Conservation History

As of Fall 2019, around  2,000 acres of public and private land is protected with 3RLT easements.  In addition, about 960 acres are now owned by the trust.

We are working on getting a map embedded here, but meanwhile, please follow the link for a Google map of the entrance points for properties that are open to the public. Some of these are owned by the land trust, and some are town-owned. Click “Open Original Map” for ease of use. Please enjoy and let us know if you have any questions!

Visit the Springvale Library to view maps that were developed with the help of Southern Maine Regional Planning to highlight the trust’s focus areas in our towns. There is a wealth of natural resource and land use information on the maps. Also ask a librarian to give you a list of the Three Rivers resources. We have over 25 books in our collection that address land use issues, conservation and easements.

Easement History: 

January 13, 2014 Alfred – “Albert J. Sousa Family Preserve”  213.47 acres have been purchased in the Walnut Hill area from the Sousa Family.  This acquisition came after a successful proposal was submitted by the Forest Works! team through the Wetland Mitigation program run for the State of Maine by Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program (MNRCP) and administered by The Nature Conservancy.  Thank you to the lawyers and everyone else who helped with this project! The property is off of the Gebung Road and has some important vernal pools and precious wetland species and habitat.

October 28, 2013 Shapleigh – “The Hutchins Forest” 125 acres along Hooper Rd.  Bill and Pat Hutchins  have worked continuously to preserve and enhance the unfragmented forest they acquired from prior owners who had kept the forest intact.  They have made forest income from the sales of wood and maple syrup.  The wood lot is green certified by the American Forest Foundation’s American Tree Farm System and the Hutchins wish to have their careful stewardship, utilizing their many years of personal experience in forest management, carried on in order that the resources may be wisely managed by future generations for the benefit not only of family and successor owners but for the greater community as well. The Protected Forest includes part of a large wetland in the Pump Box Brook watershed and limiting development on the Protected Forest will help protect the water quality of the Pump Box Brook watershed, a watershed deemed of particular value as the largest watershed feeding Mousam Lake, a lake of immeasurable importance to the Town of Shapleigh’s tax base.

July 2011 Acton – “The Hobbs Farm” 170 Acres on Foxes Ridge received as a gift with expenses.  The parcel abuts the high value wetlands called the South Acton Swamps by IF&W.  A grant from The Davis Foundation is helping us with the expenses on this project.  A committee of directors and volunteers is working on a management plan and hopes to find someone interested in farming on the field land.  FMI call Tom at 636-3582.

Jan. 2011 Shapleigh – A 73.5 acre property has been purchased by the land trust in the Walnut Hill Focus Area with $162,800.00 contribution from the Maine Natural Resources Conservation Program.
We are thrilled to be able to protect this valuable habitat and begin
to have success in our conservation efforts in the Walnut Hill Focus
Area. Recently we learned of an additional Open Space Institute (OSI) grant of $21,000. We will also receive $7,000 from John Sage Foundation as we have raised the challenge of $25,000 in addition to the state grant.  The property may be reached on outer Elm St. in Springvale.  Go out all the way to the end of the pavement and the property begins on the left a short distance down the hill.  There is an opening that was a landing area for logging.  Park and enjoy a nice walk.

Lebanon: December 2009 75 acre Berry Best Farm closed on an easement. Chris and John Bozak raise peaches, blueberries and other fruits and vegetables on this lovely Pick Your Own Farm in North Lebanon. 

Springvale: December 2009 70 Acre Noon Family Sheep Farm closed on an easement with Land For Maine’s Future and the Federal Ranch Protection Program. This was a sale of development rights. The easement was gifted to the Three Rivers Land Trust to steward and monitor forever.

West Lebanon: September 2009 Adele Franson of Florida donates 12 acres on the Salmon Falls River to the Land Trust. The property now called The Salmon Falls Reserve is open to the public, foot traffic only please, and located just south of and behind the Prospect Hill Cemetery.

Shapleigh: March 2008 Citizens have voted to protect the Shapleigh Town Forest with an easement on over 485 acres. Congratulations!

Shapleigh: December 2007

Ron Prevoir signed an easement on his 41 acre property “Shapleigh Knoll” on Newfield Rd.

