Forest, wetlands, wildlife habitats, and historical site protected by land trusts
WASHINGTON, D.C. – September 17, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — The Vermont Land Trust and the Greensboro Land Trust are happy to announce that a large stretch of well-managed forest—filled with unique natural and historical features—was conserved on Thursday, September 12.
This conservation project protected significant acreage, nearly three square miles, in Glover and North Greensboro. The property includes the locally prominent Black Hills and the north slope of Paddock Hill. The land has been used by visitors for hunting, hiking, and winter recreation.
Conservation of the Black Hills property creates an even larger stretch of protected land as it abuts 1,100 acres of conserved land around Long Pond and Mud Pond in Greensboro and 200 conserved acres in Glover, which extend almost to Shadow Lake.
“To be able to ensure that such a large well-managed parcel of forestland will remain intact and part of the working landscape is an incredible opportunity,” said Tracy Zschau of the Vermont Land Trust. “The fact that this land also connects existing conservation lands across two towns and protects other scenic, natural heritage and recreational features is even more exciting.”
The 189-acre Greensboro portion of the property was once owned by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Wallace Stegner. His 1979 article in Country Journal, entitled “Northeast Kingdom,” reflects on his family’s stays in the old Orange King farmhouse over six decades ago; only a cellar hole still remains.
“The Greensboro Land Trust welcomes this opportunity to conserve the Greensboro land that Wallace Stegner acquired in the late 1930s and wrote about in 1979,” said Clive Gray. “Also, it expresses gratitude to the Greensboro Conservation Commission and Selectboard for their appropriation from the Greensboro Conservation Fund.”
The 1,685-acre parcel, which also includes the site of the Lewis sawmill, has a long history of good timber management. For many years, the land was owned by forester John Meyer; in 1994 it was purchased by Robert Louis “Lou” Irwin. The stewardship of these owners created a valuable and sustainably managed forest investment worthy of conservation.
The current owner, Richard Carbonetti, a consulting forester, and his wife, Emily, of Albany VT, generously sold a conservation easement on the land to VLT for less than market value as part of the transfer of the property from the estate of Lou Irwin. Richard Carbonetti worked as Lou’s forester for many years.
“Emily, my boys Ben and Sam, and I are very pleased to have the opportunity to continue the stewardship of John Meyer and Lou Irwin,” reflected Richard. “In my years working for Lou, his goal was to manage the land under a sound economic model that demonstrated that doing it right worked financially as well. Lou has provided my family and me an opportunity through this acquisition to continue that legacy. This conservation easement is part of our plans to ensure that Lou’s vision will be everlasting.”
Conservation of the Black Hills tract ensures seasonal pedestrian public access opportunities, including two designated trails, protects an ecologically significant boreal calcareous cliff natural community, numerous wetlands, rich hardwood forest and other natural communities, diverse wildlife habitat, and 1,300 feet of frontage on Mud Pond. (The other half of Mud Pond is owned by the Vermont Land Trust.)
The property was protected with a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust. These easements are legal tools that limit development on productive farmland and forestland, and other meaningful natural and community places. Landowners continue to own, manage, and pay taxes on the land and can sell their land; however, the conservation easement permanently remains on the property.
“The conservation easement, along with continued forest management under my family’s stewardship, should assure that the Black Hills will remain a special place for wildlife, recreation, timber and the residents in the region,” said Richard.
Funding for the purchase of the easement came from the Freeman Foundation, the Greensboro Conservation Fund, the Stony Point Foundation and a number of private donations to both land trusts in support of the project.