Success Story 2022

Pleasant River Headwaters Forest

Photo: Jerry Monkman
Pleasant River Headwaters Forest
Appalachian Mountain Club
26,584 acres protected

An additional 26,584 acre parcel of the Pleasant River Headwaters Forest is now under the stewardship of Conservation Alliance grantee Appalachian Mountain Club. The acquisition marks 100,000 acres of forest in the state of Maine that is now protected by AMC. This project was part of their larger Maine Woods Initiative that seeks to combine outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, education, and community partnerships to protect Maine’s renowned 100-Mile Wilderness. 

The Pleasant River Headwaters Forest is tucked deep inside Maine’s North Woods at the center of the 100-Mile Wilderness region that surrounds the northernmost 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. It is one of the few remaining undeveloped and unprotected forest blocks in the region. It’s also home to migratory fish such as the endangered Atlantic Salmon. For years, AMC has been working with partners to protect over a million acres of this rugged wilderness in an effort to permanently preserve the land. Currently, AMC, The Nature Conservancy, the State of Maine and the National Park Service own a 60-mile long contiguous expanse of conserved land. Counting private forest protected by conservation easements that buffer that corridor, there is about 900,000 acres of protected forest land. 

“We’re proud of the progress that AMC has made with this ambitious and critical initiative. It’s an important step towards the larger goal of permanently protecting this unspoiled landscape, saving the habitat of endangered animals, and providing the region with opportunities for economic growth in the form of expanding outdoor recreation and new jobs in sustainable forestry” said Shoren Brown, interim Executive Director.

Some of Maine’s most iconic wildlife, like moose, Eastern brook trout, and endangered Atlantic salmon depend on the rivers and forests of the Pleasant Rivers Headwaters Forest ecosystem for survival. In addition to the flora and fauna of the region, this conservation effort will benefit area residents through enhanced recreation opportunities, sustainable forestry operations that fuel local economic growth, and increased forest carbon sequestration capacity to combat climate change. 

We are pleased to announce this win for AMC, and excited for what it means for the future of the Appalachian Mountain Club’s Maine Woods Initiative. It’s a win for them, it’s a win for endangered wildlife, and it’s a win for conserving wild places.