Montpelier, VT – March 31, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — A large tract of forestland on Hogback Mountain was acquired by the town of Marlboro on Wednesday, the Vermont Land Trust announced today. This 591-acre upland forest includes a former family ski area with its famed “100-mile view,” recreational trails, and the headwaters of several rivers. The land will be managed as a town forest under the protection of a conservation easement and will be open to the public.
“The Select Board is thrilled to accept the Hogback land on behalf of the town of Marlboro; it is a gift beyond measure to the town and to the entire region,” said Lucy Gratwick, Select Board member. “It is a responsibility we take very seriously. We deeply appreciate the hard work and dedication of the Hogback Mountain Conservation Association and the Vermont Land Trust to bring this wonderful project to fruition.”
Spearheading this conservation project was the Hogback Mountain Conservation Association, a group of residents that came together four years ago to first purchase the property and then fundraise to pay for the property and all the costs required to protect it. This project also had dedicated support from the Vermont Land Trust in conservation design, legal assistance and fundraising. In the final six months, the Pew Charitable Trusts’ Northeast Land Trust Consortium helped with a 20 percent match on many of the final donations of the fundraising campaign.
The campaign raised over $1.7 million in public and private grants, Town funds, and over 300 private contributions. Over $450,000 was received in state and federal funds for the effort from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Agency of Transportation, and the Agency of Natural Resources through a Vermont Watershed Grant. The Town itself provided a $50,000 appropriation. The bulk of the donations came from individuals and foundations—over $900,000. Pew Charitable Trusts matched 20 percent of all contributions of $500 or higher in the final months of the campaign; this match combined with the donations equaled $295,000.
The Vermont Land Trust played in integral part in the fundraising effort. “Local conservation projects such as the Hogback Town forest truly inspire people to consider how important the working and natural landscape is to them and to the state of Vermont,” said Joan Weir, Regional Director for VLT. “Throughout the economy’s ups and downs these past few years somehow the dollars kept coming in, proving that Hogback is a special place for many people.”
Bob Anderson, president of Hogback Mountain Conservation Association (HMCA) agreed: “It was a roller coaster, but that’s behind us now thanks to the steadfast generosity of so many donors. A hike on one of the trails, with their magnificent views, quickly makes it all seem very worthwhile.”
“We want to offer our congratulations to the Hogback Mountain Conservation Association for its tireless efforts to protect a vital piece of the local ecology and culture of Marlboro and its environs,” said Tom Curren, Director of the Northeast Land Trust Consortium, a project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. “I’m grateful to the many donors who helped make this accomplishment a reality through their generosity, and to our colleagues at the Vermont Land Trust for inviting us to join in the effort. We look forward to hiking the trails as soon as soon as spring arrives!”
The Town’s immediate plans include appointing a new town committee to oversee the management of the property, working closely with HMCA on trail maintenance, and joining with the local school and Marlboro College on educational endeavors. An area-wide celebration is planned for May.
Hogback Mountain was protected through a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. A conservation easement is a legal tool that limits development on productive farmland and forestland, and other meaningful natural and community places. The town of Marlboro will own and manage the land; however, the conservation easement permanently remains on the property. The land will be monitored annually by the Vermont Land Trust to ensure that the conservation easement is upheld.
About the Vermont Land Trust
The Vermont Land Trust is a statewide, member-supported, nonprofit land conservation organization. Since 1977, the Vermont Land Trust has permanently conserved more than 1,600 parcels of land covering 498,000 acres, or about eight percent of the private, undeveloped land in the state. The conserved land includes more than 700 working farms, hundreds of thousands of acres of productive forestland, and numerous parcels of community lands. This conservation work changes the lives of families, invigorates farms, launches new businesses, maintains scenic vistas, encourages recreational opportunity, and fosters a renewed sense of community.
For more information please contact:
Joan Weir, Vermont Land Trust: (802) 251-6008,
Bob Anderson, Hogback Mountain Conservation Association: (802) 254-9192 or
Elise Annes (802) 223-5234 or (802) 522-9855