National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Awards Appalachian Mountain Club Land Conservation Grant through Walmart’s Acres for America Program
A $500,000 grant will support the Appalachian Mountain Club’s acquisition of a 26,740-acre parcel of forestland known as the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness landscape.
Greenville, ME December 10, 2020—The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is among six land conservation organizations to receive funding from The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation through Walmart’s Acres for America program.
The Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) is working to purchase 26,740 acres of working forestland known as the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest (PRHF) in Maine. This property is a high priority for AMC as part of its Maine Woods Initiative (MWI), which seeks to protect a corridor of more than a million acres in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness from Monson to Baxter State Park. The addition of this property will significantly contribute to AMC’s goal of protecting the entire watershed of the West and Middle branches of the Pleasant River and will bring AMC’s total landholdings in Maine to more than 100,000 contiguous acres.
Securing permanent conservation of the PRHF is critical to the ecological integrity of the 100-Mile Wilderness landscape. Protecting the West and Middle branches of the Pleasant River will provide significant habitat benefits for wildlife–notably, Atlantic salmon will be able to return to their natural spawning grounds in the West Branch of the Pleasant River for the first time in 180 years while critical Native Brook Trout habitat will be permanently protected. Conserving the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest will also provide public recreation opportunities, local economic growth through sustainable forestry operations, increased forest carbon sequestration capacity to help combat climate change, and prevent future development. The Conservation Fund, a key project partner, acquired the parcel in February 2019 through its Working Forest Fund® program. This has provided time for AMC to raise the necessary funds to permanently conserve this critical piece of forestland.
“We are honored to be among this impressive group of grant awardees,” said AMC President and CEO John Judge. “The PRHF is another critical step forward in protecting Maine’s globally significant Acadian forest, improving wildlife habitat, sequestering carbon, protecting public access, increasing recreation opportunities, and enhancing the state’s forest-based economy.”
Matching funds to help secure the grant came from the R.K. Mellon Foundation, among other funding sources.
Founded in 1876, the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) promotes the protection, enjoyment, and understanding of the mountains, forests, waters, and trails of America’s Northeast. AMC helps people of all ages and abilities to explore and develop a deep appreciation of the natural world. With chapters from Maine to Washington, D.C., guidebooks and maps, and unique lodges and huts, AMC helps people get outdoors on their own, with family and friends, and through activities close to home and beyond. AMC invites the public to support its conservation advocacy and research, youth programming, and care of 1,800 miles of trails.
Additional information on the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest is available at outdoors.org.
Contact Amy Lacey-Plumley, AMC Director of Digital Marketing and Media Relations, at
(617) 391-6563 or [email protected].