A Gem of a Property: The McCoy-Chapman Forest
After working with Geneva “Ginnie” McCoy of Gilead for a number of years, and with her estate after her death in 2016, Mahoosuc Land Trust recently took ownership of the McCoy-Chapman Forest. This incredible property, located on the North Road in Bethel, stretches from the north side of the Androscoggin River in Bethel and Gilead, to 1600’ in elevation in Newry. To ensure Ginnie’s desire to maintain the property in an undeveloped state, MLT took title subject to permanent restrictions allowing for recreation, education, timber harvesting, and related conservation uses.
MLT will prepare a management plan that is likely to include future pedestrian trails to some of the over 4000 feet of Androscoggin River frontage, snowmobile access across the existing route parallel to the river, and walking and skiing trails north of the North Road. Some exciting features of the property include mature pine and hardwood stands, clear mountain streams with cascades and pools and abundant signs of bear and other wildlife.
We are working with other organizations in the region toward the common goals of a connected Bethel area and are exploring the possible linkage of the McCoy-Chapman Forest to other recreational parcels in the area, including the future Bethel Community Forest.
Relatives of Mrs. McCoy and her late husband, Sam McCoy, made very significant financial gifts to MLT in order to facilitate the transfer. In order to complete the terms of the transfer, MLT took out loans which will need to be repaid within two years, through a fundraising effort which will also cover costs for initial recreational improvements, land management, and perpetual stewardship responsibilities.
MLT is looking for interested individuals to join a group of volunteers to inventory and plan for future uses of the property in a manner that serves public needs. For further information, or to assist the Trust in its effort to make the project come to fruition, contact Kirk Siegel at MLT, at 207-824-3806 or firstname.lastname@example.org.