December 3, 2019 — We are excited to announce that southeastern Vermont has a new nature preserve! Located on the town lines of Dummerston and Brookline, the new Deer Run Nature Preserve is available for hiking, hunting, snowshoeing, birdwatching, and more.
The nonprofit Green Mountain Conservancy bought 287 acres on the far-southern end of the Putney Mountain ridgeline from the Wilson family, who had owned it for many years. Green Mountain Conservancy worked for over a year to raise the money for the purchase.
“I am grateful to the Wilson family for making this parcel available to us…,” said Mary Ellen Copeland, president of the Conservancy. “There has been overwhelming support from the community for this project.”
The mostly forested preserve is located around 12 miles north of Brattleboro. Currently, visitors can enjoy over two miles of trail that meanders up a steep hill and takes in stunning views of the West River Valley. The trailhead is still unmarked but can be accessed from Deer Run Farm on Camp Arden Road.
The land was conserved with the Vermont Land Trust, thus ensuring that it will remain protected, undeveloped, open to the public, and that important natural features are cared for.
“This preserve is in a section of forest that is important for animals that need large territories to survive,” explained Joan Weir of the Vermont Land Trust. “This would include bear, moose, and bobcat.” More than 60 species of birds have been identified there as well.
This is the first step in what is hoped to be a 1,000+ acre conservation effort to protect surrounding land that is critical for wildlife and biodiversity, especially in the face of climate change.
This project was made possible by many generous individual donors, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Davis Conservation Fund, Fields Pond Trust, Lintilhac Foundation, and Windham Foundation.