New Project in the Split Rock Wildway: Spruce Mill Brook
Conservation Director Rose Graves recently traveled to the eastern Adirondacks to study the ecological values of a new wildland conservation project. When she walked into the wooded property, words of Longfellow came immediately to mind: "This is the forest primeval. The murmuring pines and the hemlocks, Bearded with moss, and in garments green, indistinct in the twilight...."
This 264-acre forest along the Spruce Mill Brook in Lewis, New York, is now a conservation priority for the Trust. Owned for the last 80-plus years by the Gores/Callaway family, who cherished its rugged beauty and wild, productive trout stream, the property is undeveloped and has seen no logging activity in over 20 years, with minimal selective cutting before that. The late-successional forest ranges from dark, damp hemlock stands along the brook, to mixed northern hardwood stands in the uplands, to tall white pines in the sandier lower elevation soils. The varied forest structure provides good habitat for a range of mammals including bobcat, fisher, coyote, fox, snowshoe hare, deer, and black bear. Ruffed grouse find food and cover in the newer woods growing up in a clearing created by natural disturbance.
Conservation of this key parcel--which abuts the Jay Mountain Wilderness Area and is located at the western terminus of the Split Rock Wildway--would not be possible without the public-minded vision and generosity of the Gores family heirs. When asking the Wilderness Trust to help them conserve their family lands, the four Gores siblings offered to lower the sales price of the property by two-thirds. This "bargain sale" reduces income tax liabilities for the Gores, makes the project more feasible for the Trust, and makes co-investing in the conservation of the land more attractive to others.
Impressed by the property's conservation values and the Gores family's offer, one donor has given $30,000 to the project. We must raise another $100,000-plus this year to cover the acquisition, legal costs, ecological assessments and plans, organizational support, and long-term stewardship expenses. Please add your donation, big or small, to the immensely generous gift made by the Gores family and be a part of the lasting legacy that this land represents. Your help now will ensure that we are able to preserve this "forest primeval" as a forever-wild place for wildlife and people.
DONATE TO THIS PROJECT NOW.
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Conservation Easement Recorded on Alder Stream Preserve
On December 21, 2011, Northeast Wilderness Trust and Sweetwater Trust formally recorded a forever-wild easement on 2,750 acres along the Piscataquis River as part of the Alder Stream Preserve in Maine. The easement ensures that this land, owned by the Trust, will be permanently protected as a wild place, providing habitat for wildlife and recreational opportunities for people. The easement nearly doubles the permanent protection of Trust-owned land in central Maine.