AMC’s latest land acquisition adds 4,358 acres to its landholdings in the Maine Woods, including habitat for a wide range of plants and animals and a multitude of opportunities for paddlers, hikers, anglers, campers, and other outdoors enthusiasts.
The forested parcel surrounds Silver Lake and 12 miles of the West Branch of the Pleasant River in the 100-Mile Wilderness region, adjacent to AMC’s Katahdin Iron Works property. AMC now owns and manages 75,169 contiguous acres of conservation and recreation land in a region that’s home to more than 2 million acres of conserved land.
AMC collaborated with the Forest Society of Maine (FSM) and the Open Space Institute (OSI) to acquire the Silver Lake property, with FSM raising the $4.35 million necessary for the purchase, which took place in December 2016. AMC holds title to the land and FSM holds a “forever wild” conservation easement on the land that guarantees public recreational access forever.
“Silver Lake and the watershed of the West Branch of the Pleasant River are an ecological treasure-trove of plant and animal life. We are honored to be the new stewards of these spectacular lands and waters, and we are committed to their protection and accessibility for nature-based recreation,” notes Walter Graff, AMC’s senior vice president. Graff noted that opportunities for water-based recreation at Silver Lake will allow AMC to expand its recreational offerings to local youth.
The land provides habitat for the Canada lynx, northern long-eared bat, wood turtle, and bald eagle, and also contains spawning habitat for brook trout and Atlantic salmon.
The conservation effort is part of AMC’s Maine Woods Initiative, an approach to conservation that combines outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships.
Funders of the acquisition project include the Elmina B. Sewall Foundation, Jane’s Trust, the Knobloch Family Foundation, The Nature Conservancy, Sweet Water Trust, and the Wyss Foundation through OSI.