April 10, 2017

Conservation Partnership Expands Protected Lands On Maine's Blue Hill Peninsula

SURRY, Maine—The Blue Hill Heritage Trust announced today the purchase of a 2,114-acre parcel of forestland in Surry, Maine, which will be known as the Surry Forest. The Trust will manage the property as a community forest for recreation, wildlife habitat protection and restoration, as well as forest education.

The newly conserved property contains headwater wetlands critical to coastal birds and water quality. The forest will be dedicated to the memory of Pamela Johnson, a foundational and long-standing member of the Trust’s board of directors, who recently passed away. Her estate, which she left entirely to the Trust, will be dedicated to the ongoing stewardship of this property.

“This is a tremendously exciting development for Blue Hill Heritage Trust,” said new Executive Director, Hans Carlson. “A property this size will offer educational, research, and demonstration possibilities, which I hope will make it an important resource for Surry and the wider region. Our first job is to find out what is out there on the land, but that is just the start of a long-term project for our organization.”

Completion of this project was made possible with support from The Conservation Fund, who purchased and held the property while the Trust raised funds to finalize its ownership. A significant portion of the purchase funds came from the Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP), which will also support future wetlands restoration. The MNRCP is administered by The Nature Conservancy on behalf of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and is dedicated to protecting wetlands in the state. Additional funds for both purchase and stewardship came from private donations.

“As a community forest that combines both natural protection and new public recreational access, the Surry Forest will be a gift to future generations, providing economic benefits to the Blue Hill area,” said Tom Duffus, Vice President for The Conservation Fund. “We are pleased to have worked with the Blue Hill Heritage Trust to secure this important property.”

The Surry Forest forms much of the immediate viewshed of Blue Hill, which gives its name to the peninsula made famous by the children’s book, Blueberries for Sal, by Robert McCloskey. It will be open for public, non-motorized use while the Trust establishes baseline data on the property, and drafts both forest management and stewardship plans. The Trust has contracted consulting ecologist Janet McMahon to conduct a natural resources inventory, which will help guide future management.

With the addition of the Surry Forest, the Trust now owns 5,427 acres of land on the Blue Hill Peninsula. The Trust also holds conservation easements on another 3,633 acres.

About Blue Hill Heritage Trust
Blue Hill Heritage Trust is a nationally-accredited nonprofit, membership-based land conservation organization whose mission is to conserve in perpetuity land and water resources that support the long-term health and well-being of the natural and human communities on the Blue Hill Peninsula. http://bluehillheritagetrust.org/

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 7.8 million acres of land, including more than 450,000 acres in Maine

Chrissy Allen | Blue Hill Heritage Trust | (207) 374-5118 | chrissy@bluehillheritagetrust.org
Ann Simonelli | The Conservation Fund | (703) 908-5809 | asimonelli@conservationfund.org