Deer Run Nature Preserve
The Green Mountain Conservancy is working with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Land Trust, many other partners, and the local community to conserve over a thousand acres of woodland, the Deer Run Nature Preserve. It is located where the Windham County, Vermont towns of Brookline, Dummerston, and Newfane meet. It spans both sides of the Putney Mountain Ridge and includes over 2.5 miles of West River shoreline as it curves around the southern terminus of the mountain.
This land is an ecologically functional and resilient landscape. It includes unfragmented interior forest blocks which will:
- provide important habitat for all species
- be able to accommodate species range shifts in a changing climate
It includes connectivity blocks which provide critical pathways for species movement between core habitat areas, such as riparian forests, wetlands, and forest blocks and lands with a high degree of habitat complexity; and features a variety of microhabitats and climatic gradients that provide refuge for plants and animals in a changing climate.
This project will:
- prevent further forest fragmentation
- maintain a travel corridor for wildlife
- safeguard the West River watershed, and
- create opportunities for people to develop a deeper appreciation of the natural world.
It addresses state goals, 10 V.S.A Chapter 15 of a. “conserving and protecting Vermont’s agricultural land, forestland, …… important natural areas, and recreational lands are of primary importance to the economic vitality and quality of life of the State (b) In the best interests of all of its citizens and in order to improve the quality of life for Vermonters and to maintain for the benefit of future generations the essential characteristics of Vermont countryside, and to support the farm, forest, and related enterprises, Vermont should encourage and assist in … in preserving the State’s agricultural land, forestland, … important natural areas and recreational lands, and in keeping conserved agricultural land in production and affordable for future generations of farmers.
Deer Run topographic map
Deer Run Ortho
Deer Run Top Area Road
|Deer Run Topographic Map||Deer Run Orthophoto Map||Deer Run Topographic Area Road Map|
The Green Mountain Conservancy has purchased and conserved a 287-acre forested parcel in the northwest corner of Dummerston, including 43 acres in adjacent Brookline. It has done this with the assistance and support of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Land Trust, as well as numerous foundations, community members and volunteers.
This property, the southern terminus of Putney Mountain, is a key wildlife corridor between the Putney Mountain ridge line, the Connecticut River and large forested areas to the west, into the Green Mountain National Forest. It is accessible to the public through a low gradient footpath that winds up the ridge line, taking hikers from “beauty spot” to “beauty spot”… People will continue to enjoy hiking and hunting on this property, as they have for generations. The ridge line provides much of the view seen driving north on Route 30 from the Dummerston Covered Bridge.
This land is one of the last remaining unfragmented large parcels in Dummerston. It is remarkable for its tall hardwoods, hemlock-filled ravines, stunning views, stone walls and a curious rock structure known as “the monument”. It includes two deer wintering yards and a variety of forest types including hardwood savannahs and hemlock “cathedrals”. There are several wetlands and vernal pools that host a variety of amphibians including the rare Jefferson Salamander.
The site is a haven for over 60 species of birds put in a link to bird list including birds that are listed “in greatest need of conservation” in the
Design. While two transmission lines cross the preserve, ecologists recognize the value of this early-successional/shrub-scrub habitat that these rights-of-way provide. Birds that have been declining in Vermont—brown thrasher, wood thrush, field sparrow, prairie warbler, mourning warbler, woodcock, the red-shouldered hawk, and the bald eagle —were among those found in numbers during a preliminary site survey last year when two ornithologists identified over 60 species. Last summer there were so many Indigo Buntings singing that it was truly enchanting. Video of informational meeting December 6, 2018.
The Green Mountain Conservancy is purchasing a 626-acre parcel that is contiguous to the Phase I parcel, and that includes 2.5 miles of undeveloped West River frontage. It includes acres in the town of Newfane and acres in Brookline. This property has been identified by the Vermont Conservation Design (VCD) as a Highest Priority Forest block with Highest Priority Surface Water and Riparian Areas, and a Priority Forest Connectivity Block.
The significant features of this parcel include the glorious views it provides to travelers on Route 30, panoramic views from the highest elevations, topographic benches left behind by a series of glaciations and by more recent flooding events, cliffs created by uplift and continental collisions eons ago, a dramatic and active landslide area, numerous rich forest sites including a cove with incredibly tall trees including shagbark hickories, 45 acres of pristine agricultural fields, 176 acres of deer wintering yard, forests of all ages, large maple, oak, ash, hickory, hemlock, and white pine trees, and grasslands that provide nesting sites for numerous bird species (including species that have been identified as species of Greatest Conservation Need, and corridors for wildlife and species movement, adaptability, and resiliency. It is truly spectacular.
One of the few large forested blocks left in this area, conservation will protect its aesthetic values, biodiversity, natural resiliency, and its ability to sequester carbon. Conservation of this forested parcel will provide for approximately 1,674 tons of carbon sequestration annually.
This is a key watershed area. The Green Mountain Conservancy will protect and improve the quality of surface waters, specifically the West River, by managing the fields and forest lands that have frontage on the river to ensure that the water is kept free of pollutants, to prevent erosion, to ameliorate the effects of flooding, to protect the wildlife, aquatic and botanical species that are native to this river line area, and to eliminate invasive species that may be threatening the riverbanks and the quality of the water. To do this, they will follow the management guidelines described in the Vermont Conservation Design, and take action as directed by the Vermont State Agency of Natural Resources.
This area will be open to the public for hiking, birdwatching, educational activities, and hunting (with written permission). Public trails will be developed after the land is purchased by the Green Mountain Conservancy.
The Green Mountain Conservancy is working with the Vermont Land Trust, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, conservationists and community members to complete this purchase. Send donations to The Green Mountain Conservancy, PO box 301, West Dummerston, VT 0537 or go to Paypal.
Video of informational meeting Dec. 4, 2019.
Organizations that are assisting the Green Mountain Conservancy in this project in include, but are limited to, the Vermont Land Trust, The Vermont River Conservancy, The Connecticut River Conservancy, the Southeastern Vermont Watershed Alliance, the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, the Newfane Conservation Commission and the select boards and planning commissions in Newfane and Brookline, the Windham Regional Commission, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, and the Vermont Nature Conservancy, and the Putney Mountain Association.