A primary goal for designation of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway is to promote economic development by encouraging tourism that celebrates and supports the Washington County way of life. This way of life draws upon a long cultural history of a people who live, work, and play within a wild and scenic coastal environment; it is also reliant on safe and efficient access to healthy and abundant natural resources.
Compatibility Between Byway Goals and Local Efforts
According to research conducted by the Maine Office of Tourism, travelers value outstanding scenery and a clean environment. They enjoy destinations that preserve natural, historic and cultural sites. The MaineDOT Scenic Byway program promotes economic development along roadways that offer the traveler an opportunity to experience exceptional scenic, cultural, recreational, archeological, and historical qualities. The Maine Scenic Byways Program Mission Statement reflects the interconnected nature of Maine's roadways, resources and communities.
The Maine Scenic Byways Program will preserve, maintain, protect and enhance the intrinsic resources of scenic corridors through a sustainable balance of conservation and land use. Through community-based consensus and partnerships, the program will promote economic prosperity and broaden the traveler's overall recreational and educational experience.
The Maine Scenic Byways Program focuses on community-based support and resource protection while seeking to promote regional economic benefits that may result from designation. The ultimate goal of the Program is to preserve, maintain, protect and enhance Maine's unique intrinsic resources.
Scenic Byway designation promotes economic development by:
- Introducing visitors to the beauty, solitude, and rejuvenating qualities of the landscape;
- Providing access to the numerous recreational opportunities;
- Sparking curiosity about the people, culture, and history of the region; and
- Enticing patrons to local businesses and community events and celebrations.
Many Comprehensive Plan policies and implementation strategies in Byway communities are compatible with the goals of the scenic byway program. The land use districts in municipal Comprehensive Plans were described in Chapter H. Land Use and Development Patterns. The following describes the Byway compatible policies in these local Comprehensive Plans. Note: All Comprehensive Plans referenced in the following pages are available for download in the WCCOG digital Comprehensive Plan library (http://www.wccog.net/library.htm
- Encourage the identification and protection of significant historic and archaeological resources through voluntary registration and protection programs and through its land use and subdivision ordinances. (B12)
- Ensure room for sidewalks, but encourage building close to the road in the downtown. (II.C.1)
- Pursue funding for construction of a public parking lot in Town. (II.C.2)
- Limit size and quantity of curb cuts Downtown to improve quality of street, improve traffic flow, and improve the Town for pedestrians. (II.C.2)
- Develop and refine a sign policy directing that signs be developed in a manner that is tasteful and appropriate to their subject, namely to direct visitors to the historic district and specific historic sites in Cherryfield. Signs will direct visitors from intersections outside of town and once they are in the village itself. (H-12)
- Historic awareness of historic structures and artifacts should be promoted, especially in the Historic District, including the consideration of listing of additional sites on the National Register of Historic Places for Cherryfield. (B-16)
- Appoint a committee to assist with implementation of Economic Development and Downtown Revitalization objectives. (E-17)
- Support the maintenance of existing trails as well as the creation of new ones, where warranted, for snowmobile and other uses. (G-6)
- Ensure that land regulation provides access management standards for new commercial and residential development along Route 1 and Route 1A. (K-16)
- Improve the pedestrian environment including adequate parking, pedestrian and inter-modal facilities serving the village center. (H-13)
- Develop a Village Improvement Plan that identifies parking, and sidewalk improvements needed in the village center. (H-13)
- Explore development of a trailhead proximate to the village for the Downeast Sunrise Trail. (H-13)
- Encourage further economic growth in the downtown by continuing the revitalization efforts. (E-17)
- Enhance Tourism by promoting Harrington downtown retail businesses historic character, outdoor recreational amenities, and scenic beauty. (E-18)
- To encourage recreational opportunities and increase public access to the river, improvements on the newly obtained property at Saco Falls, landing facilities, hiking trails and other amenities will be implemented and maintained by the Downeast Rivers Land Trust. (G-5)
- Discourage development in its sensitive rural areas through public investment decisions. There will be no extension of paved surfaces beyond the current extent of paved roads in the town’s ownership. In addition, to discourage conversion of existing seasonal camps into year round residences the town will not extend winter maintenance (plowing) beyond its current extent. (H-8)
- Columbia Falls’ Comprehensive Plan does not have any policies that specifically address the scenic byway program, but land use districts proposed along Route 1 and in the village are compatible with the existing character of the roadway and appear to be consistent with the scenic byway program. The Town has recently undertaken historic preservation efforts at the Town Hall; and other projects consistent with the Byway program.
