NEWS & ARCHIVES
November, 2015 | Campaign to Protect Noyes Mountain, Greenwood
Most often the land trust works with landowners to protect the working lands they have loved and managed to assure that the natural assets of the land will be available for future generations. Less frequently the Trust works to purchase land that has been identified as significant for its natural resources, location, or cultural significance.
Noyes Mountain is an example of both. The Trust is working with the owners to create a long term vision for land they love, beneficial for the land, the sellers, and the community. The 286-acre parcel the Trust intends to purchase for $300,000 includes road access, a 600’ elevation gain, a section of old county road and miles of well-maintained twitch trails, 12 acres of prime farmland soils, a northern hardwood forest, state-identified rare plant species, and provides access to the pegmatitic outcroppings of the Harvard Quarry (tourmaline!) The Noyes Mountain parcel provides excellent wildlife habitat as it lies in an undeveloped block of 2,691 acres. It also includes over 2,000 feet of stream habitat and, given its size and altitude, is an important forested filter for the Norway Lake watershed.
Noyes Mountain will provide non-motorized access to the rare views from the summit and quarry. The iconic view of Noyes Mountain from the southern shore of Norway Lake will remain as it has been since settlement, a working rural landscape.
The Trust will manage Noyes Mountain similar to other Preserves we steward. It would maintain existing trails on site, and potentially add additional trails for hiking, skiing, and mountain biking if consistent with our overall resource conservation goals. It would continue to allow hunting on site, keep the parcel in tree growth tax basis and manage the forest responsibly.
December, 2014 | Endowment Campaign Successful
The Western Foothills Land Trust was selected in May of 2012 to be a recipient of the Ram Island 25/25 challenge grant administered by the Maine Community Foundation. Under that grant program, the Trust needed to raise $25,000 for its endowment in 18 months time to receive a matching $25,000. With 72 hours remaining, the Trust met its challenge Wednesday, May 28. Having completed the match, the Trust will establish an endowment fund with Norway Savings Bank which has been a strong supporter of the work of the land trust within our community. In 2013, the bank offered a $5,000 challenge match for the endowment campaign, which helped to stimulate local contributions. Restricted to accessing the fund’s interest, the Trust will continue to augment the endowment fund’s principal as opportunities arise.
November, 2014 | Moon Valley Wetlands Enhancement
In 2013, the Western Foothills Land Trust was awarded funding by the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program to purchase a 14- acre retired sand pit known as Moon Valley with frontage on the Crooked River. Additional funds were provided by the Clean Water Carbon Fund and the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership.
Last spring, New England Organics supplied organic mill plume from the Jay mill, and RJ Grondin and Sons completed the earth work with the objective of creating a base that would retain water to support wetlands plant species already on site and to be added. Now there are three perennial pools and an expanded wetlands base.
This summer, volunteers spread a variety of specialty wetlands grass seed and straw mulch across the site and undertook the planting of 1800 bare root trees selected for their adaptation to wetland environments and high survivability in stress situations. Homeschoolers and their parents helped along with an OHCHS biology class with assistance from land trust volunteers. Ethel Wilkerson from Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences and the Clean Water Carbon Fund, which had provided funding for the tree stock as part of its mission to protect a forested watersheds in Maine, provided essential tree-planting knowledge. As trees were being planted, volunteers were serenaded by a Parula warbler, bullfrogs, and entertained by a mallard family that has adopted the new pond. A scarlet tangier was spotted recently along the site’s edge habitat. Searle Excavation placed boulders to protect the entrance of the conservation site and to allow recreational access to the extisting trails along the Crooked River. While the young trees root and grasses stabilize, and before a walking trail is defined, the site will be closed to visitors.
May 9, 2013 | Oxford Hills to celebrate Bike to Work Day
OXFORD HILLS — This is the first year the event is being held in Oxford Hills, which joins a growing number of communities across the country that are encouraging cycling as way to stay healthy, ease traffic congestion, reduce pollution and have fun...
Apr 25, 2013 | Norway receives grant to fix culverts
NORWAY — Town Manager David Holt told selectmen at their April 18 meeting that the town has received grant funds to help fix road drainage and improve the overall water quality of the Crooked River...
