Duren Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Duren Mountain
Wilderness Preserve

In the northeastern reaches of Vermont, Duren Mountain Wilderness Preserve protects a two-acre beaver pond, Northern White Cedar Swamps, and a rewilding forest rich with wildlife.

Just across Route 102 from the Connecticut River in Guildhall, VT, lies Duren Mountain. Ducks Unlimited first acquired this 182-acre property in 2018 in support of the organization’s wetland mitigation work, which aims to offset development of state or federally regulated wetlands. Ducks Unlimited transferred the property to Northeast Wilderness Trust in June 2020 to become a forever-wild Preserve.

“Many factors led Ducks Unlimited to protect this property, including its beaver ponds that support spring breeding habitat for waterfowl like mallard, wood, and black ducks,” said Patrick Raney, Manager of Conservation Services for Ducks Unlimited. “This land is an intact, forested buffer to the Connecticut River. A high-quality Northern White Cedar Swamp, and the presence of abutting protected lands also made this property a good fit for protection.”

Many factors led Ducks Unlimited to protect this property, including its beaver ponds that support spring breeding habitat for waterfowl like mallard, wood, and black ducks.

Patrick Raney, Ducks Unlimited Manager of Conservation Services

Duren Mountain is home to an impressive range of wildlife. An active, two-acre beaver pond is home to diverse plants and birds. Since DU placed game cameras on the property in 2019, moose, bear, coyote, and bobcat have all been seen wandering the land. Ruffed grouse and snowshoe hare are also abundant in the dense, young hardwoods that have regrown since the last timber harvest in 2006 on the lower elevations of the property. A Northern White Cedar Swamp, which is a globally uncommon type of wetland, occupies more than 50 acres.

This new Wilderness Preserve adds to a sizeable protected corridor near the Connecticut River, which is considered a critical wildlife area. It is flanked by properties protected by Vermont Land Trust.

Vermont Conservation Design, a report by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department, calls for 9% of the state’s forestland to be old forest. Duren Mountain is one of several wilderness areas protected by Northeast Wilderness Trust that contribute to this goal.

Duren Mountain Wilderness Preserve will be open for quiet, non-motorized (on-foot) recreation like hiking, hunting by permission, nature study, and birdwatching. To apply for hunting permission, click here.

American beaver and Wood Duck by Paul Willis.

Bramhall Wilderness Preserve

Wilderness Preserve

The Bramhall Wilderness Preserve, created in April 2020, is an exceptional forest nearing old-growth status in Bridgewater, Vermont. We still need your help to meet our fundraising goal to ensure the long-term stewardship of the land.

There is just $202,000 left to raise to secure the land in perpetuity; you can help by making a donation to the Bramhall Wilderness Preserve today through our secure online donation portal, below, or by writing a check to Northeast Wilderness Trust with ‘Bramhall’ written in the memo line.

This 359-acre mature forest is located within an intact, forested core of Vermont’s Southern Green Mountains. It offers excellent habitat for moose, bobcat, black bear, songbirds, wildflowers, and native brook trout.

This Preserve protects:

  • 1.74 miles of river/brook frontage, including picturesque Bridgewater Hollow Brook with cascades and waterfalls
  • The lower half of Bridgewater Hollow, a regionally significant landscape
  • Core wilderness habitat to the 50,000-acre Chateauguay forest block
  • Mature forest ranging in age from 75-100 years, well on its way to old-growth status
  • Pristine brook trout habitat and a red spruce-cinnamon fern swamp – a State Significant Natural Community
  • Land within the Ottauquechee River Conservation Focus Area

The Wilderness Trust is still working to raise $202,000 to fund the long term stewardship and care of the Bramhall Wilderness Preserve. With a gift of any amount, you can support this mature, magnificent forest’s permanent legacy as wilderness.

You can either use the secure online giving portal below, or donate over the phone by calling us at 802-224-1000. Alternatively, you can send a check to 17 State Street, Suite 302, Montpelier VT 05602 with “Bramhall” on the memo line.

Donations made to Bramhall Wilderness Preserve during the month of September will benefit Shelby Perry’s Walk for Wilderness. 

I believe we can never truly own land, we can live on it. We can be the caretakers and stewards of the land.

Paedra Bramhall

The Bramhall Wilderness Preserve is a mix of upland and riparian forest types that captures a significant portion of Bridgewater Hollow in Bridgewater, Vermont. It is situated in a >50,000-acre forest block that includes the Green Mountain National Forest, the Les Newell Wildlife Management Area of the VT Agency of Natural Resources, Vermont Land Trust easement lands, and the Appalachian Trail corridor of the National Park Service. The land lies within the Ottauquechee River Conservation Focus Area of the Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge as proposed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2016.

There are over 3,000 acres of permanently protected lands within a two mile radius of the Bramhall parcel. Core Forest and Connecting Forest zones intersect on the property, which has above-average rankings in climate resiliency, landscape diversity, and local connectedness.

While the property has a forest of impressive age and complexity, it is the Bramhall Preserve’s water features that rank among its most ecologically important attributes. There are extensive riparian habitats arrayed in a mosaic of ravine, valley bottom, gorge, and river-confluence features, with a total of 1.74 miles of river/brook features between the the North Branch of the Ottauquechee River and two smaller tributaries.

There are about 88 acres of riparian buffer zones on the property. This dense and undisturbed forest helps to provide cool, clean water to the ecosystem. These streams also provide habitat for brook trout, a species highly threatened by climate change.

In this place defined by its rugged topography, diverse mosaic of forest types, and clear streams, forever-wild protection is allowing this mature forest to return to old growth, and ensures that the streams and rivers remain clean and clear into the future.

Winter waterfall by Zack Porter | Summer waterfall by Shelby Perry | Mature forest by Daryl Burtnett