PHOTO: Shiloh Pond in Kingfield (Adam and Laura Casey photo)
KINGFIELD — The town, in a historic vote Sept. 22, accepted the Shiloh Pond conservation parcel, 119-64. The 215-acre parcel will be gifted to the town, protecting public access for generations to come.
The project, led by a partnership of High Peaks Alliance, The Trust for Public Land, and town of Kingfield is made possible by gifts from private and public donors ensuring that Kingfield’s first piece of conservation land will be a reality at no cost to the local taxpayers.
“I am so pleased that the Shiloh Pond conservation project has attracted such broad and overwhelming support, both from the local community and from national partners,” said Brent West, executive director of the High Peaks Alliance. “High Peaks Alliance is proud to have served as the local voice throughout this project that has attracted wonderful partners like The Trust for Public Land to bring resources to our region, and we look forward to continuing to work with the town to manage this parcel going forward.”
The Trust for Public Land is a national leader in creating and enhancing community forests across the country and particularly in Northern New England and has been working closely with High Peaks Alliance and the local community to create a place for the town to enjoy the outdoors and gather for generations to come.
“We are proud to have partnered with the High Peaks Alliance to make this new community forest a reality. It will serve a triple bottom line for the community by bringing the community together, protecting natural resources, and helping to grow the local economy,” said Betsy Cook, state director of The Trust for Public Land, “We are thrilled to have seen such great support from the town and look forward to completing this project over the coming months”
Access to this undeveloped pond has been granted for generations by a generous private landowner, but once the parcel was placed on the market, future access to this prized brook trout pond, and the acreage around it, was no longer a given. That’s why West, a New Portland native, immediately sprang into action to conserve Shiloh Pond, with the support of his board.
“Land ownership patterns in the region have been shifting quickly in recent years, with large parcels being divided, land being posted and gates erected,” said West. “If we want to preserve the way of life that makes Maine’s High Peaks region so unique, the time to act is now. High Peaks Alliance would like to thank and congratulate Kingfield on this important step towards protecting access to this parcel for all.”