UNION, Maine — The Sigsbee family, in partnership with the Georges River Land Trust, has conserved permanently the western slope of Barrett Hill in Hope, along with blueberry lands in Union and Appleton. This summer, Bruce and Jane Sigsbee granted a conservation easement to the Georges River Land Trust that will allow their 100-acre property, which fronts on Sennebec Road in Union and Appleton, to remain as wildlife habitat and farmland forever.

Within a few years of moving to Union and watching bald eagles catch wind thermals along the face of Barrett Hill, seeing deer and other wildlife venture into their fields and hearing wood frogs welcome the spring in the wetlands, the Sigsbees felt it was time to place their land under permanent conservation.

The conservation easement, a voluntary legal agreement between the landowner and the land trust, permanently restricts the land use to support wildlife habitat, open space and other traditional uses, such as farming and forestry, while keeping the land in private ownership. The Sigsbees will continue to live on their property, manage their woodlands and trails and contract with Nash Blueberries to manage their blueberry fields.

“This 100-acre tract is quite diverse,” said Annette Naegel, conservation program manager for the land trust. “It has mature woodlands, hayfields, productive blueberry barrens and an important wetland complex that drains into Seven Tree Pond.” Additional streams drain off Barrett Hill through the woodlands, providing both scenic and habitat values. From Sennebec Road, the property offers sweeping views of blueberry barrens. Within a half mile of the property along Sennebec Pond is a 66-acre conserved property, also held in easement by the land trust.

For information, call the land trust at 594-5166 or visit grlt.org.