Property Will be Added to Pond Woods Wildlife Management Area in Benson
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has added nearly 50 acres of lakeshore property to the Pond Woods Wildlife Management Area in Benson, Vermont. The property was conserved in part using funds from the Habitat Stamp program, a voluntary donation to habitat conservation in Vermont that was launched in 2015.
The land was sold to the Fish & Wildlife Department by the Green Mountain Council of the Boy Scouts. As a result, this forested shoreline property is now permanently conserved, and is open to the public for wildlife-based recreation such as bird-watching, hiking, fishing, and hunting. Sunset Lake is known for its remarkably clear, clean water, holding the record for the greatest water clarity measured in any water body in Vermont.
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department is investigating the possibility of adding a small access area on the property for the public to launch canoes and kayaks for fishing or watching wildlife. Currently, there is no public boat launch on Sunset Lake.
"Sunset Lake is an absolute treasure - one of the prettiest lakes in Vermont," said Jane Lazorchak, who coordinates land acquisitions for Vermont Fish & Wildlife. "This property provides a great place to launch for a paddle to look for birds or fish, or just go for a walk to listen for and view wildlife. We're excited that this special place will be permanently conserved for the people of Vermont to enjoy."
Sunset Lake is set in an historic and picturesque portion of western Rutland County known as the Lakes Region. This part of the state features the pastoral charm of New England, with the greatest concentration of waterbodies found anywhere in Vermont.
Pond Woods Wildlife Management Area contains a variety of rare, highly significant wildlife habitats, natural communities and species of plants and animals that were previously identified by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. The forest contains incredible stands of oak and hickory that attract all kinds of deer, turkeys, and squirrels, as well as giant old hemlock trees that serve as deer wintering habitat. It is also an important forested corridor for wildlife migrating between the Adirondacks and Green Mountains. This addition to Pond Woods WMA effectively expands this corridor and provides even greater opportunities for secure movement of wildlife in the region.
"Conserving this shoreline will help protect the pristine water quality in Sunset Lake, enhancing water quality downstream all the way to Lake Champlain," said Lazorchak. "We owe a special thanks to the people who purchased their Vermont Habitat Stamp to help make this happen."
Other funding sources for the project included the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. The Nature Conservancy in Vermont will co-hold a conservation easement on the property with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.
The Vermont Habitat Stamp can be purchased at www.vtfishandwildlife.com.
Media Contacts: Jane Lazorchak, 802-505-0561; John Austin, 802-371-9895