In The Upper Valley, A Forest Expands

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(Host) A community forest created just two years ago in Fairlee and West Fairlee is now doubling in size.

The Brushwood Community Forest grew Wednesday to more than 1,000 acres after a conservation deal was reached between The Trust for Public Land, the Town of West Fairlee and the State of Vermont.

Rodger Krussman is Vermont’s director for the Trust for Public Land. He says expansion of the Brushwood Forest is part of a statewide effort that’s been going on for years to help towns protect land. Krussman says protecting the significant block of forest in Fairlee and West Fairlee will bring both economic and ecological benefits.

(Krussman) "It allows for the town to sustainably log and harvest timber from the property so that generates direct revenue to the town. It also protects the water quality for drinking water. This particular property is within the Connecticut River watershed which is an incredibly important resource."

(Host) The West Fairlee Conservation Commission will manage the land day-to-day, with oversight from the West Fairlee Select Board. The majority of funding for the expansion of the Brushwood Forest came from the USDA Forest Legacy Program.

In a written statement, Congressman Peter Welch, who helped secure that funding, said, "Vermonters know the importance of protecting and expanding our working landscape. Today’s announcement ensures Vermonters will continue to enjoy the opportunities of this pristine forest for years to come."

You can find more information on Vermont’s Community Forest Program here.

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