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Vermont conserves 6,500 acres in Worcester and Elmore

January 17, 2022 GMT

WORCESTER, Vt. (AP) — The Vermont Land Trust and the state of Vermont have finalized a deal to protect 6,500 acres of land in Worcester and Elmore.

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation has purchased conservation easements for two large parcels of forestland in what’s known as Worcester Woods.

The deal was completed with help of funding from the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program.

The Land Trust says the Worcester Woods are part of an internationally significant wildlife corridor that connects the Green Mountains with forested lands that stretch to Nova Scotia in Canada.

Vermont Forestry Commissioner Michael Snyder says the deal ensures the land will remain forested while benefiting wildlife, protecting water quality, and providing perpetual access to the public.

Much of the land that makes up the Worcester Woods was acquired by the Meyer family, owners of the Deer Lake Timber Company, in the 1950s.

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In 2014, the Meyers sold the land to the land trust at less than appraised value to support the land’s conservation. In addition to the former Meyer land, a separate 730-acre parcel was included in the project.

The Vermont Land Trust plans to sell the land, with the conservation protections in place, to private landowners.