View of Popple Hill from Popple Hill Brook. Submitted

SWEDEN — Greater Lovell Land Trust (GLLT) continues to expand its conservation work in Sweden. Thanks to the generosity of Bruce and Debra Taylor, 104 acres of wetlands and forest that includes 2,200 feet of frontage on Popple Hill Brook is now under conservation easement. The brook and shrubby wetland that surround it are recognized by the State of Maine as significant inland wading bird and waterfowl habitat, providing resources for nesting, feeding, and cover from predators for ducks, geese, herons, and others. Wetlands such as this are also home to otters, muskrats, deer, and so many more animals, as well as insects galore. This special conservation property is the second easement of significant size donated to the land trust in recent years. The first being a nearby 282-acres encompassing much of Popple Hill.

The Taylors, who own the property now, may sell the land at any time, but the conservation easement, a legal agreement recorded at the registry of deeds, prevents all but minor development into the future. Conservation easements are flexible in that they are designed to balance the landowners desired uses, while also protecting the conservation values of the property. Recognizing the importance of Popple Hill Brook to wildlife communities, Bruce and Debra purchased the land in 2022 with the intent of donating an easement to GLLT, “We greatly appreciate the opportunity to work with GLLT to protect this beautiful land and its natural habitat for future generations.”

The headwaters of Popple Hill Brook are located on the second, 282-acre conservation easement donated to GLLT in 2021. The brook, especially where it flows through the Taylor property, and surrounding lands are an important part of the Kezar River watershed. The brook drains into the river and the extensive unpatterned fen, a type of peatland, at north end of Kezar Pond, which is identified as a statewide exemplary natural community. Kezar Pond, its unpatterned fen, silver maple floodplain forest, and endangered plant and dragonfly species they host, are all part of the State’s Upper Saco Focus Area, described by the Maine Natural Areas Program as “one of the most biodiverse areas in Maine”. Erika Rowland, GLLT’s executive director, notes, “We are immensely grateful to the Taylors for helping to sustain this exceptional western Maine landscape.”

Privately-owned properties with uses limited by conservation easements provide critical benefits for wildlife and human communities. However, these properties are not open to public access. Visit for a list of preserve and trails that all are welcome to enjoy.

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