On June 24th UVLT will purchase a parcel of land in Thetford and Fairlee, VT that will almost double the size of Ely Mountain Conservation Area. This purchase will extend UVLT’s ownership east and north into the town of Fairlee. UVLT is purchasing the 187 acre property from Peter Mans, adding the newly acquired property to the existing Conservation Area, accessed off Quinibeck Road.
Ely Mountain rises between the Connecticut River and Lake Fairlee in the heart of Thetford’s largest unfragmented forest block. This is a region the Conservation Commission has identified as one of the town’s “crown jewels.” Advocates for the conservation and stewardship of this forest block include members of the Commission, scientists and wildlife experts working with the State of Vermont, and area residents desiring to protect intact areas of older forest for habitat, ecological resilience, and carbon sequestration.
UVLT’s purchase will protect a large area of the intact forest and support a potential cross-river wildlife corridor extending east to the headwaters of the Mascoma River and White Mountains. Threatened and endangered Long-eared Bats have been tracked and observed in the area. The upper reaches of the Mans property drain into two different watersheds. The expanded Ely Mountain Conservation Area will drain into four watersheds.
The soon-to-be 385 acre Ely Mountain Conservation Area is well situated to support ongoing habitat research, citizen science activities, and natural science education for youth and adults because UVLT has previously built a parking area and trailhead access, just down the road from the Ohana Camp facility operated by the Aloha Foundation.