Land preserved as nature trust - May. 15, 2014
Leaving a mark on a beloved place is an aim to which many aspire. Robert Yacolucci did it by donating 100 acres of forest to the Downeast Lakes Land Trust (DLLT). The trust will now manage “Yacolucci Woods” in perpetuity for wildlife habitat, recreation, and sustainable forestry.
Motivated by his passion for nature and love of hunting, Yacolucci purchased the forested land in Talmadge, Maine in 2004 with hopes to build a home. Because of his dedication to wildlife, Robert employed a local forester and developed a plan to improve habitat on the parcel.
When he was diagnosed with cancer, his plans intensified. “No dreams were stronger than his will to beat his cancer and return,” reflected his friend, Sue LaPlante.
He never had the opportunity to live there, but through his will, Yacolucci donated his land to the trust. This gift, along with a generous endowment, ensures the land will be conserved forever. “We are extraordinarily grateful to Mr. Yacolucci for his vision and generosity,” said DLLT Executive Director, Mark Berry. “As his cancer progressed, he approached the trust. We are glad to be able to honor his wishes and ensure the forest will remain wildlife habitat and a place for outdoor recreation.”
The 100-acre property is located in Talmadge, and is easily accessible on the west side of Route 1. To its south and west, the property abuts the Sunrise Easement, a 312,000-acre area permanently conserved under easements for conservation and public access held by the New England Forestry Foundation and the Maine Dept of Agriculture, Conservation, & Forestry.
The stewardship endowment contributed by Mr. Yacolucci will provide DLLT with income to fund property tax payments and management of the property. DLLT plans to create a small parking area, and offer access for walking, bird-watching, or hunting.
DLLT encourages landowners to contact the trust in advance if considering a gift of land. Larger parcels, those with unique habitat or recreational values, and those adjacent to existing conserved lands, are most likely to support the DLLT mission of contributing to the economic and environmental well-being of the Downeast Lakes region.
Mr. Yacolucci left his favorite corner of the world a better place through his generosity. His sister, Toni Iacolucci, said, “After visiting Bob's land and meeting his wonderful friends in Grand Lake Stream, his dream made perfect sense to us. We are very grateful to the Land Trust for honoring Bob's wishes and helping him find peace.”