UBICACIÓN:Twin Bridges Preserve, la ruta 117 en el río torcido, Otisfield
DISTANCIA: 5 millas de senderos
DIFICULTAD: Maderas suaves
DATO CURIOSO: Más de 200.000 hogares, 1/6 de Maine, dependen de la limpieza
beber agua del embalse del lago Sebago, que es alimentado por el Crooked
Río y otros afluentes dentro de la gran cuenca del lago Sebago.
USOS PERMITIDOS: Senderismo, caminatas, raquetas de nieve, esquí, pasear perros, pesca con mosca
LOS PUENTES DOBLES PRESERVAN
Over 200,000 households, 1/6th of Maine, rely upon clean drinking water from the Sebago Lake Reservoir, which is fed by the Crooked River and other tributaries within the greater Sebago Lake Watershed.
Western Foothills Land Trust Purchases 721 Acres of Forest and River Frontage Protecting Essential Landlocked Atlantic Salmon Spawning Habitat
On October 11th, 2023, the Western Foothills Land Trust (WFLT) enlarged its existing Twin Bridges Preserve by acquiring an adjacent 721-acre forest tract known as Edwards Mills, one of the Chadbourne Tree Farm working forests in western Maine. The large tract includes access from State Route 117 and land on both sides of the Crooked River in Norway, Otisfield, and Harrison. The purchase will also protect 47-acres of wetlands, over one mile of stream habitat, and two miles of frontage along the Crooked River.
The Edwards Mills property is part of a 15,000-acre assemblage of former Chadbourne Tree Farm properties acquired in 2020 by The Conservation Fund in a partnership with Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation known as White Pine Forest, LLC. Western Foothills Land Trust is working to reunite fragmented parcels and natural habitats for the benefit of wildlife, water quality, and public access. Edwards Mills is adjacent to 100 acres (3 parcels) recently protected in Norway and Otisfield as well as the 252-acre Twin Bridges Preserve that WFLT has managed since 2015.
The expanded Twin Bridges Preserve will protect over 1,000 contiguous acres of working forestland, 4.5 miles of Crooked River shoreline, and over 2 miles of stream habitat on the Crooked River. In addition to shoreline and stream protection, the land features 275-acres of deer wintering area, 84-acres of wetlands, and at least one potentially significant vernal pool. Permanent protection of this land will preserve its ecological functions and scenic features, and provide future opportunities for public access and recreation.
Sixty-two miles long, the Crooked River is the largest tributary to Sebago Lake, the drinking water reservoir for one-in-five Mainers. The river’s health supports upstream aquifers, local recreation economies, and essential spawning habitat for brook trout and landlocked salmon, while sustaining downstream drinking water quality. Approximately 99 percent of Sebago Lake’s landlocked salmon spawn in the Crooked River which supports one of only four known indigenous populations of Landlocked Atlantic Salmon in Maine.
The Edwards Mills property is the second Chadbourne Tree Farm parcel to be purchased by the Trust which serves that greater Oxford Hills region of western Maine. With development pressures impacting open lands and forest habitats across Maine and New England, the Chadbourne Tree Farm Partnership was formed in 2020 to protect former Chadbourne Tree Farm working forests and adjacent lands for the health of our region’s waters, wildlife, and rural working communities. The Chadbourne Tree Farm Partnership includes four conservation organizations: The Conservation Fund, Inland Woods + Trails, Mahoosuc Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust. The collective goal is to conserve 25,000 acres of working forests in western Maine, including the white pine forests, like Edwards Mills, that have been managed by the Chadbourne Family for generations.
The Conservation Fund made possible the purchase of Edwards Mills through its Working Forest Fund program, which brings financing and expertise to pre-acquire large working forests to buy time while permanent conservation solutions and funding are created.
“The Chadbourne Tree Farm Partnership has been successful because of the dedicated funders that support our local land trusts here in western Maine,” said Tom Duffus, The Conservation Fund’s vice president & northeast representative based in Freeport. “Permanently protecting Edwards Mills is a huge win for the Sebago and Crooked River watershed and the communities that rely on this pure water.”
Funding for the $1 million purchase from White Pine Forest, LLC came from The Conservation Fund in partnership with the Stifler Family Foundation and an anonymous foundation, Land for Maine’s Future, Portland Water District, an anonymous donor, the Open Space Institute, Woodard & Curran Foundation (through the Sebago Clean Waters Water Fund), Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, and OnX.
Support from the Open Space Institute comes through the Open Space Institute’s Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund, which supports the protection of climate-resilient lands for wildlife and communities. The Fund is made possible thanks to major support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and additional funding from Lyndhurst, Riverview, Tucker Foundations, and Jack McKee. “The Open Space Institute was proud to support this project through our Appalachian Landscapes Protection Fund,” said Joel Houser, OSI’s Director of Capital Grants. “Protection of this beautiful forested land provides multiple, overlapping benefits for people and wildlife, including the capture and sequestration of carbon emissions. We thank the Western Foothills Land Trust and their partners for their diligence in conserving this ecologically vital property.”
The Trust intends to rename the entire 1,000-acre landscape as Twin Bridges Preserve and is planning to establish non-motorized recreational trails, a parking area, and a trailhead with kiosk over the next year. The trails will accommodate hiking, snowshoeing, backcountry touring, fly fishing, and nature observations. A section of the ITS 89 snowmobile trail runs through the tract: the Trust looks forward to working with the local clubs to continue that use.
Río Crooked y Lago Sebago
Continúa el trabajo en la cuenca, primavera de 2017
The Trust continúa trabajando dentro de Crooked River
Cuenca hidrográfica con el objetivo general de proteger una
cuenca hidrográfica boscosa para una variedad de servicios ecosistémicos
incluida la calidad del agua.
Más de 200.000 hogares, 1/6 de Maine, dependen del agua potable limpia del embalse del lago Sebago, que es
alimentado por el río Crooked y otros afluentes dentro del
Gran Cuenca del Lago Sebago. Recientemente, nuevos socios
se han unido al esfuerzo, proporcionando enfoques de conservación bienvenidos, experiencia técnica y organizativa y apoyo financiero.
Gracias al apoyo de la asociación, WFLT será
contratar a un coordinador del programa a tiempo parcial, lo que permite más
el tiempo de nuestro Director Ejecutivo para dedicarlo a
conservación en la cuenca.