2023 Maine Land Conservation Conference In-Person Gathering

It was so great to see everyone in person at this year’s conference!

May 3rd, 2023, 1:00-7:00pm

Thanks to all who joined Maine Coast Heritage Trust at the Samoset Resort in Rockport for this long awaited gathering. We heard from interesting speakers, celebrated outgoing Land Trust Program Director Warren Whitney, and welcome the incoming director Angela Twitchell! We reveled in the chance to see old friends and make new ones. And we couldn’t have done it without support from our generous sponsors, including Leading Sponsors LL Bean, Norway Savings Bank, and The Nature Conservancy, and Champion Sponsor Southern Maine Conservation Collaborative. 

Here are the speakers’ slide decks.

Protecting the Culturally Significant Brown Ash Trees APCAW  (PDF)

Fearless Conservation Case Study slides  (PDF)








Program Details

The annual Conference hasn’t been held in person since 2019, and our program will include lots of time for reconnecting with friends and making new ones, with networking time at the beginning, a happy hour with cash bar, and a buffet dinner. We’ve also got some great speakers lined up and an engaging group discussion planned.

Here Are Some Highlights You Can Expect!

🌲 Tuning-in to the Signals of Climate Change

Andrew Pershing Ph. D, Director of Climate Science, Climate Central

Climate change has moved from a global problem only discernible in data to a local problem that impacts us every day. Rising temperatures and changing patterns of rain and snow are now impacting ecosystems and people. These impacts are playing out across the U.S., New England, and Maine. Climate impacts pose a range of challenges for people concerned about the health of ecosystems. On the bright side, we know a lot about where the world is headed, and people are eager to learn more. There are a range of products that can help clearly convey the realities of climate change and that can inspire actions to address its local and global challenges.

🌲 Ash Protection Collaboration Across Wabanakik: A Call to Action

John Daigle, UMaine Professor and Project Lead; Tyler Everett, Ash Management and Silviculture Graduate Student Researcher; Emily Francis, Invasive Species Partnerships and Seed Collection PhD Candidate Researcher; and Ella McDonald, Conservation Partner Graduate Student Researcher

As the invasive emerald ash borer begins to spread through Maine, an effort called the Ash Protection Collaboration Across Wabanakik (APCAW), led by University of Maine School of Forest Resources Professor and Penobscot Nation Tribal member Dr. John Daigle, is mobilizing stakeholders across Maine to protect the long term future of ash in the Dawnland. Wabanaki people have had a relationship to brown ash trees since time immemorial: this tree plays a role in one of their creation stories, and is used as the primary material for traditional basketmaking. The spread of EAB threatens this relationship as well as the health of wetland ecosystems. In this session, Dr. Daigle and his team of three graduate students will discuss their collaborative efforts with Tribal, state, and conservation partners to protect brown ash from emerald ash borer in the Dawnland. Participants will learn how to get involved in monitoring, ash management, and seed collection on lands they manage, in ways that are informed by both current research and Wabanaki priorities.

🌲 “Fearless Conservation” in Maine

Warren Whitney, Land Trust Program Director, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

After hearing case studies of groundbreaking projects undertaken by land trusts in other states, attendees will engage in small group discussion around key questions related to risk-taking and the future of land conservation.

🌲 Land: A Common Denominator

David Trahan, Executive Director, Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine

🌲 Presentation of the 2023 Espy Land Heritage Award

Kate Stookey, President, Maine Coast Heritage Trust

Each year, Maine Coast Heritage Trust presents the Espy Land Heritage Award to an individual, organization, agency or coalition for exemplary conservation efforts in Maine. The award recognizes those who make outstanding contributions to land conservation in Maine while inspiring others. On May 3rd, the 2023 Espy Land Heritage Award was presented to Janet McMahon. Janet has chosen to split the $5,000 financial award equally between the Wabanaki Self-Determination Fund and Midcoast Conservancy Clarry Hill Highlands Project.

2023 Leading Sponsors