Meet our new Board candidates…

Four new interim board members joined our board this fall and winter, and you’ll have the opportunity to confirm their membership at our July 9 annual meeting.

John Barlow of Orland joined the board in November, and hosted a weekend of Christmas tree cutting to benefit GPMCT. Originally from Plymouth, MA, John moved to Maine for graduate work at UMO in 1965. He moved to Orland in 1970 and taught marine science and oceanography at Maine Maritime Academy, where he helped found the Corning School of Ocean Studies and became Academic Dean, Provost and VP of Academic Affairs before retiring two years ago. John served as Chief of Orland’s Fire Department for 25 years. He and Diane have two sons and four grandkids and enjoy sailing.

Diane O’Connell of Bucksport came to us in December. Born and raised on a sheep farm in New Zealand, she came to America in 2001 with husband, Steve. In 2003, the couple started a charter boat business in Belfast with their friendship sloop Amity and moved to Bucksport. An attorney, Diane is now a partner at Patterson & O’Connell, LLC in Ellsworth; her practice includes conservation easements and land trust work. Diane, Steve and their two kids (now at Bucksport Middle School) enjoy hiking and boating.

Board members elected Richard Spearen, Jr. of Bucksport Assistant Treasurer in February; he’ll be up for election as Treasurer July 9. Richard is a Senior Accountant at Hollywood Casino in Bangor. He grew up in Holden and graduated from U-Maine with BAs in political science and philosophy. He enjoys traveling, reading, gaming and exploring the outdoors.

Betty J. Harris of Orland became Board secretary in March (former secretary Maddy Glover moved away in the fall). B.J. has been a consultant pharmacist with Maine Veterans Homes since 2011. She’s had an extensive career in pharmacy, from academia (recently at Husson) to long-term care, community chain pharmacies and hospitals. B.J. sings in several chorales and is also a licensed Maine Sea Kayak guide with Castine Kayak Adventures.

We say goodbye this summer to Treasurer Mike Bouthot, who has moved out of the area, and three long-time board members who’ve termed out: Bob Mercer, Jack MacBrayne and John Wedin. They’ll continue to serve on committees, and may rejoin the board after a year off. Thanks, guys!

Two land trusts create Penobscot Shore Preserve

Prospect—On March 29, thanks to a successful collaboration with Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust, Coastal Mountains Land Trust established its most northerly preserve in Prospect, Maine. The new Penobscot Shore Preserve is made up of two parcels—16 and 31 acres—located on the Bowden Point Road along the western shore of the Penobscot River. The land, which will be made available for the public to enjoy, includes over 1,800 feet of forested shorefront along the Penobscot River and acts as a corridor for wildlife using the River. It also offers scenic views of the Penobscot River and of the adjacent Bucksport waterfront.

In 2016, the property was generously gifted to Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust by Elizabeth Wemett through her will in honor of her aunt, Mary Lord. Given that Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust’s service region in northwestern Hancock County extends west only to Bucksport and Verona Island, the organization reached out to their sister land trust across the river to see if it would be interested in becoming the long-term steward of this land. Coastal Mountains Land Trust was pleased to protect this scenic riverfront property in Prospect and is looking forward to inviting the community to visit and enjoy the land, once it has completed an ecological inventory and management plan for the property.

Keep an eye on the Coastal Mountains Land Trust webpage,, or that of GPMCT,, for events and volunteer opportunities to help establish public access on the Preserve.


Coastal Mountains Land Trust has worked since 1986 to permanently conserve land to benefit the natural and human communities of the western Penobscot Bay. The Land Trust has protected over 10,000 acres to date, offering 40 miles of trails for public access.

Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust has conserved land, water and wildlife habitat for the communities of northwestern Hancock County since 1993. GPMCT owns and manages the 4,500-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland, and has conserved an additional 200 acres for wildlife habitat and public recreation in Bucksport, Orland and Lucerne.

Skorapa, Clarke win Wildlands Snowshoe Run Feb. 19

Victor Skorapa, 22, of Freeport led a pack of 15 runners to win the Wildlands Snowshoe Run on Sunday, Feb. 19, for the second year in a row. Sun and temperatures near 50 F meant t-shirts and well-packed snow on the scenic 4.4-mile course. Skorapa, a student at Maine Maritime Academy in Castine, ran over the flank of Great Pond Mountain in 43:19, followed not-so-closely by the 2nd and 3rd overall winners, Michael Wade, 48, of Ellsworth at 48:54 and Jim Hunt, 50, of Dedham in 51:25.

Robin Clarke, 47, of Ellsworth was the winning female (and fourth place overall) at 57:20, followed by Donna Kausen, 63, of Addison at 57:21, and Melissa Ossanna, 47, of Bar Harbor at 59:04.

See our photo gallery at:

The run was part of Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust’s Winter Fun Day, sponsored by Cadillac Mountain Sports, Curtis Family Shoe and Hannaford Supermarket.


