Land Acquisition and Conservation

Acquiring and permanently conserving land is central to our mission to protecting fish and wildlife and providing opportunities for wildlife-based recreation.

All Fish & Wildlife lands are open to the public for hunting, fishing, trapping, and wildlife watching, except for the waterfowl refuges within Dead Creek and Sandbar Wildlife Management Areas.

Get in Touch

If you have land that you would like the department to consider for conservation, please contact Jane Lazorchak at jane.lazorchak@vermont.gov. The Fish & Wildlife Department is particularly interested in lands that fall within our focus areas.

View map of focus areas

Recent Acquisitions

Check out some of these lands that were recently permanently conserved by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.

Mallets Creek Wildlife Management Area – Colchester | view map

One hundred and forty-one acres of wetlands were added to the Mallets Creek WMA. The property, previously owned by ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, is comprised of deep rush and cattail emergent marsh, shrub/button bush wetland, floodplain forest, and mature hardwood upland forest buffer.

The area, located south of Chimney Corners along US Route 7, is known as Munson Flats Wetlands. It is part of one of the largest, most significant riverine delta wetlands along the eastern shoreline of the Lake Champlain Basin in Vermont. This acquisition is part of a long-term vision to permanently conserve the entire Munson Flats wetlands complex through state ownership.

Town Farm Wildlife Management Area - Shrewsbury | view map

The 527-acre former Hidalgo property became Vermont’s 100th WMA. The acquisition is significant because the property falls within an area mapped as a highest ecological priority and one that is critical for maintaining wildlife connectivity with adjacent state and federally conserved land. The newly established WMA will provide public access for hunting, wildlife watching and hiking. The property is bordered by the Appalachian Trail and provides a scenic backdrop for hikers.

Intervale Wildlife Management Area – Colchester | view map

Vermont Fish & Wildlife partnered with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, & Markets, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and The Nature Conservancy to facilitate the retirement and subsequent purchase and restoration of the former Fitzgerald Farm property on the Winooski River in Colchester. The farm was retired because of a unique set of circumstances including a lack of heirs, proximity of the property to the Winooski River, cost of infrastructure upgrades, and changing agricultural economy.

The farm’s closure will significantly reduce nutrient discharges from the farm, helping to improve water quality and aquatic habitat of the lower Winooski River. The 143-acre farm will become a discontinuous parcel to Intervale WMA, which provides wildlife habitat and wildlife-based recreation such as hunting, fishing, birding, and paddling to Vermont’s most populated urban center.

In the Works

Habitat StampBelow are some of the many properties that we are currently working to conserve. If you would like to donate directly to any of these projects, please contact Jane Lazorchak at jane.lazorchak@vermont.gov or purchase a Habitat Stamp.

Roaring Brook Wildlife Management Area – Vernon

Bounded by Interstate 91 on the west and the Massachusetts border on the south, the Roaring Brook WMA consists of 1,401 acres in the towns of Guilford and Vernon. The WMA consists of 11 separate parcels ranging in size from 10 to 995 acres. Due to its southernly location, many of the tree and plant species are unique to Vermont and are more like those found in Massachusetts, including rhododendron, mountain laurel, scarlet and white oak, and American chestnut. Significant natural communities found on Roaring Brook WMA are vernal pools, red maple-black gum swamp, and sugar maple–ostrich fern riverine floodplain forest.

The 400-acre Weinstein property is a strategically located property that will connect the northern portion of the existing WMA while significantly complimenting its diversity with many of the unique natural communities on the WMA.

The 27-acre Skibniowsky tract on the western side of Lily Pond is a Natural Heritage Registry site and features an example of an Outwash Plain natural community. It has eight rare, threatened and state endangered plant and animal species. Acquisition of an 18-acre privately owned parcel within the WMA is also under negotiation.

Taken in its entirety this project will add 446 acres to Roaring Brook WMA, conserving habitat for two federally listed species, more than a dozen state listed species and two S1 natural communities and many more S2-S3 natural communities.

Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area - Panton

Dead Creek WMA is a nearly 3,000-acre tract in Bridport, Addison and Panton and was established primarily to manage habitat for waterfowl and shorebirds. The WMA is a matrix of shallow water, marsh and wetland habitats including cattail and emergent marsh, deep bulrush marsh, and wet meadows.

The Jackson parcel, located on the east bank of Dead Creek south of the “Stonebridge,” is almost entirely in row crops of corn and soybeans and lacks a state-owned buffer between the field and water. Acquisition of the property will improve water quality of Dead Creek by reducing nutrient loading through the restoration of the agricultural fields to natural wetlands.

See also:

Contact Us

Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife
Commissioner Louis Porter

1 National Life Drive
Fish & Wildlife LogoDavis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3702
802-828-1000
fwinformation@vermont.gov

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The mission of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is the conservation of all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.