Community Organizes to Preserve Wildlife Corridor
A local community effort to preserve an important piece of open land in East Dorset hopes to see its goal accomplished early this fall, when the US Forest Service purchases the property, which consists of ten privately-owned acres of meadow and forest on Bowen Hill Road, adjacent to another parcel community members raised funds to purchase a few years ago. Together the two parcels will form a complete wildlife corridor connecting the Green Mountains and the Taconic Range, and will become a part of the Green Mountain National Forest. Donations are being used to enable the purchase from a private landholder in conjunction with a US Forest Service offer.
“We did not want to see this precious part of the landscape at risk,” according to Ellen Maloney, a retired Vermont Superior Court judge and resident of East Dorset, Vt.
Maloney has been the primary organizer for the group, consisting mainly of neighbors and residents of Dorset. To date, individual donations have ranged from $100 to $5,000. “Our fundraising efforts have enabled us to raise over $20,000 within our own community, but we are still several thousand short of our $30,000 goal. This is truly a Vermont grass-roots effort, including second home owners who value open land and enjoy our proximity to all sorts of wildlife. We could use some help. We wanted to keep things as straightforward and simple as possible, just people putting a value on preserving the land. This property abuts the headwaters of the Battenkill and Otter Creek. How do you value a meadow, clean water, or the ability to view a moose or a bear? It’s different for everyone,” said Maloney. She hopes the effort will be joined by others in the larger community who also see the value in keeping an important part of the Vermont landscape intact. To contribute to the fundraising efforts, contact Camilla Calfee at 802-362-4418, or email Maloney at [email protected]