anna Fiedler, Midcoast Conservancy Land Protection Specialist, says “We are excited to be taking the next step in linking conserved lands along the Sheepscot River in Whitefield that are in private ownership. This has been a neighborhood effort that I hope will continue.”
Midcoast Conservancy is a vibrant regional land trust that works to protect vital lands and waters on a scale that matters and to inspire wonder and action on behalf of all species and the Earth. The organization works throughout the Sheepscot River, Medomak River, and Damariscotta Lake watersheds. Midcoast Conservancy manages over 13,000 acres in 55 preserves and 95 miles of trails, including Hidden Valley, a preserve with cabin and outdoor recreation equipment rentals and a low-impact forestry program. Community members can get involved in the organization’s work as volunteers with water quality monitoring, habitat restoration, fish passage projects, forestry and oyster farming, outdoor recreation and education. For more information, go to www.midcoastconservancy.org or call (207) 389-5150.