- Promote and support growth in the existing village area of Jonesport. (K-14)
- Seek funds to prepare a Downtown Revitalization Plan for improvements such as sidewalk extension, benches, street trees, benches, lighting, parking areas, recirculation of traffic. (K-14)
- Seek solutions for parking within village area to serve marinas, development and visitors to islands. (K-14)
- Promote a human scale of development within the village area. (K-14)
- Provide large rural areas for agricultural and forestry uses. (K-14)
- Promote and support growth in the existing village area of Jonesboro. (K-13)
- Allow and encourage existing land resource based industries to thrive in their current locations. (K-13)
- Develop a Jonesboro Community Profile for use as a marketing and promotion tool; include local businesses, describe the fishing heritage and economic base, describe local regulations, post to web site. (E-12)
- Retain/ensure views of water across open land from public rights of way (see also Natural Resources policies) (E-13)
- Secure public access to the water and maintain traditional accesses to shell-fishing areas. (G-7)
- Work with the Whitneyville Historical Society and the Maine Historic Preservation Commission to assess the need for, and if necessary plan for, a comprehensive community survey of the community’s historic and archaeological resources. (B-4)
- Continue to maintain at least one major point of public access to the Machias River for boating, fishing, and swimming; and work with nearby property owners to address concerns. (E-4)
- Work with public and private partners to extend and maintain a network of trails for motorized and non-motorized uses. (E-4)
- Coordinate with neighboring communities and state agencies to protect shared critical natural resources. (F-9)
- Include major concentrations of farm and forestlands in the “rural areas” of the Land Use Plan. (G-6)
- Support efforts to construct additional parking near the junction of the Sunrise Trail and Middle Street (or Route 1A). (J-13)
- Develop a comprehensive transportation plan to include traffic flow, pedestrian links, sidewalk, scenic turnoff, and river walk, etc. (H-13)
- Develop a sidewalk/trail improvement program by evaluating existing systems, identifying the needs of the residents, establishing priorities for improving and maintaining existing sidewalks/trails, and developing a program for sidewalks/trails improvements. (H-13)
- Develop river walk trail connecting causeway to Bad Little Falls, across the river, then to Stillman Street; include botanical and interpretive elements. (H-13)
- Promote Machias Rail Station (1898) to include park and ride, bus stop, taxi service, walking and cycling trails. (H-13)
- Strive to limit sprawl along Route 1 and other town roads where they extend into the outlying areas of Machias. (K-11)
- Concentrate expanded commercial or urban (high density) residential growth districts adjacent to existing commercial development. (K-11)
- Plan for parallel roads servicing new development to limit additional exits and entrances onto Route 1. (K-11)
- Maintain the open space and rural character of outlying areas. (K-11)
- Support retail and tourism based development in the downtown core and inhibit retail and ‘strip’ development along Route 1 in compliance with state Access Management laws. (K-12)
- Collect items and documents preserving the memory of East Machias, including its once-thriving industries.
- Distribute history of town to B&B’s, local businesses, and visitor centers.
- Maintain historic buildings and sites.
- Protect and enhance the alewife and elver resource.
- Protect those town water access points that are still desirable.
- Prepare and adopt an ordinance to prevent timber cutting right up to town roads.
- Encourage new small businesses to locate in the center of town.
- Develop town’s trails and attractions into a system.
The Town has also been supportive of village revitalization efforts consistent with the byway program, including an extension of village sidewalks, support for Down East Salmon Federation efforts to rehabilitate the former Bangor Hydro site in the middle of Town; and renovation of the Fire Department building on the north side of Route 1.
