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Press Releases

field with gateFor 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.

Rankin familyFor immediate release: July 23, 2014

Former Hooper Farm Protected and Sold to Two Dairies

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.

White RiverFor 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.”

fly-fisherman in riverFor Immediate Release: June 6, 2014

Conservation Planned for Well Maintained Forestland in Worcester and Elmore

Intact forestland is incredibly important to the people and wildlife that live nearby or travel through. People who live near the Worcester Woods know firsthand that their forests are rich in wildlife, are important for the local economy and offer incredible scenic beauty. This summer, the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) will purchase 6,000 acres of forestland that has been owned by the Deer Lake Timber company for more than 60 years. Deer Lake Timber is a family-owned company with long and deep ties to Vermont. VLT plans to protect the working forest with a conservation easement and then sell the land to a private forestland buyer. The conservation easement will allow for continued timber management while maintaining dispersed public access across the property.

creek in a forest

For immediate release: June 5, 2014

Bristol - Baldwin Creek tumbles down from the Starksboro hills and flows through a narrow valley of farmland before joining the New Haven River.  In an effort to maintain the health of Baldwin Creek and to provide an important floodplain that will protect the Village of Bristol from flooding, the Vermont Land Trust collaborated with the State of Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Department of Environmental Conservation to place a river corridor easement on land that abuts the creek as it runs through the Roleau farm.

The Roleau farm sits in the scenic corridor north of the town of Bristol on Route 116. Trent and Abby Roleau purchased 321 acres of the former Farr farm and plan to build a new house and start a diversified farm. 

vegetablesFor Immediate Release: June 2, 2014

Westminster – Paul Harlow, one of Vermont’s pioneers of organic vegetable production, conserved his home farm with the Vermont Land Trust. The conservation of the farm will permanently protect this fertile farmland for future generations.

“I want to see this farm I have worked on for so many years continue to be a source of food for the community,” said Paul Harlow. “I have long considered conserving the farm, and this was the right time as this transaction will allow me to transfer the farm to the next generation and provide for my retirement.”

Trent and Abby RoleauFor immediate release: April 21, 2014

Bristol -- The Vermont Land Trust and The Nature Conservancy completed the first phase of the Bristol Gateway Conservation Project. The two organizations had been working with the community on the project for many years and recently completed a successful local fundraising campaign. Now the 346-acre Farr property—comprising farmland, forest, and a natural area—is protected from future development. The second phase of the project, the conservation of the adjacent Fuller farm, will be completed in early summer.

As part of project, Trent and Abby Roleau purchased 321 acres of the Farr farm and plan to build a new house and start a diversified farm. They hope to sell sustainably raised meat and dairy products to the local community. Their purchase and conservation of the farm was part of the land trust’s Farmland Access Program, which connects new farmers with affordable farmland.

Bunker farmersFor immediate release: April 4, 2014

Vermont Land Trust will transfer farm in April

Dummerston, VT – With more than 130 gifts from the local community and backing from the Town of Dummerston, the Vermont Land Trust has met its $575,000 fundraising campaign goal to conserve the Bunker Farm.

A grant of $396,000 from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service provided the major funding needed to permanently protect the Bunker Farm. The project will officially be completed later this month, when the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) transfers the Bunker Farm to its new owners—the O’Donnell Family Company.

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