The How, Where, and Why of DRA Lands Protection

We conserve land in several ways after analyzing a given property’s consistency with our mission and the following land protection criteria:

I. How We Protect Land

  1. Accept donations of land
  2. Purchase land at bargain sale or fair market value
  3. Accept donations of (and on rare occasions purchase) conservation easements
  4. Provide stewardship services to municipalities or agencies
  5. Assist public agencies by rapidly securing land for ultimate transfer to them

Additionally, we sometimes accept donation of “tradelands,” properties that the donor has explicitly intended for us to be able to resell to support other conservation efforts.

 

II. Where We Protect Land

We support conservation efforts in the Damariscotta River region including the estuary and its tributaries, as well as portions of the Pemaquid and Boothbay peninsulas. While we may accept mission-consistent lands of high conservation and public value throughout this area, we have narrowed our proactive acquisition efforts to particular focus areas, which include:

  • Upper River, Great Salt Bay and Oyster Creek
  • River ~ Link Corridor
  • North Branch of Johns Bay
  • Seal Cove and Jones Cove
  • River Islands and Outer Islands

 

III. Why We Protect Land

Our role as a land trust focuses on protecting lands with significant public values, through acquisition, acceptance of gifts of lands, or by establishing conservation easements. Significant public values can fall under several different categories, as defined in our mission statement; “preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Damariscotta River, its watershed, and adjacent areas for the benefit of all.”  This includes the establishment of public access, where appropriate and depending on the category of protection. There are a variety of categories we consider as potentially worthy of our involvement.

Guiding Categories

  • Conservation Priorities: lands with multiple values and benefits
  • Landscape Features: undeveloped shoreline and adjacent woodlands, as well as built landscapes and landscape features that define our cultural heritage, scenic and habitat values of corridors used by people and wildlife
  • Location: Lincoln County, priority to lands in estuary below Damariscotta Lake and adjacent to Johns Bay, water’s edge with high human/natural benefits, large blocks of undeveloped land and riparian corridor, proximity to other protected lands

 

Guiding Criteria

  • Natural Areas: large tracts, species at edge of range, high value habitat per state/federal program, endangered species, exemplary natural communities, wetlands, wildlife habitat buffers
  • Scenic Lands: prominent view from public vantage, extensive undeveloped shoreline, islands, headlands
  • Public Access: trails to shore, productive commercial/recreational fishing/harvesting, open space in villages valued by community, traditionally used open space
  • Heritage Landscapes: saltwater farms, water supply, working harbors/waterfront, conservation lands identified in comp plans, sites with middens, brickyards, etc.

 

Please note: DRA only signs complete 8283 forms after reviewing the appraised value represented by the donor’s appraiser (which is true for outright donations of conservation easements as well). DRA reserves the right not to sign an 8283 it is not comfortable with and will not participate in fraudulent transactions. In all cases, donors should consult their own tax and legal advisors as DRA cannot and does not provide tax or legal advice.