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The Shutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor Partnership

The Shutesville Hill Wildlife Corridor crosses Route 100 on the Waterbury-Stowe town line and is one of the only largely forested pathways remaining for wildlife to move between the larger habitat blocks found in the Worcester Range to the east and the Green Mountains to the west. An effort has been underway to study and protect the corridor since 2010. What started as an informal collaboration between the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and local conservation groups including the Stowe Land Trust and Stowe and Waterbury Conservation Commissions, has grown to include additional key players including the Nature Conservancy, Vermont Land Trust, and Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, and Agency of Transportation. 

This collaborative effort to better connect landscapes for wildlife and people stands on the shoulders of sound conservation science that shines a spotlight on Vermont’s outsized regional role in protecting biodiversity.

Click here to learn more about the corridor, partnership, conservation efforts and what you can do to help. 

 

Early Successess

With support from private donors and foundations, Stowe Land Trust, The Nature Conservancy, and Vermont Land Trust, along with dedicated community members, raised $500,000 to cover acquisition and project costs associated with helping interested owners of high-priority parcels within the corridor protect their land. 

#1. Eric and Dale Smeltzer donated a conservation easement on their 287 acres that abut Mt. Mansfield State Forest. This property is host to several headwater streams and wetlands.

#2. The 10-acre Lackey parcel is one of the few remaining undeveloped parcels with frontage on highly traveled and fast developing Route 100 and was sold to The Nature Conservancy for under appraised value.

#3. Chris Curtis and Tari Swenson conserved 63 centrally located acres in the corridor, ensuring the land will remain undeveloped and continue to have visitors like the mother bear and her two cubs that were spotted on a recent visit. They also sold a conservation easement on their land far below appraised value.

#4. Stowe Land Trust and the Trust for Public Land completed the Hunger Mountain Headwaters project in late 2019. This project conserved a 109-acre property nestled up against the Worcester Range in the corridor, and an additional 1800 acres on the other side of the mountains in Middlesex and Worcester. Both of these properties will be added to the adjacent C.C. Putnam State Forest, and will add quality forested habitat on the eastern edge of the wildlife corridor.

#5. In June 2020, Whitney Blauvelt sold a conservation easement on his 111 acre property in Waterbury significantly below it's appraised value. Whit's forested property abuts Rt. 100 one one side and conserved land on the other and is a crucial link for wildlife. 

Early success conserving 5 key properties and more than 450 acres in the corridor is thanks to the vision and generosity of local landowners who are protecting their forestland and wildlife habitat. We hope that these projects will serve as a catalyst for the partnership to continue our work in this wildlife corridor. 

Questions?

Contact Kristen Sharpless, Executive Director at kristen@ stowelandtrust.org or 802.253.7221.


Photos from the Corridor

Images from eight game cameras placed in the wildlife corridor.

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Map of the Project Area


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