Land for Maine’s Future Awards $400,000 To Wallamatogus Mountain Conservation Effort

Release date: June 10, 2022

Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and The Conservation Fund take a major step toward a permanent conservation solution for land on Wallamatogus Mountain

HANCOCK COUNTY, Maine (June 9, 2022) — Today, Blue Hill Heritage Trust announced that its collaborative project, with Maine Coast Heritage Trust and The Conservation Fund, to acquire 336-acres on Wallamatogus Mountain in the Town of Penobscot, has received a preliminary award of $400,000 from Land for Maine’s Future. The total project cost is $1.2 million: $800,000 for purchase and $400,000 for long-term care of the property and transaction costs. This is a major step forward in the effort to protect this property which has long been a conservation priority for the Blue Hill Peninsula community.

“This project is the biggest fundraising effort we have ever undertaken for a single property” said Hans Carlson, executive director of BHHT, “and we had to take a leap of faith a year ago when we started. Knowing LMF was there as a possible funder made it possible for us to see a path to success, and to take that leap. We are very grateful for the LMF funds for this project, and I also want to express gratitude for something larger too. The people of Maine support this program, and so the work LMF does not only funds, but also energizes conservation across the state. This is making Maine a better place to live.”

“We are delighted to help conserve Togus Mountain,” said Tom Duffus, vice president and northeast representative for The Conservation Fund. “This is critically important to the community here, and exactly the kind of conservation intended by the Land for Maine’s Future Program. I applaud the LMF Program for participating in such a significant way.”

The Conservation Fund, a national land trust, currently owns and is holding the property for up to three years while Blue Hill Heritage Trust (BHHT) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) collaborate to raise the funds required to purchase the land and protect it in perpetuity.

“This was such great news! Raising the funds for the purchase and management of this land on Wallamatogous Mountain is a big challenge for us all. This award from the Land for Maine’s Future program gives a very exciting and significant boost to the efforts” notes Ciona Ulbrich, Senior Project Manager at MCHT.

This land on Wallamatogus Mountain—or Mt. Togus—has spectacular views of Penobscot Bay, nearby coastal islands, and the whole Bagaduce River watershed. The project parcel has trails through spectacular open wild blueberry fields where the view grows more stunning as you climb. The fields provide important habitat for upland sandpipers and vesper sparrows, two species in decline in Maine. There are also large areas of forest and wetlands around the field with a diverse range of habitat.

The 336 acres are near other BHHT conservation land, and together, they constitute a major block of undeveloped, unfragmented open space on Maine’s coast located minutes from Maine Maritime Academy and the historic Castine Village—one of the last British strongholds during the Revolution.

This effort is a top priority for the Blue Hill Peninsula community and is part of a larger initiative by BHHT and MCHT to conserve land in the Bagaduce watershed. The local partners will fundraise jointly for BHHT’s ultimate purchase and protection of the property and for its stewardship over time.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land, including nearly 466,000 acres in Maine. www.conservationfund.org

About Blue Hill Heritage Trust

BHHT is a nationally accredited nonprofit land conservation organization founded in 1985 by residents of the Blue Hill Peninsula. We work to conserve the unique landscape of our peninsula and have protected nearly 12,000 acres. This land will be forever protected for its recreational, ecological, and historical importance, and used to bring our communities together on the land. bluehillheritagetrust.org

About Maine Coast Heritage Trust

MCHT is a dynamic, multifaceted organization with initiatives ranging from preserving coastal access for communities to high impact ecological work focused on reconnecting waterways and improving coastal resiliency to climate change. A leader in Maine’s nationally renowned land conservation efforts since 1970, MCHT maintains a growing network of almost 150 coastal and island preserves free and open to everyone and leads the 80-member Maine Land Trust Network to ensure that land conservation provides benefits to all Maine communities. Get involved at www.mcht.org.

Contacts:

Josh Lynsen, The Conservation Fund, 301-675-7764,

Chrissy Allen, Blue Hill Heritage Trust, 207-374-5118,

Ciona Ulbrich, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, 207-801-4058,