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    Skowhegan, Maine

    139 Acres | September 24, 2002
    Peter and Barbara Whitkop
    Conservation Easement

    The Whitkop Wildlife Sanctuary comprises 139 acres in Skowhegan, Maine.  In September 2002, Peter and Barbara Whitkop signed a conservation easement with the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust.  Their foresight and compassion has created a permanent safe haven for the wild animals who share their land.

    The conservation easement, like all such agreements with HSWLT, permanently prohibits recreational and commercial hunting and trapping of any animal on the property.  In addition, there will be no development or commercial logging.

    The Whitkop Wildlife Sanctuary is entirely forested. The forest is predominantly northern hardwood, with sugar maple, American beech and yellow birch being common species. There also are eastern hemlock, balsam fir, red spruce and white pine. Stands vary in age and several are mature attractive stands. There also are several relatively small cedar wetlands, with sphagnum, thuidium and other mosses as well as several species of fern.

    A small stream runs through the Whitkop Wildlife Sanctuary and some wet areas support vernal pools. These features are vital to the all the animals in the area. The west border of the property joins state and county lands, and to the south is the Whitkop’s home parcel including some woods and fields.

    The property is home to a myriad of wildlife species including fox, coyote, moose, deer, porcupine and raccoon.  Pileated woodpeckers, great horned and barred owls, ruffed grouse and ruby-throated hummingbirds are among the birds who all nest here or stop on their migration routes. And of course a variety of reptiles and amphibians make their homes here too.

    Although this sanctuary remains privately owned, the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust has an obligation to perform periodic inspections to ensure that the wildlife habitat remains in good condition and that the terms of the conservation easements are being met.  These inspections, and the handling of any destruction or violations, cost heavily in professional staff time, consultants, and travel expenses. In addition HSWLT needs a reserve of funds for the substantial legal fees needed if enforcement of violations involves court action.

    HSWLT has promised to protect this property as sanctuary forever -- and that promise will be kept.  If you can help with the cost of stewardship for this and the other properties HSWLT protects, please donate here.

    Owls Close-up

    You can help owls by preserving their habitats and using organic methods rather than chemicals to eliminate agricultural pests.


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