News Archive

Timber Harvest at Woodsum Brook

(Harrison, ME) Loon Echo Land Trust is the proud owner & steward of 5,000 acres of 

land in the northern Sebago Lake region of Maine, all conserved for future generations to enjoy. With that ownership comes a huge amount of responsibility to leave the land better than we found it by enhancing plant and animal habitat, and protecting our precious waters. Timber management plays an important role in meeting these management goals. Under the direction of consulting foresters at Integrated Forest Management, Loon Echo has approved a small forestry operation at the 70-acre Woodsum Brook parcel in Harrison. 

The goals for this harvest are simple: create more structural and species diversity resulting in a more resilient forest, improve animal habitat by introducing more sunlight & allow for new young trees to grow (which leads to lots of new browsing opportunities), and enhance recreation opportunities like hunting and fishing. This operation is a cut to length style, which means all the tops and brush of the harvested trees will be left on site to create new habitat, feed the next generation of trees, and provide erosion control.

Please contact LELT Stewardship Manager Jon Evans if you would like to learn more about the role of forestry in responsible land management.

Loon Echo Land Trust Welcomes New Executive Director

Matt Markot (L) takes over as Loon Echo’s Executive Director from Thom Perkins (R).

(Bridgton, ME) On January 7th, Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) welcomed Matt Markot as its new Executive Director. Markot, who resides in Harrison, takes the lead for the conservation organization from retiring Executive Director Thom Perkins.

Most recently, Markot worked for LELT supporting the organization’s stewardship and conservation easement programs, in addition to organizing the 2018 Loon Echo Trek. He also worked as a part-time consultant through Sebago Clean Waters to support both Loon Echo and Western Foothills Land Trusts with their conservation efforts.

“Our board is thrilled to have Matt lead Loon Echo and we are looking forward to working with him to continue the positive impact that Loon Echo has on our community,” said Loon Echo Board President, David Diller as he welcomed Markot to his new role at the organization.

Mr. Markot brings a wealth of natural resource, conservation, and environmental education experience from years working around the state of Maine at places such as the Nature Conservancy, the Maine Natural Areas Program, and Kieve-Wavus Education Inc. Matt has strong family ties to the Bridgton area and grew up spending his summers on the shores of Moose Pond. A Registered Maine Guide and Wilderness First Responder, Matt enjoys skiing, hiking, camping and fishing.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to step into a new role in an organization that I have great respect for,” Markot said upon starting his first week as Executive Director. “The passion that Loon Echo’s board, staff, members, and volunteers bring to conservation work in our region inspires me to lead by their example. I intend to build upon Loon Echo’s strengths while keeping sight of the traditions that make protected land so integral to our way of life in the Lake Region.” 

Markot succeeds Thom Perkins, Loon Echo’s Executive Director from 2016-2018. Mr. Perkins will support the leadership transition by acting as Senior Advisor to the organization until the end of March. He will be assisting Mr. Markot in organizational management during the transition. During his tenure, Perkins finalized the organization’s Land Trust Alliance national accreditation, negotiated the donation of land for a new preserve on Highland Lake, negotiated and developed donated land for recreational access to Pleasant Mountain, acquired the technological tools needed to position the organization for the future, spearheaded additional conservation easement land, increased the capacity of the organization by increasing staff in mission critical areas, was instrumental in developing an organization to protect the region’s clean water and laid the groundwork for additional Loon Echo Land Trust conservation efforts.

“I am more than pleased that the Board of Directors selected Matt. I can’t think of a better candidate to take over this position and move Loon Echo into the future,” said Perkins, “there are a lot of exciting plans in the works and Matt’s the perfect person to press onwards.”

Loon Echo Land Trust will host a snowshoe walk of their latest project, Peabody-Fitch Woods on Saturday, January 26th at 9:00 am. The public will have an opportunity to meet the new Executive Director, explore the property and learn more about the project. More information on this event can be found at Loon Echo’s website, www.lelt.org.

Loon Echo Land Trust protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 30 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations. Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago. Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic locations such as Bald Pate Mountain, Pleasant Mountain and Hacker’s Hill, and provide fun educational programs to the public. Loon Echo also assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  

Loon Echo Receives Matching Gift Grant for Peabody-Fitch Woods

BRIDGTON, ME –   Loon Echo Land Trust has received a generous $50,000 grant from an anonymous foundation to match donations received for the acquisition of the Peabody-Fitch Woods, located in South Bridgton. This conservation effort forever protects the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Narramissic Farm from development encroachment. The acquisition of 252 acres of land surrounding the 18th century farm reunites the original property and keeps its character intact. The land will create a new community space for recreation and educational programming, and protect valuable natural resources.

