Several years ago, the Dwinal Pond 4 Seasons Club in the town of Winn contacted the Enfield Regional Wildlife Office about using roads on the Dwinal Pond Wildlife Management Area (WMA) as part of their local ATV/Snowmobile trail system. The Dwinal Pond WMA is primarily a large wetland complex with some adjacent uplands and is approximately 2210 acres located in the towns of Winn and Lee. Land management roads located in the uplands surrounding the Dwinal Pond wetlands provide an excellent opportunity for ATV and snowmobile enthusiasts.
The primary objective for each Department-owned wildlife management area is to maintain or create the highest quality upland or wetland wildlife habitats possible. This is accomplished by employing management techniques that are designed to utilize existing habitat types either to benefit the greatest variety of wildlife or to provide an important habitat for a specific or “featured” species. Wildlife management areas are also used by the public as recreational areas. It has been the policy of the Department to allow public access and recreational activities on wildlife management areas when it does not conflict with wildlife management objectives. Public recreational activities consist of “consumptive” wildlife uses such as hunting, trapping and fishing and numerous “non-consumptive” uses such as hiking, wildlife watching and ATV/snowmobiling.
Recently, the club has approached us regarding repairs to a portion of their trail system that passes through the southern part of our WMA on the Corbett Road in Lee. On the State property, there is a bridge that spans Mattakeunk Stream that is in need of repairs and a steep slope on the eastern side of the stream that is suffering from erosion issues. Repairs needed to the bridge include: removal of the rotted log abutments, installation of new abutments and redecking of the bridge itself.
Repairs to the steep slope on the east side of the stream include some leveling, minor clearing and the installation of a series of rock armored, water bars to alleviate water from transporting materials into Mattakeunk Stream.
Over the past year, the club’s representatives have attempted to secure funding for the needed bridge and trail repairs, which were to take place during low water levels in the summer. Their original source of funding did not materialize so they looked to other sources. They were able to acquire some funding, but it became too late in the year to take on the entire project due to environmental concerns. A compromise solution was reached after a site visit with club members, DEP, Fisheries & Wildlife Division personnel, and the contractor.
At this point, we plan to conduct the road repairs to reduce the erosion problems with the steep trail. The MDIFW Land Program manager and Enfield Regional staff recently laid-out the locations for the needed repairs to the road. The replacement of the bridge abutments will be put on-hold until next summer, but a temporary deck will be installed this fall to allow for safe snowmobile travel and allow trail grooming equipment to cross the bridge.
Image courtesy Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife