KELT buy expands Bonyun Preserve on Westport Island

Posted:  Wednesday, August 23, 2017 - 7:45am
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Westport Island’s Bonyun Preserve increased by 44.4 acres Aug. 12, when Kennebec Estuary Land Trust bought a parcel along the east side of Junction Road for $76,000.

According to KELT and the Lincoln County Registry of Deeds, the seller was Arline Murray.

Information on the sale was presented at the Monday, Aug. 21 selectmen’s meeting.  

According to Dennis Dunbar, who is a resident and is a member of KELT’s board of directors, the parcel is adjacent to Bonyun Preserve and provides “a continuous habitat” for those exploring the preserve. With this month’s purchase, the preserve now totals 110.5 acres.

The parcel was sold to KELT below its appraised value of $80,000 so it could be used for conservation. KELT Executive Director Carrie Kine told the Wiscasset Newspaper the parcel’s ecological features are different from the tidal features of other parts of the preserve.  

Last July, KELT added 6.7 acres to the original 68-acre preserve. “That parcel continued the shoreland,” Kinne explained. “This parcel contains features that are different – pitch pine, wetlands – it’s more forested than the other portion of the preserve so visitors can see more complexity and variety. And that’s important to us.”  

Grants funded that parcel and the newest addition, so no public fundraising was needed, according to Kinne. “We’re excited about the acquisition. Bonyun is spectacular and adding to it is just great.”   

KELT plans to work on trails for the new section next summer.

Selectmen also reviewed information from the Maine Forest Service concerning the Tree Growth Tax Law (TGTL).The forest service is concerned that some Maine landowners who are enrolled in the TGTL do not have plans that comply. Towns are being asked to contact the Forest Service for assistance, if needed.

Selectmen discussed an announcement from the Wiscasset Ambulance Service about a subscription plan for its services. Subscribers will be provided ambulance transportation as needed at no additional cost. The plan covers one calendar year and is renewable each year. Prices for the current year are: $25 for those ages 62 and older; $40 for a senior couple; $50 for a single resident; $100 for a family and $250 for a business.   

The town has presented to the Maine Municipal Association’s legal advisors an issue concerning dry hydrants. MMA responded that an owner with a dry hydrant on their property will need to sign an easement for its continued use after the property is transferred to a new owner.

Selectmen will not meet Sept. 4 due to the Labor Day holiday.