CHADBOURNE TREE FARM
A COLLABORATIVE PROJECT TO CONSERVE 25,000 ACRES IN WESTERN MAINE
The Chadbourne Tree Farm Partnership is four conservation organizations—The Conservation Fund, Inland Woods + Trails, Mahoosuc Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust—conserving 25,000 acres of working forests in western Maine, including the white pine forests managed by the Chadbourne Family for generations. With development pressures fragmenting open lands and forest habitats across Maine and New England, the Partnership was formed to protect the Chadbourne Tree Farm and adjacent lands for the waters, the wildlife, and the people who share this stunning landscape of western Maine.
In 2021 the Western Foothills Land Trust purchased the first of three Chadbourne Tree Farm parcels known as Ann Thurlow. The 494-acre forest in Oxford protects 185 acres of wetlands and 4 miles of frontage on the Little Androscoggin River. Management of the preserve will include a wildlife refuge, a small working forest, and low-impact recreational trails.
The second Chadbourne Tree Farm parcel to be purchased by WFLT will be the 721-acre Edwards Mills parcel in Norway, Otisfield, and Harrison, which is adjacent to the Trust’s Twin Bridges Preserve. The Edwards Mills parcel includes 44 acres of wetlands, 1 mile of stream habitat, and 3 miles of frontage along the Crooked River. The largest tributary to Sebago Lake, the drinking water reservoir for 1/6th of Maine, the Crooked River provides essential spawning habitat for brook trout and landlocked salmon.
The third parcel to be purchased for long-term stewardship is the
84-acre Staples Forest. Near to the Oxford Elementary School, the forest will provide opportunities for nature-based education programs, and outdoor space for students to simply explore. The parcel includes approximately 1,140 feet of river frontage, an important snowmobile trail juncture, and trails for hiking, snowshoeing, horseback riding, and cross-country skiing. On June 6th Governor Janet Mills announced the Staples Forest as one of twenty Lands for Maine’s Future Conservation Projects.
Click icon to read the full Chadbourne Tree Farm case statement.
Edwards Mills Property. Photo Cait Bourgault
Landlocked Salmon. Photo Cait Bourgault