Mar 28, 2013 | Trust buys Moon Valley
HARRISON — The Moon Valley parcel, located south of 117 in Harrison, includes 390 feet of Crooked River frontage. In addition to purchasing the parcel, the funded project includes creation of 2.7 acres of freshwater wetlands, enhancing 1.4 acres of emergent wetlands and upland buffer, with a buffer of 4.9 preserved acres...
Mar 14, 2013 | Otisfield will fix roads with grant funds
OTISFIELD — A majority of the erosion sites Dassler identified in the Crooked River survey were town roads. The Crooked River watershed, according to Dassler, is the most endangered and highest-quality drinking water reservoir in the northeast...
Mar 07, 2013 | Waterford passes anti-tar sands resolution/oil industry, Canadian government urges citizens to get more info
WATERFORD — A comfortable majority of voters approved the adoption of a non-binding municipal resolution opposing the transport of tar sands oil through a stretch of the Portland-Montreal pipeline that runs through Waterford during the annual town meeting March 3.
Jan 3, 2013 | Ben Tucker receives Sen. King staff appointment
NORWAY — An active member of the community, Tucker has been a vice president of the Western Foothills Land Trust, a Norway Historical Society Director, a vice president of the Weary Club of Norway and a member of the Western Maine Arts Group...
Jan 10, 2013 | Public interest forum slated
NORWAY — With some 1.8 million acres under protection, Maine ranks second in the nation. The Western Foothills group itself manages some 5,500 acres in 10 towns. Through easements, donations or purchase, land trusts hold or control land in collaboration with property owners, past or present...
Nov 08, 2012 | After school ski program shapes up
OXFORD HILLS — Working together for the benefit of area elementary school children, a nonprofit, a local business, a family and numerous volunteers are partnering with SAD17 to provide a six-week after school Nordic ski program for schools in the district...
Oct 25, 2012 | Tar sands bad for environment, committee says
OTISFIELD — Members of the Otisfield Conservation Committee are concerned about possible transportation of tar sands through an aging pipeline from Montreal to Portland. They reported their concerns to selectmen during their October 17 meeting. Lee Dassler, coordinator of the Western Foothills Land Trust, said the 62-year-old pipeline currently transports conventional crude oil 236 miles from Portland to Montreal...
Oct 18, 2012 Land Trust receives award
BUCKFIELD — Western Foothills Land Trust has been awarded technical planning assistance for The Virgil Parris Forest, Buckfield from the National Park Service’s Recreational Trails Conservation Assistance (RTCA) Program. The Virgil Parris Forest is a 1250-acre conservation area encompassing South Pond in Buckfield...
May 31, 2012 WFLT protects 257 acres in Buckfield
NORWAY — The Western Foothills Land Trust (WFLT) is planning big things in Buckfield. The trust has recently become the steward of 257 acres of protected land donated by Wes and Marilyn Ackley...
April 12, 2012 Maine's land trusts becoming big players
HARRISON — This 690-acre parcel owned by Mary and John Watkins of Harrison is the largest easement that the Western Foothills Land Trust has ever received. It protects 1.2 miles of shoreline along Crooked River, and 32.6 acres of high value wetlands...
March 29, 2012 Crooked River Watershed Survey Complete, results now online
NORWAY — A volunteer watershed survey at Crooked River last summer found that the watershed is the most endangered and highest-quality drinking water reservoir in the Northeast, said Western Foothills Land Trust Coordinator Lee Dassler, during the March 15 meeting of the Norway Board of Selectmen...
March 1, 2012 Conservation Tax Incentive championed
BRIDGTON — Landowners can retire the development rights on their land by donating a conservation easement to a land trust – keeping farm, and forest lands in productive use, protecting important water resources and wildlife habitat, and conserving scenic and historic heritage. Selectmen...
WFLT NEWSLETTER NEWS
Spring 2013 | WFLT Newsletter Ben Tucker Resigns from the WFLT Board
Ben Tucker, Norway’s talented photographer and chronicler, and WFLT's dedicated Vice President, resigned from the Board this January after being honored by Senator Angus King, Jr. to serve as the Senator's regional representative working out of the Auburn office. In this case the land trust's loss is Maine's gain.
In his eloquent letter to the board Ben wrote, “I have been proud beyond measure to have participated in the work of the Trust, the acquisition of Roberts Farm, most especially. I have been proud to have been part of such a wonderful group of individuals."
