Generous Gift of Land Benefits Public and Enables Wetland Conservation

Cabot – April 17, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — 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.

“We each have a finite time allotted us to be responsible stewards of our land,” said David, reflecting on his decision to donate the land. “Fortunately, the land trust will ensure its preservation in perpetuity.”The property adjoins land that is already protected. To the north, the State of Vermont holds a conservation easement on privately owned land, and to the east, the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust owns 12 acres that protect wetlands and shore frontage along Joe’s Brook and Joe’s Pond, offering parking and access to the brook, the pond, and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail.

The Passumpsic Valley Land Trust adds this acreage to the 16 other parcels it owns and manages for wildlife habitat and public recreation in the Passumpsic watershed. A grant from the Upper Connecticut River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund administered by the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation enabled the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust to cover the acquisition expenses.

Lenny Gerardi, president of the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust’s Board, expressed his gratitude to David Mayhew and the Vermont Land Trust for this collaboration opportunity.

“PVLT welcomes this generous gift as a wonderful complement to PVLT’s adjacent Joe’s Brook stream bank and wetlands,” said Lenny. “By merging the parcels into a single unit, the benefits of these lands and waters for wildlife, natural communities, and public enjoyment are definitely enhanced.”

With the conservation of David’s land, 200 contiguous acres along Joe’s Brook, the Pothole Ponds, and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail are now protected. Bikers, hikers, snowmobilers, cross-country skiers and horseback riders can now enjoy the scenic route past these conserved properties, which will also be open for pedestrian recreation.

“Generations to come will benefit from David Mayhew’s generosity and foresight,” said Tracy Zschau, Conservation Director for the VermontDavid Mayhew Land Trust. “His gift ensures that this ecologically sensitive land so close to the recreational jewels of Joe’s Pond and the Lamoille Valley Rail Trail will remain intact and enhance the needs of both people and wildlife.”

Wildlife will benefit immensely from the newly protected land. As forests are increasingly subdivided and fragmented, large blocks of undeveloped land become rare. These 200 acres are considered critical for linking large wildlife habitat tracts, according to the multi-state “Staying Connected” initiative.

Ninety percent of David’s property is wetlands, mostly made up of Northern White Cedar Swamp. Along Joe’s Brook, shrub-dominated swamps open up to wet meadows.

Just as the newly protected land contributes to a larger block of protected forest, the swamps here adjoin a larger body of wetlands protected by the State of Vermont and the Passumpsic Valley Land Trust. These wetlands provide habitat for wildlife, contribute to good water quality in Joe’s Pond, and mitigate the effects of floods.

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