New Easement in Thomaston
The Town of Thomaston partnered with Georges River Land Trust to permanently protect 66 acres in the Thomaston Town Forest through a conservation easement. This conservation effort will ensure public access to woodlands and wetlands along the Oyster River, habitat for wildlife, and a protected wetland ecosystem for flood control and carbon sequestration. It joins another 100 acres already in conservation in Thomaston.
With 1,500 feet of frontage on the river, high bluffs and marshy inlets, this property has long been appreciated by the community. A section of the Georges Highland Path (GHP), a footpath managed by the Georges River Land Trust, weaves through this property affording extensive views of the Oyster River. The GHP currently extends from Booker Street to Jack Baker Woods on Beechwood Street in Thomaston, predominantly on town land.
The recent conservation emerged from Thomaston’s desire to stimulate growth and economic development in the town-designated industrial area while conserving a swath of undeveloped forestland along the Oyster River. According to John Fancy, Pollution Control Superintendent, the idea formed several years ago as part of a planning exercise to identify places in town where growth could be encouraged.
“There were not a lot of options,” noted John. “But, by bringing Dragon Products LLC, Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Georges River Land Trust to the table, we were able to increase conservation along the river in exchange for allowing light industrial development in town, on an 85-acre parcel owned by Dragon. All the partners leaned into the same vision.”
Annette Naegel, Director of Conservation for Georges River Land Trust added, “This project demonstrates how partners can think outside the box to identify the best places for growth and the best places for permanent conservation.”