Today, I am hoping you will join me in a new project: the donation of my 150 acre woodlot in Mt. Vernon to the Kennebec Land Trust. KLT does a fantastic job in my area, and Linda and I enjoy many of their managed lands.
My woodlot is an amazing place, with outstanding wildlife habitat including a bog, beaver flowage, softwood and hardwood groves, lots of cedar, and more. Every kind of wildlife critter lives there. And the nearby stream, offering five miles of undeveloped shoreline, is a very popular place for canoeing and kayaking.
The first section of my new book, A Lifetime of Hunting and Fishing, published in August by North Country Press, is titled “Walking My Woodlot.” I take the reader through my woodlot telling stories of wonderful things that have happened there, while I was hunting.
For example, once I was sitting on the ground with my back up against a tree and an ermine started sprinting back and forth in front of me. It got to within about 10 yards, turned my way, and ran right up my leg, stopping on my chest. At that point it decided I wasn’t a tree and jumped off. Amazing!
Our plan is to create a “habitat trail” with signs explaining the various habitats and critters that live on the woodlot. I’m also adding stories to Walking My Woodlot, and they will be available in a booklet for those who visit the woodlot in the future.
Years ago I dedicated my woodlot to my Dad, Ezra Smith, and it sports a sign: Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area. Now, that designation will be permanent.
I hope to raise $20,000 so that KLT will have the funds needed to pay property taxes on the woodlot, and manage it over the years, including maintaining the trails and signs, hosting events there, and encouraging public use. The woodlot will be managed primarily for wildlife habitat.
I would be thrilled if you are able to help me achieve this goal. Please make your donation payable to Kennebec Land Trust, specify that the donation is for the Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area, and mail it to KLT at 331 Main Street, Winthrop 04364.
Let me know if you have any questions. And thanks so much for considering my request.
PHOTO: Dad and Harry Vanderweide in front of the sign for my woodlot.