DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — Conservation philanthropist Roxanne Quimby recently purchased several thousand acres in Piscataquis County in her effort to continue to preserve more land under her land trust, Elliotsville Plantation Inc.
Lakeville Shores Inc. of Winn recently sold Quimby land in Williamsburg Township and in Elliottsville Township. R.A. Crawford & Son Timber Inc. of Lincoln sold Quimby land in Township 7 Range 9 NWP, Township 6 Range 9 NWP (the Katahdin Iron Works Township), and Barnard Township. Few details were available Monday about the specific acreage in each township and the price Quimby paid for the properties.
Quimby did not respond to an e-mail message seeking comment Monday. The co-founder of Burt’s Bees sold 80 percent of her company to New York investors in 2003 to help fund her land purchases. She has become one of the state’s largest wildland owners.
Alan Stearns, deputy director of the state Bureau of Parks and Land, said the recently purchased property is known as the Benson Ponds Tract. He said the vast majority of it is contiguous with some of Quimby’s other holdings, with land owned by the Appalachian Mountain Club and with the state’s multipurpose KIW rail trail, also known as ITS 110. Stearns said Monday the trail is the primary snowmobile connection between Brownville and Greenville.
“As soon as I heard of this acquisition, I reached out to Roxanne to work with her to keep that snowmobile trail open,” Stearns said. He said Quimby has worked with Millinocket officials in the past to help keep a balance between backcountry recreation, such as hiking, and motorized recreation.
“I’m cautiously optimistic that we can maintain balance outside of Brownville as well,” he said.
Scott Ramsay, director of the off-road vehicle division of the Bureau of Parks and Land, said Monday that some local trails that connect to towns and individual businesses are included in the land Quimby recently purchased.
“It’s a very large area in a fairly popular riding area,’’ Ramsay said of Quimby’s land purchases, which were recorded in the Piscataquis County Registry of Deeds.
Ramsay was optimistic that Quimby will work with state and local officials to protect the motorized trail system.
Bob Meyers, executive director of the Maine Snowmobile Association, said his group has had ongoing discussions with Quimby for a number of years about local trails. “She understands what our concerns are, and we understand what her goals are,” he said. “In our experience, she’s been very accommodating.”