Shapleigh Knoll Farm on Newfield Road in Shapleigh was purchased by Ron Prevoir in the
early 1960’s. He was attracted to what was the old Joseph Beal homestead by its
special character created by the stream on the property and the scenic and
agricultural value of the land. Today, resulting from Ron’s patient care and
maintenance of the farm, it is one of the last remaining lots in the area with
over 1,200 feet of road frontage.

Early on, Ron began to restore the buildings, which dated from the 1830’s. Over the
years, he has created a homestead that is worthy of conserving as a tribute to
its original owner. Since purchasing the land, Ron has maintained a working
farm, raising many award-winning Border Cheviot sheep. Along with the domestic
animals, Ron developed a compassion for wildlife, attracting many winged and
four-legged creatures to his doorstep.

Not long ago, Ron purchased an adjacent forested parcel of 35 acres abutting the 6
acre home lot. This additional land adds to the reasons for conserving the
property, since it helps to complete a wildlife corridor between the Vern
Walker Game Reserve and the Waterboro Barrens land managed by the Nature

The maintenance of the agricultural value of the homestead and the improvement of
the scenic and wildlife corridor are of great importance to Ron. For these
concerns and because of his love for the field and forest in his care, Ron has
chosen to place conservation easements on Shapleigh Knoll Farm and Shapleigh
Knoll Forest to assure the land is maintained for future generations in
accordance with his wishes.

With this gift, Ron helps to paint a picture of his community’s future, a fitting
gift from Shapleigh’s artist in residence. Thank you, Ron.

Lebanon: December 2007- Red Wing Farm Beatrice Lord and
Marjorie Lord Blood signed easements on their 124.7 acre Farm protecting it for the

A Letter from Red Wing Farm:

Our farm, Red Wing Farm, has been in our family for several generations and for
over two hundred years, as noted by the National Bicentennial sign on the front
of our barn. We, Bea and Marjorie, both grew up here and went to local schools.
I, Marjorie, have lived here most of my life, and I, Bea, returned to my home
place when I retired after working many years in the Boston area.

We have enjoyed living on the farm; hiking on old wood roads; shoe shoeing a half
mile up into the woods with our cat following us, where we would see a deer
yard; seeing a little spotted fawn with its mother; maybe sighting an
occasional moose or pi-leated woodpecker. It has become not uncommon to see
flocks of turkeys roaming the fields as well as taking advantage of the bird
feeders, and to see tom turkeys all puffed up with fanned-out tails come
springtime. We are also seeing mysterious, unidentifiable tracks in the snow,
maybe raccoon, maybe fox, possibly bear or moose. Our land connects with a large
450-acre piece under a conservation easement, so the animals have free run for
several miles. We feel that encourages the wildlife.

We have enjoyed gardening, bird feeding, and bird watching, especially the
woodcock with its unique courting habit in the springtime. Come dusk he spirals
upward and circles the circumference of our thirty-acre field in hopes of
attracting his prospective mate. He flies full circle and then lands exactly at
the point he started from, making his buzzy mating call as he descends.

These activities have made this place home to us, and when we thought about it as we
got older we sometimes wondered what would happen to this place, the home of
our ancestors.

Our father, Walter Lord, came close to mortgaging the place in 1939, which was next
thing to a death-knell in those days, when he lost thousands of young chickens
on range in Connecticut during the 1938 hurricane. He had run up a big grain
bill on credit with the intention of paying it off when the chickens matured.
With the loss of the chickens his only sizable asset was his property and the
timber on it, which he sold. He was about to mortgage the land when a family
member offered him a loan. He accepted the loan and spent many years thereafter
paying it back. This was a close call, but the farm was saved.

Stephen Lord, Walter’s father, worked with physical limitations all his life, suffering
with sciatica from a bullet would he received in his leg during the Civil War.
He managed to keep the farm going, become a house painter, and raise a family
even though he lost his wife at a young age.

John Lord, Stephen’s father, was raised an orphan, and managed to buy piecemeal the
parcels of land making up this from his brother-in-law. He also bought the
homestead of Daniel Downs, the original settler of the farm in the 1780’s. He
paid him a sum of money and agreed to take care for him and his wife for the
rest of their days. John Lord married four times, having the misfortune of
losing three of his wives.

