Midcoast Conservancy protects parcel in Newcastle

Wed, 09/15/2021 - 7:00am

    Last week, Midcoast Conservancy purchased a high priority 57-acre addition to its Reverend Joseph Barth Memorial Demonstration and Experimental Forest from Nick and Sandra Barth. Reverend Joseph Barth, with Nick, founded the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association (SVCA) in 1966. SVCA subsequently became a founding member of Midcoast Conservancy.

    Says Nick Barth, “Conservation work is what I’ve done most of my life, even before SVCA was formed. This is an extension of my life’s work protecting and preserving forestland. My father purchased this land in the 1960s and I’m glad to see the pieces coming together for this land to be an ecologically managed forest, well into the future.”

    “This was really what made sense to do with this property,” added Sandra Barth, “furthering our commitment that began with the Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.”

    The property in Newcastle adds to protected land, also part of the legacy of Reverend Joseph Barth, donated by Roland Barth in 2020. It expands critical conserved lands along the Sheepscot River, and is close to Midcoast Conservancy’s Bass Falls Preserve in Alna and Newcastle.

    Pete Nichols, Midcoast Conservancy executive director, says, “This project is part of Midcoast Conservancy’s focus on high-priority connected protected lands. We aim to greatly increase the pace of conservation over the next ten critical years, and the Reverend Barth Memorial Forest is a key part of that.” The property protects 100 feet along the Sheepscot River, protecting water quality in a river that federally endangered Atlantic Salmon call home. It contains mixed hardwood forest which stores carbon and provides critical flood control and wildlife habitat.

    Christian Schorn, Midcoast Conservancy Senior Stewardship Manager, says, “We are eager to continue Nick’s work in maintaining this forest for long-term ecological and silvicultural study, as well as conserving in perpetuity a forested buffer along this quiet and wild stretch of the Sheepscot. In addition, the preserve will be accessible to the public for hiking and hunting.”

    The expansion of the Reverend Barth Memorial Forest was made possible by generous funding from: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, William P. Wharton Trust, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Fields Pond Foundation, John Sage Foundation, Margaret E. Burnham Charitable Trust and private donors - including Nick and Sandra Barth.

    For more information, go to www.midcoastconservancy.org or call (207) 389-5150.