Raymond Community Forest
The Raymond Community Forest is 356 acres of land in North Raymond located on Conesca Road, including much of Pismire Mountain and a large forested parcel beside Crescent Lake. The land conservation project was first proposed by the Raymond Conservation Commission and Loon Echo Land Trust in 2012. The 2007 Raymond Open Space Plan identified Pismire Mountain as a special place. Results from the 2014 town-wide Raymond Community Survey indicated strong support for preserving open space, natural resources and lakes over the next 10 years.
In 2014 Loon Echo signed a purchase and sale agreement with the Hancock Land Company who owned the land. The agreement gave Loon Echo and its partners through June 30, 2016 to raise the $680,000 budget to purchase the land, cover transaction costs (legal, boundary survey, etc.) and fundraising costs, and to establish a modest reserve fund to manage the land. This was accomplished in the land transferred from Hancock Land Company to officially become the Raymond Community Forest.
Click on the box below to play video.
Over 200 local individuals and families have donated to the project. Hancock Land Company gifted approximately $109,000 in land value. The residents of Raymond voted $56,800. Grants were awarded by the Land for Maine’s Future Program (LMF), Portland Water District, Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, Davis Conservation Foundation, Camp Agawam, The Open Space Institute and an anonymous foundation.
Now the land will be conserved permanently and will offer long-term multiple benefits back to the community, including protection of the quality of Raymond’s waterways and wildlife, as well as exceptional views to and from Pismire Mountain. Community forests are created and managed with public participation. Recreational development includes establishing a parking area on Conesca Road; hiking trails leading to the cliffs of Pismire Mountain and low-impact multi-use trails in the lower forest for walking, hiking, cross country skiing/snowshoeing and mountain biking; and continuation of traditional uses such as hunting. The property has had a long tradition of sustainable forest management. Forestry will continue, providing necessary income to support the management of the land and trails into the future.
Supporting Project Partners Include:
Raymond Waterways Association; Raymond Pond Association; Myron Hall Road Association; Crescent Woods Road Association; Forest Society of Maine; and others.
Raymond Community Forest Campaign Steering Committee Members:
John Rand, Chair; Ray Bersch; Sheila Bourque; Connie Cross; Dave Dowler; Carol Friend; Russ Hutchinson; Brien Richards; Marlee Turner; Brian Walker; Carrie Walia, Loon Echo Land Trust Senior Adviser.