Another early grandfather whose family suffered loss was Stephen Downs, Daniel’s son.
He died at the young age of thirty-six, leaving a wife and seven children.
Three of the children were sisters who became John Lord’s wives, thereby making
the Lord-Downs family connection. At the time of Stephen’s death he owned all
the parcels of land that make up the farm today, and John Lord was able to
acquire them later.

As we reflected on these family histories, and the trials and tribulations that
the grandfathers endured, we felt a certain obligation and responsibility to
keep the farm intact; we didn’t want to see it go the way of so many old farms
today. Our appreciation for the perseverance and persistence of our forefathers
led us to search for a way that would secure the future.

We learned about Three Rivers Land Trust from a newspaper item and contacted them
about a conservation easement. We wrote many letters back and forth, mostly
with Madge Baker, asking many questions — would this be agreeable? would that
be permissible? We received lots of help and encouragement along the way from
both Madge and Carl Davis. They made us many visits until we finally came to an
agreement about all the ifs, ands, and buts over a period of more than four
years. We now feel that our home’s destiny is secure, and we thank Three Rivers
Land Trust for their part in it. – Marjorie Lord Blood, Beatrice Lord  January 12, 2008

Shapleigh: December 29th 2006  3RLT signed an easement with Ruth Boothby to preserve her farm of approximately 115 acres “Grand View Acres” on Owls Nest Road in Shapleigh.

Grand View Acres

It was a crystal clear cold day and there across Ruth’s fields, I was delighted to see the stunning majestic view of snow covered Mt. Washington and the Presidential Range. It is certainly a “Grand View” of Mt. Washington!

Several years ago when working on our strategic plan the land trust invited the public to attend a goal setting meeting. What came right to the foreground at that meeting was how much people treasure scenic, rural views in our towns, views of fields, lakes, and mountains. Fortunately, the landowners of most of these special views also cherish them. Indeed, that is why the views have been passed down from one generation to another.

One of those wonderful places is the view from Owl’s Nest Road, seen best when one is headed north. Almost twenty acres of hay fields lie in the foreground with house and barn at the road’s edge. On days when the sky is deep blue the unmistakable outline of Mount Washington rises in the distance. Thanks to Ruth P. Boothby and her children this very special vista will never be obstructed by buildings, and the agricultural fields will always remain ready for planting.

The farm, which had belonged to Joseph Hasty, was purchased by Ruth’s grandfather, Albert M. Mann, in 1885. It was passed down from him to Ruth’s parents. She grew up there. When she and her husband, E. Harry Boothby, raised a family of their own, they spent summers there. Eventually Harry retired from administration in the Massachusetts public school system so the family could become year-round Shapleigh residents. In fact, he did not retire but continued to teach and fill in as an administrator in Sanford and Acton for a number of years. He also became an active community volunteer. His most visible assignment was as Town Meeting Moderator.

In recent years the fields have been cared for and mowed by Shapleigh residents, Mike and Elsa Cook. The almost 100 acres of woods have been carefully and sustainably managed under the direction of Shapleigh forester, Peter Klachany.

When a land trust accepts a conservation easement it accepts the responsibility of carrying out the owner’s wishes forever. In this case Ruth wants to preserve the fields, trees, and view more than the buildings. Therefore, the easement allows considerable alterations to the existing structures, but no degradation of the fields and forest.

To carry out its responsibilities, our land trust is always putting aside funds in what we call our Stewardship Fund. These funds are invested to assure they continue to grow in size. We would like to add $2,000 to that Fund to assure future protection of this property. Any and all contributions to that fund are most welcome.

Alfred: May 10, 2005

Three Rivers Land Trust placed a conservation easement on “Shaker Woods” a 35 acre parcel of land in Alfred. The Parcel, which is located on Stone Road has over a thousand feet of frontage on the middle branch of the Mousam River. The land was originally part of a subdivision that is being developed by Washington Associates. The Conservation easement will assure that the 34 acres will remain as open space, forever. The forest will be left in its natural state.The 34 acres of open space is being transferred (gifted) to the town of Alfred. A town-appointed committee will maintain the stewardship of the property. They will create a walking trail; and a traditional public canoe and kayak access to the river that will be kept open forever. The Three Rivers Land Trust will monitor the property on an annual basis to assure that the terms of the easement are carried out.