- Explore designation of Machiasport village as a Historic District. (Appendix F.1)
- Potential areas and artifacts of historical and archaeological significance, especially along the coast, should be professionally surveyed and documented. (Appendix F.1)
- Zone significant archaeological sites that occur within the Shoreland Zone, such as the petroglyphs, as Resource Protection. (Appendix F.1)
- Explore development of snowmobile, ATV and/or hiking trails that may feed into the Sunrise Trail. (Appendix F.2)
- Seek funding for a feasibility study to explore development of recreational boating facilities (e.g. a marina) on the Machias River/Machias Bay. (Appendix F.3)
- Work with land owners to develop a plan to protect significant scenic resources. (Appendix F.7)
Trescott And Edmunds Townships
- Designate appropriate areas for the development of low-impact commercial enterprises. (III.B.1)
- Require that applicants of major developments and subdivisions larger than 10 housing units or 10,000 sf. of commercial development submit appropriate traffic studies assessing the impact such developments will have on existing traffic conditions. (III.D.2)
- Make available a wide range of outdoor recreational opportunities including access to public waters. (III.F)
- Continue to protect and enhance to quality of marine resources. (III.G)
- Continue to encourage and promote the development of water dependent uses in appropriate areas, which will contribute to the economic well-being of the town. (III.G)
- Protect identified significant natural areas from adverse impact (III.I)
- Promote the identification and subsequent protection of significant historic and archeological resources. (III.K)
The Land Use Regulatory Commission governs land use in Trescott and Edmunds Townships under the Comprehensive Land Use Plan (revised: 2010). The Comprehensive Land Use Plan appears to be compatible with the scenic byway program. The Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge manages much of the land along the proposed byway route in Edmunds.
Washington County initiated a Community Guided Planning and Zoning process in 2015 with the assistance of WCCOG. Scenic Byway priorities will be included in review and development of any new or revised land use districts in Edmunds and Trescott.
- Ensure that new development does not negatively impact the capacity or safety of existing roadways (I-19)
- Consider additional parking requirements in future commercial development planning. (I-19)
- Improve the pedestrian environment including adequate parking, pedestrian and inter-modal facilities serving the village center. (I-19)
- Implement the recommendations of the sidewalk inventory.
- Permit infill development at similar densities and dimensions compatible with existing development within growth districts. (K-18)
Much of the scenic byway route in Whiting is within the 250’ shoreland-zoning jurisdiction.
- Goals for the protection and preservation of archaeological and historic sites will be developed. The Whiting Historical Society will assist the Planning Board in the development of land use controls as is appropriate. These guidelines or controls will ensure protection and preservation of historic and archaeological resources if identified. (B-6)
- Whiting’s land use ordinance will contain appropriate land use regulations that will attract, enhance and support existing and future development, while minimizing negative impacts of non-compatible uses. The land use plan will identify appropriate areas for commercial and industrial development; this action will also reduce the likelihood of future strip development, resistance to new projects or incompatible uses. Home occupation performance standards will also be included in the future land use ordinance to ensure compatibility with residential neighborhoods and adjacent properties. (G-15)
Pembroke and Perry
- Guidelines for the protection and preservation of archaeological and historic sites should be developed. The Planning Board with the assistance of the Dennys River Historical Society will develop land use controls as is appropriate. These guidelines or controls will ensure protection and preservation of historic and archaeological resources if identified. (B-8)
- A Historic Preservation Overlay District will be created in the proposed Mixed Use District following the boundaries of the existing Historic District. The town will develop standards that will be incorporated into the future Land Use Ordinance to acknowledge and ensure the long-term preservation of the historic structures within the Overlay District. (K-10)
- Support nature based tourism as an economic development strategy for Pembroke and Perry. (N-6)
- Participate in regional economic development efforts that promote the natural assets in Pembroke and Perry. (N-6)
- Secure public access to the water for recreational and commercial users. (N-9)
- Pursue the wide variety of available measures to secure such accesses. These could include: Landowner negotiations, Cooperation with local land trusts, Accepting donations of land or easements, Purchase of easements or land, Use of Land for Maine’s Future funds (N-9)
