Topsham-based Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, recently announced that the Maine Land Trust Network 2023 Maine Land Conservation Conference will culminate in a live gathering on May 3 at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, where the recipient of the annual Espy Land Heritage Award will be announced and where MCHT’s new Land Trust Program director will be introduced.

Maine Land Trust Network Program Director Warren Whitney and Maine Coast Heritage Trust Associate Director of Stewardship Amanda Devine with a canine companion on a MCHT boat in Friendship in September 2015. Courtesy of Maine Coast Heritage Trust

“With more than 80 land trusts representing 2,500 miles of trails, 340 water access points and 2.6 million conserved acres, Maine is home to an inspiring network of conservationists working together to ensure a common set of goals,” retiring Land Trust Program Director Warren Whitney said in a prepared release.

The annual MLTN conference, which was all virtual through March, is a chance for staff and volunteers across the state to share observations, concerns and insights. This year, nearly 200 people from Maine’s conservation community registered for the conference. The live event — the first since the COVID-19 pandemic — will host 300 participants and is expected to sell out.

“Through this conference and its year-round services and programs, MLTN facilitates collaboration and builds capacity for Maine’s land conservation movement statewide,” said Kate Stookey, president and CEO of Maine Coast Heritage Trust. “Maine pioneered the use of conservation easements in the 1970s and MCHT helped establish the national Land Trust Alliance. We look forward to convening in May and welcome all to join us for reflection and continued discussion about conservation priorities in Maine.”

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