RANGELEY — The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, a regional land conservation organization focusing on the Western Maine lakes and mountains region, was co-founded by Ed Kfoury in 1990. Kfoury retired from the board in July after serving as president for 25 years.
Paul Reynolds has been elected to succeed Kfoury as president.
During Kfoury’s tenure, the organization has conserved more than 13,500 acres encompassing more than 50 miles of lake and river frontage, 17 islands and more than 500 acres of wetlands. He was a pioneer in developing a community approach to conservation that prioritized local economic needs in balance with conservation of natural resources.
Also during that time, the organization served as the regional coordinator of the Rangeley Lakes National Scenic Byways program, obtaining more than $5 million for improvements and enhancements to the Rangeley Region. Beyond general roadway improvements the enhancements included the Height of Land and Whipwillow scenic overlooks, educational signs and information throughout the byway, and public restrooms in Rangeley and Oquossoc.
In addition, Kfoury guided the creation of Camp EcoVenture, a summer youth program focusing on outdoor recreation and environmental education. It is attended by more than 100 youth annually. He also spearheaded a unique conservation project that resulted in the improvement of the Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground.
In recognition of Kfoury’s leadership, he has been designated as president emeritus of the organization and will continue to serve in an advisory capacity. The board of directors has also established a scholarship fund in his name for the Camp EcoVenture summer youth program.
For more information, call the RLHT at (207) 864-7311 or go to: www.rlht.org.