WOODSTOCK – Protecting the scenic and recreational value of Bucks Ledge and Lapham Ledge and surrounding land is the focus of a group of people from Woodstock and neighboring towns.

Their interest in the 600-acre parcel was sparked by the recent sale of the land by MeadWestvaco to an investment group, said Cathy Newell, interim chairman of the Ledges Committee.

The area overlooking North Pond and Lake Christopher has been used by generations of hikers, climbers, snowmobilers and hunters, and the view across North Pond to the ledges is among the most photographed scenes in western Maine.

The Mahoosuc Land Trust is providing the committee staff support from Marcel Polak, through a grant to investigate the scenic, recreational, natural and economic value of the property.

Along with Newell, members of the Ledges Committee are Sayward and Cynthia Lamb, Blaine and Margaret Mills, Amy Chapman, Steve Wight, Nancy Willard, Milton and Jane Mills, Norman and Joan Putnam, Jim Chandler, Paul and Marie Bartlett, Alan Seames, and Arnold Jordan.

In addition to the the local committee members, more than 30 seasonal property owners have expressed interest and are on the e-mail list. After the assessment, the Mahoosuc Land Trust board will make a decision about proceeding with the project, Newell said.

The Ledges Committee will hold a public informational meeting at 8:30 a.m. Aug. 21 at the Whitman Library in Bryant Pond. The meeting will be followed by a gentle hike up to Lapham Ledge.

The purpose of the meeting is to launch an initial fund-raising campaign, securing pledges which will serve to demonstrate the level of local interest in retaining this property for its varied traditional uses.

People who would like to become involved with the effort are asked come to the Aug. 21 meeting or contact a committee member.

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