The Conservation Plan for the Kezar River, Kezar Lake and Cold River Watersheds is a living document that was developed in August 2008. The Conservation Plan had its origins in the recognition that this precious landscape of 119,000 acres is poised on the edge of great changes. A community-based Planning Group formed in 2006 to identify the natural and cultural resources that were valued in the region and that, if lost, could not be replaced. The Planning Group was comprised of individuals with various expertise and included representation from the GLLT, the Five Kezar Ponds Watershed Association, the Horseshoe Pond Homeowners Association, the towns of Lovell, Stoneham and Stow, the US Forest Service, and the Maine chapter of The Nature Conservancy. The process was guided by ecological consultant Mark Ward with technical assistance from GIS (Geographic Information Society) cartography specialist Bill Duffy.
The key outcome of the Conservation Plan is the identification of specific actions that can be undertaken to conserve and preserve precious resources and mitigate against threats to their well being. These actions can be found in Appendix V and are listed by Key Players that are best positioned to take the lead in the strategic implementation. Many of the actions have been embraced by Key Players and are in various stages of implementation. For its part, the GLLT has focused its proactive land protection efforts in the regions identified as Focus Areas for Land Protection Efforts on Map 10 of the Appendices.
The GLLT partnered in 2008 with Maine Audubon through its Focus Species Forestry—Community Forestry Project to identify the habitat needs of focal wildlife species and habitats within the Conservation Plan area. The Focus Species and Conservation Forestry Practices report is a useful resource for identifying opportunities for the GLLT to enhance, maintain or create habitat diversity on its own properties, to prioritize land conservation based upon habitat needs and also as an outreach tool to the region’s forestland owners and managers.