Conservation groups protect 21,000 western Maine acres

GRAFTON TOWNSHIP, Maine (AP) — Conservation organizations in Maine said they have preserved more than 20,000 acres in the western part of the state.

The Forest Society of Maine said it now holds a conservation easement on 15,000 acres of forests, and Northeast Wilderness Trust now owns 6,000 acres of watershed and high elevation habitat. The society said on Tuesday the forestlands are in the area of Grafton Township, Maine.

The Forest Society of Maine said the newly conserved lands border the Appalachian Trail and include trails that access it. The society said it worked with dozens of organizations and individual donors to raise money to protect the lands.

“These lands, which are rated highly for their resiliency to climate change, are now protected from conversion to non-forest uses in an area experiencing strong development pressures,” the society said in a statement.