2012-08-31 / Letters

Communities protect Timber Point and Timber Island

To the editor:

Recently, the Biddeford and Kennebunkport communities celebrated the purchase of Timber Point and Timber Island for the Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge. The Ewings were true conservation owners for more than 80 years, preserving one of the last large undeveloped coastal properties in southern Maine.

These 98 acres located in Biddeford between the Atlantic Ocean and the Little River Estuary are now part of the refuge’s Little River Division.

The refuge will continue protecting the land for wildlife habitat, with public access via a fantastic trail that takes you along a tidal river, through an old growth deciduous forest, over grassland meadows and out to splendid views of the ocean and islands.

The real story of Timber Point is of people coming together. The initial investment for the purchase came from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, with the strong support of U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins and U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree. This spurred a public/private fund-raising campaign that elicited more than 700 indi- vidual donations and a grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Thanks to this hard work and leadership, Timber Point will be accessible to all forever. Without LWCF, this project simply would not have happened.

The Friends of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge are grateful to our delegation for supporting the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses revenues generated from offshore energy leases—not taxpayer dollars—to acquire important lands for the public. Land and Water Conservation Fund has helped conserve some of Maine’s most special places, including Acadia National Park, White Mountain National Forest and the Appalachian Trail.

We love them all, but we’re especially glad that the Land and Water Conservation Fund helped permanently protect the spectacular 98 acres of Timber Point.

We urge the delegation to keep fighting for full and dedicated funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund so that Maine’s next great conservation story will have an equally happy ending. Bill Durkin, president The Friends of Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge Biddeford Pool

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