Conservation partners help conserve nearly 7,400 acres of working forest

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Conservation partners help conserve nearly 7,400 acres of working forest

Thu, 12/08/2022 - 4:36am -- tim
Climate resilience, clean water and wildlife habitat. Green Ridge Forest photos courtesy Vermont Land Trust.

Vermont Business Magazine One of Vermont's largest, connected and privately-owned forests outside of the Northeast Kingdom has been protected, thanks to private landowners, Green Ridge Forest LLC, who partnered with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and The Conservation Fund (the Fund) to conserve lands along the spine and easterly flank of the Northfield Mountains.

Visible from Route 12A and Interstate 89, the Green Ridge Forest spans the towns of Braintree, Granville and Rochester, and three counties: Addison, Orange and Windsor. Some of the highest elevation peaks in Vermont are found here, ranging from 800 to 3,000 feet. There are six significant streams that form headwaters of the Third Branch of the White River, a major tributary of the Connecticut River.

“The protection of a connected forest of this scale and impact does not come around often,” said VLT’s Liza Walker, who worked with the Fund on this effort. “In the face of a changing climate, forests like the Green Ridge provide protection against major storms and floods, store carbon in their trees and soils, and slow the loss of biodiversity.”

The Conservation Fund purchased the property from a timber company in 2014 through its Working Forest Fund® program, which is dedicated to mitigating climate change, strengthening rural economies and protecting natural ecosystems through the permanent conservation of at-risk working forests.

“By connecting the valley floor to the highest elevations, we’re realizing through the permanent protection of Green Ridge Forest an incredible outcome for wildlife, clean water and climate,” said Sally Manikian, the Fund’s Vermont and New Hampshire representative. “The Conservation Fund is honored to have partnered with The Vermont Land Trust on the conservation of this extraordinary forest.”

When the Fund sold the land to Green Ridge LLC, Green Ridge simultaneously conserved the land with VLT, thus ensuring the continued protection of the land's considerable resources. The land will be managed for timber as well as for its many ecological values, and provide opportunities to the public for hunting and non-motorized recreational access.

With this purchase, Green Ridge Forest LLC and its members look forward to continuing the longstanding tradition of sustainable timber management in the State of Vermont, with an emphasis on the conservation of natural resources.

The property is predominantly a hardwood forest, with sugar maple, American Beech and yellow birch trees among others. The entire parcel is mapped by Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources as critical bear habitat. The parcel also has over 100 acres of Montane Spruce-Fir forest, a softwood forest found on fragile soils at high elevations. There is extensive frontage on the Class IV Braintree Mountain Road, which connects Braintree to Granville and is used as a corridor for the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers Trail.

About Vermont Land Trust 

Rooted in Vermont since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust unites land and lives for the enduring benefit of people and the place we share. We have protected more than 620,000 acres of land and foster life-long connections to farms, forests, and community spaces that define Vermont. Learn more at vlt.org.

About The Conservation Fund

At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land, including more than 255,000 acres in Vermont. conservationfund.org

12.6.2022. Vermont Land Trust. Montpelier www.vlt.org