- Encourage the preservation of open space. (N-9)
- A revised land use ordinance will consider including provisions to require that major new residential developments reviewed by the planning board present recreational and open space areas in their plans. (N-9)
- The towns will advocate in regional and state meetings for creation, paving and management of shoulders along the entirety of Route 1 in Pembroke and Perry. (N-10)
- Promote awareness of historic structures and artifacts and encourage participation by property owners in the local Historic Designated District, or by listing their property on the National Register of Historic Places. (B-11)
- Encourage municipal participation in the Historic Designated District by placing the municipal property located between lower Washington St. to lower Key St. in the District: Water St., sidewalks, Overlook Park, Fish Pier and parking lot, Seawall Walkway, street lights, and the former Boynton High School. The addition of this city property to the district will encourage other property owners to join and encourage cooperation among local historic preservation groups and organizations. (B-12)
- Support increased tourism as an economic development goal. (E-25)
- Improve public infrastructure: parking, phones, restrooms, an information center and better signage, and some form of public transportation especially during celebrations or special events. (E-25)
- Develop infrastructure in support of heritage tourism. (E-25)
- Place interpretive signs to explain significant historical events (see Appendix C for detailed recommendations). (E-25)
- Work with state and regional organizations on signage improvements to entice travelers to Eastport from Route 1 and Route 9. See detailed recommendations in Appendix C. (E-25)
- Continue to encourage walking tours of historical sites using self-directed, volunteer or paid guides aided by the Walking Tour Guide. (E-26)
Several private land conservation organizations and two public entities (one state, one federal) are engaged in land preservation activities in the Bold Coast region. Their names, activities, and conservation/management priorities are described below.
The Maine Coast Heritage Trust
(MCHT) works with partners including the State of Maine and the Downeast Coastal Conservancy to protect dozens of miles of shorefront and numerous hiking trails along a rugged section of coastline between Cutler and Lubec in eastern-most Maine. MCHT owns and stewards more than 3,500 acres along this coastline, including preserves at Boot Head, Bog Brook Cove, Western Head, and Hamilton Cove - all of which provide hiking trails through spruce forest and along cobble beaches and steep cliffs with breath-taking ocean views.
The Trust also helped assemble the protection of the region's largest coastal conservation holding, the 12,234-acre Cutler Coast Unit owned by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands, using funds from the Land for Maine's Future Program
MCHT continues to work with private landowners and local communities along this stretch of coastline to conserve its unique natural and cultural values.
MCHT staff indicate that Boot Head Preserve in Lubec is a sensitive site and should not be widely promoted. Boot Head Preserve contains the oldest of the regional MCHT trails, and contains numerous bog bridges, which are being slowly replaced in small sections. The Preserve trailhead still has a sign up and the parking area is open, but this site has been removed from the MCHT website and from the Cobscook Trails map to limit use.
Hamilton Cove, near to Boot Head Preserve, is in good condition and is the preferred site to promote. The MCHT would like to promote Western Head Preserve, in Cutler, however, parking at the trailhead is not adequate, and alternative locations along Destiny Bay Road are being explored.
The Downeast Coastal Conservancy
protects properties throughout coastal Washington County, roughly from Route 9 in the north to the Gulf of Maine. This region includes the five major watersheds and numerous sub-watersheds as well as the forests, rich estuaries and bays, and rugged communities that define our coastal region. To date, the Downeast Coastal Conservancy has protected over 6,100 acres of land and 62 miles of shoreline.
The Downeast Coastal Conservancy is dedicated to conserving the natural habitats and resources of the coastal watersheds, islands, and communities that make Downeast Maine special, for present and future generations. They accomplish their mission through:
- Land Protection
- Land Stewardship & Easement Monitoring
- Public Access
- Outreach & Education
- Volunteer Engagement
The Downeast Salmon Federation
(DSF) is a locally based conservation organization headquartered in Columbia Falls, Maine. Members of local sporting groups, anglers and conservation minded individuals created the organization. These organizations saw the need to pool their resources and influence to advocate for and make progress toward increasing state, federal and non-governmental investment in the Dennys, East Machias, Machias, Pleasant and Narraguagus river salmon restoration programs.
