Nancy Arnold plans to donate to the Vermont Land Trust a conservation easement on 112 acres of her land west of Norford Lake Road. This property is part of the state of Vermont’s highest priority contiguous forest area in Norwich and it protects water quality along a long segment of Avery Brook, a tributary of the Ompompanoosuc River and a headwater tributary, that, with wooded buffers and natural flow, provide an array of ecological benefits including maintaining water quality and providing riparian habitat for wildlife. The land also serves as a wildlife corridor of particular value due to its calcium-rich bedrock that supports diverse plant life and its variety of landforms at mid to upper elevations.
The Vermont Conservation Design (2015), a landscape-level conservation prioritization from the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, places the forested portion of the property along the eastern edge a 2,500-acre unfragmented forest block that is considered both a “Priority Interior Forest Block” and a “Highest Priority Connectivity Block”. The streams on this property are considered to be “Highest Priority Surface Waters and Riparian Areas”.
Major conservation benefits of the easement are:
- Permanent protection of significant wetlands, streams, and mid to upper elevation landforms from development
- Maintenance of high water-quality along Avery Brook, a tributary of the Ompompanoosuc River
- Protection of contiguous forest and riparian habitats to support animal home ranges and animal movements
- Public access in keeping with land trust conservation goals