Loon Echo purchases Perley Mills Community Forest

NW 29 perley mills project

Photograph of the Narrow Gauge Trail in Denmark by Jon Evans.

Loon Echo Land Trust purchased the 1,600-acre Perley Mills Community Forest from K&W Timberlands on Dec. 18, 2013, marking a major milestone in the project’s progress.

The land located in Bridgton, Denmark and Sebago was placed under contract in October of 2012, and since then $1.42 million has been raised from local families and businesses, grant-making foundations and municipal appropriations.

This vast forest is now conserved and owned by Loon Echo; however, there are a few more steps to be taken to complete the project. Loon Echo will craft the terms of the conservation easements with the towns of Denmark and Sebago, with a goal of transferring the property to the municipalities in the summertime. Denmark will ask its voters in June to accept both the Denmark and Bridgton properties, which make up over 90% of the project. This will allow for a comprehensive approach to the natural resource and trail system management.

The conservation easements with the municipalities will allow Perley Mills to be managed for sustainable forestry while carefully conserving the wildlife habitat and water quality of Pickerel Pond, Sucker Brook, Willett Brook, Willett Pond, and the high quality wetlands.

The purpose of a community forest is to ensure the woodland remains intact and undeveloped, while offering beneficial income from sustainable timber management to local and municipal needs.

The traditional recreational uses will also be guaranteed in the easements, retaining three miles along the Narrow Gauge Trail, a major snowmobile, ATV and pedestrian trail network connecting Hiram to Bridgton. Hunting, trapping and fishing will also continue.

To learn more about the Perley Mills Community Forest and Loon Echo Land Trust’s mission to conserve land and natural resources in the northern Sebago Lake region of Maine call 647-4352 or visit www.loonecholandtrust.org

Please follow and like us: