To the Editor:

In reference to the May 9 Bethel Citizen article regarding Mahoosuc Land Trust’s conservation work in Gilead:

Since its founding in 1989, Mahoosuc Land Trust (MLT) has aimed to improve the quality of life in our region by partnering with landowners, communities, organizations, and businesses to conserve natural lands for current and future generations.

We’ve prioritized increased access to recreational activities to help strengthen the health of our communities: hiking, biking, paddling, snowmobiling, backcountry skiing, and more. Our vision today remains the same—thriving communities and a healthy environment for all.

Over the past 35 years, MLT has identified and conserved lands that provide vital habitat corridors. As the Mahoosuc region’s human population increases, so does the need to connect fragmented landscapes and work to ensure healthy populations of animals and plants, while also providing places for people to enjoy.

Forested lands provide clean air and water. They also prevent erosion by retaining soil, which helps to prevent extreme run-offs and reduce damage from flooding. Forests are essential in mitigating the effects of a changing climate and extreme weather events—a reality we’ve experienced recently here.


Thriving communities are healthy communities. With over 80 miles of hiking trails on land managed by MLT, we prioritize free public access. From mountain bike trails to river access for paddling sports, hunting (on most properties), and dozens of free programs yearly, we work to increase everyone’s opportunity to spend time in nature.

Outdoor recreation helps boost the local economy too. On average, 3.3 billion dollars is added to Maine’s economy each year through recreation—contributing to our ability to thrive as a community.

MLT is here for our communities. We are committed to the economic vitality of this region for the future generations that will call this beautiful place home. MLT’s potential purchase of Tumbledown Dick Mountain will benefit the community by improving public access for hiking, snowmobiling, skiing, and boat access to the Androscoggin, and preserving critical wildlife habitat. MLT is committed to transparency and fairness in this process and strives to be a good neighbor to the Town of Gilead and all its residents.

Sue Dunn


Mahoosuc Land Trust Board and Staff


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