Doug Sensenig, executive director of the Coastal Mountains Land Trust, will speak Thursday, Nov. 20, at Belfast City Library on the importance of getting communities involved in local conservation.

Land trusts are designed to promote wise land stewardship by working with landowners to maximize the land’s beneficial uses. Almost 10,000 acres have been set aside for land conservation in Belfast and surrounding areas in western Penobscot Bay. This conserved land benefits air and water quality, provides hiking and other recreational opportunities, supports local agriculture and increases property values. It also helps promote sustainable forests and wildlife habitat. The value of land set in trust is made even greater when local residents can meet to discuss ways it might best benefit their future needs.

Sensenig’s background brings unique perspective into the topic of land trusts. As an attorney specializing in land conservation. he was director of the Hawaii Island Land Trust which, under his leadership, expanded into a statewide organization. He then spent a year traveling to 23 countries with his wife and 13-year old daughter, assessing land use worldwide.

Residents from the area are invited to join this important conversation, which is being sponsored by the Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition. The program starts at 6:30 p.m.; light refreshments will follow.