Western Foothills Land Trust © 1987–2017   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.

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

 

Western Foothills Land Trust

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.

Crooked River & Sebago Lake Watershed

 

The Trust continues to work within the Crooked River Watershed with an over-arching goal of protecting a forested watershed for a variety of ecosystem services including water quality.

 

Over 200,000 households, 1/6th of Maine, rely upon clean drinking water from the Sebago Lake Reservoir, which is fed by the Crooked River and other tributaries within the greater Sebago Lake Watershed. Recently, new partners have joined the effort, providing welcome conservation approaches, technical and organizational expertise, and financial support.

 

Thanks to support from the partnership, WFLT will be hiring a part-time program coordinator, allowing more of our Executive Director’s time to be dedicated to conservation in the watershed.

Noyes Mountain Preserve

 

On a snowy February 9th, 2017 when many Main Street businesses had closed early, the Trust had a closing of its own. Thanks to all of our community and foundation supporters and a $230,000 bridge loan from The Conservation Fund, Board President, Bob Van Nest, signed the deed for the Noyes Mountain parcel.

 

This mountain “trek” which began in July of 2014, has taken many twists and turns as large land purchases by small non-profits do. The initial 240 acre parcel was expanded to 295 to provide the Trust with beneficial logging and recreational access. The land was resurveyed to accommodate a Land For Maine’s Future funding opportunity. Then, just prior to a December 2016 closing, there was a title issue that delayed the sale.

 

Throughout the process, the sellers have been understanding and patient, their realtor sympathetic, and you, our donors, were and continue to be, exceedingly generous. Thank you all for getting us to this stage. Now it is time for the final push to the summit.

 

Last December, the Trust received news of an anonymous $50,000 gift towards the Noyes Purchase and an additional $50,000 challenge match from the same donor. All monies we raise from private and foundation donors will now be matched up to $50,000. $19,000 has already been pledged or received towards that challenge! Once we reach that $50,000 goal, we will be able to pay off the loan with the grants that have already been awarded. Then all we need are funds for stewardship, signage, and trail building.

 

Anyone interested in making a contribution or pledge towards Noyes Mountain, please call 739-2124, email us or make a contribution online.

Noyes Mountain Preserve will forever protect...

Views: Iconic view of Norway Lake and access to extraordinary summit views.

Water: 2,000' of streams and 295 acres within the Norway Lake watershed.

Land: Dramatic ledges, working forests and fields in a significant undeveloped block.

Recreation: Trails for bikers, horseback riders, snowshoers, skiers, rock hounds, hunters.

Community: We will provide programs, pay property taxes, and manage resources.

Roberts Farm Preserve

Recognizing the site’s cultural and resource conservation significance, as well as the strategic recreational potential of the parcel, The Western Foothills Land Trust purchased the former dairy farm as two separate lots with great support from the community and state. In December 2009, the Trust purchased the 1823 Pike-Roberts farmstead that you see behind you. Planning for its adaptive reuse is ongoing.

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Shepard's Farm Preserve

 

Since Norway’s founding in 1797, this high ridge land has supported the working farms of Benjamin Witt, Joshua Crockett, Charles Freeman, and John Shepard. Donated to the Western Foothills Land Trust by the Detert Family in 2010, this twenty acre Preserve is open year round for non-motorized recreation. Enjoy the woods trail or the rolling former dairy farm pasture, perfectly suited for sledding, XC skiing, snowshoeing, dog walking, and kite flying, should the winds comply. Please follow standard trail etiquette of leave no trace. We welcome you to record your visit in the Preserve journal.

 

This project was initiated in 2001 when the V.D. Parris Preservation Corporation,Inc. (VDPPC) purchased 1236 acres (Parcel C) from a timber company after the land had been harvested.  Dedicated to conserving the varied wildlife habitat and natural resources on the parcel, the VDPPC contacted WFLT in 2005 about accepting the donated fee ownership of the parcel by 2009.  The goal of protecting the entire shoreline of South Pond in perpetuity was established at that time.  In 2006, WFLT began negotiations with the owner of the Parcels A and B (the 14 acre parcel B was to be developed into cottage lots.)  The result of the negotiations was a two stage process of acquisition.  In March 2008, WFLT purchased an easement protecting the 44 acre Parcel A which includes 18.5 acres of wetlands, 1,936’ of shoreline, and 3,100’ of stream buffer.  Linked to that sale via a signed purchase and sales agreement was the acquisition by WFLT of Parcel B.  That purchase protects 14 acres of wooded slopes from development and an additional 524’ of shoreline.  In 2009, the fee ownership of the 1,236 acre Parcel C was be donated to WFLT by the V.D. Parris Preservation Corporation.  WFLT has granted a 1 acre water access easement on the east shore of South Pond to the State.  in this project.

Witt Swamp Preserve is a 141 acre parcel owned by the Western Foothills Land Trust since 2004. The Swamp is named after Benjamin Witt, Norway’s first blacksmith. From 1872–2004, the forested parcel was owned by C. B. Cummings & Sons of Norway makers of wooden dowels, monopoly board pieces and pieces for other wooden games. The lot does have a history of past forest management and evidence of such is still clearly visible throughout the lot in old stumps, skid trails and the forest structure itself. With much of the preserve in wetland habitats, these wetland acres have likely never been managed and are present with a structure indicative of such.