DERBY, Vt.–  Time is running out for the U.S. government to accept a 420-acre lakefront estate on the U.S.-Canadian border bequeathed by a wealthy man who wanted the land to be available to campers and hikers.

When he died in 2007, Michael Dunn stipulated that Eagle Point Farm be sold if the federal government fails to take ownership of it within three years. The deadline is Sept. 1.

“The clock’s definitely ticking,” said Gil Livingston, president of the Vermont Land Trust.

The government has a proposal for how to use the land. On Tuesday, the land trust, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources gave tours of the parcel on Lake Memphremagog and answered questions.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service proposes that it become owner of the land and the state Fish and Wildlife Department manage it.

One or two primitive camp sites and possibly a boat launch would be added. Hunting, fishing and hiking would be allowed; ATV use would not.

“What we’re always concerned about is we don’t want to see condominiums along Eagle Point Road. And so we’re all very in favor of it going to, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife taking it,” said John Burgess, a professor of medicine at McGill University who owns a summer house nearby.

Burgess, who had known Dunn for many years, wasn’t surprised by his generosity.

“I think it was always his intention to have it become a nature preserve of some kind,” he said.

Dunn, who lived in Montreal, moved in 1978 to the property his grandmother had bought as a vacation home.

The property includes more than a mile of lake frontage; 260 acres of wetland, woodland, and riparian land; and 220 acres of agricultural land.