Dear Anglers, Hunters, Paddlers, and Landowners,

Back in 1970, when the singer, Joni Mitchell, phrased “You Don’t Know What You Got Until Its Gone”, she likely never thought those words would be the tagline for un-wanted change in western Maine.  Nearly fifty years later, those words characterize the impact some changes can make on the environmental, social, financial and historical aspects of a community and its jewel landmarks. 

Since 1991, Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust has been the “middle man”.  We have balanced land conservation and development in a manner that is financially secure for the community, without limiting growth and exploiting the natural resources.  We call it the “balancing act”. Our goal isn’t to decipher what is best for our community, but rather how we can serve our community’s need. 

This past week, RLHT got a phone call regarding a dynamic parcel of land for sale on the Magalloway River.  After years of being on the market, RLHT has entered in a Purchase and Sale contract to acquire “Mailbox Pool”.  By acquiring this parcel, we will conserve access to the region’s prime brook trout and salmon flyfishing pool, while simultaneously preserving a critical deer yard otherwise subject to land use change.

Today, I ask for your help in a way that recognizes these attributes that support the region’s heritage and community values.  As an angler, boater, RLHT land abutter, hunter, a friend of RLHT, or friend of mine, I seek your consideration to support this unplanned acquisition project that has the potential to upset the balancing act, if not secured.

With a substantial reduction from $105K to a signed contract of $68,000, we appreciate the seller’s motivation and recognition in support of our efforts to conserve the natural resources and public access efforts.  Nonetheless, that shouldn’t suggest the fundraising will be easy. Forging ahead, we begin the arduous journey to pay for this iconic landmark for the benefit of the community.

In addition to our request to secure 50% of the acquisition through the Land for Maine’s Future Program, we have a significant time restraint to raise the remaining 50% within the next 30 days. Even if awarded LMF funds, the monies wouldn’t be available for months.  Bottom line, we need your support.  If you fish that pool, guide that pool, paddle that pool and run, hunt white-tailed deer or simply enjoy the Magalloway River, this could probably be the last chance to ensure those opportunities forever.

If you can join us in this effort, I assure you’d make a difference.  The history tells us that we really don’t know what we have until its gone, but I’m not settling on that answer until I do all I can to keep this special parcel of land available for our community, forever. As an angler and a licensed guide, I ask your consideration to match my personal $100 contribution toward this project.  PLEASE  JOIN  ME!! 

You can reply back to this email to state your support, followed by your donation mailed to Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust, PO Box 249, Oquossoc, ME 04964.  Please put “Mailbox Pool” in the memo.  We also can accept credit cards. For any reason this project fail to complete, we will promptly return your donation.

Kind Regards and Best Fishes, 

Shelby Rousseau


As a reminder, the Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is a non-profit organization issued exemption under section 501 (c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and gifts to the association are tax-deductible to the extent allowable by law.  Your support of the Trust is greatly appreciated and in case, be a direct benefit to the Public.