30 years ago, in the spring of 1993, there were rumors of Diamond Match Company’s coming divestment of their land in Orland around Great Pond Mountain and plans to subdivide the Dead River shoreland into hundreds of house lots. Several residents met around kitchen tables to establish the “Great Pond Mountain Association;” by that June, sixty new dues-paying members met at the Orland Town Hall to elect the first Board of Directors.
As we celebrate our thirtieth anniversary, the Trust Is a viable, vibrant organization. The land threatened by development was purchased with money raised mostly from local people. With several parcels added to it — 560 acres in the last two years — the Wildlands is now 5,130 acres. Chapman Farm in North Bucksport and the Joost Family Preserve in Verona Island are separate parcels added to protect wildlife habitat and to create a small park close to town.
Conserved, well-managed land protects from floods and drought, and provides critical habitat for a wide variety of wildlife. The productive forest we are working toward will contribute to the local economy. Our trails and waters are beloved by area residents for their ability to rejuvenate, whether through quiet reflection, fishing, hunting, hiking, or mountain biking.
Thank you for supporting us over the years. It’s summer, and this is the time (and in late fall) we ask you to help us keep these special places intact and accessible.
Your gifts (600+ annually) constitute a third of our $400,000 operating budget, which pays staff and taxes, replaces bridges, and maintains trails. Foundation grants, project-specific gifts, and investment interest cover the rest.
Donation is easy:
Send a check to:
Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust
PO Box 266
Orland, ME 04472
We know your costs of living have gone up— so have ours. If you can, please consider increasing your gift, or sign up online to make automatic monthly donations. We’d also love to have you join us as a volunteer!
Our work is not done. Maine loses an estimated 10,000 acres of forestland each year. Development pressures have escalated because of the COVID-19 pandemic, notably in the more remote areas of the state. Keeping our iconic and hard-working forest intact is critical, not only to slow climate change, but to bolster the state’s economy and protect its traditions. We continue to add acreage to the Wildlands, as strategic parcels become available.
Maintaining the land, rehabilitating the forest, and maintaining public access is expensive. This year we will spend about:
$100,000 (with support from the Natural Resources Conservation Service) on another bridge, and several major culverts on the Valley Road.
$30,000 addition to the Capstone multi-use trail
$80,000 on thinning and other timber stand improvements on more than 130 acres, for which we pay a forester and crews.
Mark your calendars for Sunday, September 10:
We’re planning an anniversary celebration in conjunction with the Maine Tree and Maine Woodland Owners Forestry Field Day, held in the Wildlands this year to recognize us as Maine Tree Farmer of the Year. We’ll follow up with more information.
Please stop by our office at 77 Main St, Bucksport, to pick up our latest map of the Wildlands, open Wednesdays , or pick one up outside our door whenever Verona Wine and Design is open.
Thanks for your support—and for keeping Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust great!
Landon Fake, Executive Director