FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – September 16, 2020
SECTION OF THE LONG TRAIL PERMANENTLY PROTECTED
New addition to Long Trail State Forest in Johnson and Waterville
Montpelier, VT – The Trust for Public Land, Green Mountain Club and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR), today announced the protection of Codding Hollow, adding 160.7 acres to Long Trail State Forest in Johnson and Waterville, Vermont. The newly protected property includes one of the last unprotected sections of the Long Trail, the oldest long-distance hiking trail in the United States. Approximately 200,0
00 people use the Long Trail each year, and it is recognized by the Vermont General Assembly as a “unique, historic and irreplaceable resource, whose protection is of great benefit to the people of the State of Vermont.” Six miles of the trail remain unprotected and the partners are working with willing landowners to protect these final miles.
“The protection of 160.7 acres in Johnson and Waterville is a conservation success we have been working towards for the past thirty years,” reflects Mike DeBonis, Green Mountain Club’s Executive Director. “It adds to the corridor of conserved lands that make the Long Trail possible and give it the ‘footpath in the wilderness’ experience for which GMC has always managed the trail.”
“The Long Trail is not only a great place for Vermonters to enjoy the outdoors, it’s also a historical landmark attracting visitor
s from across the country and inspiring thru-hikers around the world,” noted Kate Wanner, Project Manager at The Trust for Public Land. “As our state and nation continue to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, our trails and public lands have become an even more important source of exercise, fresh air and stress relief. We’re pleased that The Trust for Public Land, the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and The Green Mountain Club were able to ensure this section of trail will be permanently protected.”
The Green Mountain Club, FPR and The Trust for Public Land have been working toward a common vision to conserve the few remaining unprotected miles of the Long Trail and to protect lands surrounding the trail. This effort creates and protects well managed, sustainable and publicly accessible trail networks and other recreational features. These conserved lands foster economic benefits for local communities through sustainable timber harvesting and appropriate recreation and tourism, while also connecting important wildlife corridors. The partnership also focuses on conserving large tracts of undeveloped working forest, and protecting biodiversity and vital watersheds, while maintaining the undeveloped forested viewshed along the Long Trail.
As an addition to Long Trail State Forest, the land will be owned and managed by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation to promote diverse public access opportunities, sustainable forest management, high-quality wildlife habitat, and clean water, as well as the protection of natural, historical and cultural resources.
This project was made possible by funding from the Fields Pond Foundation, Outdoor Gear Exchange, and private donors, as well as through a capital appropriation from the Vermont General Assembly for the protection of the Long Trail in Fiscal Year 2020.
To learn more about Long Trail State Forest, visit FPR’s website: https://fpr.vermont.gov/long-trail-state-forest.
Established in 1910 to build the Long Trail, the Green Mountain Club is a member-supported private non-profit organization. The GMC is dedicated to maintaining and protecting Vermont’s historic Long Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Kingdom Heritage trails in the Northeast Kingdom. Every year more than 1,000 volunteers work so that future generations will enjoy the 500-mile Long Trail System. Contact the Green Mountain Club to learn more or to become a member.
The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year. To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.
The Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation 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.