In a classic example of strange bedfellows, the Nature Conservancy has teamed up with Great Northern Paper, a pulp and paper mill company, to protect thousands of acres of wilderness in Maine — and over a thousand jobs for company employees. The conservancy, whose Maine chapter was founded by legendary environmentalist Rachel Carson, provided the struggling paper company with $50 million in cash and low-interest loans in exchange for protecting 240,000 acres of land between Mount Katahdin and Baxter State Park. The exchange is a spin-off of the debt-for-nature swaps that have occurred between developed and developing countries, with the added wrinkle that both parties are based in the U.S. Kent Wommack, executive director of the Nature Conservancy in Maine, called the partnership, “the first of its kind.”