DSF is committed to returning the rivers and lands of Downeast Maine to its people. We believe, for instance, protecting these rivers and lands protects and revitalizes a quickly fading traditional way of life. DSF’s conservation goals will ensure these lands are open to hunting, fishing, hiking, paddling and snowmobile/ATV access in perpetuity. Protecting these lands will ensure future generations will be able to grow up hunting and fishing in the same forests and on the same riverbanks as their great-grandparents.
As of 2019, DSF has conserved more than 3,835 acres, either through fee-purchase or conservation easement, which includes more than 30 miles of river frontage. We currently own or have easements on 57 individual parcels throughout Washington and Hancock counties. Our goals include protecting critical spawning and rearing habitat for the endangered Atlantic salmon, sea-run brook trout, smelt, and alewife.
Many of these properties are clustered together to create several conservation preserves. These preserves are well marked and provide miles of hiking trails and river access. Whether it’s hiking at the Pleasant River Preserve or paddling the Narraguagus at Sprague’s Falls Preserve, DSF conserved lands offer something for everyone! Check out the preserves below for trail maps, photos, and more information.
- Pleasant River Preserve, Columbia Falls
- Sprague’s Falls Preserve, Cherryfield
- Saco Falls Preserve, Columbia
- Beaverdam Stream Preserve, Wesley
- Popple Hill Preserve, Deblois
All of DSF’s properties are available for use by the public. Please note the following rules regarding use of DSF properties:
- All properties are “carry in/carry out”. Please take only pictures and leave only footprints!
- Before hunting or installing game cameras on DSF owned lands, please review our Hunting & Wildlife Viewing Equipment Policy for Downeast Salmon Federation.
Planning Your Property’s Future
According to research conducted by several universities including the University of Maine, 77% of Maine’s forest owners want to protect the environment and wildlife associated with their land. DSF has the same goals. If ensuring that your property is protected for the future is important to you, we can assist you with information regarding conservation based estate planning options. Please contact DSF Land Trust Director, Tanya Rucosky at email@example.com or 207-255-0676.
Harry Smith, circa 1959. This “too large for the camera” salmon is the largest fish ever caught on a rod in the Narraguagus River.