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Farmland Survey Is Underway

Farmland survey is underway

Written by Robert Levin

Sunday, March 03, 2013 at  4:05 pm

BAR HARBOR — The town’s agricultural, recreational, conservation and open lands are being inventoried as part of a plan to guide future conservation efforts here.

The results will inform the town’s first open space plan, which will identify strategies to preserve natural and cultural resources that are deemed important to the community. Creation of the plan around this time was called for in the 2007 comprehensive plan.

The conservation commission is leading planning efforts, and have now gotten “a great group of community partners” onboard, chairman Jill Weber said. They include Maine Coast Heritage Trust, Acadia National Park, Maine Farmland Trust, the parks and recreation committee, and Frenchman Bay Partners.

Currently, conservation commission member Dessa Dancy is leading a subcommittee to complete a survey of all agricultural lands in Bar Harbor. Ms. Dancy is working with Misha Mytar of Maine Coast Heritage Trust (MCHT) and Stacy Benjamin of the Maine Farmland Trust.

The group is working with residents who are involved in agricultural pursuits to hear about their farms, what their visions are, and how the town can help. The information will be combined with reports from the National Resource Conservation Service that identify prime agricultural soils in Bar Harbor.

Once the initial inventory phase is completed, the commission plans to present their information to the public. Then it will be further refined.

The commission has issued a request for proposals for a consultant to write the open space plan. They have received $11,000 in grant money to do so, and have applied for another $10,000 which they hope to receive in June.

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