“The Peabody-Fitch project is one of great significance to the community,” says Loon Echo’s Stewardship Manager and South Bridgton resident Jon Evans. “It connects two large tracts of conserved land, ensures continued public access, and protects some of the region’s important cultural features. The Peabody and Fitch families left an amazing legacy and we are proud to not only protect their land, but honor their pioneering spirit in the process.”

Gifts of any amount to the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the grant funds from now until December 31st, 2018. A $10 donation towards the purchase becomes $20. A $50 gift becomes $100.  A $1,000 gift turns into $2,000.  To date, donations totaling $13,185 have been matched. LELT has received approximately 67% of the funds for the project and Loon Echo needs another $107,000 to complete the purchase. With a deadline for acquisition of December 31st, 2018, Loon Echo is seeking to raise the remaining funds from private individuals, public resources, and additional grants.

Donations to support Peabody-Fitch Woods can be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009 or made online at www.lelt.org/pfw.

An information session about the project will be held on Thursday, December 6th at 6:30 pm at the Loon Echo Office, 8 Depot St, Suite 4 in Bridgton. Staff from Loon Echo will also lead an informational snowshoe walk of the property on Saturday, December 8th from 9:00 – 11:00 am, with a weather date of Saturday December 15th.  Meet at Narramissic Farm, 46 Narramissic Rd, Bridgton, ME. Please bring your own snowshoes. Snowshoes are available, free of charge, by request. Email membership@lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.

The 252 forested acres of the proposed Peabody-Fitch Woods are contiguous with the 1,617 acre Perley Mills Community Forest to the west. It is also in close proximity to five other conserved lands: Five Fields Farm, Bald Pate Preserve, two Town of Bridgton woodlots, Sebago Headwater’s Preserve, and Lakes Environmental Association’s Holt Pond Preserve. The purchase of the Peabody-Fitch Woods property by Loon Echo will preserve an extensive trail network that connects these conserved lands.

Loon Echo has plans to rehabilitate and expand the existing trail network located on the property. The property will be a haven for the public to forever enjoy traditional recreational opportunities including hunting, walking, and nature observation. This project will also allow for enhanced educational and recreational opportunities for the community’s residents and area children.

 

Loon Echo Land Trust Seeking to Conserve Two High Value Properties

BRIDGTON, ME– Loon Echo Land Trust (LELT) announced that two new land conservation projects are underway to conserve land for future generations.

The Peabody-Fitch Woods project, in partnership with the Bridgton Historical Society (BHS), will protect the historic Peabody-Fitch Farm (also known as Narramissic) in South Bridgton through the acquisition of 252 acres of land surrounding the farm. The second project is the Edwards Forest in Harrison which expands by 38 acres Loon Echo’s Crooked River Intervale Preserve. With a deadline for acquisition of December 31st, 2018, LELT is seeking to raise funds from private individuals, public resources, and other foundations to acquire both the Peabody-Fitch Woods and the Edwards Forest.

A grant of $50,000 will match any gift made towards the Peabody-Fitch Woods project. Gifts of any amount to the project will be matched dollar-for-dollar from now until December 31st, 2018. To date, LELT has received approximately 60% of the funds for the Peabody-Fitch Woods project and needs another $138,000 to complete the purchase.

View looking North-West from PFW

The “Narramissic” farmhouse was donated to the Historical Society in 1986 and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1989.  The property to be acquired by Loon Echo surrounds and preserves the original farmhouse.  Within the 252 acres is an 18th Century quarry where the granite used in the farm’s building foundations was sourced. The historical society has developed a guided historic hike to the quarry and has plans for new, innovative educational programs at the preserve. According to Ned Allen, Executive Director of BHS, “residential development of this land would clearly undermine such activities and threaten the important and special nature of Narramissic.”

The acquisition of this parcel will protect the historic farmstead by keeping the original property and its character intact and the land open to the public. It will allow the public to forever enjoy the traditional recreational opportunities that the land provides, including hunting, walking, and nature observation.

In addition to protecting the historic farmstead, the acquisition of Peabody-Fitch Woods is part of a greater Loon Echo Forest Connectivity initiative. Forest connectivity is a concept that recognizes that habitats and species function best as part of a large, interconnected network. The 252 acres of the proposed Peabody-Fitch Woods are contiguous with the Perley Mills Community Forest to the west, and is in close proximity to five other conserved lands that protect habitat and water quality.

