ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — Lyme Timber Company’s purchase of more than 3,000 acres adjacent to the park here is being touted as a conservationists’ Christmas present.
On Tuesday, Lyme announced that it has purchased land that had once been slated for development as a resort by an Italian firm. A company spokesman said the firm would be working with Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT), and Friends of Acadia (FOA) “to create a plan for the property that takes into account its conservation values and considers appropriate resource development.”
The land, which includes more than a mile of ocean frontage, as well as 15-acre Sargent’s Island, lies due north of largest section of Acadia holdings.
It includes sections containing several square miles of land on both sides of Route 186 and nearly all of the land around the road leading to the current park property from Winter Harbor.
Land around Birch Harbor Pond, which sits nearly in the middle of the Lyme Timber purchase, already is held in conservation easements negotiated by MCHT. The pond is the backup water source for the Winter Harbor Water District.
“We congratulate Lyme Timber for negotiating this historic opportunity,” said Marla O’Byrne, FOA’s president and CEO.
Three years ago the Modena family of Italy unveiled plans to create a massive “eco resort” on the Schoodic property. Their company, Winter Harbor Holdings, decided to sell to Lyme Timber after negotiations over the past 12 months, a Lyme Timber Company spokesman said.
The price of the purchase was not disclosed.