Fuller River Corridor & Public Access

Name of Project:     Fuller River Corridor Easement

new_haven_riverbed

River:   New Haven           

Location:      Bristol             

Type of Project: River Corridor Easement

Public Access: Yes, through Saunders River Access

Date Completed: July 2013

Size:   14.7 acres

Water Frontage: 1,848 feet

Landowner: Paul Fuller

Funding Partners:  VT Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program , Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Trout Unlimited, New Haven River Angler’s Association, Praecipio Consulting, and generous support from local donors  

Property Description: The Fuller property was mostly agricultural fields of corn, with pockets of ecologically-rich floodplain forest growing along the banks, a small wetland area, and sections of river cobble in the river bed and along its banks.  Flood chutes created by Tropical Storm Irene deposited sand and cobble across a large portion of the fields, making corn production unfeasible. 

Project Background:  The New Haven River is an active example of how geology and hydrology interact, what river scientists call fluvial geomorphology.  The area of the Fuller property covered by the easement was flooded during Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, and likely by previous storms.  Sand and cobble were deposited across the property’s fields during Irene, helping minimize downstream impacts from the flooding.  The river has now returned to its historic channel at the edge of the Fuller property, but may re-channelize through the protected property with future flood events.  Because farming this land was made difficult and unpredictable by its proximity to the New Haven, a river corridor easement allows VRC and the landowner to manage the property for riparian vegetation and river meandering – vital functions in a healthy river system.   

Directions: Rt 116 south of Bristol. Access is through Saunders River Access

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