Why an easement?

Landowners who are interested in protecting wildlife habitat and scenic open space on their property, while keeping the land in the family, may donate a conservation easement. Easements generally restrict future building and damaging land uses, and will apply to all current and future owners. The easement may be held and monitored by Vinalhaven Land Trust or another conservation organization. For more information about conserving your property, please contact Linnell Mather at Vinalhaven Land Trust.


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Coombs Neck Conservation Easement Protects Historic Saltwater Farm

Kuemmerle Farm

The Warner Farm on the east side of Vinalhaven holds a lifetime of memories for Lucy Warner Kuemmerle and her brother, Mark Warner.  Members of the family, as well as long time caretaker Kenny Martin, have tended the twenty-nine acre property for over seven decades, since its purchase in 1937 by Kuemmerle and Warner’s parents. Many years of work and wandering on the land made it clear to Kuemmerle that a conservation easement would be important for the well being of the place.   

“I am very excited about putting the property into an easement,” says Kuemmerle, “because, for me, the beauty of this place is the sense that it has not been terribly changed over time. The house, barn, orchard and fields are snug and plain, while all around is a wilderness of woods and sea. As the natural world becomes increasingly threatened, and as old farm houses become rarer, owning this [farm] does seem like a great privilege a privilege which demands good stewardship – not just for us by any means, but for the future (whatever that may prove to be!) of our local corner of the planet.”

Protected Shoreline

The conservation easement protects the shore land, fields, wetland, and woodland - in short, the traditional open character of a saltwater farm.  Stone walls define the fields and property boundaries. The main grassy field draws our eyes to the historic farmhouse, barn and adjacent old apple orchard. A stream meanders through a large wetland that bisects the property and empties into Seal Bay.

These habitats attract many species of both feeding and nesting birds.  Kuemmerle gave us a list of over forty species she sees regularly on the property.  The East Penobscot Bay shore is host to many species of sea birds and shore birds. Her seabird list demonstrates why this area is designated “Significant Wildlife Habitat” on the 2008 Beginning with Habitat Maps from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.

Lucy and ClydeLucy and her husband, Clyde, hope to conserve the historic farm house (1836) and barn (1870), with Maine Preservation, a statewide historic preservation organization.  VLT, which does not itself hold historic preservation easements, introduced them to this organization.  However, a conservation easement on the land does mesh with VLT’s mission of conserving our island’s significant wildlife habitat, scenic and historic spaces, water resources, and traditional character for generations to come.   


How different and empty our lives would be without biological diversity and scenic beauty which nourish mind, body and spirit. Thanks to Lucy and Mark and their families for helping conserve the nature of Vinalhaven.