Apple Inc. has taken another big step this week in an effort to protect more than 32,000 acres of working forest in southern Aroostook County.

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The tech giant, in partnership with the Conservation Fund, announced it is donating the conservation easement across 32,400 acres of the Reed Forest along the Mattawamkeag River to the Forest Society of Maine.

Reed Forest links more than a million acres of conserved lands and interconnected forest that extend beyond the U.S. border into Canada. The forest in southern Aroostook provides important habitat for species such as the Atlantic salmon, bald eagle, northern goshawk and Canada lynx.

Apple is also supporting the Conservation Fund’s donation of an endowment to the Forest Society of Maine, which they say will "ensure that the easement can be monitored and enforced for centuries to come."