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We Couldn't Conserve Land Without the Support of Our Members!

We protected nearly 12,000 acres of farms and forestland in 2014. Right now, we are busy protecting more farms and forestland from development. The thousands of people who support our work help make this all possible.

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Press Releases

trees and fernsFor Immediate Release: April 16, 2015

Diverse Organizations Underscore Importance of Forests

Montpelier -- Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder unveiled a new report to the legislature today that addresses the fragmentation of Vermont’s forests and makes recommendations for how to protect their integrity.

He released the report before a joint meeting of several key House and Senate committees of the Vermont Legislature.

At the same time, many Vermont conservation, forestry, and recreation organizations noted the critical importance of Vermont’s forests and presented the legislature with a letter calling for a stakeholder process to develop recommendations to maintain the integrity of Vermont’s forests into the future.

Last year, the legislature passed Act 118, asking the commissioner to prepare a report assessing the current and projected effects of fragmentation on Vermont’s forestlands, and providing recommendations for how to best protect the integrity of Vermont’s forestlands and preserve large blocks of contiguous forestland.

trailFor immediate release: April 17, 2015

Cabot – During the 35 years that David Mayhew spent time camping and fishing on his 94 acres in Cabot, he improved the land’s wildlife habitat and practiced good forest stewardship.

Now, he has created a lasting legacy for this forestland by donating it to the Vermont Land Trust. VLT conserved the property and transferred it to the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust.

The Passumpsic Valley Land Trust will manage the land for recreation and wildlife habitat, while the Vermont Land Trust will ensure that the conservation easement is upheld. David expressed his appreciation that the Vermont Land Trust and Passumpsic Valley Land Trust collaborated to protect this land for future generations.


For immediate relase: March 24, 2015

Bennington -- After a huge community fundraising effort, the Town of Bennington has purchased 168 acres just blocks from downtown. The land is a mix of uplands, wetlands, and streams, and is home to a variety of wildlife. 

On Tuesday, March 24 it was permanently protected as a natural area for public recreation.

The land is accessible from Beech Street and Morgan Street and is situated along Jewett Brook, South Stream, and the Walloomsac River. Miles of trails and open watercourses will provide opportunities for hiking, biking, kayaking, fishing, bird watching, snowshoeing, cross-county skiing, and other non-motorized pursuits.

It is the only “natural” area in the Town’s inventory of parkland.

sunflower fieldFor immediate release: February 10, 2015

Highgate & Berkshire —Three farms were recently conserved in Franklin County: the Bernard and Sue Rainville farm in Highgate and two farms in Berkshire owned by John and Margie Barabe. The families conserved their properties with the Vermont Land Trust, which will ensure that the land will always be available for farming and forestry. Both families protected the land by selling a conservation easement—a legal tool that limits subdivision and development. The proceeds from the sales will help the Rainvilles and the Barabes transfer their farms to the next generation. 

The Rainvilles bought their farm in 1977. Its wide open fields of hay and pasture support a herd of organic dairy cows. They also grow soybeans for feed. They are planning to transfer the farm to their son Louis and his wife, Maggie, in the future.

FarmlandFor immediate release: January 30, 2015

Guildhall -- Farmers Chris and Hannah Fay were able to expand their dairy farm by selling a conservation easement to the Vermont Land Trust on property they had just purchased. As part of the conservation project, they also donated land to The Nature Conservancy that will become part of the Great Guildhall Swamp Preserve. The Fays had been renting the parcel for several years and using it for hay to support their dairy herd. The sale of the easement made buying the land more affordable. 

“We conserved this land because we felt it was a prime development spot and wanted to help protect agriculture in the state,” said Hannah about their decision. “Even if our own kids don't want to farm the land, it will still be available to feed the growing population.” The Fays manage a 200-cow dairy that is located further north in Maidstone. Their home farm was conserved with the Vermont Land Trust in 2007.

corn fieldFor 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.

pondFor 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.

tenney farm field and barnFor 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.

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