Project cost: $1.4 Million
The project is the purchase of approximately 446 acres of land on Isthmus Road in Rumford to create Rumford’s first Community Forest. The proposed Rumford Community Forest would be open to the public for multiple recreational uses – hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, ATVs, hiking, biking, snowshoeing and skiing. It would be managed for forestry using exemplary forestry standards, and for wildlife habitat and ecological conservation. Inland Woods + Trails will own the land and manage it as a community forest, with input from the community. The Trust for Public Land is facilitating the acquisition of the property and public fundraising, and the Northern Forest Center is assisting with the community planning process. The current landowner of the property is very supportive and has agreed to sell it to become a community forest. Funds to purchase the land have been secured with closing on the property slated for Spring 2024. Additional fundraising will continue through the end of the year to cover trail-creation related expenses (approximately $505,000).
The public currently has the opportunity to provide input into and help inform decisions on the future management and uses of the proposed Community Forest through a public planning process open to all. Community Forest Public Planning meetings are being held the third Wednesday of the month at 6 pm at Rumford Town Hall, now through through May 2024. Topics include recreation, trails, forestry, education, and other ideas. The process will conclude with a Community Forest Management Plan.