TREMONT — The largest remaining acquisition parcel identified in Acadia National Park’s Master Plan boundary bill from 1986 has been transferred to the National Park Service last week.
Sawyer’s Point, a 62-acre parcel on the south shore of Seal Cove Pond, was transferred to the park by Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT). “We are delighted that MCHT and its partners worked to protect this critical park in-holding,” said Acadia Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Sawyer’s Point is an outstanding addition to Acadia – we are grateful for the Acadia Land Legacy Program that makes projects like this possible.”
The Acadia Land Legacy Program is a partnership of MCHT and Friends of Acadia that seeks to help the park acquire so called “in-holdings” within the park boundary from willing sellers. Other notable parcels that were once in-holdings include shorefront at Hadlock Pond, Bass Harbor Marsh, and Northeast Creek – lands that many assumed were always part of Acadia but were conserved and added only in recent years.
Sawyers Point, located in one of the quieter corners of Acadia, is highly visible from public vantage points including the hiking trails on Western Mountain and the Seal Cove public boat launch. It includes more than 4,000 feet of undeveloped shore frontage and important wildlife habitat. The property includes a residence set back from the shore, which the park hopes to use for staff housing.
The former landowners sold the property to Maine Coast Heritage Trust at a discount price. In addition to federal dollars from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, MCHT’s purchase was made possible by member contributions, as well as grants and financing from Friends of Acadia and the National Park Foundation.
“Seal Cove Pond’s southern waters are a particularly beautiful and peaceful part of the island to explore from a canoe or kayak,” said MCHT Land Project Manager Misha Mytar. “Thanks to generous landowners and committed conservation partners, local residents and park visitors will continue to enjoy this quiet stretch of shoreline into the future.”
Although the original boundary bill did include an appropriation for acquisition of land, it was quickly exhausted, leaving dozens of parcels in limbo. In recent years, most parcels that have been added to Acadia have been due to donations by groups such as MCHT or individuals such as philanthropist Roxanne Quimby.