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Coastal Mountain Land Trust offers oceanfront park as a swap with town-owned acreage along Ducktrap River

Park on the Penboscot offered to town of Lincolnville

Apr 28, 2020
Source: Zoom Video Communication/Town of Lincolnville From bottom row, left, Ian Stewart and Heather Rogers of Coastal Mountains Land Trust talk about a land swap April 27 that would make the town of Lincolnville owner of a small park on the Penobscot Bay.

LINCOLNVILLE — Lincolnville selectmen are enthusiastic about an offer from Coastal Mountains Land Trust of a 4.34-acre oceanfront park in exchange for 68-acres along the Ducktrap River owned by the town.

The land swap would have to be approved by Lincolnville voters at upcoming elections, or at town meeting.

Elections are now scheduled for July 16, and the annual town meeting for July 18, according to a decision made by selectmen April 27.

The park was formerly privately owned, and has a nice stone beach, volleyball court, picnic area with grills and parking area already established, according to Heather Rogers, land protection manager with Coastal Mountains.

Town Administrator David Kinney pointed out that in the past, the town has transferred ownership of two other parcels of land it owned on Ducktrap River to the State of Maine. Coastal Mountains is interested as this land protects the river, which has the only wild salmon run in the state, he said.

The Ducktrap watershed land would be managed by Coastal Mountains as a preserve, maintaining its natural condition while allowing public access, according to a letter prepared for selectmen by Ian Stewart, Coastal Mountains executive director. The long-term goal is to protect the river corridor and Atlantic Salmon habitat, Stewart explained. The land contains a trail, which Lincolnville residents and the public would still be able to access.

Both Rogers and Stewart joined selectmen at the April 27 meeting, where all participated remotely, connected by Zoom Videoconferencing.

Stewart said the Coastal Mountains is always looking for land to protect around the Ducktrap River, and in some cases maintains conversations with landowners for many years. When the park was offered to the land trust by a private owner, Rogers suggested the swap, he said. Coastal Mountains sees the town of Lincolnville as the ideal owner of the already-established park, rather than turning it into a preserve.

Stewart said Coastal Mountains would like to know that the town will provide resources for the upkeep of the park. He said the organization will also help the town access resources for that purpose.

Selectmen all saw the land swap as a benefit. Jon Fishman called it "a win-win for the town, the salmon, the river and the land trust." Josh Gerritsen said it is a great opportunity for the town, as "there is so much infrastructure there that has already been built."

David Barrows said he walked the property and called it nice and usable. He asked what it would cost "for some touch up and upkeep" and is interested in the annual cost for upkeep. Keryn Laite said he hopes townspeople will "want to jump on this. These types of things don't come around very often."

Chairman Ladheah Dunn said the swap "is an exciting opportunity to work with a great organization and further Lincolnville's agenda to save and conserve areas of our municipality."

Selectmen unanimously passed a series of motions that put next steps in place. These motions included requests that, prior to any town vote, Kinney prepare a statement of annual costs to operate and maintain the park, work with Coastal Mountains to access funds to maintain the property and arrange an opportunity for residents to walk the property.

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