The DSF land trust program, the Downeast Rivers Land Trust (DRLT) was officially established in 2000. Since it’s founding, the land trust has completed or is actively involved in 30 habitat protection and recreational access projects. The results of this work have been permanent protection through fee purchase and easement of over 2000 acres of land, including several miles of stream and river frontage in the Narraguagus, Pleasant, and Machias River watersheds. This protection includes land adjacent to critical salmon rearing and spawning habitat, important cold water refuges for salmon and trout, three public river access points, two traditional salmon fishing pools, three canoe portage trails (one on each river), two important pre-historic archeological sites, and two camp sites.
The Downeast Lakes Land Trust
(DLLT), based in Grand Lake Stream at the northern extent of the Byway region, protects lakeshores, improves fish and wildlife habitats, provides public recreation opportunities, offers educational programs, and supports jobs in the forest and on the water. Their mission is to contribute to the long-term economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region through the conservation and exemplary management of its forests and waters. It is their vision for the future that Grand Lake Stream and the Downeast Lakes Region will be widely known for spectacular lakes and streams, productive forests, outstanding recreation opportunities, and welcoming communities that attract visitors and residents of all ages.
The DLLT has protected 370,000 acres of the forests, wildlife habitats, watersheds, and lakeshores that form the core of the U.S. portion of a nearly 1.4 million-acre international wildlife corridor between Maine and New Brunswick. DLLT sustainably manages the 33,708-acre Farm Cove Community Forest, with 71 miles of lakeshore, for wildlife habitat, forest products, and public recreation. DLLT provides guides and sporting camps a physical environment that supports their continued success, contributing to the preservation of the heritage and culture of Grand Lake Stream.
The DLLT is currently working to complete a top priority project, the West Grand Lake Community Forest Project. This 21,870-acre parcel surrounding the village of Grand Lake Stream includes 17 miles of undeveloped shoreline on West Grand, Lower Oxbrook, and Big lakes. Under local stewardship, these lands will continue to be a source of sustainable forest products and public recreation, and will provide valuable forest and wetland wildlife habitats.
The Maine Island Trail Association
(MITA) organizes a water trail spanning over 200 islands and coastal sites along the coast of Maine. One third of trail sites are public, and the remainder is in private ownership. MITA’s goal is to establish a model of thoughtful use and volunteer stewardship that will assure the conservation of MITA sites in a natural state while providing an exceptional recreational asset maintained and cared for by the people who use it. In order to best oversee protection of natural resources and private land ownership, full Island Trail maps are given only to members of the organization. Details are available online at http://www.mita.org/.
The Trail includes approximately 33 sites in the Bold Coast Region, best accessed from the following locations:
- Milbridge Town Landing
- South Addison Town Launch
- Jonesport Public Ramp
- Pettegrow Beach
- Edmunds Public Launch
- Pennamaquan River Launch
The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands
protects and manages the natural and cultural resources of 10 sites in the Bold Coast region, offering a wide range of recreational and educational opportunities and providing environmental and economic benefits for present and future generations. These lands are managed for a variety of resource values including:
- Cultural and Historic preservation
The National Wildlife Refuge System
, within the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, manages a national network of lands and waters set aside to conserve America’s fish, wildlife, and plants. Two refuges with multiple sites are located within the Bold Coast region, the Moosehorn
and the Coastal Islands
The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge contains more than 55 offshore islands and four coastal parcels, totaling approximately 8,238 acres of diverse coastal Maine habitats including forested and non-forested offshore islands, coastal salt marsh, open field, and upland mature spruce-fir forest. The complex spans more than 250 miles of Maine coastline and includes five national wildlife refuges — Petit Manan, Cross Island, Franklin Island, Seal Island, and Pond Island.
Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge is managed to protect migratory birds, endangered species, and wetlands. Approximately one third of the refuge is designated as federal wilderness. The two Wilderness Areas are part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. They are managed with a "hands-off" philosophy and granted special protection to maintain their primitive qualities. Internal combustion engines and mechanical means of transportation (i.e. bicycles) are not allowed. Habitat management is kept to a minimum to allow the areas to develop into old- growth climax forests.
