Stowe’s Brownsville Forest Conserved as New Addition to State Forest

15 August 2019

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – August 15, 2019

Contact:        

Becca Washburn, Director of Lands Administration & Recreation

Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources

Becca.washburn@vermont.gov, 802.793.3432

Stowe’s Brownsville Forest Conserved as New Addition to State Forest

Public Ribbon Cutting Scheduled for Wednesday, August 21

Montpelier – With summer at its height and the Green Mountains truly showing their name, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation announced the addition of 758 acres to C.C. Putnam State Forest in Stowe. As part of the State Forest, the Brownsville Forest property, as the land is locally known, will be open to the public and managed by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.  

The Department’s acquisition of this land adds a large block of forest land to C.C. Putnam State Forest, protects the headwaters of Moss Glen Brook and multiple beaver ponds, and provides opportunities for dispersed recreation along the western flank of the Worcester Range. Looking at how the property fits in the larger landscape, the Brownsville Forest acquistion helps to protect a significant wildlife corridor from the Worcester Range to the Northeast Kingdom.

A ribbon cutting ceremony to celebrate the acquisition will take place on Wednesday, August 21 at 9:00 am. The ribbon cutting is open to the public and will be located in the meadow across from 769 Brownsville Road in Stowe. Please park along the side of the road. A significant audience is expected and media are also encouraged to attend at this scenic location.  After the ceremony, all are invited on a guided walk on the property or to explore it on their own.

Partnering with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Stowe Land Trust made the acquisition possible by facilitating the land transfer and raising the funds necessary to purchase the property, which included a $5 million anonymous donation through the Vermont Community Foundation and a grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. As a result of this partnership, Stowe Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board co-hold a conservation easement on the land. “Thanks to the broad and deep support from the Stowe area community and the hard work of our partners, this incredible property is now protected and will be open for the public to enjoy for generations to come,” said Stowe Land Trust executive director, Kristen Sharpless. “It’s a fantastic outcome for the land and our community.”

Affirming the importance of this acquisition, Forests, Parks, and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder said, “protecting this gem for the public not only provides wonderful benefits locally, but it also enhances a significant statewide asset for all Vermonters and our guests to enjoy forever. We’re deeply appreciative of Stowe Land Trust and the surrounding community for their hard work to make this happen.”

The Department will begin to manage the land as part of the abutting C.C. Putnam State Forest and will include the parcel in its long-range management plan for the Worcester Range Management Unit, of which this property is now a part.  As this long-range planning process is under way, the land will be open and available to the public for recreational uses that are in keeping with protecting the area’s quiet and remote character, and include hiking, hunting, skiing, snowshoeing, and wildlife observation. The Department has already begun assessing the condition of the property’s access and existing trail network and has determined that a portion of the trail network is in good condition and will be open to the public for pedestrian use immediately. Although mountain biking is a historic use on the property, the trails do not currently meet standards for sustainable use. All trails on the property will be closed to bikes until trails can be fully assessed to determine suitability for mountain biking and improvements can be made to meet industry standards for mountain bike trails.

For more information about the ribbon cutting and the Brownsville Forest property, visit www.stowelandtrust.org.

Suggested Photo Caption: The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation has acquired the 758-acre Brownsville Forest parcel in Stowe as a significant addition to the C.C. Putnam State Forest.

The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation is one of three departments in the Agency of Natural Resources. It is responsible for the conservation and management of Vermont’s forests, the operation and maintenance of the Vermont State Park system, and the promotion and support of outdoor recreation for Vermonters and our visitors. Department employees are stationed throughout Vermont, including offices in Montpelier and at five regional locations in Essex, Barre, St. Johnsbury, Rutland, and Springfield.

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