Mercy River Corridor

Name of Project:  Mercy River Corridor Easement

Mercy

Location:  Montgomery Center

Type of Project: River Corridor Easement

River:  South Branch of the Trout River

Public Access: no

Date Completed: December 2012

Size:  23.3 acres

Water Frontage: 7,000 ft

Landowner: Arnold & Linda Mercy

Funding Partners:  VT Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Grant Program

Property Description:  Both banks of the South Branch of the Trout River, surrounded mostly by actively farmed cropland.              

Project Background:  The Mercy’s have enjoyed the productivity of their cropland along the banks of the South Branch of the Trout River – and have farmed it back a few generations.  However, the difficulty of managing crops alongside an actively meandering river led Arnold and Linda to search out funded programs that could help them manage the risks of farming on riverlands, and mitigate their crop losses.  With a River Corridor Easement held by Vermont River Conservancy, the Mercy’s are permanently allowing the river to move freely, and are compensated for cropland they will no longer be planting in the 50 foot riparian buffers.  Arnold describes this option “as the best one out there, since the river will move where it wants to anyways.”  Farming next to the South Branch of the Trout River just became easier, and the river is now allowed to meander and flood as it needs, thus lessening future tensions upstream and downstream.

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