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ALT, Verso Paper to conserve riverfront land for recreation

Verso Paper Corp.’s Androscoggin Mill and the Androscoggin Land Trust are thrilled by a recent state decision to support a project that will conserve more land along the Androscoggin River for recreational use. The mill plans to donate or sell nearly 1,300 acres of land along the river under a proposal submitted by ALT and the Town of Jay to the Land for Maine’s Future program. LMF decided to grant $259,000 toward this valuable project.

“We are very happy with this outstanding show of support from Land for Maine’s Future,” said Androscoggin Land Trust Executive Director Jonathan LaBonté. “While the grant is shy of our original $425,000 request, we are pleased that LMF recognized the importance of this project and used limited funds to support such a key project for the Androscoggin River community and the Atate of Maine. Increasing recreation along the river corridor will not only allow Maine to take advantage of such an incredible resource, but will also have economic benefit to the state as it increases tourism to the area.”

Since its founding in 1987, LMF has conserved more than 532,000 acres in Maine through nearly 300 separate projects. This year LMF received funding requests from more than three-dozen different projects. About half of those received grant money this year.

“Verso is so pleased to see a project that means a lot to us and our community receive such support from Land for Maine’s Future as well,” said Androscoggin Mill Manager Marc Connor. “We own land along the Androscoggin River that isn’t critical to our business, but has tremendous value to the community as a fishing area or other recreation resource. We are glad to be able to donate some of our land and give back to the community in this meaningful way.”

This project will conserve local landscapes for wildlife habitat while ensuring public access and maintaining the land as a working forest. It will provide additional access in downtown Jay and Livermore Falls to promote the Androscoggin River for seasonal recreation through paddle sports and fishing. And it will advance local multi-use trail networks by connecting them into the downtown area of Jay and Livermore Falls which will in turn support local businesses.

The Androscoggin Land Trust is a private, non-profit, membership-supported organization dedicated to protecting, through land conservation and stewardship, the important natural areas, traditional landscapes and outdoor experience in the Androscoggin River watershed. ALT conserves over 4,650 acres of land, including over 10 miles of riverfront along the Androscoggin River.

Based in Memphis, Tennessee, Verso Paper Corp. is a leading North American producer of coated papers, including coated groundwood and coated freesheet and supercalendered and specialty products. Verso’s paper products are used primarily in media and marketing applications, including magazines, catalogs and commercial printing applications such as high-end advertising brochures, annual reports and direct-mail advertising.

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