The Keystone parcels are named because of their critical role in ensuring that development, fragmentation and the closing off of access does not occur. This is an innovative project for the Maine woods, working with a dozen small, private landowners to protect two dozen parcels, some of which are currently listed for sale in a sought-after market. The area has seen a dramatic increase in second-home buyers and those looking to build in areas of scenic beauty and solitude. There is a real risk that these lands could be purchased by a private buyer.
The project consists of about 2,666 acres of small parcels owned by families or individuals, to be conveyed in fee to the State of Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. More than half of the project area is in the Beginning with Habitat program’s Mount Abraham – Saddleback – Crocker Mountains Focus Area of Statewide significance. The Keystone parcels are critical for the outdoor recreation future of the valley in providing a contiguous land base and public access via the woods road network.