The 38-acre Edwards Forest, located in Harrison, adds to the forest connectivity of the region as well. The property abuts Loon Echo’s Intervale Preserve, creating a contiguous 337 acres of conserved land along the Crooked River. This additional acreage protects important forestland and animal habitat, adds significant protections to valuable water resources, provides climate resilience and enhances recreational opportunities. Loon Echo has received approximately 34% of the necessary funds for the Edwards Forest Project and needs another $44,000 to complete the purchase.

With the forest acting as a natural filter for water, permanently protecting forested areas around the river is vital to maintaining the high water quality of the Crooked River and Sebago Lake. Protecting forestland along the Crooked River has been an important collaborative goal between Portland Water District, Loon Echo Land Trust, and the newly formed Sebago Clean Waters initiative. The Crooked River has been identified as a priority for conservation as it is the largest tributary to Sebago Lake (with 38% of the inflow to the lake), a drinking water source for 1 in 6 Mainers.

Stream along eastern boundary of the proposed Edwards Forest

“It is critical that we all help Loon Echo conserve the land that surrounds [the Crooked River and Sebago Lake],” says Portland Water District Environmental Manager Paul Hunt. “[LELT] will work hard to conserve the land and this will, in turn, protect our fisheries, natural waters, and drinking water for future generations.”

Besides sustaining regional water quality, the Edwards Forest will have valuable benefits for local residents. The Crooked River is home to one of Maine’s few indigenous landlocked salmon populations and the public will be allowed to hike, hunt, fish, snowmobile, walk, mountain bike, and horseback ride on the preserve. Preventing future development along the Crooked River will help maintain the unique wilderness-type experience it currently offers.

Donations for either project can be sent to Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street Suite #4, Bridgton, ME 04009 or made online at www.lelt.org.

Loon Echo currently protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic locations such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors. 

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, visit their website www.lelt.org, call 207-647-4352 or visit their office, 8 Depot Street, Suite 4, Bridgton, ME Monday – Thursday, 8:30 – 4:00.

Loon Echo Land Trust’s New Pleasant Mountain Shelter Dedicated

 

BRIDGTON, ME (October 16, 2018) – Loon Echo Land Trust announced today that hikers will find a new destination on Pleasant Mountain thanks to the generosity of the Sharples family.  On Saturday October 13th, a new day-shelter was dedicated and officially opened on the North Peak of Pleasant Mountain, a short distance off North Ridge trail. 

“Loon Echo is honored to receive this shelter as a gift from the Sharples Family,” said Jon Evans, LELT’s Stewardship Manager, “I’m sure that hikers who visit the shelter will have a restful and serene experience.”

For a number of years, a day-shelter on Pleasant Mountain has been identified as a goal by Loon Echo’s Stewardship Committee and staff. With this need known, the shelter was generously donated by the Sharples family in memory of Janine Sharples, a longtime Bridgton resident who passed away in January of 2017. The dedication on Saturday transferred the shelter to Loon Echo Land Trust. The ceremony was attended by friends and family of Mrs. Sharples as well as Loon Echo staff, board representative and supporters.

The shelter will now officially be known as “Janine’s Overlook.” The shelter offers hikers a rest spot, surrounded by wild blueberries, where they can sit and enjoy exceptional views of Sebago Lake and Pleasant Mountain’s west flank.

“She loved to climb Pleasant Mountain and pick blueberries, so what better place to put a shelter,” added Ken Sharples. “After meeting with Loon Echo, a general idea of what the shelter should look like was arrived at.”

The shelter’s architectural design was influenced by the elegant Edwardian rest stops which are part of the Curtis Memorial in Northeast Harbor, Maine.

“When considering how this shelter would be used and the kind of experience we want hikers who use our trails, we wanted something that everyone would be proud of and enjoy,” said Loon Echo’s Executive Director Thom Perkins, “My experience of visiting the shelters in Northeast Harbor immediately came to mind. We talked it over and the Sharples’ architect came up with a beautiful design.”

“Janine’s Overlook” shelter was constructed using cedar materials by Chris Ambrose, of Ambrose Carpentry Remodeling & Home Repair. Shawnee Peak ski area staff assisted in moving the 3,000 lbs of materials 1,300 vertical feet up the mountain to within half a mile of the site. The Bridgton Academy football team moved the materials the rest of the way. Soon, new signs and markers will direct hikers to the shelter, which is located 150 feet off the North Ridge trail.