The Trust and our community lost two dedicated friends of conservation during the final month of 2012.
Patricia Howe Page of Poland, ME and Lincoln, MA who donated a conservation easement protecting 568 acres of forested land including 130 acres of hydric soil and 7,283 feet of shoreline on Marshall Pond in Oxford, died on December 10, 2012. Patty was 88 years old. Born in Rutland Vermont, Patty graduated from the Boston School of Occupational Therapy after WWII. She worked at numerous hospitals in Massachusetts and then served as director of the Department of Occupational Therapy at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston. Patty met her physician/anthropologist husband, Lot B. Page on a blind date at Walden Pond. Patty was a member of the Society of Women Geographers and The Harvard Travellers' Club. She co-founded the Bead Designer International and loved crafts, books and was known for her love of bats, beads, mushrooms, bee keeping, and adventure travel. In the sum-mer she loved spending time at her family's secluded wilderness cabin on Marshall Pond. Patty and her niece Sandy page donated conservation easements on adjacent parcels on Marshall Pond in 2006. The 568-acre Page Family Conservation forest is owned by the New England Forestry Foundation and protected by an easement held by WFLT.
Benjamin Franklin Hull, III of Norway, Maine, formerly of Rockport, died on Dec 31, 2012 in Auburn, Maine. Ben was 71 years old. Ben was born on March 26, 1941, in Gloucester, to the late Dorothy Ross Hull and Benjamin F. Hull, Jr.. After graduating from Rock-port High School in 1959, Ben studied mathematics at Boston College, graduating in 1963. He built a log cabin in Norway in 1973 and after 3 decades spent as a computer programmer in the Boston area, became a full time Maine resident in 1990. Ben loved nature, was from his youth an avid and knowledgeable birder, music and poetry lover. He was also an accomplished photographer, composed music, and played piano by ear. He wrote poetry all his life. In 2010 he published a book of poems entitled "Boston to Maine." All proceeds from its sale went to the Western Foothills Land Trust, to help acquire and preserve land in Maine.
January 28, 2018 | Healthy learning at Roberts Farm Preserve in Norway By Liz Marquis, Staff Writer
NORWAY – The sounds Sunday were all too familiar: Skis scraping against icy trails while some skiers uttered “oof” as they fell to the snow.
And it all was accompanied by laughter and words of encouragement at Robert’s Farm Preserve in Norway, where young skiers were honing their skills during the Bill Koch League event, organized by the Western Foothills Land Trust.
May, 2019 | The Western Foothills Land Trust announces “The Clothesline Project”
NORWAY – WFLT announces The Clothesline Project, a series of outdoor art exhibitions and poetry readings, to be hung at Shepard’s Farm Preserve in Norway, Maine. The Preserve is located at 121 Crockett Ridge Road and is part of a larger 272-acre conservation area that wraps around Witt Swamp. The Clothesline Project is funded in part through a grant from the Onion Foundation to honor the history of the Penley Clothespin Company formerly of West Paris. Through this project, the Trust hopes to reinforce our community’s memory of a once huge local industry (wooden clothespins) while inspiring resource conservation and art in our everyday lives.
Last fall the Trust built a half-mile universally accessible trail at Shepard’s Farm with funding from The Davis Family Foundation, The Stephens Healthcare Foundation, Norway Savings Bank, and the Maine Art’s Commission. The trail provides a pleasurable wander through a former agricultural landscape and provides access to six Bernard Langlais sculptures. Eventually, the Trust would like to add to the permanent outdoor collection at the preserve. This project, more temporary in scale, will provide an introduction to new artists, new materials, and new concepts of visual art at the preserve.
The project is being administered by Diana Arcadipone of the Fiber & Vine Folk Arts Studio. Four artists will be selected for a one-person exhibition to be installed outdoors for 3 weeks between September 2019 and December 2019. Selected artists will be paid an honorarium and will participate in a preview opening on August 15th (showing a taste of what’s to come), and will install or hang their work on the 15’ clothesline. Special attention will be paid to innovative albeit temporal works that will sustain the weather during their three-week exhibition. All mediums and concepts will be considered. Artists must live in Western Maine permanently or seasonally.