The Trust for Public Land is $6 million short of the $17 millionis needs to purchase the land from R.D. Merrill Co. The all-cashdeal must be completed by Oct. 31. If the trust does not buy theproperty, Merrill says it will be sold in as many as 53 20-acreparcels, which would allow for a house to be built on theproperties.

The trust group hopes to keep the land largely untouched byluring six wealthy buyers to pay $3 million each to buy a 170-acrechunk that has strict conservation easements. Under that plan,about 98 percent of the land would remain undeveloped. So far,however, only three of six buyers have been found, and the trusthas raised only a couple of million more in grants and loans.

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