|Frenchman Bay Conservancy
Frenchman Bay Conservancy is a private, not-for-profit land trust. Now in our second decade of operation, we have protected over 3,500 acres through conservation easements or FBC-owned preserves. The easements cover a variety of land uses, including an organic farm, a working woodlot, blueberry fields, wild forest and marsh. The Tucker Mountain easement covers the summit of a small mountain in Sullivan which has hiking trails available for use by the public. The parcels we own include Tidal Falls, which we maintain as a public park, 50 acres on Little Tunk Pond with a swimming beach open to the public, 13 acres on Indian Point in Ellsworth, and 18 acres above the Salt Pond in Hancock.
A Brief History of Frenchman Bay Conservancy
FBC was founded by a group of local residents concerned about the development threat to Donnell Pond in Sullivan. The signers of the original Articles of Incorporation were: Weyman Billings of Franklin; Oliver Crosby of Hancock; Sheila Denny-Brown of Hancock; Bayard Ewing of Sorrento; and Mary McCormick of Ellsworth. The purpose of those original founders was to protect clean water, open space and wildlife in the watershed of Frenchman Bay through direct land protection and through public education programs.
FBC acquired its first property, 55 acres of woodland and sand beach on Little Tunk Pond. This property was given to FBC by Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), which had received it from a conservation donor. It is doubly protected by a conservation easement held by MCHT.
FBC acquired its first conservation easement, on 161 acres bordering Lower West Bay Pond in Gouldsboro.
FBC merged with the Crabtree Neck Wildlife Sanctuary of Hancock and thereby acquired a 17.9 acre parcel above the Salt Pond on Hancock Point and a majority interest in the Ararat Corporation, which owned 12 acres on the west shore of Hancock Point. (In 1995, Ararat was sold to a neighboring landowner and FBC now holds a conservation easement on the property.)
FBC embarked on its first capital campaign to raise funds to purchase the Tidal Falls property in Hancock. This precious community resource was on the market and many people feared it would be converted to a private home site, ending forever public access to the spectacular view of the reversing falls.
FBC closed on the purchase of the Tidal Falls and it is now permanently protected for the enjoyment of the public.
FBC's office was established at Tidal Falls.
FBC's board adopted a bold new strategic plan that expanded our geographic coverage to include the watershed of the Union River. The new territory includes nearly all of interior Hancock County and the City of Ellsworth. Until our expansion, these areas had no local land trust serving their conservation needs.
The first project in the new territory was the purchase of a property on the shore of Indian Point in Ellsworth. Ellsworth's visionary new Waterfront Plan listed this property as a priority for conservation and FBC's board was excited to be able to support the plan by protecting it.
FBC hired a full-time Conservation Director. The new staff position allowed the organization to follow through on the commitment to more a proactive land protection program outlined in the Conservation Plan.
FBC purchased the 500-acre Schoodic Bog property at the foot of Schoodic Mountain in Sullivan. The bog is a prominent feature in the view from the top of the mountain. Existing trails link to the trail on State and private land up the western slope of the mountain and FBC plans to develop more trails to access different parts of the bog.
FBC closed on a record five conservation easements. The 280 acres protected by these agreements included public hiking trails, scenic shorefront on two ponds, working forest and a small farm.
FBC purchased the 600-acre Corea Heath property on the Corea Peninsula.
FBC purchased the 253-acre Prentiss & Carlisle property in Sullivan.