February 11, 2022
Maine Governor Janet Mills recently announced several new projects within the state’s “Land for Maine’s Future” (LMF) program that will protect and conserve thousands of acres, in some of the last best Eastern brook trout habitat in the country.
"“This is an exciting moment for conservation in Maine,” said Governor Mills. "I am proud that the State of Maine is once again preserving our cherished lands and waters in a meaningful way.”
The largest of these projects, the East Grand Lake Weston Conservation Easement, protects nearly 4,500 acres and many miles of shoreline on East Grand Lake, Deering/Longfellow Lake, Brackett Lake and Sucker Lake, along with the headwaters of the St. Croix International Waterway. This is the final phase of the "East Grand Watershed Initiative" that will conserve more than 11,000 acres and 30 miles of undeveloped shoreline.
The 1,723-acre Kennebago Headwaters project will help protect the headwaters of the Kennebago River, becoming part of the larger Kennebago Headwaters project that includes over 10,000 acres and protecting most of the Kennebago watershed. The area provides some of the highest quality habitat for eastern brook trout, and the river annually attracts thousands of anglers.
The 813-acre Kennebec Highlands project between the Kennebec and Androscoggin River drainages provides public access for fishing and other recreation near the population centers of Waterville and Augusta.
The Caribou Stream Deer Wintering Area proposal will conserve 1.8 miles of stream habitat for wild brook trout in Aroostook County. The project protects two large parcels of excellent wildlife habitat in an agricultural area, and should greatly benefit the trout.
All of the projects include public access. The total bill for the five projects was just over $3 million.
“These projects protect the public’s access to wilderness in Maine, preserving our proud history of outdoor recreation and essential wildlife habitats at the same time,” said Judy Camuso, Commissioner of the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
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