Few things are more satisfying for landowners than seeing deer, wild turkeys and other wildlife on their property. And few things are more important to deer and other wildlife than engaged landowners. About 80 percent of Vermont’s forested habitat is privately owned, and as more land is lost to development each year, the importance of the remaining habitat has steadily grown. With the help of organizations like the Vermont Woodlands Association, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department hosts workshops that educate landowners on the benefits of actively managing wildlife habitat.
West Mountain Wildlife Management Area is located in the remote Northeast Kingdown towns of Ferdinand, Maidstone and Brunswick. Covering nearly 23,000 acres, it is the largest and wildest WMA in Vermont, and it borders tens of thousands of acres of conserved commercial forest land. The West Mountain WMA is home to 14 species of plants that are rare or endangered in Vermont and eight sites of ecological significance. Its many ponds, bogs and wetlands provide nesting and roosting habitat for migratory waterfowl, and its deep forests have a long history of producing large northwoods deer.
Vermont is home to many productive trout streams, but none as famous as the Batten Kill. For more than 150 years, the river's reputation for producing big brown trout and beautiful native brook trout has lured anglers from across the country to southwest Vermont. Starting in the 1970s, the Batten Kill was managed strictly as a wild trout stream, initially with great success. But in the mid-90s a dramatic decline in the number of yearling trout had state biologists, anglers and others scrambling for answers. Thanks to a lot of hard work from a variety of groups, efforts are now underway to restore the Batten Kill as one of New England’s premier wild trout waters.
The boreal forest of the Nulhegan Basin is home to a wide variety of plant and animal species. Located in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont this area is a wildlife viewer’s paradise.
Download the teaching materials created by Sam Nijensohn (and students), Wheeler Mountain Academy, Barton, VT.
Only a few decades ago, Vermont's largest native game fish was widely considered extinct in state waters. It was thought that the last, remnant population of muskellunge in the Lake Champlain basin was wiped out by a chemical spill in the 1970s. But to the delight of anglers and fisheries managers, a small but steady number of these huge, toothy fish have been caught in recent years, which has both rekindled interest in fishing for muskie and sparked renewed efforts to restore these spectacular predators in Lake Champlain.
If you want to have the lights, computer and other household appliances come on at the flip of a switch, you need to have reliable energy. Generating and transmitting electricity has never been synonymous with wildlife conservation, but today one Vermont power company is leading the way in integrating wildlife management into its mission of providing safe, dependable energy to its customers. The Vermont Electric Power Company, or VELCO, manages 635 miles of power line right-of-ways, which collectively cover almost 13,000 acres across Vermont. For years management objectives were simply to keep the power line corridor free of high-growing vegetation to prevent potential power outages. With minor changes to its management practices, VELCO is now playing an important role in providing habitat for a variety of wildlife species.
When it comes to making things out of wood no animal is more persistent and more proficient than the beaver. Beaver dams provide valuable wet land habitat for several species of fish and wildlife. But these same dams can cause a lot of damage to roads and septic systems. In this segment, we look at a unique project called the "Cooperative Beaver Baffle Demonstration Project" that uses water control structures to properly manage beaver dam water levels.