The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is updating the management plan for West Mountain Wildlife Management Area (WMA) in Essex County. The agency will rely on input from the public to help guide this process and encourages all who may be interested in these lands to attend a meeting or provide written comments.
The Agency of Natural Resources has hosted two public forums and numerous meetings with constituent groups to gather ideas before drafting its plan updates. The agency will host additional public meetings late in the fall to review and refine its draft plans.
Since 1999, the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources has managed West Mountain WMA and has managed a public access easement on adjacent lands now belonging to the Plum Creek Timber Company. This complex project has involved collaboration with partner organizations including The Nature Conservancy, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Land Trust, and Plum Creek, as well as numerous local and state constituent groups.
West Mountain is the largest wildlife management area in Vermont, a vast land of bogs and evergreens hosting a large moose population. It is part of one of Vermont’s greatest conservation success stories, which has perpetually devoted more than 130,000 acres of land to public access, working forestry, and ecological protection.
Doug Morin, state lands biologist for the Fish & Wildlife Department, is coordinating the effort for the agency. He encourages users to submit comments from now until August 15, 2013. “We rely on input from the public to guide this process,” said Morin. “We’d like to hear from the public about what’s working, what could be improved, and what people value most about these lands.”
Please send comments to ANR.FWwmaComments@state.vt.us, or mail them to Doug Morin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, 1229 Portland Street, Suite 210, St Johnsbury, VT 05819.
For more information on the update process, West Mountain WMA, and public access on the private timberlands, visit www.vtfishandwildlife.com/wildlife_WestMtnWMAReview.cfm.
Media Contacts: Doug Morin, 802-751-0621; John Austin 802-476-0197