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Trout Unlimited is working with the Trust for Public Land and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife to purchase and protect an 8,000-acre parcel in Maine’s North Woods that exemplifies the best of Maine's wild brook trout habitat. The parcel protects Cold Stream, a high-value brook trout stream, from its source to its mouth, and also includes eight wild brook trout ponds. Cold Stream supports spawning for trophy brook trout from the Kennebec River and the ponds on the parcel have a long history as destinations for anglers from many local sporting camps. Protecting this valuable piece of land--the region's largest intact wintering area for deer--would provide improvement on 12 miles of Cold Stream and would provide access for anglers and other sportsmen.
More than a decade ago, TU signed a settlement agreement with the owner of the Indian Pond hydroelectric project. Among other things, the settlement provided nearly $1 million for habitat protection and restoration. TU advocated that the bulk of the fund be used to protect existing, intact brook trout habitat in Cold Stream, which supports of the majority of spawning t for Kennebec River brook trout. The other settlement parties agreed, and TU sought assistance from the Trust for Public Land in 2011 to contact the landowner and see if a conservation sale was possible. Since then, the landowner has agreed to sell more than 8,000 acres to the state of Maine, including eight wild trout ponds, more than 12 miles of Cold Stream, and a 2,000-acre deer wintering yard.
In 2012, the Trust for Public Lands, TU and the state of Maine sought funding from the federal Forest Legacy project to protect this parcel. In early 2013, the US Forest Service’s proposed 2014 budget ranked the Cold Stream Forest Project as fourth in the nation for funding in 2014, and recommended $6 million in funding.
Jeff Reardon-- email@example.com
Jeff Reardon, Maine Brook Trout Project Director
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