BY Betty Adams Kennebec Journal
The Kennebec Land Trust is richer these days with the addition of 26 acres on Horseshoe Island in Cobbossee Lake.
The donor wants to remain anonymous, according to land trust officials.
“They’re very modest,” said Howard Lake, a land trust board member and attorney for the organization. “I think that a lot of folks love Cobbossee Lake, and they’ve been coming there in some cases for generations, and it’s wonderful that the people that have the ability can share Cobbossee Lake and the islands on Cobbossee Lake with the public. We — the land trust — are very successful and fortunate in our efforts to conserve land around Cobbossee. Property owners have been very generous over the years, and it shows in the land we’ve protected there.”
Lake said he had been on the property some years ago, and that the land trust had been in contact with the donor for a while.
Horseshoe Island is accessible over ice in winter and by boat other times of the year. The nearest State of Maine Public Boat Launch is on Route 135 in East Monmouth.
The land donation is the second received by the organization within the last two months. In November, the Rosmarin family donated 342 acres of woodlands, streams and wetlands near Nickerson Hill Road in Readfield.
The newly donated land is the fifth and largest site acquired by the land trust on Horseshoe Island. The most recent was a four-acre parcel in 2003. Now the land trust owns 48.5 acres on Horseshoe, plus 6 acres on Sheep (also known as Perry) and 17 acres on Hodgdon islands, all in Cobbossee. Most of those tracts are outfitted with trails.
The organization included a statement from the donor in a press release about the donation.
“I am pleased to give this 26-acre parcel to the Kennebec Land Trust for the enjoyment of people today and for future generations. With over 3,317 feet of shoreline on Lake Cobbossee, this property will allow the Kennebec Land Trust to expand its trail system on Horseshoe Island, offering varied terrain and scenic views to hikers young and old.”
Theresa Kerchner, executive director of the Kennebec Land Trust, said the organization will create a new trail on the property that will feature wetlands and old growth trees.
“There’s a species of tree, tupelo or black gum, that people don’t know that well,” she said. “They are unique to our area.”
The property and trail will be dedicated at a ceremony in August.
“The property is permanently protected for people and wildlife,” Kerchner said on Wednesday. “We get phone calls from people out on Androscoggin and Cobbossee saying they’re so grateful that they have access to shoreland for fishing and boating. It’s a tremendous gift. People realize how valuable property is on Cobbossee Lake.”
She said the land trust’s website at www.tklt.org contains information about all the properties.
The Kennebec Land Trust was incorporated in 1988 with Lake filing the incorporation papers, and its mission statement says it “works cooperatively with landowners and communities to conserve the forests, shorelands, fields, and wildlife that define central Maine. (Kennebec Land Trust) protects land permanently, offers opportunities for people to learn about and enjoy the natural world, and works with partners to support sustainable forestry and farming.”
Most of the properties allow hiking, outdoor recreation, nature observation and hunting.
“Anything we own outright — 3,701 acres — are properties that are open to the public for low impact uses,” Kerchner said.
Other lands are conservation easements, which are used to help protect privately owned land.
The land trust, which is based in Winthrop, manages more than 5,630 acres of conserved land around central Maine.
Betty Adams — 621-5631