Williamsburg Township: Connecting Penobscot Trust Lands

Photo by Peter Forbes

Williamsburg Township: Connecting Penobscot Trust Lands


735 acres

The return of 735 acres to the Penobscot Nation is a beautiful example of what tribal members working together with Mainers looks like and what it does for the land. Through working with First Light, Lucas St. Clair of the Elliotsville Foundation learned the histories of what has and continues to happen to Wabanaki people and he wanted to use his platform differently, to inspire, empower, and restore indigenous people as caretakers of the land. As Lucas described in a press release, “What we hope to do by giving this land back is to show our confidence in the Wabanaki communities in Maine and the Penobscots as a sovereign nation that they will take on the responsibility to steward this land.” John Banks, the former Director of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Nation described it doing just that, as the 735 acres creates a connection between existing tribal territories, enhancing the conservation and care for these species, while providing multiple benefits to the tribe. Or as he states, “This land, the headwaters of the Pleasant River, an important tributary to the Penobscot River, is Sacred ground to many people. It’s home to native brook trout, spawning salmon, white-tailed deer, and moose.  It provides sustenance through the seasons for many tribal families.”

A subsequent conversation about land return efforts was hosted by the University of Maine’s Mitchell Center for Sustainability Solutions.