HARRISON — Western Foothills Land Trust and Loon Echo Land Trust officials invite the public to walks in woodlands they hope to purchase for recreational use in Otisfield and Harrison.

The organizations are collaborating to protect two family-owned forested parcels along the Crooked River.

The public is invited to walk a well-established tote road on the 300-acre Harrison parcel from 4 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 28.

Other walks are:

* Sunday, June 1, from 8 to 10 a.m. on the Twin Bridges parcel in Otisfield. Rain date is 8 a.m. June 8.

* Sunday, June 8, from 8 to 10 a.m. on the Harrison parcel.

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* Wednesday, June 18, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the Twin Bridges parcel.

Entrance to the Harrison parcel, known as the Intervale, is on Scribners Mill Road in Harrison, a half-mile west of the Crooked River for those coming from Otisfield, or seven-tenths of a mile east of Maple Ridge Road for those coming from the west.

Participants should wear comfortable shoes and long-sleeved shirts/coats and bring bug spray.

Both properties are now under contract pending funding. They are owned by CLT Co., a local family who has managed woodlots for nearly a century, according to information from Lee Dassler of the Western Foothills Land Trust. The land will continue to be a working forest, if the land trusts purchases them. Future timber harvesting will support the management and maintenance.

If acquired, the land would be designated for hunting, fishing, trapping, horseback riding, walking and snowmobiling.

According to information from Dassler, the Twin Bridges parcel is 290 acres along Crooked River and is being sold for $617,000. The Harrison parcel has nearly 7,000 feet of frontage along the Crooked River. It is selling for $515,000.

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The land trusts have combined to raise the money by Dec. 31.

Otisfield selectmen have agreed to put an article in the June 28 annual town meeting warrant requesting residents to provide $5,000 toward the purchase.

Harrison selectmen and the Budget Committee support the purchase but will not ask taxpayers to fund it, Town Manager George “Bud” Finch said.

“The board will encourage those who would like to donate to the cause to do so directly to the Land Trust as the town will not be funding third-party requests through the town warrant,” Finch said Tuesday.

He said the decision was based on the need to reduce funding for municipal operations to offset continuing increases to the education and county budgets. The board also is facing less revenue from the state and other sources, Finch said.

Carrie Walia, executive director of the Loon Echo Land Trust, said Tuesday that the organization submitted an application to Land for Maine’s Future for $400,000 to help pay for the Harrison parcel. The Portland Water District has pledged about $200,000, if other financing is successful, she said.

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