Elmore Branch Addition
to Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve

Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve, a haven for wild Nature in Vermont, to expand to include a key inholding.

Rare addition at the heart of a wild Preserve

A lush community of red spruce and cinnamon ferns in a large swamp where Saw-whet Owls and Winter Wrens raise their young marks an outstanding 160-acre addition to Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve in Vermont. The Elmore Branch Addition increases this wild landscape to 6,258 forever-wild acres.

Northeast Wilderness Trust has an opportunity to purchase one of just two inholdings in the heart of Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve. The Elmore Branch Addition will knit together habitat for wide-ranging animals like bear, fisher, and bobcat who call this diverse landscape home.

Elmore Branch Addition includes a few old pines piercing the forest canopy within a young Northern Hardwood Forest, a place where trees are slowly growing old after a history of active management. Like the Preserve’s Eagle Ledge Addition protected in 2021, the Elmore Branch Addition is all about habitat connectivity. Permanent protection of this inholding will preserve and enhance wildlife habitat and access to food. It will also ensure that the movement of wildlife is not hindered by future development or logging.

Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve is an ambassador preserve, one of the Wilderness Trust’s five such preserves across the Northeast. The purpose of an ambassador preserve is to foster connection and compassion for wild Nature by welcoming visitors to share in the philosophy and experience of forever-wild conservation. As Vermont’s largest non-governmental wilderness area, the Preserve will itself benefit from the conservation of the Elmore Branch Addition, but so too will the broader habitat connectivity efforts within the Worcester to Kingdom Linkage—a regionally important wildlife corridor in Vermont.

A wild forest protects water quality within and beyond its borders

The Elmore Branch Addition is crisscrossed by small steep stream valleys that slope down toward its namesake, the Elmore Branch of the Lamoille River, which traverses the western half of the property.

Old and wild forests do a superb job of creating clean water and recharging aquifers. Forever-wild protection of this Addition will support the Lamoille River watershed by purifying headwaters that flow to the Elmore Branch, thereby benefiting wild aquatic life and local communities.

Important habitat for winged connectivity and summer breeding

A variety of insect-eating birds like the distinctive sounding Winter Wren will benefit from the forever-wild protection of this 160-acre inholding. A small and secretive bird that favors dense woods, Winter Wrens often scurry among fallen logs and dense tangles, behaving more like a mouse than a bird. Along with many other birds and animals they make their homes and raise their young in the forests of the Elmore Branch Addition.

Reptiles and amphibians, as well as many other species of insectivorous birds, find a plethora of options for habitat in the wetlands of the Elmore Branch Addition. Also common on the property are bedrock outcrops and exposed ledge-filled areas, which are preferred denning habitat for bobcats and winter habitat for porcupines.

Forest photography by Shelby Perry; Winter wren by Larry Master, www.masterimages.org