Many regional organizations currently implement management plans, protection policies, educational programs, and development strategies that directly and indirectly contribute to the protection/sustainability of identified cultural, historic, scenic, and recreational intrinsic qualities of the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. These plans, policies, and programs are quite varied, and the organizations are diverse. These entities share a general goal of health, education, continuity, and prosperity for the human, environmental, cultural, historic, and scenic assets of the Bold Coast region.
—A regional planning process focused on job creation, modern infrastructure, and healthy, affordable communities in the counties of Aroostook and Washington. Among other things, GROWashington-Aroostook seeks to create jobs and to capitalize on the extraordinary beauty of the Downeast region. Several aspects of this initiative relate to Bold Coast Scenic Byway planning, including economic development, water infrastructure investment, growth management, and healthy communities (improved access to recreation assets and local foods). The project is spearheaded by 3 economic development and planning organizations in the 2 county region as well as the Workforce Investment Board that serves the entire area.
Regional Coordination inventories and policies have been developed by the Washington County Council of Governments in the following topics, which all ultimately affect the success of environmental, economic and cultural development in support of tourism along the Bold Coast Scenic Byway. The Washington County Council of Governments will work with Bold Coast region communities to coordinate comprehensive policies in the following areas to support both municipal and Byway goals:
Maine Woods Consortium (MWC)
- Public Facilities and Services
- Fiscal Capacity
- Energy Use and Production
- Economic Development
- Natural Resources
- Healthy Communities
- Adaptation to Climate Change
- Land Use
— An open association of non-profit organizations, businesses and government agencies dedicated to advancing a “triple bottom line” approach (economy, environment, community) to development and conservation in the Maine Woods region. The work of the MWC is currently concentrated in three areas:
- Information sharing to promote awareness, collaboration and innovation among Maine Woods stakeholders;
- Expanding the influence of members on relevant large-scale Maine Woods initiatives; and
- Incubating and guiding investment in initiatives that advance the economic, community and ecological well-being of the Maine Woods region.
The MWC includes many of the economic and community development organizations in the Maine Woods and is closely aligned with the opportunities and challenges facing the region’s people, businesses and communities. It operates a website and publishes a periodic newsletter (circulation: 1,200) intended to inform Maine Woods stakeholders of significant initiatives and trends and to encourage coordinated action across a number of sectors.
The Bold Coast Scenic Byway Corridor Management Entity will strive to coordinate planning, management, and protection efforts, with the following groups (in addition to those discussed previously in this chapter. See Chapter 12: Long Range Organizational Partnerships for a description of partner roles):
- University of Maine (Cooperative Extension, Blueberry Hill Farm, Maine Heritage)
- Downeast Resource Conservation and Development (active collaboration)
- Department of Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry (active collaboration)
- Association to Promote and Protect Lubec’s Environment (active collaboration)
- Schoodic International Sculpture Symposium (active collaboration)
- Machias Downtown Revitalization Committee
- Eastport Downtown Revitalization Committee
- Jonesport Economic Development Committee (active collaboration)
- Washington County Council of Governments (active collaboration)
- Maine Historic Preservation Commission
- Hancock County Planning Commission (active collaboration)
- Lost Fisherman’s Memorial Association (active collaboration)
- Cobscook Community Learning Center
- Maine Blueberry Growers Association
- Northern Maine Development Council
- Washington County One Community
- Downeast Acadia Regional Tourism (active collaboration)
- Sunrise County Economic Council (active collaboration)
- Maine Lobsterman’s Association
- Downeast Wreathmakers’ Guild
- GROWashington-Aroostook (active collaboration)
- Maine Woods Consortium
- Fundy Audubon
- Maine Downtown Center
- The Beehive Collective
- Maine Bicycle Coalition (active collaboration)
- Downeast Institute
- Historical Societies
- Rockweed Coalition
- Lubec Landmarks
- Maine Sea Grant (active collaboration)
- Maine Crafts Guild
- Maine Artists Guild
- Tides Institute
- The Commons
- Abbe Museum
- The EdGE
- First Wind