Coastal land trust to add 92 acres for preservation

By Walter Griffin,
Posted Sept. 11, 2009, at 6:55 p.m.

BELFAST, Maine — Coastal Mountains Land Trust has announced the acquisition of a large parcel of land within the Passagassawakeag Greenway.

The land trust has agreed to purchase a 94.5-acre farm on Doak Road that has 2,700 feet of frontage on the Passagassawakeag River. The farm is owned by Jason and Martha Campbell. The greenway follows the course of the river as it winds its way through uplands to Belfast Bay.

Details of the purchase are confidential, but the land trust intends to resell the home and barn with a few acres and will retain 92 acres for preservation. The trust plans to raise $200,000 to cover the cost of the land. According to city tax records, the farm’s buildings have an assessed value of $227,800 with the land valued at $71,600. Last year’s taxes were approximately $5,300.

Members of the trust’s board of directors and staff already have begun working with community volunteers to obtain the financial support of individuals and businesses for the project.

The Campbell property lies between two properties previously conserved by the land trust. One, the Stover Preserve, was acquired in 2004. The other consists of a conservation easement obtained in 2003 over land owned by former Belfast Mayor Mike Hall.

The new acquisition will be named Head of Tide Preserve because it marks the farthest upriver reach of the river’s tidal waters.

“Patience and persistence are two of the benchmarks of our work,” executive director Scott Dickerson said in a press release. “In 2000 we began talking to landowners about the Greenway and the benefits it would bring to the Belfast community. When we complete the purchase of this farm in December, we will have perma-nently conserved four of the 10 properties that we hope will ultimately be part of the Greenway. A fifth, the city of Belfast’s former ski slope property, is also part of the Greenway thanks to the land trust’s cooperative agreement with the city for trail use.”

Dickerson said the trust would complete an ecological inventory and management plan for the Head of Tide Preserve sometime next year. A loop trail will be built through the parcel’s mature riverfront forest and fields. The new trail will more than double the size of the greenway trail system. Though a Central Maine Power Co. transmission line runs through a distant portion of the property, the land trust will have full rights to cross that corridor.

The Head of Tide Preserve has about 20 acres of open fields, though they have not been tilled or hayed for many years. The fields offer an agricultural potential that will be explored with farmers once the purchase has been completed. The rest of the preserve is forested in mixed softwood and hardwood stands, most of which were harvested about 20 years ago. The trust will evaluate the value of the woodlands for potential future timber production.

Public trails already exist on three of the greenway properties, and free maps can be downloaded from the trust at coastalmountains.org.

For information about the land trust or Passagassawakeag Greenway, visit the Web site or call 236-7091.

http://bangordailynews.com/2009/09/11/news/coastal-land-trust-to-add-92-acres-for-preservation/ printed on July 26, 2014