March 22, 2018

Brookline–The Putney Mountain Association, a nonprofit organization that protects land along Windmill Ridge, bought two properties, totaling 161 acres, on the western side of Putney Mountain and Windmill Ridge. The group then conserved the land with the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, protecting it from subdivision and development, and ensuring public recreational access.

“This new land will fill key gaps in protected land, adding to the 2,000-plus acres that Putney Mountain Association, together with the Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association, have acquired and conserved,” said Pat Shields, president of the Putney Mountain Association. 

The land is steep and entirely forested, with streams draining from the slopes into Grassy Brook. A vernal pool—an ephemeral springtime pool—is used by wood frogs, spotted salamanders, and other amphibians to reproduce. The West Cliff Trail, well-used by hikers, crosses this property, providing access to the entire 38-mile trail system enjoyed by the public along the ridgeline.

“Both PMA and VLT worked together to raise the funds needed to purchase and protect the land,” said Joan Weir, of the Vermont Land Trust. “This step furthers our partnership and commitment to stewarding this ridgeline, an important resource for Windham County and southeast Vermont.”

This project was made possible by many generous individual donors, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, Davis Conservation Fund, William Wharton Trust, and Open Space Institute’s Resilient Landscape Initiative, which is made possible with funding from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation. The Resilient Landscape Initiative seeks to build capacity of conservation organizations working to respond to climate change.