Western Foothills Land Trust © 1987–2018   About | Contact


Western Foothills Land Trust is a nonprofit, tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.  |  EIN# 01-6083123

WFLT PO Box 107, 445 Main Street, Norway, Maine 04268  |  207-739-2124

Board of Directors


Robert Van Nest, President - Norway

With a MA from Columbia University, Bob and his wife settled on an historic farm in Norway and started our area’s farmers’ market in the 1980s. Bob spent his career teaching French and coaching Nordic skiing. An avid birder, cyclist and gardener, Bob is completely committed to land conservation.


Joseph Zilinsky, Treasurer - Otisfield

BA, Bowdoin College, MA, PhD. University of Indiana in Microbial Physiology. Retired with his wife Callie to Maine after 30 years teaching microbiology and biology at the University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh. Joe enjoys languages and works his forest and farm lands with a pair of draft horses. Joe and Callie placed a conservation easement on their farm in 2011.


Jeff Chase, Director - Bryant Pond

Retired USPS employee and life long resident of Norway, avid wildlife enthusiast, Jeff knows every inch of our region and is invaluable on the Board.


Carl Costanzi, Director  - Norway


Sarah Dailey, Clerk - Otisfield

Sarah is a mother of two young boys and is training to work with developmentally-challenged youth.


Lorie Olson, Director  - Norway


Richard Sousa, Director  - Norway


Sarah Timm, Director

Sarah is a fourth grade teacher at the Agnes Gray School in West Par-is. She and her husband, Aaron, have two children, Silas, 12, and Alden, 14. When not teaching, Sarah helps Aaron at their shop, Green Gardens in South Paris.


Sienna Tinsley, Director  - Portland


David Watson, Director - Otisfield

Ann and David Watson donated an easement on working forestland that was historically part of the Stone/Pottle/Scribner family holdings in Otisfield.


Jeff Wilson, Director

Jeff is a graduate of UMass Amherst and Boston College Law School, and is a partner at Braun & Wilson PLLC in South Paris. Jeff and his wife, Sarah live in Norway with their son, Oscar, and Obi, a chocolate lab. An avid hiker, Jeff is drawn to the work of the Trust in providing public access to recreational assets in the Oxford Hills.



Lee Dassler, Executive Director - Otisfield

MS, Columbia in Historic Preservation, with a background in theatre, carpentry, and architecture, Lee was the founder and Executive Director of the McLaughlin Garden in South Paris, Maine and has been involved with WFLT since 1994. When not writing grants, she enjoys riding, triathlons, yoga and working on her historic home.


Kelley Hodgkins, Program Coordinator - Norway




A Message from the President


"Western Foothills Land Trust is dedicated to the conservation and protection
of native ecosystems, farm and forestlands, watersheds, and scenic landscapes
for the benefit of wild and human communities in Western Maine."


Several years ago, the Western Foothills Land Trust obtained much of the land surrounding Hawk Moun-tain in Waterford. I thought it would be worthwhile to use this forum to explain our intentions toward the site.


As some of you have already noticed, we have completed a selective harvest on the property. Since almost 40% of the Trust’s income is derived from the sale of forest products, a harvest on this property was always part of our plans. That being said, at the moment, the site looks a little “raw”. But we intend to utilize the openings left by the harvest to develop a system of trails, views , and open areas. All but a few of the skidder roads will be transformed into seeded trails with erosion controls in place. These prospective trails will afford several routes to the Town of Waterford’s summit parcel. The map on the previous page gives you a general idea of the flow of the proposed system. As with our Roberts Farm Preserve, all of the trails will be mowed periodically to prevent the incursion of woody vegetation. Any skidder roads not developed into trails will be seeded and allowed to grow back. Finally, the former wood yard will be transformed into the Preserve’s parking area and trailhead which will provide a turn around for the town’s plow trucks in winter. The historic trail to the summit, which has eroded down to bedrock, will be closed.


These new trails and open areas will be available to a number of recreational constituencies, some of whom cannot currently enjoy the site. Back country skiing, hiking, snowmobiling, and mountain biking are all under consideration. Vehicular use, which has caused so much erosion, will eventually be prohibited.


We are seriously and profoundly dedicated to developing our land on Hawk Mountain into an inviting and cared for resource that benefits the health and happiness of those who utilize it. I realize that right now it does not resemble such a place; but we pledge to you that, in time, it surely will.


Robert Van Nest, President





Board of Directors

Robert Van Nest, President

Joseph Zilinsky, Treasurer

Jeff Chase

Carl Costanzi

Sarah Daily

Lorie Olson

Richard Sousa

Sarah Timm

Sienna Tinsley

David Watson

Jeff Wilson



Lee Dassler
Executive Director


Kelley Hodgkins

Program Coordinator

Bob Van Nest and Jeff Chase at Virgil Parris Forest

Bill Gibson with Lee Dassler (far right) at Roberts

Bob Van Nest at Roberts farm view


Joe Zilinsky (center) with Bobby and Jerry on the Zilinsky farm