 

 

2018 Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo Trek Successful

Since its beginning in 2001, the Loon Echo Trek has been the land trust’s major fundraising event. Hiking Pleasant Mountain trails has been part of the event since 2007.  The “Trek” showcases Loon Echo’s conserved land on Pleasant Mountain which the nonprofit organization conserves for the benefit of future generations. 

“I’d like to thank our major sponsors Norway Savings Bank, Shawnee Peak, WMWV Radio 93.5 fm, and Migis Lodge,” said Matt Markot, Loon Echo’s event manager, “From all reports, it was a successful and fun day.”

Mountain Challenge Winners Eva Johnson(l) and Floyd Lavery (r) flank Pam and Phil Marshall, the first two hikers to complete the 18th Annual Loon Echo Trek.

Bridgton, ME – Under warm bright skies with a hurricane holding off to the south, runners and hikers participated in the 18th edition of the annual Norway Savings Bank Loon Echo Trek on Saturday, September 16. In addition to the traditional recreational hiking category, this year’s Trek introduced an 8.4 mile mountain challenge event.  Starting at the base of Shawnee Peak Ski Area, trail runners ascended Pleasant Mountain and followed Loon Echo’s trails as they turn south to reach the historic “Teepee” on the Southwest Ridge summit. Competitors then reversed course passing the mountain’s highest summit for the second time and finally descending back to the finish in front of the ski area’s base lodge.  Runners ascended over 3000’ during the competition.

The top five runners included Floyd Lavery (Sebago, ME) who posted the winning time of 2:04:44 over the 8.4 mile course.  Eva Johnson (Sweden, ME) posted the fastest female finish less than four minutes later with a time of 2:08:42.  John Keller (Gray, ME) posted a time of 2:18:03, Sherry Burnell (Denmark, ME) came in at 2:28:57 and Bill Ames (Naples, ME) finished in 4:42:19.

Thirty-five recreational hikers participated by traversing the six-mile mountain ridge course in support of Loon Echo’s conservation efforts. 

The event provided all participants with snack and water at three stations spaced out along the mountain ridge which was staffed by volunteers.  Communications along the course was provided by members of the Oxford County Amateur Radio Club. A taco bar lunch, Allagash Beer and ice cream provided by the Causeway Dairy Bar were served to all participants and volunteers at the post-event party at Shawnee Peak’s baselodge.

Loon Echo is currently engaged in the acquisition of the 252 acres surrounding the Bridgton Historical Society’s farmstead.  Donations to support the purchase can be mailed to: LELT, 8 Depot Street suite #4, Bridgton, ME  04009.

Loon Echo protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors. 

Loon Echo Land Trust Holds 31st Annual Meeting

BRIDGTON, ME (August 22, 2018) – Loon Echo Land Trust held its 31st Annual Meeting at the Bridgton Historical Society’s historic Peabody-Fitch “Narramissic” Farm in South Bridgton on Sunday August 19th.  Over 70 members and supporters gathered to celebrate the successes of the area’s land trust and to conduct the business of electing Board of Directors and to enjoy a bountiful buffet dinner spread out in the farm’s Temperance Barn.

The afternoon festivities started with a guided walk to the farm’s late 1700’s granite quarry, continued with the cooperation of the Bridgton Historical Society’s tours of the Farmhouse

LELT’s 31st Annual Meeting takes a walk through history. photo by Brien Richards

and out buildings complete with costumed guides and demonstrations of the farm’s original blacksmith shop with the resident blacksmith working the forge and explaining the process. The annual meeting included a keynote address by Whit Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s Land Trust Program Director entitled “The current state of land trust across Maine” in which he told of the successes of Maine’s land trusts and how Loon Echo, an accredited organization, plays an important part in Maine’s conservation efforts.

After introductions by LELT’s President David Diller, the gathered members approved the Secretary’s minutes and heard from Treasurer Bob Gowdy of Denmark, and elected the Board of Directors.  New members joining the organization’s board include Carrye Castleman-Ross, Melissa Rock and Sven Cole, all residents of Bridgton.  Re-elected to the board were Sheila Bourque (of Raymond); Connie Cross (Casco), Karen Eller (Bridgton), Bob Gowdy (Denmark & Weston, MA), Carol Sudduth Denmark), and Dick Lemieux (Raymond). Eric Dibner (Casco) and David Diller (Bridgton) will continue on the board.  Retiring members Ed Friedman, Allen Erler and Norm Nichols

Dinner in the Temperance Barn. photo by Brien Richards

on were warmly thanked for their years of service to the conservation efforts on behalf of the seven communities served by Loon Echo Land Trust.

