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VOTE YES ON ARTICLE #15 ~ OPEN SPACE PURCHASE ~ TUESDAY, JUNE 13, 2017 @ THE WELLS JUNIOR HIGH SCHOOL - 8:00AM to 8PM

CONSERVE THE GETCHELL PASTURE!!!

The Getchell Pasture Project
LOCATION
The Getchell Pasture is a 141-acre parcel located in western Wells on the south side of the Bald Hill Road, where it holds frontage. It is bounded on the northwest by the natural gas pipeline right-of-way and on the southeast by a CMP powerline, both of which provide connectivity with the Perkinstown Wildlife Commons within a mile and a quarter.

ECOLOGY AND HABITAT
This parcel has especially rich ecological value because of its highly diverse topography that includes grassland, red maple swamp, emergent shrub/scrub wetlands interspersed with wooded islands, fringing forested wetland cover, and early successional mixed forest returning from a twenty-year-old cut.

The parcel provides diverse habitat for a wide variety of common wildlife, including deer and moose, fishercat and coyote, songbirds and butterflies, as well as threatened species such as Spotted Turtle, Blandings Turtle, Black Racer Snake, and the New England Cottontail. The Getchell Pasture connects via two corridors with the Town’s New England Cottontail restoration project at the Perkinstown Wildlife Commons.

RECREATIONAL VALUE
The Getchell Pasture offers opportunities for birding, snowshoeing, skiing, hiking, geocaching, orienteering, photography, and hunting. The parcel had for many years been stocked with pheasants, and local deer hunters seek it out. Access to the parcel for long trail skiing, hiking and snowshoeing is available along tjeCMP Powerline, long used by snowmobilers and skiers, and also the Unitil Gas Pipeline. The Pipeline right of way will be the site of the Eastern Trail when it continues south from the segment that connects Kennebunk to Portland. When the Wells portion of the trail is completed, it will connect the Getchell Pasture to the Perkinstown Wildlife Commons a few miles away.

Opportunities for interpretation and other environmental education abound in partnership with the Wells-Ogunquit School District, the Library, the Historical Society, the Rotary Club, and the Boy Scouts.

ECONOMIC VALUE/ECOSYSTEM SERVICES
The parcel’s undeveloped forests, swamps, and grasslands hold back rainwater from downstream flooding and keep it uncontaminated as it journeys through streams and rivers to the ocean. The forests, swamps, and grasslands also filter rainwater that becomes groundwater, that recharge the wells of local families.

Because the Getchell Pasture lies alongside the future Eastern Trail, it will eventually provide an attraction for trail users to explore, spending additional time in Wells to purchase food and lodging. The Eastern Trail is proposed to run from Fort Kent to Kittery, and eventually from Maine south to Key West, Florida.

COST
The purchase price negotiated is the value assessed by the Town for taxes: $260,690. The Warrant Article asks for a total of $275,690 to include surveying and other closing costs that may prove necessary. The money will come from the Town’s Land Bank, which currently holds a balance of $477,861, with $100,000 proposed to be added; from Great Works Regional Land Trust, which is assisting the town with this purchase, providing funding and technical assistance; and from other grants and private donations, including four gifts of $500 from individuals.

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Happy Mother's Day! Thanks to all of the mamas across Maine working to protect our environment and way of life for future generations - and raising future conservation voters!

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