This easement is the result of an effort on the part of the Alfred Planning Board, the developer, the land trust, and the Alfred Selectmen to form a partnership to promote cluster development and protect, preserve, and provide the public access to this beautiful undeveloped waterfront.

Shapleigh: November 17, 2005

In March 2005, Shapleigh residents approved two historic land acquisitions for the town. The Shapleigh Town Meeting accepted the gift of a section of rare turtle habitat on Upper Goose Pond, and voted to purchase a sixty-six acre abutting wooded parcel which will become part of the Town Forest, connecting the turtle habitat to the rest of the Town Forest. If you want to walk through this area, pick up a map from the Shapleigh Town Hall.

November 2005: A Blanding’s Turtle Preserve in Shapleigh At Last! We thought this easement would be finalized two years earlier. It was wishful thinking. Turtles are notoriously slow moving, but can win the race in the end.

The “Goose Pond Turtle Preserve” easement assures that 29.9 acres of woodland with more than 1,000 feet of frontage on Shapleigh’s Upper Goose beaver pond will remain a forever-wild preserve. It is to remain forever wild because it is suitable habitat for the elusive and endangered Blanding’s Turtle.

Like every easement story this one has its heroes and heroines. The parcel seemed destined to become one more house lot in a new subdivision located around a peaceful, secluded beaver pond. But the Town’s Conservation Commission had taught the Planning Board to check unfailingly the state generated natural areas maps. These maps told the Planning Board and the landowner that the Blanding’s Turtle had been found there. Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and Maine Natural Areas biologists were brought into the discussions. They recommended the 30 acres be set aside. The Planning Board adopted their recommendation; The Three Rivers Land Trust agreed to be the enforcer as the easement holder; and the Town of Shapleigh voted to acquire the lot in March2005. But there was still one formidable roadblock: there was a badly eroded, unapproved ATV trail that not only degraded water entering Mousam Lake, but might have also serve as a death warrant to a meandering turtle. Happily, the developer/owner, Northwoods Land Co. of Maine, through its agent, Craig Higgins, willingly took on the responsibility of closing the ATV trail.

So thanks to Shapleigh Conservation Commission, Planning Board, Northwoods Land Company, Three Rivers Land Trust and the citizens of Shapleigh, the Blandings Turtle Habitat is forever intact.

Acton: August 17, 2004

A town-appoiMary Grantnted committee has accepted the challenge of converting the Mary Grant 12 acre property with an easement held by 3RLT into a town park called “Mary Grant Nature Preserve”. The committee, working with several volunteers, has focused its efforts on turning the barn into usable space. They have held work days and been fundraising. The Town Forester, Steve Bodkin, has helped with a preliminary assessment of the condition of the woodlot. With Steve’s help, the committee has begun formulating the goals which will guide the formation of a management plan for the woodlot. Anyone interested in helping should contact the town or make a contribution to “The Town of Acton c/o Mary Grant Fund” PO Box 540, Acton, Me. 04001 The property is located on Sam Page Rd., one-quarter mile east from the H Rd. intersection. At the annual town meeting on June 4, 2005 Acton voters approved the 2005 Comprehensive Plan. With the guidance of Paul Schumacher from SMRPC, the Comprehensive Plan committee had developed this blueprint for the town’s growth for the next decade. There are many proposals within the plan for the conservation of our working farms and forestlands, as well as wildlife habitat protection and regional protection of our lakes. Throughout the developement of this plan, the Trust advocated for sustainable growth based on the conservation of our resources. We are hopeful that the Trust will continue to support efforts toward the implementation of these goals.

Lebanon: June, 4, 2003

 “The Wilbur Jones Farm” in Lebanon was the first easement that the Trust finalized in June of 2003. This working farm is owned and managed by The Ridley Farm in Shapleigh and is comprised of three parcels and almost 600 acres of fields and forests.  The Ridley Family manages these lands sustainably to produce Milk, mixed vegetables, hay and timber products.

Each property has it’s own special characteristics and history, so each easement must be crafted to recognize the uniqueness of the place. Each of these projects is the fulfillment of a landowner’s dream and is being handled with great care.

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