VRC Helps Protect Bramhall Wilderness

Wednesday, April 15th, 2020

Vermont River Conservancy is proud to partner with the Northeast Wilderness Trust on their Bramhall Wilderness Preserve project, in which NWT purchased 359 acres from Paedra Bramhall last week, creating the first privately protected, forever-wild preserve in the Chateauguay No-Town Conservation Area. The Northeast Wilderness Trust is a non-profit land trust that conserves forever-wild landscapes for nature and people. The newly established Bramhall Wilderness Preserve is home to pristine cascading brooks, towering trees, and abundant wildlife. Protecting this land has been a long-time effort for landowner Paedra Bramhall, who was born in a rustic cabin on the property without running water or electricity in the 1940s. “The fact that this dream I have had most of my life is now a reality [for] the acres my mom left me—that they are now and will be forever wild—is still sinking in,” said Ms. Bramhall. Since Ms. Bramhall has left the land largely unmanaged for decades, the forest is already well on its way to returning to old-growth.

The Preserve lies just south of the Appalachian Trail as it winds its way down from the Green Mountains to the Connecticut River. Nearly two miles of waterways, including the North Branch of the Ottauquechee River and two smaller tributaries, tumble through the steep hills of the Preserve. Dense hemlocks shade the water, creating prime habitat for native brook trout. Vermont River Conservancy will work with the Northeast Wilderness Trust and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) on the permanent conservation of the land. VRC and VHCB will co-hold forever-wild legal protections on the preserve. “We are excited to partner with Northeast Wilderness Trust for the sake of public access to the rivers in the beautiful Bramhall Preserve,” says Lydia Menendez Parker, Assistant Director of VRC. “Low-impact recreational access paths from the parking pull-out will support those adventurers looking for a place to dip in the cool, refreshing waters and cast a line.” You can read the full press release here: News Release – New Wilderness Preserve Created in Bridgewater, VT

Mature forest – Daryl Burtnett

Ottauquechee Tributary – Shelby Perry

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