Two northern Addison County Wildlife Management Areas have recently been expanded by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. Lower Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area in Ferrisburgh added 75 acres of previously posted land, and Lewis Creek Wildlife Management area in Starksboro added 20 acres of donated land.
Lower Otter Creek WMA added 75 acres to the existing 738-acre property. The WMA consists largely of wetlands and floodplain forest near the mouth of Otter Creek. These wetlands and floodplain forests serve not only as quality waterfowl habitat, but also help to control flooding and improve water quality in Lake Champlain by mitigating the effects of nutrient loading into the lake.
The new acquisition opens up additional opportunities for bird-watchers and hunters to access land, as the new property had been posted against all access. The property contains deer wintering habitat and is considered high-quality habitat for the federally endangered Indiana bat.
“We’re excited to continue to expand Lower Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area, which is consistently a favorite destination for Vermont hunters and anglers. In addition to being popular with wildlife enthusiasts, protecting these forests and wetlands goes a long way towards improving flood resiliency and cleaning up Lake Champlain.” ~ Jane Lazorchak, land acquisition coordinator for Vermont Fish & Wildlife.
Composed of 813 acres of wetland and floodplain forest near the mouth of Otter Creek in Ferrisburg, Vermont, the WMA is owned by the State of Vermont and managed by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.
Boat access is via Otter Creek or Lake Champlain. There is a State boat access on Fort Cassin Road. Otter Creek is navigable by motorboat for several miles, as far as the falls in Vergennes. There is walk-in access for the parcel bordering Sand Road.
More Information and WMA map available at: Lower Otter Creek WMA
Another recent acquisition was the addition of 20 acres to the Lewis Creek WMA in Starksboro. Although small in size, the parcel contains three tributary streams of Lewis Creek and is mostly made up of mature hardwood forest. This recent addition is the result of a donation of land by two local landowners.
Starksboro is located in west central Vermont. Its 2,020 acres range from East Mountain to the top of Hillsboro Mountain, with elevations ranging from 900 to 2,500 feet. It is home to one branch of the headwaters of Lewis Creek.
Lewis Creek WMA is located mostly on the western slope of a small range of mountains that form the eastern side of the Lewis Creek Valley. It also extends east over the top of the ridge into the Huntington River drainage. In 2000, the 2,020-acre Lewis Creek WMA was expanded and connected with Huntington Gap WMA – forming a large contiguous tract of public land.
The State of Vermont owns the property and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department manages it. There are parking lots at the tops of Little Ireland Road and Hillsboro Road. Hillsboro Road is suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles only.
More Information and WMA map available at: Lewis Creek WMA
“We are pleased to accept this generous donation and thank these landowners for helping to preserve the future of Vermont’s wildlife and open spaces,” said Lazorchak.