WALLAMATOGUS MOUNTAIN CONSERVATION EFFORT A SUCCESS!
Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Maine Coast Heritage Trust, and The Conservation Fund have successfully raised the funds for a permanent conservation solution for land on Wallamatogus Mountain
HANCOCK COUNTY, Maine (August 15, 2022) — Blue Hill Heritage Trust announced that its collaborative project, with Maine Coast Heritage Trust and The Conservation Fund, to acquire 336-acres on Wallamatogus Mountain in the Town of Penobscot, has reached its fundraising goal. The total project cost of $1.4 million: $800,000 for purchase and $600,000 for long-term care of the property and transaction costs. This earlier-than-anticipated success happened because of two additional major grants for the project, including at $326,000 award from the US Department of Agriculture and US Forest Service’s Community Forest and Open Space Conservation Program. These joined funds from a previously announced $400,000 Land for Maine’s Future grant as well as several private donations towards the project.
“I never dreamed we would be announcing successful completion of fundraising for this project less than a year from starting the effort,” said Hans Carlson, executive director of BHHT. “I think it speaks to the power of collaboration, not only between organizations like ours, but towns and their residents as well. This is a win for conservation and for a sense of community and place in Penobscot. We are grateful for all our partners in this effort.”
“We are delighted to help conserve Togus Mountain,” said Tom Duffus, vice president and northeast representative for The Conservation Fund. “This is critically important to people and nature. I applaud the community and Blue Hill Heritage Trust for their fundraising efforts and commitment to the future of this magnificent place of national importance to conservation.”
The Conservation Fund, a national land trust, currently owns and is holding the property for up to three years while Blue Hill Heritage Trust (BHHT) and Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) collaborated to raise the funds required to purchase the land and protect it in perpetuity. Now that fundraising is complete BHHT will work with TCF and funders towards closing on the property by the end of the year.
“It’s inspiring to have the fundraising behind us. This is a project that brought together community members, land trusts, federal and state funders all in a focused, collective effort. But the work is not done – stay tuned for updates on the transaction steps, and on eventual building of trails and improvements.” notes Ciona Ulbrich, Senior Project Manager at MCHT.
The 336-acre property is on the south slope of Wallamatogus Mountain—or Mt. Togus— and as visitors hike along roads through the blueberry fields, they are treated to spectacular views of Penobscot Bay, nearby coastal islands, and the whole Bagaduce River watershed. There are also large areas of forest and wetlands around the field with a diverse range of habitat and is an important hunting spot for the community. A committee of people from Penobscot has been assembled to help advise BHHT on how the community would like to see the property managed. Any future funds coming in from the community will make possible projects the committee would like to see happen on the property. This may take the form of a horizon map, benches, or other small additions to visitor experiences.
“Wallamatogus Mountain is a natural treasure that provides outdoor recreational opportunities to residents and visitors of Hancock County and offers sweeping views of Penobscot Bay. The surrounding land is also a critical ecological resource that supports diverse wildlife habitats and native plants like wild blueberry bushes,” said Senators Collins and King and Congressman Golden. “We welcome this important investment in conservation, which will enable current and future generations to enjoy the pristine beauty of the mountain.”
This effort has been a top priority for the Blue Hill Peninsula community and is part of a larger initiative by BHHT and MCHT to conserve land in the Bagaduce watershed. The local partners fundraised jointly for BHHT’s ultimate purchase and protection of the property and for its stewardship over time. Two community hikes will take place on Togus in late August and in the fall. Check BHHT’s events calendar for more information.
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 8.5 million acres of land, including nearly 466,000 acres in Maine. www.conservationfund.org
About Blue Hill Heritage Trust
BHHT is a nationally accredited nonprofit land conservation organization founded in 1985 by residents of the Blue Hill Peninsula. We work to conserve the unique landscape of our peninsula and have protected nearly 12,000 acres. This land will be forever protected for its recreational, ecological, and historical importance, and used to bring our communities together on the land. bluehillheritagetrust.org
About Maine Coast Heritage Trust
MCHT is a dynamic, multifaceted organization with initiatives ranging from preserving coastal access for communities to high impact ecological work focused on reconnecting waterways and improving coastal resiliency to climate change. A leader in Maine’s nationally renowned land conservation efforts since 1970, MCHT maintains a growing network of almost 150 coastal and island preserves free and open to everyone and leads the 80-member Maine Land Trust Network to ensure that land conservation provides benefits to all Maine communities. Get involved at www.mcht.org.
For questions regarding this conservation project and its fundraising efforts, please contact:
Chrissy Beardsley Allen, Development Director, Blue Hill Heritage Trust