BETHEL — Selectmen on Monday voted to send a letter of support to assist the Mahoosuc Land Trust in acquiring 40 acres owned by the Thurston family along the Androscoggin River, near the River View Resort. It includes 2,400 feet along the river.

Trust Executive Director Jim Mitchell told selectmen that his organization was contacted about six weeks ago by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and asked to submit an application for funding to the Land for Maine’s Future program to purchase the parcel, which includes a field. The field could be leased back to a farmer who is using it, Mitchell said.

About 25 acres of the parcel are farmland and 15 are riverbank and woods, he said.

Mitchell said an old road bed that was formerly part of Route 2 could serve well as a bicycling and walking trail.

A recent logging operation between the river and Route 2 has opened up a view along the river.

“It’s a wonderful view,” board Chairman Stan Howe said.

Mitchell said the USDA is particularly interested in preserving the land because it has “podunk fine sandy loam, one of the finest agricultural soils in the state. It’s very, very limited, but there is a lot of it in Bethel near the river.”

The deadline for submitting the application to Land for Maine’s Future is March 28, Mitchell said.


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