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Waterbury: Land Critical to Wildlife Protected Through Partnership

Posted Tuesday, July 28, 2020
NewsShutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor

A bear in the Shutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor. Photo captured by a game camera courtesy of the SHWC Partnership.

Waterbury, VT—111 acres of forestland were protected last month in the Shutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor, which lies between the Green Mountains and Worcester Range and serves as one of the most important wildlife regions in Vermont. Whitney Blauvelt, whose family has been long-time owners of the property, sold a conservation easement significantly below its appraised value.

Blauvelt’s forested property abuts Route 100 along a high-priority wildlife crossing—a focus for conservation organizations in the area. In conserving his land, Blauvelt joined other landowners and community members in striving to protect this unique stretch of connected forestland.

“I’m a tree hugger. Forests, and the wildlife therein, need to be protected,” said Whit Blauvelt of Waterbury.

The protection of the Blauvelt parcel adds to the over-450 acres in this same corridor that have been conserved since 2018 by the Stowe Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and the Vermont Land Trust. In partnership with community members, they have raised over $500,000 as part of an ongoing effort to protect this ecologically significant habitat connection.

The Shutesville Wildlife Corridor Partnership consists of the Waterbury Conservation Commission, Stowe Conservation Commission, Stowe Land Trust, Vermont Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, Vermont Agency of Transportation, two regional planning commissions, and many community volunteers.