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Maine Land Trust Network to Name New Director and Addresses Community Needs at Annual Conference

Release date: March 24, 2023


Maine Land Trust Network to Name New Director and Addresses Community Needs at Annual Conference

With over 80 land trusts across the state, the nearly 30-year-old Maine Land Trust Network is unique in the U.S. for its scope, longevity, and purpose.

(March 23, 2023, Topsham, Maine) Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), a statewide land conservation organization, announced today that the Maine Land Trust Network (MLTN) 2023 Maine Land Conservation Conference, being held virtually until the end of March, will culminate in a live gathering on May 3 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, where the recipient of the annual Espy Land Heritage Award will be announced and where MCHT’s new Land Trust Program Director will be introduced.

“With more than 80 land trusts representing 2,500 miles of trails, 340 water access points, and 2.6 million conserved acres, Maine is home to an inspiring network of conservationists working together to ensure a common set of goals,” said retiring Land Trust Program Director, and 20-year MCHT veteran, Warren Whitney. Whitney announced on January 4 that he would be retiring and applications for the Land Trust Program Director position were due on February 12, 2023.

The annual MLTN conference is a chance for staff and volunteers across the state to share observations, concerns, and insights. This year, nearly 200 people from Maine’s conservation community registered for the conference, which is offering eight virtual webinars and will culminate in a live event for the first time since the COVID 19 pandemic. The live event will host 300 participants and is expected to sell out.

“Through this conference and its year-round services and programs, MLTN facilitates collaboration and builds capacity for Maine’s land conservation movement statewide,” said Kate Stookey, President and CEO of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. “Maine pioneered the use of conservation easements in the 1970s and MCHT helped establish the national Land Trust Alliance. We look forward to convening in May and welcome all to join us for reflection and continued discussion about conservation priorities in Maine.”

Land trusts are now widely recognized as offering substantial benefits to communities, nature, and wildlife. Over the last five decades, Maine’s land trusts have:

  • secured permanent public access to some of the state’s most precious places, including beaches, lakes, and working waterfronts;
  • restored fish passage in rivers for salmon, alewives, brook trout, and other native species;
  • implemented marsh migration strategies to address the impact of rising seas and storm surges;
  • pursued landscape-scale conservation projects, providing connectivity and resilience for moose, bear, waterfowl, migratory birds, and other wildlife;
  • provided nature-based education about a broad range of topics, including invasive species, trail building, erosion control, farming, and renewable energy.

About Maine Land Trust Network

The Maine Land Trust Network (MLTN) builds and sustains the quality and effectiveness of land trusts and other organizations engaged in land conservation throughout the state, drawing upon our collective expertise and resources to ensure responsible and successful conservation.

Established in 1995, MLTN strengthens the conservation community by serving as a central hub of information, facilitating information exchange and collaboration, providing technical assistance and expertise, and administering grants to increase the impact of the land trust community. MLTN offers a broad array of programs, services, and resources designed to build the capacity and sustainability of land conservation organizations throughout the state.

A program of Maine Coast Heritage Trust, MLTN is led by a Steering Committee representing up to 25 member land trusts.


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. MCHT began on Mount Desert Island in 1970 and continues to serve as the local land trust for the MDI community with over two dozen preserves in the area. Since it began, MCHT has become a leader in Maine’s nationally renowned land conservation efforts and maintains a growing network of almost 150 coastal and island preserves coastwide—free and open to everyone. MCHT also leads the 80-member Maine Land Trust Network to ensure that land conservation provides benefits to all Maine communities. Get involved at