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Sweet Water Trust Grants (2020)

Francis Small Heritage Trust, ME – A grant to protect a critical inholding in the 1,400-acre Sawyer Mountain Highlands Preserve. This newly protected parcel, and the Preserve, benefit from the additional protection of a perpetual, forever wild, conservation easement held by the Green Mountain Conservation Group. This grant builds on past Sweet Water Trust support to conserve the largest unfragmented forested area in southwestern Maine. ($15,000)

Frenchman Bay Conservancy, ME - Support for the forever wild protection of Frenchman Bay Forest, 1,430 acres in Hancock County. This property lies within a 25,000-acre habitat block, which is unusually large for coastal Maine. The land includes critical wildlife habitat and will help protect the clean water in Kilkenny and Egypt Streams that flow into Kilkenny Cove and Egypt Bay. As added protection, Northeast Wilderness Trust holds a forever wild conservation easement on the land. ($300,000)

Northeast Wilderness Trust, ME - Support for a key addition to the 7,000-acre Alder Stream/Piscataquis River Wilderness Preserve that adjoins 6000 acres of forever wild conserved land. The 241-acre Ames Property secures an important inholding in the Preserve through NEWT ownership and an expansion of the forever wild conservation easement held by the Forest Society of Maine. The Preserve, located along the Piscataquis River, includes remote wetlands and forests and important Atlantic salmon habitat. Conservationists have been working to piece this land back together over the last decade and the Ames tract is the latest success in that effort. ($338,000)

Northeast Wilderness Trust, ME – A grant to support the creation of Redington Wilderness Sanctuary in the mountains of western Maine. Lying within North America’s largest intact temperate forest, this project helps connect the woods of northern Vermont and New Hampshire to those of Maine and New Brunswick. Thanks to the property’s location between multiple ecological preserves, it is especially important for wide-ranging animals such as lynx, moose, bobcat, and bear. The Sanctuary protects nearly three miles of headwater streams that include critical habitat for Atlantic salmon and native brook trout. NEWT’s ownership will enable this forest to rewild and plants and animals to flourish. The land is further protected with a forever-wild conservation easement held by Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust. ($350,000)

Northeast Wilderness Trust, VT – Support of the Wildlands Partnership Program, which works with land trusts throughout New England and New York to protect land as forever wild. The Partnership helps accredited land trusts conserve wild landscapes across the region by offering project funding and technical assistance. NEWT is now actively partnering with Frenchman Bay Conservancy (ME), Indian River Lakes Conservancy and Thousand Islands Land Trust (NY), Salisbury Association and Cornwall Conservation Trust (CT) and is engaged in ongoing conversations with several other regional and local land trusts. NEWT is currently negotiating conservation easements on 6,638 acres and has another 4,000 acres under consideration for the program. ($500,000)

The Nature Conservancy, NH – Support for the establishment of TNC’s 1,324-acre Surry Mountain Preserve. The land is a key piece within a 50,000-acre network of conserved land in the Monadnock region and harbors unbroken older forests, headwater streams, and undeveloped ponds. TNC will steward the land to promote mature forest characteristics, shaped by natural process and disturbance regimes. New Hampshire Department of Fish and Game holds a conservation easement over the property that guarantees that at least 50% of the property will remain forever wild and that management on the remainder will also perpetually safeguard ecological processes and native plants, animals, and other organisms. ($200,000)

*Note: these grants were made through Vanguard Charitable from Sweet Water Trust's donor advised fund, established to support forever wild land protection projects in ecologically significant areas of the Northern Appalachians.