Maine West partners recognize trails and conserved land as key contributors to improved economic, health, education, and environmental well-being. To this end, Maine West created two strategic planning tools to help local conservation and recreation partners innovate and respond to historic opportunities.
The first was a multi-layer GIS planning tool to allow Maine West partners to better incorporate climate change and community health and wellness into conservation strategies. From that foundation, in 2021 Maine West partners completed a strategic conservation and recreation plan to guide ongoing work prioritization by local land trusts, recreation groups, and eventually municipalities.
These tools are now helping Maine West partners the Mahoosuc Land Trust, Western Foothills Land Trust, Inland Woods + Trails, and Trust for Public Land respond to transformational conservation and recreation opportunities including Chadbourne Tree Farms and the Crooked River Headwaters projects totaling more than 25k acres. Maine West also supported the development of the Bethel Community Forest.