Goupee, VanDongen win Wildlands Trail Run


Goupee and last year’s Double Trouble winner, Aaron Long

A record 78 runners turned out for this year’s Wildlands Trail Race Sunday, October 26. The first race in the 2014 Downeast Double Trouble Trail Race Series saw some solid performances and left a lot to be determined at next week’s run in Sullivan. In this year’s Double Trouble Race standings, Jennifer VanDongen of Bar Harbor, last  year’s overall female champion, is once again in the lead for the title after running the 6.3-mile Great Pond Mountain Wildlands course Sunday with a time of 48:26. The men’s winner, Andy Goupee of Dedham, leads several strong contenders, including last year’s men’s overall champion Aaron Long. Goupee, 33, led the pack with a time of 47:30. Here is the overall results table: Wildlands2014_OVERALL_11052014_UPDATED. Here are the awards by age category: Wildlands2014_AWARDS. To see photos of the race, CLICK HERE.

Runners enjoyed a pleasant fall day, beautiful views, a delicious chili and cornbread lunch donated by MacLeod’s Restaurant, and some great door prizes.


VanDongen crosses the finish

Sunday, Nov. 2 is the second race in the Downeast Double Trouble series—Frenchman Bay Conservancy’s Autumn Trail Run. This 4 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 tee.

Both races are sponsored by land trusts and proceeds benefit local land conservation and public trails in Hancock County.FBC-Trail_Race_Logo_2013

Thanks to our sponsors: Awards, Signage & Trophies; Stanley Subaru; Nicholas Vachon, DPM; Penobscot Bay Yacht Exchange; MacLeod’s Restaurant; Tradewinds Market of Blue Hill; Cadillac Mountain Sports; Curtis Family Shoe; Woodland Studios; Morton’s Moo, Hannaford of Bar Harbor.

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GPMCT earns national accreditation!

LTAC_seal_greenGreat Pond Mountain Conservation Trust is one of 25 land trusts nationwide to be awarded first-time accreditation in August from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance.

“We are thrilled to be recognized for our commitment to conserving amazing local places for people and wildlife,” said GPMCT Executive Director Cheri Domina. “The accreditation process took us three years of hard work, and it’s made us a more mature organization—prepared to care for our holdings and serve the community far into the future.”

Orland native Stuart Gross founded GPMCT with a handful of local people in 1993. The Trust was originally formed to conserve land on and around Great Pond Mountain, but soon expanded its mission to include the towns of Orland, Bucksport, Dedham and Verona Island. GPMCT owns and manages the 4,500-acre Great Pond Mountain Wildlands in Orland for wildlife habitat, recreation and sustainable forestry; the trust also owns 30 acres in Bucksport and cares for conservation easements in Orland and Dedham (Lucerne).

GPMCT was awarded accreditation this August and is one of only 280 land trusts from across the country that has been accredited since the fall of 2008. Accredited land trusts are authorized to display a seal indicating to the public that they meet national standards for excellence, uphold the public trust and ensure that conservation efforts are permanent. The seal is a mark of distinction in land conservation.

“This round of accreditation decisions represents another significant milestone for the accreditation program; the 280 accredited land trusts account for over half of the 20,645,165 acres currently owned in fee or protected by a conservation easement held by a land trust,” said Commission Executive Director Tammara Van Ryn. “Accreditation provides the public with an assurance that, at the time of accreditation, land trusts meet high standards for quality and that the results of their conservation work are permanent.”

Each accredited land trust submitted extensive documentation and underwent a rigorous review. “Through accreditation land trusts conduct important planning and make their operations more efficient and strategic,” said Van Ryn. “Accredited organizations have engaged and trained citizen conservation leaders and improved systems for ensuring that their conservation work is permanent.”

According to the Land Trust Alliance, conserving land helps ensure clean air and drinking water; safe, healthy food; scenic landscapes and views; recreational places; and habitat for the diversity of life on earth. In addition to health and food benefits, conserving land increases property values near greenbelts, saves tax dollars by encouraging more efficient development, and reduces the need for expensive water filtration facilities. Across the country, local citizens and communities have come together to form more than 1,700 land trusts to save the places they love. Community leaders in land trusts throughout the country have worked with willing landowners to save over 47 million acres of farms, forests, parks and places people care about, including land transferred to public agencies and protected via other means. Strong, well-managed land trusts provide local communities with effective champions and caretakers of their critical land resources, and safeguard the land through the generations.

The Land Trust Accreditation Commission, based in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., awards the accreditation seal to community institutions that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Commission, established in 2006 as an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance, is governed by a volunteer board of diverse land conservation and nonprofit management experts from around the country. See a complete list of all recently accredited land trusts online at More information on the accreditation program is available on the Commission’s website,

The Land Trust Alliance, of which GPMCT is a member, is a national conservation group that works to save the places people love by strengthening conservation throughout America. It works to increase the pace and quality of conservation by advocating favorable tax policies, training land trusts in best practices and working to ensure the permanence of conservation in the face of continuing threats. The Alliance publishes Land Trust Standards and Practices and provides financial and administrative support to the Commission. It has established an endowment to help ensure the success of the accreditation program and keep it affordable for land trusts of all sizes to participate in accreditation. More information can be found at

Photo by Jake Maier


On May 15 in the Wildlands, a dream finally came true.  Great Pond Trust’s new Kubota IMG_4733tractor showed up on schedule. This machine comes complete with IMG_4749brush hog, landscape rake, and rear grader blade. It will be used primarily for maintaining roads and mowing fields and trails. In the attached pictures, Steward Brian Keegstra and Director Cheri Domina orchestrate events.



April 27, 2014. BIG THANKS to Logan Cote and Orland’s Scout Troop 102, who spent Monday morning  constructing over 100 feet of bog bridging on our Wildlands Birding Path (off Hothole Pond Trail). This is Logan’s Eagle Scout project. Come check it out.





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Bucksport Farmer’s Market returns

The Bucksport Farmer’s Market will be back outdoors on Main Street (next to the Post Office) Thursdays starting May 15, 2:30-5 pm. New vendors will join the ones you grew to love and support last season. GPMCT is a sponsor! Support your local farmers and enjoy some delicious breads, veggies, meats, seedlings and more.