Monday, December 31, 2012
State Receives 500-Acre Island Easement in Piscataquis County's Lobster Lake
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.