We protected nearly 12,000 acres of farms and forestland in 2014 -- quite a year! The thousands of people who support our work help make this all possible.
For immediate release: January 6, 2015
Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro -- Fairmont Dairy LLC, a partnership of Richard and Bonnie Hall and their nephew Tucker Purchase, conserved 271 acres of farmland with the Vermont Land Trust. The land is located along South Albany Road in Craftsbury, Glover and Greensboro.
Fairmont Farm is a third-generation dairy based in East Montpelier. In 2006 the farm expanded into East Craftsbury after the family bought the former Calderwood farm. Investments into this satellite operation further expanded and modernized the farm’s infrastructure. The family then purchased two additional properties in close proximity, including the former Kinsey dairy farm, which has most of its acreage in Craftsbury.
For immediate release: December 30, 2014
Elmore and Worcester -- A long-sought-after opportunity to protect thousands of acres of well-stocked forestland with outstanding wildlife habitat is on its way to being realized.
The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) purchased 5,600 acres of forestland that has been owned for more than 60 years by the Deer Lake Timber Company, a family-owned company with deep ties to Vermont.
The purchase has sparked an extensive effort to conserve more than 19,000 acres through both easement donations from private landowners and funding from the federal Forest Legacy program.
“Opportunities like this don’t come along very often,” said Gil Livingston, President of VLT. “We feel fortunate to be able to help Vermont make the long-term protection of important forestland possible.”
The land, known locally as Worcester Woods, is located along both sides of Route 12 between Worcester and Elmore. In addition to its value to the timber economy, the conservation of this forestland will protect a large block of internationally significant habitat that connects the Green Mountains, to the Northeast Kingdom, and Quebec's Gaspe Peninsula.
For immediate release: December 23, 2014
Fayston, VT -- The Vermont Land Trust has concluded a rigorous search for new farmers to revive a historic hill farm in Fayston. Following a review of more than 14 proposals, VLT and the Mad River Watershed Conservation Partnership selected local farmers Sebastian and Heather von Trapp, together with Georgia von Trapp and Joey Nagy, to purchase the 283 acre conserved farm on Marble Hill Road.
The von Trapp and Nagy families plan to establish a diversified agricultural operation featuring heifers, chickens, whey-fed pigs and specialty produce to support two existing Valley-based farm and food businesses.
The families’ already successful, local food enterprises -- von Trapp Farmstead artisan, organic cheese, and Mad Taco restaurants – are emblematic of the innovative and community-oriented ventures that Vermont residents and visitors alike have come to expect from the Mad River Valley.
For immediate release: December 23, 2014
Rochester -- Travelers going north on Route 100 to the village of Rochester enjoy miles of scenic hay and cornfields, cattle grazing in upland pastures, and the Green Mountain National Forest rising in the background. The Vermont Land Trust announced today that two farms along this road have been permanently conserved.
Myron “Mike” Bowen and Richard Harvey sold conservation easements on their agricultural land and some of their forestland. These easements limit development and subdivision.
Richard Harvey, along with his wife, Alvina, and daughter Julia, operate Riverbend Farm. The farm was once a dairy run by Richard and his brother. These days, the farm produces beef cattle, hay, and sweet corn.
For the Harveys, selling the conservation easement on 167 acres ensures their land will always be available for farming and will help with the eventual transfer of the land to Julia.
“I’ve wanted to do this for a long time,” said Richard. “It’s great to know my daughter will be farming here, as will generations to come. I’m also happy that Mike’s farm just upriver is being protected at the same time.”
For immediate release: December 22, 2014
Wolcott -- Brothers Steve and Oran Young, along with their wives, Jan Roy and Gail Osherenko, donated a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on 84 acres of their family farm along Town Hill Road in Wolcott.
Their decision to work with the land trust came after they inherited the property following the passing of Steve and Oran’s parents, John and Eleanor Young.
As a family, they agreed that the land should always remain in farming and forestry. They also felt that, left undeveloped, the land would further protect the ecological integrity of the neighboring Bear Swamp Natural Area.
John and Eleanor Young originally purchased the farm in 1947 to start a Christmas tree operation. Through sales on the wholesale market, their trees graced living rooms as far away as Washington D.C. The Youngs operated the tree business until the 1990s, yet even now, some of their remaining hybrid and experimental trees are used as seed sources by other growers.
For immediate release: November 13, 2014
Middlebury -- Nearly a century ago, the visionary Vermont environmentalist Joseph Battell bequeathed to Middlebury College the large tract of land that is home to the Bread Loaf campus.
Bordering the Green Mountain National Forest and encompassing numerous areas of ecological and natural interest, the Bread Loaf campus and surrounding forests have long provided the Middlebury community with spaces for outdoor recreation and environmental education.
Now, thanks to another inspired benefactor, Middlebury can ensure that many of those same lands—approximately 2,100 acres—in the Green Mountains are conserved, protected, and remain with the College in perpetuity.
For immediate release: July 23, 2014
Johnson -- Soon after Franklin “Rocky” Hooper passed away, the Vermont Land Trust began getting calls from Johnson-area residents concerned about what would happen to his scenic mix of farm and forest located along the Gihon River just north of Johnson Village.
In the end, the Vermont Land Trust worked with Michael and Jason Hooper, Rocky’s heirs, to purchase the land. As part of this conservation project, the land was split and sold to two area dairy farmers who placed conservation easements on the land at the time of the sales.
Warren Rankin of Top Rankin Farm in Johnson purchased 102 acres. Warren operates a certified organic dairy with 55 milking cows and 45 young stock, and was among the first farmers in Vermont to transition to organic milk. Warren’s portion of the former Hooper land is located near his home farm. It has more than 50 acres of prime agricultural soils and a mix of cropland and pasture. It also has a mile and a half of frontage on the Gihon River.
For immediate release: July 2, 2014
Bethel -- Charles “Chuck” S. Davis of Bethel has conserved 89 acres of productive forest, agricultural land, and wildlife habitat with a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust. The land lies east of the river a mile upstream of Bethel village.
The land has a half mile of river frontage on the Third Branch of the White River (which runs along Route 12) and three significant natural communities that received extra protection in the easement. Natural communities are groupings of species that form the diverse habitats native to Vermont.
Originally from Alaska, Chuck learned early on the value of open space and wild places. “When I had the opportunity to move to central Vermont, my appreciation only deepened,” reflected Chuck. “I knew that I had to act assertively to preserve this beautiful land. Neighbors told me of the Vermont Land Trust, and over the last year they have worked with me, identifying many unique ecosystems as well as the invasive species on my property.”
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