Black Brook Bog Conservation Easement Completed

Loon Echo is pleased to announce the completion of our most recent conservation easement.  A 210.6 acre parcel of important habitat within the Upper Saco River Focus area in Western Maine, a subset of the larger Saco River Watershed, was granted to Loon Echo Land Trust by Andrew and Joy Norkin of Denmark, Maine.  The watershed which stretches from New Hampshire to Lovell and down to Hiram supports a healthy and unique ecosystem comprised of silver maple dominated flood plain forest, vernal pools, oxbow ponds and several lakes and ponds all of which support a diverse array of flora and fauna including, the globally rare Long’s bulrush (Scirpus longii), three globally rare species of dragonfly and ten state designated rare plant species.  With 3497 feet of frontage on Pleasant Pond, 4808 feet on Black Brook and roughly 120 acres of sensitive bog land known as a Sweetgale fen, this land is designated as a Maine Natural Areas Program exemplary natural community. The watershed is one of the largest un-fragmented floodplain forests in New England, making it a focus for habitat and species protection by the State, The Nature Conservancy and Loon Echo Land Trust.

The Norkin property has been in the family since the 1940’s and has had a long history of agriculture, recreation and forest management.  Located in the Northwest corner of Denmark, the property affords scenic views of Pleasant Pond, the bog and a westerly view of Pleasant Mountain. Located in the midst of a framework of conservation lands protected by local, state and national organizations the Black Brook Bog conservation property increases the amount of total protected land in this high priority conservation area and brings Loon Echo’s total protected acreage to over 4,000.

The preservation of this property allows for protection of the greater Pleasant Pond ecosystem, maintenance of a forested buffer around the Sweetgale fen for wildlife and rare species that use wetlands, shrub lands and aquatic systems for all parts of their life cycle, and enables Loon Echo to increase protection in the Pleasant Mountain region.

Like all stewardship-minded landowners, the Norkins and their four children seek to keep their land, which has been in the family for three generations, as pristine and undeveloped as possible.  They intend to maintain the forested buffer around the wetland and pond for species that depend on these ecosystems, while continuing sustainable woodlot management in the upland forests in a way that is ecologically sound and economically feasible. “It is all about preserving the past and present so the future generations can enjoy the area. I know that my father would have wanted to see this property protected,” stated Andrew. “It has been a pleasure working with the staff and volunteers of the Loon Echo Land Trust to ensure this property is protected for future generations to enjoy.”

This project was supported by the Landowner Incentive Program administered by Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service as well as The Nature Conservancy.