One of Vermont’s premiere wildlife hotspots, the Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison has expanded according to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. A donation by Dubois Farm Inc of Addison will expand the property by 37 acres, bringing the property up to a total of 2,895 acres.
“We are grateful to the Dubois Farm for donating this land,” said Louis Porter, Vermont’s commissioner of the Fish & Wildlife Department. “Their generosity contributes to a growing legacy of conservation that will last for generations.”
The new parcel hosts rare and ecologically important clay-plain forest. These forests contain oak and hickory trees that attract turkeys, gray squirrels, and deer, making them popular destinations for hunters. Because the forest is next to wetlands, it is particularly important for amphibians such as frogs, toads, and salamanders.
“Birdwatchers and hunters have coveted access to this property for many years,” said Porter. “The diversity of bird species found in this forest is incredible for bird enthusiasts. Previous owners closed the land to the public to conduct private turkey hunts. Now, any hunter may now access the land to try their luck at calling in a turkey.”
For almost forty years the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has partnered with The Nature Conservancy in Vermont and local landowners to place a conservation easement on this property after recognizing the forest’s significance to wildlife. That project began a multi-decade partnership between the two organizations that has resulted in many conservation success stories.
Wildlife Management Areas (WMA’s) are conserved lands throughout the state of Vermont, owned by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. They are managed for fish and wildlife habitat and wildlife-based recreational access. Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area hosts 200 bird species, and is one of the most popular Vermont destinations for bird-watchers and waterfowl hunters.
Vermont has more than 80 state wildlife management areas covering well over 100,000 acres. Management activities on these areas vary by habitat type, but perhaps none are more intensively managed than wetland wildlife management ares. Although wetland areas like the Dead Creek WMA in Addison look often like they do not need any improving, behind the scenes state biologists and volunteers work year-round to make them as attractive and beneficial to wildlife as possible.
Landowners wishing to donate land to be permanently conserved are encouraged to contact the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Anyone can donate to the department’s land conservation efforts by purchasing a 2017 Vermont Habitat Stamp, available at vtfishandwildlife.com.