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Ducktrap River, Maine



"Thanks to the effective partnership of 28 organizations and more than 40 landowners, the Ducktrap River Coalition has protected 82 percent of the riparian land on the Ducktrap River, home to one of eight remaining endangered Atlantic salmon populations in the United States. The Fish and Wildlife Service, one of the founding members of the Coalition, has provided the expertise, leadership, and support that has been essential to the success of our combined efforts to save this extraordinary river." - Scott Dickerson, Ducktrap River Coalition.

Atlantic Salmon

The Ducktrap River cuts through many jurisdictions and across many plots of private land. It traverses woods used by hunters, recreationists, and hikers. Along its course lies an occasional gravel pit. In some places, eroded banks spill sediment into the river.

Those hoping to conserve the many values of this river faced - as we so often do - complex challenges. How could they restore and maintain habitat? How could they stitch together so many pieces of a landscape quilt? How could they protect salmon while maintaining thriving communities and the enjoyment and use of the river?

Community entrepreneurs responded to these challenges by creating the Ducktrap Coalition, an association of 28 partners including conservationists, farmers, a local snowmobile association, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and many others. The Coalition began unpacking problems into bite-sized chunks. They applied new technologies to prevent erosion. They rehabilitated gravel pits, transforming them into vernal pools. They created an educational partnership with the snowmobile association to maintain recreational opportunities on those trails least subject to environmental impacts. They acquired conservation easements to achieve enduring protections.

This partnership is bringing miles of restoration to the river. It has produced permanent protection of land and water, blended with continued community use. It has generated data through monitoring by volunteers, recognizing that the true test of conservation resides in the results achieved and sustained.

- June 2004