Land Conservation

Preserving open space for generations to come.

As a Land Trust, PWA works to protect the beauty and natural integrity of the Pemaquid Peninsula by working with private landowners to preserve open space. The two most common land conservation strategies that PWA uses are conservation easements and land acquisition for nature preserves.

PWA Protected Land

  • Nature Preserves: 11 (474.5 Acres)
  • Conservation Easements: 14 (431 Acres)
  • Acres Conserved: approximately 906
land conservation - aerial view of Doyle Preserve

aerial view of Doyle Preserve and Pemaquid Pond

Conservation Easements

Establishing a conservation easement is a practical way for a landowner to direct current and future uses of his or her property. Easements can permanently protect your land’s scenic, ecological, historic, woodland, wetland, open space, agricultural or recreational value. The land remains the private property of the landowner, who gets to decide what kinds of activities will be allowed or disallowed on the property. Every conservation easement is a unique legal agreement, written specifically to fit the landowner’s needs and goals within the context of protecting the land’s special features.

Landowners benefit from the security of knowing that their land will remain legally protected even when it eventually passes to a new owner. An easement may reduce the market value of the designated property, sometimes to the extent that property or estate taxes are reduced. Thus, it may enable heirs to hold onto family land that they may otherwise have to sell.

To learn more about conservation easements, please see our conservation easement brochure . We welcome you to contact us for more information about land protection options or to request copies of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s “Conservation Options for Landowners” booklet ($3).

Land Acquisition for Nature Preserves

Land acquisition is another conservation option. Lands appropriate for long-term conservation ownership may be acquired through donation, bargain sales, bequests, and other avenues.

Interested in Protecting Your Property?

Call PWA 207-563-2196 for further information and to discuss the options.

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What is a Land Trust?

In terms of conservation, a Land Trust is a non-profit organization that actively works to conserve land. Land trusts vary greatly in scope and scale, but all of them share the common mission of working cooperatively with landowners to protect and conserve land for its natural, recreational, scenic, historic, or productive value.

land conservation - juvenile Eastern phoebe on Duckpuddle Stream

juvenile Eastern phoebe on Duckpuddle Stream, photo by Karen Berg

Many different strategies are used to provide this protection, including outright acquisition (through gift or purchase) of the land by the trust. In other cases, the land will remain in private hands, but the trust will establish a conservation easement (through gift or purchase) on the property to prevent development.

A Land Trust is essentially a community service provider, offering expertise and land conservation options to private landowners and assisting towns with conservation planning and land stewardship.

12 Rivers Conservation Initiative

PWA is one of 10 independent land trusts collaborating to explore ways to conserve land at a regional scale in mid-coast Maine.  The “12 Rivers Conservation Initiative”—named for the number of river systems that extend from the Kennebec estuary to the western shore of Penobscot Bay—is a response to the growing awareness that landscape-scale conservation can accelerate the pace of conservation while keeping costs low.

By bundling smaller projects into a shared conservation effort, the collaborative aims to expand organizational capacity, attract new funding sources, gain greater economies of scale, and increase the benefits available from the products and ecosystem services that the reconnected land may yield. PWA is excited to be involved in this visionary effort.


land conservation - Pemaquid Pond Preserve

A 1.9-acre island is part of PWA’s new Pemaquid Pond Preserve. Photo by Jody Harris.

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584 Main Street • PO Box 552 • Damariscotta, Maine 04543
207-563-2196 • info@pemaquidwatershed.org
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