Thanks to a generous gift of land from Jock and Deecie Denison, contributions from more than 90 local families and businesses and support from the Thetford Conservation Commission, UVLT owns a 208-acre “crown jewel” in Thetford. We expect spend the next year becoming intimately familiar with the property. Through the seasons we’ll host a variety of programs on the land — our ideas include wildflower walks, birding trips, vernal pool identification and looking for amphibians, winter tracking, identification of non-native invasive plants and deer browse assessment. These activities will help lay the groundwork for our long term stewardship and community enjoyment.
In May of 2020 UVLT expects to purchase 187 acres from Peter Mans, extending our ownership east and north into the town of Fairlee. This 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 the White Mountains. Threatened, and endangered Northern 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, accessed off Quinibeck Road, just down the road from the Ohana facility operated by the Hulbert Outdoor Center.
If you are interested in assisting, or to sign up for notices of activities at Ely Mountain, please contact us.