Mission Statement of the Green Mountain Conservancy
The mission of the Green Mountain Conservancy is to acquire and protect forest lands in southern Vermont:
- To insure their natural character and continued biodiversity;
- To conserve wildlife corridors and watersheds;
- To promote carbon sequestration;
- To undertake related initiatives that educate people in the understanding, appreciation and stewardship of these lands;
- To protect their aesthetic and inspirational values; and
- To improve the quality of life for residents and visitors to southern Vermont.
The Green Mountain Conservancy was founded in 2008 and reorganized in 2018 under the leadership of Ed Anthes, Sam Farwell, Mary Ellen Copeland, and Michael Pletcher to conserve the highest priority forest block in Dummerston, Brookline and Newfane, called the Deer Run Nature Preserve. To date the achievements of the GMC include:
- Purchase of the 287 acre Wilson parcel, the anchor for the Deer Run Nature Preserve, which will eventually be over 1,000 acres.
- Activation of a strong neighborhood and community coalition in support of the Deer Run Nature Preserve.
- Developing working partnerships with the Vermont Land Trust, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Dummerston Conservation Commission, the Bonnyvale Environmental Education Center, the Putney Mountain Association, the Windmill Hill/Pinnacle Association, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Southeastern Vermont Watershed Council, and the Connecticut River Conservancy. See more about these organizations on the Resources page.
- Building a 2.2-mile low gradient trail to the “Monument” on the Wilson Parcel.
- A Purchase and Sale Agreement with the owners of the 626-acre Mercede parcel that is contiguous to the Wilson parcel.
- Working with and supporting two contiguous landowners who are in the process of conserving their properties with the Vermont Land Trust.
- Initiated and successfully advocated with the Vermont Natural Resource Council to convince lawmakers to add the Appraisal Method for conservation land in Vermont to State law, providing a tax incentive for conserving land, directly benefitting all land conservation projects in Vermont.
- Studied wild areas and wildlife travel corridors in Windham County and identified migration corridors out of the Green Mountain National Forest and into surrounding areas as a top conservation priority to maintain biodiversity in the face of global warming and development pressure.
- Conserved over 200 acres of wildland near South Pond in Marlboro, a popular area for hiking, swimming and cross-country skiing, and transferred that ownership to the Ames Hill Association.
- Sponsored a Greeter Program at Somerset Reservoir to educate boaters and inspect boats for fragments of invasive plant species that are being inadvertently transferred between water bodies.
Mary Ellen Copeland, President
Sam Farwell, Vice President
Ed Anthes, Treasurer
Michael Pletcher, Secretary
Deborah Lee Luskin