The 425-acre forest is made up of three separate but adjoining lots owned by the DSF through our Downeast Rivers Land Trust (DRLT) program. The properties are part of the Pleasant River Conservation Corridor, a project of the DRLT and our partners that serves to protect sensitive river habitat critical for the survival of endangered Atlantic salmon, brook trout, and other species
Approximately 344 acres of the forest will be actively managed by the DSF using sustainable forest practices that promote forest health and protect river habitat while benefiting wildlife and recreation. Sale of forest products will help support the hatchery, education and other programs of the Downeast Salmon Federation. Harvest activities will begin in the winter of 2008-09.
The remaining 75 acres in the DSF Community Forest will remain “forever wild”, and will not be developed or managed, other than to provide walking trails and one canoe-access primitive campsite on the Pleasant River.
The “Salmon Safe Community Forest” includes several miles of river and stream frontage along the Pleasant River and the Eastern Little River, one of its major tributaries. The Pleasant River drainage is home to some of the last wild Atlantic salmon in the U.S. In the fall of 2007, the only documented salmon spawning in the Pleasant River drainage were located in the Eastern Little River. These fish had been released in to the tributary as fry by the Downeast Salmon Federation in 2003.
Upon completion, the “Salmon Safe Community Forest” will include three access points with parking, four new forest trails totaling approximately 2 miles that will complement the existing 1.8 miles of gravel road access, a school bus turnaround, trail guides and interpretive signage focused on the history, land management, and ecology of the property. The trails and river access will provide field trip opportunities for school groups and the community and serve as a tourist destination for those interested in learning about local forest ecology and sustainable forest practices.
Funding support for the first phase of the project has been provided by the Maine Forest Service Project Canopy program. Construction of the Little River Trail, providing access to Otter Falls from the Little River Road parking area, was completed this October. For information, to volunteer, or to support the project with a donation contact the DSF at 483-4336 or email@example.com.