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Sargent Hill Wilderness Preserve, a bastion of biodiversity, is protected as forever-wild in Hubbardton, Vermont

Hubbardton, Vermont…Northeast Wilderness Trust has announced the creation of the Sargent Hill Wilderness Preserve. Support for the project was provided by a generous donation of 200 acres by the Ferguson family as well as support from individual donors and The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in Vermont.

Partnerships help forever-wild conservation happen

The late Dick Ferguson and his wife, Hadley Ferguson, purchased this property a few years ago with the explicit intention of conserving it because of an abiding love for the land and what it represented. With help from Nancy Bell, a former long-time staff member of The Conservation Fund, the Fergusons contacted Northeast Wilderness Trust and its forever-wild conservation mission resonated. “Our intention was always to protect this land so the wonder of wilderness could be experienced forever by the wildlife making their home here and the people who visit,” Hadley Ferguson said.

Protecting forests so they can grow old is not typically done by any one organization or family. It often takes multiple partners working together over long periods of time. Because of Sargent Hill Wilderness Preserve’s proximity to already conserved lands, wilderness and conservation supporters came together over many years to see that this land was protected.

“Sargent Hill is in the middle of one of the most important wildlife corridors connecting the Greens to the Adirondack Mountains. We are pleased to be able to assist Northeast Wilderness Trust in protecting this special place, which will assure that species have space to move across this landscape, especially as our climate changes,” Jim Shallow, Director of Conservation, The Nature Conservancy in Vermont, said.

Location, location, location

Sargent Hill Wilderness Preserve is just south of The Nature Conservancy’s 3,000+ acre High Pond Natural Area and is part of a much larger forest block that includes thousands of acres of already conserved land. The area is known as the “Greens to Adirondacks Linkage” because of its importance to wildlife movement. As the climate changes and development continues, it is imperative to protect intact and connected wildlife corridors, or, wildways, so animals have the best chance to thrive long into the future.

The forests of this Preserve are a mix of ages, ranging from young to older successional stages. Much of the 200 acres is influenced by water—including a large Alluvial Alder Swamp, a forested swamp, and a small seepage forest, all of which provide key habitat for the northern spring salamander, among many other species. Seeps are a common but often overlooked wetland community associated with groundwater seepage. In many areas of the Preserve’s forest emergent White Pine is growing, suggesting that the property was once pastureland.

“Places protected by the Wilderness Trust are forever-wild, where natural processes direct the ebb and flow of life,” Bob Linck, Conservation Director, Northeast Wilderness Trust, said. “We are grateful for the Fergusons’ generosity and commitment to Sargent Hill’s protection. Safeguarding these acres means Nature can return to restore biodiversity, increase sequestration and storage of carbon, and to provide a place for quiet reflection and foot-powered recreation.”

For more details on Sargent Hill Wilderness Preserver, please go to


About Northeast Wilderness Trust:  Northeast Wilderness Trust conserves forever-wild landscapes for Nature and people and it envisions a landscape of connected, resilient wildlands shared by a human culture that recognizes the benefits of wild places. It accomplishes this work by acquiring land as well as holding forever-wild conservation easements on properties owned by other organizations or individuals. Northeast Wilderness Trust also champions wilderness in the public sphere. Across New England and New York, the Wilderness Trust secures wild places where Nature can thrive, wildlife can wander, and people can find beauty and quiet. Since its founding in 2002, Northeast Wilderness Trust has protected 81,372 forever-wild acres. Learn more at

Photography by Stephen Matter