Crocker and Reddington mountains, above, as seen from Quill Hill in Reddington Township, are among the views that have been protected by a recent land deal. Photo by Jerry and Marcy Monkman

A land deal in the western Maine mountains that conserves nearly 14,000 acres will protect two iconic outdoor destinations and add acreage to a growing swath of land that serves as an important ecological reserve, the state announced Friday.

The two properties totaling 13,640 acres – Quill Hill and Perham Stream – have been permanently protected and will remain open for public use, including traditional uses such as hunting, fishing and ATV and snowmobile use. Much of the land also will be managed for timber harvesting. 

The $11 million conservation project was led by the Trust for Public Land, The Nature Conservancy in Maine and the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. The bulk of the funding for the project came from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and the U.S. Navy, which has a wilderness training facility in nearby Redington Township.

To date, as much as 100,000 acres of contiguous, lands has been permanently protected in the region by either public agencies or nonprofits. This forested corridor helps enhance carbon storage and ensure species have ample habitat for migration when pushed to colder regions by climate change.

“For decades there has been a growing understanding of the importance of connectivity with large-scale conservation lands. It’s not only important for wide-ranging species that move long distances over the course of a year, but also for the ability of species to respond to the changing climate,” said Mark Berry, the forest program director at The Nature Conservancy in Maine.

“The western Maine mountains are a really key piece of a larger story of habitat connectivity through the Appalachians (mountain range). The Appalachian Trail corridor is one of the best opportunities to maintain that habitat connectivity.”


The 7,062-acre Quill Hill parcel near Rangeley and the 6,578-acre Perham Stream property are part of the traditional land of the Wabanaki people.

The 6,578-acre Perham Stream property was purchased from Bayroot, LLC by the Bureau of Parks and Lands and now has a conservation easement held by the U.S. Navy. 

Located on the slopes of Mount Abraham, the property features a bowl around Farmer Mountain as well as two streams in the headwaters of the Kennebec River watershed. Almost 5,000 acres will be left forever wild as an ecological reserve, while the remaining 1,600 will be harvested for timber by the bureau.

The Quill Hill property will continue to be owned by the Brochu family trust, but will remain open to the public with a conservation easement held by the state bureau and the U.S. Navy. The four co-trustees – Jason Brochu of Dover-Foxcroft, Chris Brochu of Lowell, Stephanie Voter of Cornville and Tabatha Andrews of Oregon – all grew up in Maine.

The Quill Hill parcel also offers a hiking trail to a stunning 360-degree view with an accessible summit area that visitors can reach by car. The trail at the top is considered by many to be fully accessible and has been enjoyed by wheelchair users, said Brent West, executive director of the High Peaks Alliance, which works to help protect land in the region.

“It’s great news on the Quill Hill side of things, protecting the ATV and snowmobile trails as part of the easement,” West said. “Locals had a voice in this project. A lot of local uses and traditional uses were planned for.”

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