The health of the Damariscotta River and the lands that surround it are deeply connected. The well-being of our community is tied to the both.
The woods, farms and waters of the Damariscotta region are foundations of our economy and quality of life, the basis of our sustenance both directly and indirectly.
Recognizing these connections, the Damariscotta River Association became a conservation land trust in 1987 in order to hold land and conservation easements for public benefit.
Since then, DRA has worked with willing private landowners and partners to conserve and steward more than 3,000 acres of land, including 23 miles of shoreline and several islands.
Ways to Conserve Land
- Gifts of natural lands for permanent conservation
- Donation of conservation easement (aka conservation agreement)
- Gift of “tradelands” – real estate intended for DRA to sell to enhance conservation elsewhere
- Sale or “bargain sale” (below appraised value) of land
- More . . .
DRA currently . . .
- Holds 40 conservation easements on 1,350 acres
- Owns 38 properties encompassing more than 900 acres of preserved lands
- Assists in the stewardship and management of another twelve properties and 750 acres including Dodge Point, in concert with state, non-profit and municipal partners
Open to All. All of the properties that DRA owns and co-manages are open for respectful public use. They are well-used for hiking, educational programs, wildlife observation, skiing, picnics, sledding and ice skating, among many other activities. Notably, not all conservation easements include public access.
Connecting the Dots. Today we attempt through our land protection efforts to create a connected network of natural areas through which the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Such connectivity generally improves wildlife habitat, water quality, and recreational opportunities.
Seeking the Standouts. We seek lands with exceptional natural, historic and public values and place special emphasis on conservation in particular focus areas.
Some of the many gems of our protected system – and it’s hard to pick just a few – include:
- The Glidden Midden, which is one of the largest oyster shell heaps on the Eastern Seaboard and part of our Salt Bay Preserve & Heritage Trail
- Several islands including 26-acre Stratton Island with its resident eagles
- Plummer Point in South Bristol
- Great Salt Bay Farm and Round Top Farm, both historical salt water farms in Damariscotta
Partnering with Private Landowners. Today we continue to connect these properties by working with willing donors and sellers to conserve their lands through conservation easements, outright gifts or sale. Many other strategies are available as well, including remainder interests and life estates among others.
To speak with a member of our staff about conservation options for your land, including conservation easements, please contact us.