38 Lake Farm Circle, Jefferson ME 04348 | (207)549-3836 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Land Conservation in the Watershed
Including parts of the towns of Nobleboro, Newcastle, Jefferson, Somerville and Washington, the Damariscotta Lake watershed is a beautiful and unique region of Midcoast Maine. Streams flow through active forestland to bring cool, clean water into the lake. Active farms dot the landscape. The lake itself is important habitat for alewives, loons and other animals. Tourists and residents enjoy the lake for fishing, boating and swimming.
The same qualities that make the lake unique put it in danger as well. Development in the watershed has increased over the years, adding more houses and roads where forests and fields once were.
Visitors enjoy historic Chimney Farm, where DLWA holds a conservation easement on 8.7 acres.
The Damariscotta Lake Watershed Association has been working since 1966 to enhance the quality of life in and around Damariscotta Lake, assuring enjoyment for all of its natural and human residents. Realizing that protecting the land around the lake is essential to protecting the lake, DLWA began its land protection efforts in 1995. We recognize that protection of the working landscape, including family farms and small commercial woodlots, is vital to maintaining both rural character and water quality.
Since 1995, DLWA, a land trust, has worked with private landowners and local, state and national conservation organizations to protect more than 1,000 acres of open space in and around the watershed. Land on the lake is under heavy pressure to be developed, and its preservation is important for maintaining wildlife habitat, retaining scenic value and acting as a buffer against harmful runoff. DLWA seeks opportunities to protect wild land within the watershed to protect water quality, wildlife habitat, scenic views, productive agricultural or forestland and historical or cultural value.
DLWA protects land through accepting donations of conservation easements, accepting donations of property, purchasing property and purchasing development rights. DLWA has obtained conservation easements on 599 acres in or adjacent to the watershed. Conservation easements allow landowners to maintain ownership of their property, while protecting their land from development by giving up development rights such as subdivision and building rights. Many of DLWA’s easements are working forest easements, which allow owners to continue to cut wood sustainably. DLWA easements protect agricultural land, woodland, pristine shoreline on Damariscotta Lake and Cooks Pond and islands.
Through generous donations of land and money, DLWA has obtained an additional 492 acres, which will be maintained as nature preserves and conserved wildlife habitat. Included in this acreage are part of a mountaintop, upland forests, fields, a rocky stream (part of the West Branch of the Davis Stream), the forested flood plain of Davis Stream at the head of Great Bay and the small eyeglass-shaped Spectacle Island in the South Basin of Damariscotta Lake.
Spectacle Island, owned by DLWA
Three of DLWA’s preserves are open to the public for low-impact recreation. DLWA maintains trails on these preserves as a service to the community.
We usually have several land conservation projects underway, as landowners in the watershed seek to protect their “special places” from development. There may be tax advantages to donors of easements. Although the town may lose property tax revenues in the short term, undeveloped land does not increase town expenses for infrastructure and services, and the scenic and ecological benefits are an asset to the town.
Click here to download a map of DLWA’s conserved lands within the watershed.
You can also download an article published in the Lincoln County News about donating conservation easements.
For an in-depth look at conservation tools available to landowners, including conservation easements and bargain sales, call or email DLWA and ask for "Conservation Options: A Guide for Maine Landowners.” This guide and other valuable information is also available at the website for the Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
If you have a piece of property you wish to protect, please contact us at 207-549-3836 or email@example.com to arrange a meeting.
DLWA holds several working woodland easements