Thousands of acres of forestland protected in Central Vermont

Published: Jan. 17, 2022 at 12:08 AM EST
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WORCESTER, Vt. (WCAX) - The Vermont Land Trust and the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation have secured 6,500 acres of forest in Central Vermont for forestry, wildlife, climate and public recreation.

The conservation of the Worcester Woods is part of an effort underway to save 15,000 acres of land, and leaders say opportunities to protect parcels of land this large are rare these days.

The state says it’s vital to secure this area because it contributes to the forest economy.

“There are health benefits that come from forest health, right down to the public access that will be permanently protected here. Folks being able to hunt and fish and trap and go skiing -- the things we love doing in Vermont, they’ll be able to do forever,” said Becca Washburn of the Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Leaders of the Vermont Land Trust say that a titan in conservation and advocate for this acquisition, Carl Powden, passed away unexpectedly last week. They say he was excited for this project, which works hand in hand with the Climate Action Plan the state established at the end of last year.

“The Climate Action Plan points to an intact forest as really critical strategy to climate mitigation and resilience for the future. As we continue to work, we’re hoping to advance those goals,” said Tracy Zschau of the Vermont Land Trust.

The group is in the process of acquiring the final 4,500 of the 15,000 acres of forest.

The Vermont Land Trust plans to sell the land back to private landowners with the conservation protections in place.

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