Burnt Mountain

Northeast Wilderness Trust holds a forever-wild easement on the Burnt Mountain Preserve, which protects 5,487 acres in Vermont’s Cold Hollow to Canada wildlife corridor.

The majority of the preserve, including Burnt Mountain’s 2,800-foot summit, is in Montgomery. Parts of the property extend into the towns of Belvidere, Eden, Lowell, and Westfield. This landscape-scale wilderness success was made possible thanks to Sweet Water Trust, which assisted The Nature Conservancy of Vermont to purchase the land.  Together with state parks, the Long Trail state forest, and privately owned lands, Burnt Mountain makes up part of an 11,000-acre block of uninterrupted forestland.

The Nature Conservancy felled trees into Calavale Stream to encourage habitat for native fish, including the beloved brook trout. A conservation easement was then donated to Northeast Wilderness Trust to further guarantee the permanence of its wilderness designation.

This large swath of land is perfect for moose, bear, and forest songbirds such as black-throated green warblers, white-throated sparrows, and blackpoll warblers. Burnt Mountain preserve protects the entirety of the Calavale watershed, and acts as wild core forest within the Cold Hollow to Canada habitat linkage.

This forest is going to be that place where birds and other wildlife will have core habitat that will be resistant or resilient to the disturbances that will come along, because it’s big enough.

Jim Shallow, Director of Strategic Conservation Initiatives at The Nature Conservancy in Vermont

The land has a recent history of intensive logging. It was owned by the Atlas Timberlands company, and was sold to Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont chapter of The Nature Conservancy in the late 1990s. The organizations continued to manage the woodlands until The Nature Conservancy took full ownership of the property. Now, the forest has begun rewilding. Decades upon decades from now, it will be one of the largest ancient forests in Vermont. The land is open to the public to enjoy and explore by foot.

For more information on Burnt Mountain, click here.

Photography by Zack Porter