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Spring Addition Expands Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve by 123 Acres

As a result of the Spring Additions purchase approved this fall, Northeast Wilderness Trust is proud to announce that 123 acres have been added to Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve. This conservation success is a significant contribution to a unique property. Now totaling 6,098 acres, Woodbury is the largest non-governmental wilderness area in the state of Vermont. Our community of supporters can be proud of this forever-wild preserve just a half-hour north of the capital city of Montpelier. Woodbury Mountain Wilderness is open to the public for on-foot exploration such as hiking, nature study, snowshoeing, skiing, and hunting.

Photo of aerial view of fog rolling through forested mountains.

Across these 6,098 acres lie vast, carbon-rich forests and wetlands–as well as headwater streams of the Lamoille and Winooski Rivers, which feed into Lake Champlain. It protects regional wildlife connections, and includes stunning northern hardwood forests, a diversity of wetlands, and 39 miles of headwater streams.

What’s unique about Woodbury is its location at a crossroads for far-ranging wildlife, which enables safe, uninterrupted travel for bears, fishers, bobcats, and moose. The Preserve’s forests and wetlands overlap with Vermont’s only ‘Important Bird Area’ of global significance, according to Audubon and BirdLife International. The protection of a portion of this area through Woodbury allows birds like Scarlet Tanagers, Swainson’s Thrushes, and Brown Creepers to thrive in their natural homes: large blocks of old forests.

Photo of aerial view of forested hills in sunlight.

Mark Anderson, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s Center for Resilient Conservation Science, said of Woodbury: “The site contains some of the most climate-resilient land in the Northern Appalachian region and is recognized for its biodiversity value by The Nature Conservancy.”

The lands of the Spring Addition are sloping and forested, located along County Road in Woodbury, VT. Spring Addition to Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve straddles the road with acreage on both sides, and consists of perched wetlands, small streams, middle-aged forests, and several rocky outcrops. County Road is more or less the boundary between bedrock of the Moretown Formation and of the Waits River Formation, which are millions of years apart in age. The Waits River Formation has plenty of places with calcium-rich soils, which can host rare or uncommon plants because of their higher levels of available nutrients. 

Photo of a boulder on forested slope.

The Spring Addition lies on an identified corridor between the Worcester Mountains and the Northeast Kingdom, both of which are important large protected forest blocks where moose, white-tailed deer, coyotes, grouse, and bears live. Bedrock outcrops and ledgey areas are common across the Spring Addition and are the preferred denning habitat for bobcats and, in winter, for porcupines.

Photography: Canopy views of Spring Addition/Woodbury Mountain Wilderness Preserve by Jerry Monkman; Ledges on Spring Addition by Sophi Veltrop