Vermont Agency of Natural Resources invites public comment on updated management plan for 23,000-acre West Mountain Wildlife Management Area; plan, endorsed by TNC, includes improved recreational access, habitat considerations
April 21, 2014
– The Nature Conservancy Endorses Plan Draft Update
For more than a year, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) has worked closely with the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR), the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), and others on the recently released draft update of the long-range management plan for the West Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA). At nearly 23,000 acres, West Mountain WMA is the largest WMA in the state, and is a key component of the overall 132,000-acre “Kingdom Heritage Lands” in Essex County that were formerly owned by Champion International, Inc. As core partners in the acquisition and protection of these lands for a range of public purposes, TNC and VHCB co-hold a conservation and public access easement on the WMA and collaborate with ANR to ensure management of the WMA is consistent with the easement.
TNC endorses the draft plan update for the following reasons:
We are hopeful that this balanced approach will help to create a new dynamic around the management of West Mountain WMA and new opportunities for dialogue, understanding, and collaboration where conflict and tension have existed in the past. We are heartened by recent indications that this is indeed -happening.
We also hope these changes will create a new opportunity to celebrate the truly remarkable legacy that the conservation of West Mountain WMA and all of the Kingdom Heritage Lands represent for all Vermonters, and what an incredible gift they are to present and future generations.
ANR is accepting written comments on the draft management plan update for West Mountain WMA until June 11th and oral comments at three public meetings in late April-early May (all from 7:00-9:00 p.m.):
TNC encourages interested individuals and organizations to participate in this process and provide comments to ANR in support of the draft management plan. It is important for the Agency to hear from people who value West Mountain WMA’s natural resources, ecological attributes and recreational opportunities.
More information – including the full draft plan update, a summary version, and how to submit written comments – is available online at: http://www.vtfishandwildlife.com/wildlife_WestMtnWMAReview.cfm or by contacting the State’s lead planner for this process, Doug Morin, at 802-751-0621802-751-0621, Doug.Morin@state.vt.us.
If you have questions regarding TNC’s position on the draft plan update, please contact Phil Huffman at (802) 229-4425(802) 229-4425 x109, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Heather Furman at (802) 229-4425(802) 229-4425 x 114, email@example.com.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.