Selawsky River Corridor Easement

Selawsky

Location:  Wolcott

 River: Wild Branch

 Type of Project:  River Corridor Easement

Public Access:  No

Date Completed:    July 2015

Size:   17 acres

Water Frontage:      2,200 feet

 Landowner: John Selawsky & Pamela Webster

Funding Partners:  VT Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Program

Property Description:  17 acres and 2,200 feet of river frontage on the Wild Branch, a tributary to the Lamoille River in Wolcott VT is now protected with a River Corridor Easement – meaning it will be forever allowed to meander and adjust, and the river banks will be restored to growing trees and shrubs, helping stabilize the banks and slowing flood waters.

Sections of the river banks on this property are severely eroded, leaving exposed soil along cliff-like walls.  Vestiges of past oxbows (old river bends) are visible in wet depressions in the woods – evidence of the river’s historic movement throughout the river valley.  This property will continue to be used for open pasture and farm land.

Project Background:  Residents living along the Wild Branch saw its flood waters destroy houses, bridges and sections of road, most noticeably in recent memory in 1995.  Part of its flood intensity is a direct result of confining the river to an artificially narrow corridor – and the conflict between houses and road infrastructure with the natural width of the river’s corridor is most noticeable during intense flood events.

Combined with the 22.5 acres of downstream land conserved with two River Corridor Easements along the Wild Branch last year, these three properties will mean greater flood resiliency for Wolcott, and improved water quality for the Lamoille River and Lake Champlain.  Together, beneficial land use choices like these improve the water quality of our rivers and lakes, and protect our downtown villages.

Directions:  From Wolcott village center, travel West on Rt 15, turn Right onto North Wolcott Road. Travel north 4.7 miles, then turn right on Tamarack Road, and park on the left beyond the bridge.  Protected property is beyond the first stream crossing in the field.

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