our role

When family members recently decided it was time to transition away from the forestry business, they wanted to make sure their land could still be conserved, and we acted fast to make sure it was done right. By utilizing our Working Forest Fund, we acquired more than 15,000 acres in partnership with the Malone Family Land Preservation Foundation. To maintain and expand ecologically responsible timber practices, we will seek to certify the forests to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) forest management standards, ensuring that the working forests will be sustainably managed. Sustainable forest management will conserve the diverse biological communities while supporting the local economy and enhancing outdoor public recreation.

This acquisition provides time for us and our partners—Inland Woods + Trails, Mahoosuc Land Trust, Western Foothills Land Trust, the state of Maine, U.S. Forest Service and others—to raise the funds needed to permanently conserve the forests. In doing so, we’ll protect this historic landscape from development, advance critical watershed protection for over 200,000 residents in Portland and a number of adjacent towns, conserve climate resilient wildlife habitats and secure the family legacy.

Why this project Matters

Forests impact more of your life than you may realize—they purify the water you drink! Approximately 3,000 acres of Chadbourne Tree Farm are within the Sebago Lake watershed, which drains into Casco Bay through the Presumpscot River. Sebago Lake is the main source of drinking water for the greater Portland, Maine, region, and one of only 50 surface drinking water supplies in the country that does not require filtration before the water treatment process. The 234,000-acre watershed achieves this exceptionally pure water through the forests surrounding the lakes, rivers and streams, which act as a natural filter for the soil and drinking water of Portland and its neighbors.

Unfortunately, with only 11% of its watershed forests conserved, Sebago Lake is also one of the Northeast’s most threatened watersheds.

Sebago Clean Waters is working with The Conservation Fund to help protect even more of those forests to make sure the water supply stays protected. With the purchase and conservation of the Chadbourne Tree Farm, Sebago Clean Waters is now 10% of the way to its conservation goal. The protected forests will not only ensure clean drinking water, they also will support recreation; tourism; a thriving local and state economy; and important habitat for a diverse ecological community of brook trout, indigenous salmon and other native species.

Chadbourne Tree Farm in Maine quote

"Connecting to nature as I hike and ski in the Sebago region woods is more important than ever for health and wellbeing.
I feel honored that Sebago Clean Waters is helping to ensure access to clean drinking water, clean air and outdoor opportunities for everyone.”

― Karen Young, Coordinator, Sebago Clean Waters Initiative

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