The Green Mountain Conservancy is purchasing a 626-acre parcel that is contiguous to the Phase 1 parcel. It includes 2.5 miles of undeveloped West River frontage and spans the towns of Newfane and 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. Donations are gratefully accepted.