Recent reports tell us that Maine’s population is experiencing the largest regional increase, with predictions of continued growth in the years to come. Housing permits in many towns bear this out – not only near Maine’s population centers, but also in rural areas like Greenville.

The Scammon Ridge Headwaters Project includes nearly two miles of shoreline on Prong Pond, above, and the whole shoreline of Little Mud Pond, helping to sustain the native brook trout and healthy fisheries of these two bodies of water. Photo by Isaac Crabtree @northwoodsaerial

Why do I single out Greenville? An exceedingly rare opportunity has arisen to conserve a large undeveloped, contiguous forested parcel within the town. Known as the Scammon Ridge Headwaters Project, the lands span a high elevation ridge located between Lower Wilson Pond, which is within the Penobscot River watershed, and Prong Pond, which lies within the Kennebec River watershed.

This project will permanently conserve 3,000 acres, including nearly two miles of shoreline on Prong Pond and the entire shoreline of Little Mud Pond, helping to sustain the native brook trout and healthy fisheries of these two ponds. Prong Pond is close to downtown Greenville, accessible by a state boat ramp, and a popular place for family fishing and outings. The lands will remain undeveloped, which not only protects important wildlife habitat, forest-related jobs and recreational opportunities, but also ensures the forested scenic views of Scammon Ridge will remain forever.

The Forest Society of Maine – a statewide land trust – has a long-standing interest in and commitment to conserving the beauty, extraordinary values and public benefits of Greenville, Moosehead Lake and the surrounding region. It will be holding a permanent conservation easement on the property, adding to hundreds of thousands of acres in the area where the society already holds easements, and the state and other groups have conservation lands nearby. With the easement, careful forest management can continue and since the land will remain privately owned, the property will remain on the local tax rolls. 

The Forest Society of Maine is partnering with a local land trust, the Friends of Wilson Ponds, to bring this project to completion. The groups recently hosted a well-attended public informational session in Greenville. Community members are tremendously excited by the project, as it will safeguard against activities that could threaten the forested hillsides, pristine watersheds and abundant wildlife habitats on or adjacent to the property.

Forest Society of Maine

The Scammon Ridge Headwaters Project not only brings stability to an iconic site in Maine – Moosehead Lake – but also furthers state goals as set forth in the 2020 “Maine Won’t Wait” report of the Maine Climate Council, which seek to increase by 2030 the total acreage of conserved lands in the state from about 22% now to 30% by using voluntary tools and methods such as forest conservation easements. 

The forces of change throughout Maine are strong and likely to get stronger. Projects such as Scammon Ridge, conserving 3,000 acres in a region facing increased development pressure, can help hold on to what defines the increasingly unique wild beauty of Maine and the traditions of outdoor recreation and public access. To learn more, visit the Forest Society of Maine’s website at

If we act when opportunities arise, we can retain the aspects and qualities of the Moosehead region and Maine’s forests that we appreciate most, keeping them intact for generations to come. 

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