Good news for outdoor enthusiasts and environmentalist alike in Maine: Yesterday, the Appalachian Mountain Club announced its recent purchase of 29,500 acres of the Roach Ponds track land. Although the AMC will manage the property, they have donated the land to the state of Maine so that it will remain permanently protected land for recreational public use.
The acquisition of the land secures what AMC deputy director Walter Graff termed as the “missing link” in what is now 63 miles and nearly 650,000 acres of continuous conservation land in Maine’s 100-Mile Wilderness region.
While the use of this land is important to the many hikers, cyclists, and skiers (um, us) who visit the area and to the Mainers whose economy relies partially on nature-based tourism, it also enhances and protects the more than 20-mile stretch of the Appalachian Trail that buffers the 100-Mile Wilderness region. This will also protect the west branch of the Pleasant River, a native brook trout area cherished by the region’s anglers, as well as the rich water and timber resources and the plant and animal species that the area boasts.
Maine’s governor, John Baldacci, is pretty happy about it, too. Here’s what he had to say in yesterday’s AMC news release:
"I am pleased that AMC, working with state and local partners, acquired the magnificent Roach Ponds property,” said Maine Governor John Baldacci. “The conservation easement placed on the property preserves public access for traditional recreation and protects the land from development. I am confident that AMC will manage the property in a way that will promote nature-based tourism in Piscataquis County while providing local jobs in the forest products industry. Maine residents and visitors will be able to enjoy this beautiful area for generations to come.”
This is good news for Maine wilderness lovers, but there's more wild places that need saving across the country—and you can help simply by hiking through it. Find out more in our June feature "Hike It, Save It."