The Groton State Forest is spread across eight towns and more than 26,000 acres. It’s loved by many for its feeling of wilderness and its inviting scenic beauty and many recreational opportunities. It also has important wildlife habitat. This winter, VLT worked with David Rubin of Park Forestry NY and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation to conserve 930 wooded acres in Groton located next to the state forest.

The land will remain undeveloped and continue to be sustainably managed for timber and wildlife habitat, while remaining open for pedestrian recreation. The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources now holds a permanent conservation easement on the property.

“This project began in 2014,” explained VLT’s Carl Powden, “as part of a larger effort to improve the forest, wildlife, and recreational values of Groton State Forest by conserving important privately owned woodlands that surround it. This land is an important part of that effort.”

Park Forestry NY is a family corporation that is committed to long-term forest stewardship and conservation. “Our motivations are to use conservation easements as [a] tool to meet our ownership priorities of increasing land available for recreation and ecological protection,” explained David Rubin. Over 10 years ago, the company conserved 1,700 acres of forestland in Sharon for the same reasons.

A 1,500-foot high ridge separates the land into two large wetland areas. One has a rare plant community and an uncommon plant, the swamp fly honeysuckle. Animals rely on wetlands such as these; moose were spotted by our staff when visiting the area.

Funded by the USDA Forest Service through the federal Forest Legacy Program.