Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) has named Burnham Martin as recipient of the 2019 Espy Land Heritage Award. Each year MCHT presents the award to an individual, organization, or coalition for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine. Martin, Maine Project Director for the National Park Service, has been instrumental in the success of the Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance (RTCA) program in Maine and has been involved at every level at creating trails and expanding access to the outdoors in Maine.
Upon presenting the award, MCHT President Tim Glidden remarked, “Burnham has worked for three decades to improve Mainers’ access to the outdoors in almost every part of our state. This work has been with, for, and about an exceptionally diverse group – landowners, hunters, bird watchers, snowmobilers, fishermen and fisherwomen, loggers, mountain bikers, hikers, and more. He is truly deserving of this special award.”
In southern Maine, Burnham helped form the Eastern Trail Alliance and, with many partners, facilitated creation of the Eastern Trail—an off-road, shared use recreation path that will extend from Kittery to South Portland. In western Maine, Burnham assisted the Rangeley Region Trails Partnership in funding and constructing a trail system along the lower slopes of Saddleback Mountain. In Grand Lake Stream, he worked with the Downeast Lakes Land Trust to create walking trails in the Downeast Lakes Community Forest.
In honoring past President Jay Espy with this award, the board of directors at MCHT created a fund that awards $5,000 per year to a conservation charity in honor of that year’s Espy Land Heritage Award winner. This year, this financial award will be given to the Bethel Community Forest project. The local community, in partnership with Mahoosuc Pathways, The Trust for Public Land, and the Northern Forest Center is working to protect 978 acres to create Bethel Community Forest – a new community-managed open space to be shared by all residents.
This story was covered by The Times Record. See that story here.