Emory to discuss boats, conservation

MOUNT DESERT — Ben Emory of Bar Harbor will talk about his book, “Sailor for the Wild: On Maine, Conservation and Boats” at the Northeast Harbor Library Wednesday, Oct. 10 at 5:30 p.m.

In the book, Emory writes about what he calls his two great passions: “Sailing and the sea and conservation, primarily land conservation.”

“They have intersected and reinforced each other my whole life,” he said. “Sailing taught me about the geography of Maine. Being out on the water, I got really interested in the beauty of the Maine coast and then the ecology of the Maine coast and the people of the Maine coast.

“If anybody has been shaped by Maine’s landscape and seascape, it’s me,” he said. “And that’s what led to the book. It’s partly boats, partly conservation and partly how they tie together.”

It’s also a history, memoir and homage to coastal Maine.

In 1971, Emory became an original member of the staff of the Maine Coast Heritage Trust. He served as its executive director from 1976-1982.

“Sailor for the Wild” recounts the trust’s pioneering role in the widespread use of conservation easements to protect privately held land.

“Conservation easements had been used sporadically around the country, but it was the Acadia National Park Conservation Easement Program, promoted by Maine Coast Heritage Trust, that popularized conservation easements as a land conservation technique nationwide,” he said. “We had people coming from other states to take a look at what we were doing here.”

On the national scene, Emory was co-founder and later executive director of the Land Trust Exchange, which is now the Land Trust Alliance.

The talk is free and open to the public.

Contact Elly Andrews at 276-3333.

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