Sarah Kearsley casts a line into the Crooked River from Western Foothills Land Trust’s Twin Bridges Preserve in Otisfield. Contributed photo by Andy Gagne

The Western Foothills Land Trust enlarged its Twin Bridges Preserve this week with the $1 million acquisition of an adjacent 721-acre forest tract known as Edwards Mills, the Norway-based trust announced Friday.

Part of the former Chadbourne Tree Farm, the tract includes access from Route 117 and land on both sides of the Crooked River in Norway, Otisfield and Harrison, the trust said. The expanded preserve will protect over 1,000 contiguous acres of working forest, 4.5 miles of Crooked River shoreline, and over 2 miles of stream habitat along the river.

Western Foothills Land Trust Development Director, Lee Dassler, alongside Tom Duffus of The Conservation Fund, enthusiastically takes down the “End of Land Trust Property” sign on the edge of the Trust’s newly acquired land, extending Twin Bridges Preserve by 721 acres. Contributed photo by Andy Gagne

The 62-mile-long river is the largest indirect tributary to Sebago Lake, merging with the Songo River before it flows into the drinking water supply for one in five Mainers, the trust said. It also supports upstream aquifers, local recreational economies, and essential spawning habitat for brook trout and landlocked salmon.

The acquisition was paid for by The Conservation Fund in partnership with the Stifler Family Foundation, Land for Maine’s Future, Portland Water District, Open Space Institute, Woodard & Curran, Casco Bay Estuary Partnership, The Nature Conservancy, OnX, and anonymous donors.

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