Machias, ME — 925 acres completed

The Machias River watershed is a defining feature of the culture, economy and traditions of the rural communities clustered around Machias, Maine. The river has historical importance for its log drives in the early days of timber harvesting, and residents and visitors both enjoy recreating along the riverway. The Downeast Coastal Conservancy set out to protect this valued landscape and build on the effort to protect the Machias River watershed from its headwaters to the estuary where it meets the Gulf of Maine in Machias.

Now conserved as the 925-acre Machias River Community Forest, the project conserves important salmon and wildlife areas, preserves the remnants of historical river drives and provides trails for healthy outdoor recreation. It improves access to the rivers for paddling and fishing, and provides an outdoor classroom for environmental education. Since completing acquisition, the people of Machias have been enjoying the Community Forest with family events, hikes, paddles, and picnics.


"The Community Forest project refocused our attention on the natural beauty and resources that define this place. Now that we own it and it’s protected, the Community Forest will provide critical investment in ongoing community development and tourism initiatives."

—Rich Bard, Executive Director, Downeast Coastal Conservancy

The Center provided advice about ownership and governance structures for managing the new Community Forest, and about the importance of permanently conserving the land through a conservation easement.