LAKEVILLE, Maine (AP) — Conservation groups have expanded a protected forest area in rural Down East Maine with a new purchase of more than 2,000 acres (810 hectares).

The Trust for Public Land and Downeast Lakes Land Trust said Thursday the purchase is in the area of Sysladobsis Lake, which is a popular site for campers. It will add to the Downeast Lakes Community Forest, which covers more than 55,000 acres (22,258 hectares).

The conservation groups said the land’s owner was preparing to subdivide it into lakefront lots. It will instead give residents more access to the outdoors, they said.

The groups said the purchase price for the land was a little less than $2.2 million and it came from federal, state and private sources. The Downeast Lakes Land Trust will own the new addition, the groups said.

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