December 11, 2017
York Land Trust acquired the 220-acre Fuller Forest property on Bartlett Road in York last week from the children of Marion Fuller Brown, creating one of York Land Trust’s largest preserves.
The project, which has been years in the making, protects a vast working forest that will be managed for wildlife habitat, sustainable forestry, traditional uses and recreation. Existing trails are currently being inventoried and will be incorporated into an extensive trail system. Within two years, York Land Trust will build a parking area to increase public access to the land.
“We are thrilled to own this spectacular property, and look forward to sharing it with the community,” says Doreen MacGillis, Executive Director of York Land Trust.
The Fuller Forest property originally belonged to the late Henry Fuller and Marion Fuller Brown, who acquired it shortly after World War II along with Ram’s Head Farm on Southside Road. Marion was a member of the Maine House of Representatives and a leader in statewide, national and local conservation efforts until she passed away in 2011. She was also a founder of the York Land Trust in 1986.
York Land Trust’s acquisition of the property would not have been possible without a significant contribution from the Town of York in the amount of $300,000.
“We want to thank the people of York who joined with our family to make this conservation project possible,” says Martha Fuller-Clark, daughter of Henry and Marion. “It speaks to the values of this community that we are so fortunate to be a part of.”
Fuller Forest has long been a top conservation priority of the Mt. Agamenticus to the Sea Conservation Initiative (MtA2C), an effort to connect conserved lands in southern York County spanning from the top of Mt. Agamenticus to the coast of Kittery. The property directly neighbors Kittery Land Trust’s (KLT) 170-acre Norton Preserve, which also abuts KLT’s 50-acre Brave Boat Headwaters Preserve. Together, these properties link up with the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge, creating a contiguous block of more than 1,300 acres of conserved land.
“There aren’t any 1,300-acre blocks in York available for conservation, so the only way to create the large blocks of land that are so critical for birds and other wildlife is to patch together a series of smaller parcels,” says MacGillis. “Fuller Forest is a critical puzzle piece in a large mosaic of conserved lands that we are creating.”
The Fuller Forest project was completed with generous support from the Fuller family, including Emily Fuller Hawkins, Martha Fuller-Clark, Henry Fuller and Alexandra Anderson, who donated to the project and sold the property at a discounted price. The family is pleased that the property will remain undeveloped in keeping with Marion’s wishes.
Other major contributors to the project include: Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Windover Foundation, Ram Island Trust, Davis Conservation Foundation, John Sage Foundation, Baldwin Foundation, Richard Family Foundation, along with many generous individual donors.