Monday, December 31, 2012

State Receives 500-Acre Island Easement in Piscataquis County's Lobster Lake

Augusta, Maine - The Parks and Public Lands Division of the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) has received the generous donation of a conservation easement on a 500-acre, uninhabited island in Lobster Lake, considered by many to be the crown jewel of the Penobscot River Corridor. The newly named Leadbetter Island (formerly Big Island) defines the "claws" of the lobster shape of the lake, situated northeast of Moosehead Lake in Piscataquis County. The island is approximately two miles long and has more than six miles of undeveloped shoreline. The easement was donated by the Leadbetter family, which purchased the island in the 1960s from Great Northern Paper Company. DACF Commissioner Walt Whitcomb signed the official papers in December and thanked the
Leadbetter family, which was represented at the signing by Charles and Ellis Leadbetter, of Waldoboro. "This is an exceptional gift to the people of Maine," he said. "This island is a wonderful spot full of outstanding natural features, including stands of old-growth forest, and it will remain available for low-impact public visits, such as hunting, fishing, hiking and nature observation." According to the conservation easement agreement, the purpose of the donation is "to provide a significant public benefit by protecting and preserving in perpetuity the undeveloped natural features and values of the protected property, including shoreland, forested upland and wetland habitat to protect water quality in Lobster Lake." The Parks and Public Lands Division already has a large ownership and management presence in the area. This easement, together with an easement conveyed to the State in 1997 by Great Northern Paper, restricts development around almost the entirety of Lobster Lake frontage. Between the fee and easement ownership, Parks and Public Lands has oversight responsibility on 20 miles of the mainland shoreline on the lake. The DACF's Natural Areas Program completed an assessment last fall of Leadbetter Island's important features. It noted the extensive mature forests found across the island, which include a wide diversity of spruce, red and white pine, beech, birch, maple, cedar and hemlock. The majority of the island has not been harvested in at least 100 years. Mature stands of softwoods on Leadbetter Island have an average age of 162 years, with many trunks of various species exceeding 30 inches in diameter.

No comments:

Post a Comment