Marion McCollom Hampton has conserved 48 acres in the southwestern corner of Norwich, adjacent to 152 acres of farm and forestland that she conserved in 1998. The land is located within a large unfragmented natural habitat block identified and highly ranked by the VT Agency of Natural Resources because it supports wide-ranging wildlife (including bear and moose) due to little fragmentation by roads and other forms of development. Â The newly conserved land is bisected by Podunk Brook and two tributaries to Podunk Brook.Â Thereâ€™s a small wetland on the southern end of the property.
The property had been proposed for subdivision. Instead Marion bought it and worked with UVLT to create a conservation easement that reserves one small area as a potential house site. This would provide housing for a future farmer who could use the pastures and hayfields on her larger parcel (which has no residences).
The newly conserved property also lies adjacent to the Appalachian Trail (AT) corridor and will provide a link between the previously conserved land and the AT.Â More than 10 properties have been conserved adjacent to and in the Appalachian Trail viewshed between Podunk Road and Bragg Hill Road.
Protection of this property will serve to meet two of UVLTâ€™s key strategic focus areas: 1) the protection of a portion of an unfragmented forest block linking other blocks of protected habitat, and 2) the protection of a portion of an important watershed and associated wetlands for flood resilience and water quality purposes. Due to its proximity to and visibility from the AT corridor, the property is also a federal protection priority.