Frenchman Bay Conservancy is a nationally accredited nonprofit land conservation organization. Now in our 32nd year of operation, we have protected over 8,000 acres through conservation easements or FBC-owned preserves in 12 towns and townships in Maine. Our conserved lands protect a broad variety of ecosystems and traditional land uses, including forest, wetlands, coastline, mountains, an organic farm, a working woodlot, blueberry fields, and waterfront along a wild and scenic river. Frenchman Bay Conservancy maintains more than 28 miles of year-round public access hiking trails for nature observation, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and hunting. We protect access for the public to enjoy scenic vistas, sandy beaches, rocky coastlines and mudflats for recreation and commercial access including clam and worm harvesting.
Frenchman Bay Conservancy conserves distinctive ecosystems, lands, and waters for the benefit of all, from the Union River and Frenchman Bay watersheds east to the Hancock County line.
In October 1987, Frenchman Bay Conservancy was founded by a group of local residents concerned about the development threat to Donnell Pond in Sullivan. The purpose of the original founders was to protect clean water, open space, and wildlife in the Frenchman Bay watershed through direct land protection and through public education programs. While FBC has evolved over the past 30 years, our mission remains largely the same, and now emphasizes conservation for people and includes the Union River watershed and eastern Hancock County. In December 1988, FBC acquired its first property, 55 acres of woodland and sand beach on Little Tunk Pond. Between 1987 and 1999, FBC conserved 693 acres.
In June 2000, FBC embarked on its first capital campaign to raise funds to purchase the Tidal Falls property in Hancock. We succeeded, and this precious community resource is now permanently protected for the enjoyment of all for generations to come. Two years later, FBC’s board adopted a bold new strategic plan that expanded our geographic coverage to include the Union River watershed. This new territory included nearly all of interior Hancock County and the City of Ellsworth. Since 2000, FBC has conserved more than 6,300 acres of land. Over just the past five years, FBC has increased preserve and easement acres by more than sixty percent and increased miles of trail by fifty percent. We will continue to capitalize on this momentum and increase our rate of land protection to achieve landscape scale conservation efforts to provide clean water, wildlife corridors, and access to special places for generations.