HANCOCK — Frenchman Bay Conservancy (FBC) has closed on the purchase of 1,400 acres in Hancock for its Frenchman Bay Community Forest project. The protection of this parcel is part of a larger 4,500-acre conservation project. An additional 3,100 acres of land abuts this parcel and is conserved through New England Forestry Foundation. FBC raised $900,000 toward the purchase and long-term stewardship of the Frenchman Bay Community Forest through foundation giving and individual donations to its public campaign, launched in summer 2020.
The 4,500-acre Frenchman Bay Community Forest will be accessible from the Downeast Sunrise Trail, minutes from downtown Ellsworth. Free and open to the public, the Frenchman Bay Community Forest will provide opportunities for walking, hiking, biking and snowshoeing through a future network of trails. Frenchman Bay Conservancy is creating management plans for this property, including plans for building trails and community gathering spaces.