Place     Name                                   No.         Ag           S              Time    Pace


1          VICTOR SKORAPA            22           22           M            43:19     9:51

2          MICHAEL WADE                11           48          M            48:54     11:07

3          JIM HUNT                            69           50          M            51:25     11:42

4          ROBIN CLARKE                  70           47           F              57:20    13:02

5          DONNA KAUSEN               39           63           F              57:51       13:09

6          CHRIS RICHARDSON        73           41           M            57:57     13:11

7          MELISSA OSSANNA         63           47           F              59:04     13:26

8          JEFF GAGNE                       66           43           M            59:48     13:36

9          RYAN KING                         18           47           M            1:01:57    14:05

10        BECKA GAGNE                   65          49           F              1:05:21    14:52

11        PETER OSSANNA               64          56           M            1:05:40    14:56

12        KAREN GROSS                   4              59           F              1:06:23  15:06

13        MELISSA DICARLO           30           42           F              1:26:31   19:40

14        SUSAN LAZOR                   71           55           F              1:31:37     20:50

15        TIM GRIFFIN                      72           50           M            1:44:10    23:41

Goupee, VanDongen win Wildlands Trail Run

Andy Goupee of Dedham and Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor led the pack over the finish line in the Wildlands Trail Run Sunday, October 30. Fifty-six runners from around the state turned out for the first race in the 2016 Downeast Double Trouble Trail Race Series, a 6.3-mile dash across Oak and Flag Hills and Flying Moose Mountain in the Great Pond Mountain Wildlands. Goupee, 35, who won the race in 2014 and was crowned Double Trouble Champ in 2015 (coming in 2nd in the Wildlands Run and winning the Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s Autumn Trail Run), came in this year with a time of 44:58. VanDongen, 38, has been the female winner for four years, and is also undefeated as Double Trouble Champion; her time was 50:01. She came in sixth overall.

Second and third-place men’s winners were Eric Mauricette, 25, of Grand Lake Stream, with a time of 46:04, and J. Chase Reidelbach, 22, of Virginia Beach (a student at Maine Maritime Academy), coming in at 47:01. Second place in the women’s division went to Dara Knapp, 38, of Columbia Falls, with a time of 53:55, and third was Maddy Glover, 28, of Ellsworth, 56:54. Full race results are available HERE. Check out Hans Krichels’ race photos HERE.

Sunday, Nov. 6 is the second race in the Downeast Double Trouble series—Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s Autumn Trail Run. This race—with a choice of 4 or 8-mile course—starts and finishes at 11 am at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan. Steep climbs, granite ledges and gorgeous views are the reward. Cost is $25 to register on race day. Those who run both races are eligible for special prizes, and earn a Double Trouble Trail Race tote. Visit for more information.

Both races are sponsored by Hancock County land trusts and proceeds benefit local land conservation and public trails.

Thanks to our sponsors: Stanley Subaru; Awards, Signage & Trophies; Nick Vachon, Podiatrist; Dave’s Tractor Services; Curtis Family Shoe; MacLeod’s Restaurant; Tradewinds Market; Woodland Studios; Cadillac Mountain Sports; Morton’s Moo. And thanks to those donating door prizes: Hannaford’s Supermarket (Bar Harbor), Cadillac Mountain Sports, China Joy, A&B Naturals, Jordan’s Restuarant, Ben & Bills Chocolate Emporium, Trailhead Cafe, EPI Pizza, Pat’s Pizza.

Photo of VanDongen crossing the finish by Hans Krichels

Doherty, Keeney are Volunteers of the Year

Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust honored David Doherty of Orland and Peter Keeney of Bar Harbor as 2015-16 Volunteers of the Year, at the land trust’s annual meeting July 10.

The land trust recognized Doherty for his volunteer work rebuilding the Stuart Gross Trail on Orland’s Great Pond Mountain, and his participation in the Adopt-a-Path program in the 4,500-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands, where he has adopted three trails this season. With Doherty’s help, the trust won a $20,000 grant 18 months ago from McKee Foods—Doherty’s employer—for rebuilding the trail on Great Pond Mountain.

Keeney was honored for his role in organizing the annual Wildlands Trail Run for the past ten years, and Wildlands Snowshoe Race since 2002. Both races are benefits for the land trust, and each year Keeney has set up the courses, solicited prizes, cooked food and made homemade prizes for each race. The Wildlands Trail Run, now part of the Downeast Double Trouble Trail Race Challenge, has drawn as many as 75 runners in recent years.

For more information on GPMCT programs or volunteering, call 469-6929, e-mail or visit Volunteer workdays are held every other Saturday this season (July 23, Aug. 6 & 20 and Sept. 3 & 17), and boundary workdays each Friday.

Photo: Peter Keeney by Hans Krichels


PHOTOS – two from July 10 annual meeting, Emily Hawkins presenting VOY award, and two photos of the volunteers at work.


Cheri Domina

Executive Director

Great Pond Mountain Conservation Trust

PO Box 266

Orland, ME  04472

207 469-6929