In his statement to the gathering, Loon Echo’s Executive Director, Thom Perkins expressed the importance of continuing involvement conservation efforts for future generations.

“The hard work, however, is imbedded in our organizational name: “Loon Echo Land Trust”.  The operative word is “Trust”.  The public “Trusts” us to preserve, care for and defend the lands under our charge.  It was, is and will be the first responsibility of our extraordinary past, current and future Board of Directors, our staff and you, our members.  We work every day to maintain the public’s “trust” and to defend the lands that we own and the conservation easements that we hold,” said Perkins, “Your conservation efforts are an enduring gift.  I invite you all to stay engaged, spread the word and enjoy all that you have achieved.”

Loon Echo is currently engaged in the acquisition of the 252 acres surrounding the Bridgton Historical Society’s farmstead.  Donations to support the purchase can be mailed to: LELT, 8 Depot Street suite #4, Bridgton, ME  04009.

Loon Echo protects nearly 6,700 acres of land and manages 31 miles of multi-use trails in the northern Sebago Lake region. Its mission is to work with the local residents to conserve the region’s natural resources and character for current and future generations.  Loon Echo serves seven towns including Bridgton, Casco, Denmark, Harrison, Naples, Raymond and Sebago with an area of 320 square miles located directly north of Sebago Lake.  Loon Echo works within its service area to safeguard water quality, preserve scenic gems such as Bald Pate Mountain, Hacker’s Hill and Pleasant Mountain, and provide outreach and fun educational programs to the public.  Loon Echo assists landowners to take steps to ensure future generations will benefit from the preservation of their lands.  Member support is what enables Loon Echo to carry out their mission and provides funding for their land conservation and stewardship endeavors. 

For more information about upcoming events or ways you can support Loon Echo Land Trust, go to their website www.lelt.org or call 207-647-4352.   

 

 

Loon Echo Land Trust Annual Meeting August 19, 2018

Loon Echo Land Trust Annual Meeting
August 19, 2018

           

      

   Join Loon Echo Land Trust on Sunday, August 19, at Bridgton Historical Society’s  historic Narramissic Farm, , for Loon Echo’s 31st Annual Meeting and celebration of 31 years of land conservation.  Weather permitting we will have a guided walk on the farm’s surrounding property to an old granite quarry at 3:00 PM.  In addition there will be tours of the old homestead and blacksmith demonstrations.  A cash bar and appetizers will begin at 5:00.   The annual meeting will precede dinner and dessert at the farm.  $35.00/ per person.

Schedule of Events

3:00 PM Guided walk to the granite quarry
4:00-5:30 PM Tours of the homestead and blacksmith demonstrations
5:00 PM Cocktails & Conversation
5:30 PM Annual Meeting
6:00 PM Dinner and dessert in the Temperance Barn

Directions:
Narramissic Farm, 46 Narramissic Rd., Bridgton,Maine 04009|
Narramissic is located  off Ingalls Road which is 2.4 miles south of the intersection of Rtes 117 and 106.  Take Ingalls Road for 1 mile.  Turn Left onto Narramissic Road to the farmstead. 

RSVP by August 16th to Kelli Shedd at membership@lelt.org or by calling 207-647-4352.

Register online:
30TH Pay Button

OR Mailing your check and the REGISTRATION FORM to:  Loon Echo Land Trust, 8 Depot Street, Suite #4, Bridgton ,ME 04009 

Annual Meeting Agenda:

– President’s Message
– Secretary’s Report
– Review of Financial Report
– Election of the Board of Directors
– Executive Director’s Report
– Special Presentation – State of Conservation in Maine – Whit Whitney, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Nominees for Loon Echo’s Board of Directors will be available prior to the meeting.

Land Trusts: Fact vs. Perceptions

View from Pismire Bluff, Raymond Community Forest, Raymond, Maine.

In response to Governor Lepage’s recent State of the State comments regarding Maine land trusts, the Maine Land Trust Network has prepared a fact sheet dispelling any false information.  To view click the following link: Land Trusts Tax Handout response to SOS 2018 2

And while your still reading, learn more about what Maine land trusts have to offer you and your community by clicking HERE.

 

Loon Echo’s Year End Appeal

 

At this time of the year we ask you once again to help support Loon Echo’s conservation efforts in the northern Sebago Lake region of Maine.  Your yearly gifts to our Annual Fund are what helps us to serve your and our mission.  Whether this is your first gift, or an additional gift this year, we thank you.

To donate to Loon Echo’s Year-End Campaign, click HERE.