Land Along Kennebec Protected ; An Easement Given By Madison Paper Will Conserve 303 Acres Along the River’s Upper Reaches.
By DOUG HARLOW
More than 300 acres along the Kennebec River were protected this week through an easement negotiated between the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and Madison Paper Industries.
The land is in the towns of Madison, Anson and Starks.
The easement protects 303 acres, including 195 acres of islands that are home to a number of rare plants, dragonflies and mussels, according to a release from the state Department of Conservation.
The easement also includes shoreline that provides public access to the river.
The easement was part of an agreement reached during the federal relicensing of the Anson and Arenac hydroelectric projects that generate power for Madison Paper’s pulp and paper operations in Madison.
The historic stretch of river protected by the easement is important to anyone interested in the Maine outdoors, said Bureau of Parks and Lands Deputy Director Alan Stearns.
“The upper reaches of the Kennebec contain hidden treasures,” he said. “Paddlers can observe rare plants and wildlife in the quiet waters of the river above the dams, or run the rapids. Anglers catch trout and maybe even salmon below the dams.”
Ken Young, project manager for the Kennebec River Initiative and executive director of the Kennebec Valley Council of Governments, spoke about the newest effort to protect the Kennebec.
“The Kennebec River is one of the essential elements of Maine’s outstanding quality of place,” he said. “The protection for this stretch of the Kennebec River put in place by this easement is a milestone for conservationists who understand the importance of protecting the scenic values, unique natural areas and important recreational access points along the whole of this river.”
Originally published by By DOUG HARLOW Blethen Maine News Service.
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