Tom Chappell, the namesake behind natural products company Tom’s of Maine, and his wife, Kate, have donated agricultural easements protecting 154 acres in Kennebunk to the Maine Farmland Trust. In another protection effort, the state is receiving nearly $1 million in federal funding to buy wetlands in the eastern town of Addison.
The trust is seeking to place agricultural easements on 100,000 acres of farmland in Maine by the end of 2014 to protect against development, according to the Bangor Daily News. In 12 years, the trust has secured easements for 26,000 acres. The Chappells use the land to harvest hay and raise sheep for their new venture, Rambler’s Way, which produces wool clothing. Tom’s of Maine is known for its environmentally friendly soaps and toothpastes.
In related news, Maine is one of 13 states receiving money from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Coastal Wetland Conservation Grant Program. The state will use $980,000 to buy wetlands in Addison to establish the Pleasant Bay Wildlife Management Area, which will have a total area of 2,000 acres.