The Land Conservation Program stewards GMC’s land and conservation easements that have been protected by the Long Trail Protection Campaign, which started in 1987. In line with land trusts across the country, GMC has found that acquiring land and easements is only the first step in forever protecting the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail in Vermont.
GMC’s Land Conservation Program currently:
- Monitors more than 17,600 acres of land conserved under 64 conservation easements.
- Manages more than 3,500 acres of land in 17 properties GMC owns.
- Holds 19 trail rights-of-way, protecting 6.4 miles of Long Trail System treadway.
- Collaborates in the stewardship of more than 10,000 acres on the LT/AT and AT corridors in Vermont with the Green Mountain National Forest and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, including 19 open areas.
- Manages 305 miles of boundary lines with the help of over 65 volunteer corridor monitors.
- Is a member of the Land Trust Alliance.
Monitoring and managing these lands means that the Land Conservation Program maintains property boundaries, responds to easement violations, coordinates sustainable forest management practices on property owned by the Club, manages GIS database and mapping, pays property taxes, and works closely with state and federal land managers. The Land Conservation Program reviews development proposals affecting the trail such as ski area expansion and wind energy and telecommunications projects.
The Green Mountain Club supports sustainable forestry practices and Vermont’s working landscape.
Properties owned by the Club are managed for high quality recreation, conservation of natural resources, and sustainable timber management. Timber harvests on GMC land have been used to enhance wildlife habitat, provide revenue for the Club’s work, and supply firewood for our visitor center which uses wood gasification boilers for heat and hot water.
The keystone of GMC Land Conservation is the Volunteer Corridor Monitoring Program, in which over 65 volunteers adopt conserved lands and monitor these properties each year. Volunteers maintain boundaries and keep watch over the trail corridor. Volunteers are instrumental in protecting the Long Trail and Appalachian Trail lands by ensuring that potential issues are documented and addressed by the land manager.
The GMC is committed to responsibly managing GMC conservation lands and easements by working with our neighbors and trail landowners to maintain a high-quality hiking experience across high mountain summits and working forest lands while protecting the natural resources that make the Long Trail such a unique hiking experience.