Local News, Uncategorized

‘Bear corridor’ land stewardship outlined; New partnership for the Farm & Wilderness, Ninevah foundations

PLYMOUTH—The Farm & Wilderness Foundation (F&W) and the Ninevah Foundation of Plymouth and Mount Holly have combined to ensure the stewardship of 4,800 acres of land, water, and wildlife habitat in southern Vermont. This affiliation, five years in the making, brings together one of Vermont’s largest summer camps and a distinguished conservation organization, furthering their shared stewardship goals.

The combined organizations will expand watershed monitoring and coordination and wildlife habitat management, including invasive species controls and safeguards for a key wildlife corridor – sometimes referred to as the “bear corridor” – linking the north and south sections of the Green Mountain National Forest.

The partnership ensures 90 percent of this land will remain open to the public. It combines Ninevah’s expertise in on-the-ground conservation work with the educational assets of Farm & Wilderness, a nearly 80-year-old summer camp and leader in experiential education.

“We hope this will be the first step in a long and productive collaboration,” said Rebecca Geary, executive director of Farm & Wilderness and the Ninevah Foundation.

Dano Weisbord, outgoing Ninevah board president, said, “The combined team from the Ninevah Foundation and Farm & Wilderness has the potential to deepen our stewardship of this expanse of unspoiled open space and laboratory of biodiversity. I am confident that our collaboration will further the long-term conservation of this vital ecosystem.”

The affiliation leverages both organizations’ resources and abilities to achieve shared goals of stewardship and conservation education.

During the first three years, a long-term management plan for Lake Ninevah, Woodward Reservoir and surrounding lands will be developed and implemented. F&W will hire a year-round conservation director who will implement a long-term stewardship plan. A key focus will be to continue to contain infestations of invasive plants and insects, such as maintaining Lake Ninevah free of water milfoil and zebra mussels, preparing for the arrival of emerald ash borer, and broadening current controls on Japanese knotweed.

Jay Kullman, sustainable resources director at F&W, will lead this venture. “F&W will enthusiastically continue the protection and management of this Vermont treasure,” Kullman said. “Together we will increase outdoor and environmental education, encourage responsible and environmentally-friendly recreation, and maintain vital wildlife habitat and corridors.”

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