ADAMSTOWN — The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is making safety improvements to Cupsuptic Lake Park and Campground this spring.

In 2006 the the trust purchased 110 acres of land on Cupsuptic Lake. Included in the purchase was the 16-acre Cupsuptic Lake Park & Campground that has operated for many decades under a lease arrangement.

In 2011 the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust assumed management of the campground and since that time it has been managed by Heather and Randy Targett. Through the use of public and private grant funding, the campground facilities have been either renovated or reconstructed, providing an affordable experience for guests.

Beginning in 2012, a number of trees went down during summer storms that created a safety risk to guests. For the past four years a tree went down through a tent or caused damage to a trailer.

The majority of the trees are Norway spruce that were planted plantation-style approximately 50 years ago. The age of the trees, combined with soil compaction from recreational use of the site, combined to create a high level of tree mortality.

In assessing the site, the high-risk area was identified as a half-acre portion of the campground used primarily for tents-only camping that is exposed to the south/southeast where most weather events originate from in summer.

Prior to each camping season, the stewardship crew and campground staff have removed trees that were dead, diseased or dying; however it was not enough.

Staff subsequently consulted with two licensed foresters and two licensed arborists to obtain independent opinions on what to do to improve safety. The consensus was that removal of approximately 150 trees, or most of the trees in the half-acre area, followed by a replanting project, would be the most prudent course of action.

The trust worked with staff at the Maine Land Use Planning Commission over a period of eight months to obtain permit approval and develop a plan for revegetating the site. The trees were removed in December.

This spring revegetation will include grinding the tree stumps but preserving the root structures to stabilize soil; spreading soil on top of the existing root systems in heavily compacted soil; replanting 150 saplings that will be a mixture of three species and have heights of eight to 10 feet; and planting shrubs along the western shoreline to stabilize a heavily eroded area.

The improvements will allow for better management of foot and vehicle traffic, reducing soil impacts and provide improved visual screening of the campground from the lake that the former tree species did not afford.

FMI: www.rlht.org.


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