Project Listing

A Place in Between - Collaboration for a Healthy Landscape between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains

A Place in Between is a collaborative effort through the Staying Connected Initiative and the Wildlife Conservation Society. The goal was to create a platform from which all the environmentally-focused organizations within a particular geographic boundary (the region between the Green Mountains and Adirondacks) could visualize the work of all others, determine whether there was overlap of goals and strategies between groups, look for gaps in geography and focus, and begin a conversation about collaboration in efforts to reach landowners and other groups within the region.

A Place in Between - Landowner Resource Guide

A Place in Between: Landowner Resource Guide is a collaborative effort instigated by the Staying Connected Initiative to create a local directory of organizations that aid landowners in maintaining a healthy landscape in a specific region between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains.

Newark Natural Resource Inventory

In 2015, Newark implemented a natural resource inventory in partnership with Beck Pond Limited. The goal of this inventory was to map and identify important natural resources found in the town, so that future recommendations could be made on high priority areas for conservation. In partnership with Dr. Fritz Gerhardt of Beck Pond LLC, an extensive study was performed which looked at relevant literature available in both state and federal databases.

Williston Wildlife Overlay District

Williston is largely made up of agricultural-rural residence zones. When land is proposed to be subdivided in Williston, 75% of the land is set aside permanently as conserved space. In the past a parcel of land had to be at least 10.5 acres in order for current bylaw standards to be enforced. In 2014, the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) developed enhancements to the zoning bylaws which changed the size threshold and land type requirements. Additionally, maps were created to identify conservation areas in Williston.

Jericho Stream Buffer Ordinance

Prior to 2009, the town of Jericho had a zoning district that covered land within 100 feet of major floodplains and rivers. The town was in the process of updating its zoning bylaws and came to realize that it needed to do something more to protect smaller streams. Sedimentation was occurring not only in the larger streams, but the smaller streams as well, which suggested that in order to protect the larger Lake Champlain watershed, streams of all sizes needed to be placed under protection. The zoning district was using older maps, so in some cases stream locations had shifted over time.

Johnson Farm Conservation Project

The conservation project began when Bill and Ursula Johnson, who owned and operated a large dairy farm for more than 30 years along the Connecticut River in Canaan and Lemington, contacted the Vermont Land Trust to discuss transitioning out of ownership. The Vermont Land Trust, recognizing the diversity on the farm, partnered with The Nature Conservancy to determine a plan for the conservation of the 849 acres and more than 6 miles of frontage along the Connecticut River.

Amphibian Road Crossing at Morgan Road, Salisbury, Vermont

Prior to 2003, Morgan Road in Salisbury, Vermont was a seemingly average backroad, that is until the importance of its adjacent amphibian habitat was discovered. James Andrews found that there was a very large migration of amphibians that took place across Morgan Road. The number of species, diversity of species present, and the rarity of these species is what makes this crossing area significant. The Salisbury Conservation Commission partnered with the Otter Creek Audubon to establish amphibian crossing nights.

The Staying Connected Initiative

The Staying Connected Initiative (SCI) is a bi-national partnership focused on sustaining and enhancing a connected forested landscape across the northern Appalachian-Acadian Region for the benefit of wildlife and humans. Staying Connected is focused on 9 key “linkage areas” across the Northern Appalachian-Acadian ecoregion important for maintaining connected forest to allow for animal movement across the region. This region encompasses parts of 5 states, 3 provinces and 80+ million acres, and is the largest, most intact area of temperate broadleaf mixed forest in this hemisphere.

Green Mountain Conservancy Windham County Corridor Project

The goal of the Marlboro Wildlife Connectivity research is to maintain and enhance Vermont’s living landscape for wildlife. This project began in 2006 when the Marlboro Conservation Commission decided to research major wildlife corridors in town through tracking initiatives, and create maps with the assistance of Nate Harvey, a local professional tracker and map maker. Although the project has only been going on for about eight years, the expertise of the team has been built up from decades of tracking experience.

Flood Resiliency in the Mad River Valley & America’s Great Outdoors

The America’s Great Outdoors program is a federal conservation initiative undertaken by the Obama Administration. This program came to the Mad River Valley in the aftermath of Hurricane Irene, and has enhanced a number of preexisting local projects including the planting of trees in riparian buffers, culvert replacements, and working with landowners to introduce cover crops on agricultural lands. Although only lasting a few years, the AGO’s efforts aided in the completion of a number of these projects, some of which are progressing heavily into the future.

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