Effort to Protect 600 Acres a Success: Meccawe Club Conserves Forest for Future Generations

Reading and Bridgewater – October 15, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — A large tract of forestland in the towns of Reading and Bridgewater was permanently conserved by the Meccawe Club, the Vermont Land Trust announced today.

The Meccawe Club is a 100-year-old private trout fishing club. Over the years it had acquired lands to protect Meccawe Pond and provide for the club’s future.

This 600-acre upland forest joins a 28,000-acre block of remote forestland in south-central Vermont that supports wildlife and biological diversity. Connected forestland such as this is essential for wide-ranging animals.

The newly conserved forestland forms much of the watershed of the Meccawe Pond. The property also has several wetlands and streams.

The land will be managed as a private forest under the protection of a conservation easement. The Club’s forestlands have long been open to the public and will remain so.

As part of this project, the club formalized a permanent trail easement with Vermont Association of Snow Travelers (VAST) for the use and maintenance of the existing trail network and a Class IV road known as Mt. Moses Trail.

Several grants were received from public and private foundations to help fund the sale of the conservation easement. Funders included: the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, the Vermont Land Trust’s Darby Bradley Opportunities Fund, the Davis Conservation Fund, and the Fields Pond Foundation. Meccawe Club members and other friends also helped with more than 65 individual charitable donations.

The Vermont Land Trust played in integral part in the fundraising effort. “Local conservation projects with long-term owners such as the Meccawe Club inspire people and foundations to invest in Vermont’s working and natural landscape,” said Joan Weir, regional director for VLT.

“Our Board was committed to this project from the beginning,” reflected John Houlihan, Meccawe Club president. “Through the generosity of our membership, former members and friends, we have preserved the Club and its wilderness feel for future generations.”

The Meccawe Club forestlands are protected through a conservation easement —a legal tool that limits development on productive farmland and forestland, and other meaningful natural and community places.

The Club will own and manage the land; however, the conservation easement permanently remains on the property. The land will be monitored by the land trust to ensure that the aconservation easement is upheld. Click here for a map of the conserved land.

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