Woody Adams Forest Conservation
The Norwich Conservation Commission is working to acquire 186 acres of land (the Woody Adams Conservation Forest) located between the Norwich Town Forest and the Gile Tract, thereby protecting a 290 acre core section of the largest forest block in Norwich, a contiguous forest block centered on the Gile ridgeline, including the highest peak in Norwich.
The Commission is partnering with Tony Adams and the Upper Valley Land Trust in this forest conservation effort. Tony donated $210,000 of the conservation-appraised value of the parcel to the project through a bargain sale. The Upper Valley Land Trust secured a $125,000 Vermont Housing and Conservation Board grant for the project and a loan from the state's Clean Water Revolving Fund. To match the grant the Select Board approved use of $130,000 from the Land Conservation Designated Fund’s current balance as recommended by the Norwich Conservation Commission. To leverage the grant award as well as Upper Valley Land Trust investments, the Select Board also approved permanently protecting all three parcels under a single conservation easement granting development rights to co-grantees, the Upper Valley Land Trust, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
Major conservation benefits of the easement are:
- Water quality of streams, seeps, and vernal pools located in two watersheds
- Flood prevention in the upper reaches of a watershed that has experienced previous significant downstream flooding
- Forest contiguity and ecosystem integrity in a core component of a high priority unfragmented forest block
- Wildlife connectivity of important North-South and East-West wildlife corridors
- Wildlife habitat through reduced fragmentation of natural communities providing habitats for multiple species
- Climate change resiliency by maintaining higher elevation opportunities for shifting species distributions
- Climate change mitigation via forest carbon sequestration and storage
- Public access on the existing "Blue Ribbon” trail and logging road from the Town Forest, as well as a higher-elevation back-country nordic ski and snowshoe loop
- Sustainable forestry using improved access and forest management for wildlife on the existing town lands
If you'd like to join the Norwich Conservation Commission and the Upper Valley Land Trust in conserving this important ecological asset you can donate here.
- February 27, 2021 - The Valley News published a great article about the Woody Adams Conservation Forest.
- February 24, 2021 - Funding is nearing completion, read more in this update.
- February 1, 2021 - Read more from the Upper Valley Land Trust about this conservation project.