On March 30, the 2085-acre Dowsville Headquarters property was transferred to the State of Vermont as an addition to the Camel’s Hump State Park. This acquisition was achieved by The Trust for Public Land and made possible by a grant from the Federal Forest Legacy program. Several foundations, organizations, and individuals contributed to this accomplishment. The Duxbury Land Trust (DLT) was instrumental in providing some consultation and funding to The Trust for Public Land during the project.
The Dowsville Headwaters property was identified as a significant Duxbury resource by the Duxbury Land Trust as far back as 1994. The group’s efforts included reaching out to the State of Vermont, the Vermont congressional delegation, and state and national conservation organizations. However, it was soon realized that such an extensive endeavor was not feasible for the DLT to undertake. It wasn’t until The Trust for Public Land spearheaded this incredible project, that DLT’s dream could be realized, twenty-two years later. The DLT applauds The Trust for Public Land’s success in conserving this spectacular property for the benefit of all Duxbury residents now and far into the future.
The property was purchased by a timber company in the mid-1990s and extensively logged. The majority of the land was eventually sold to Forecastle Timber. Since 1995, the Duxbury Land Trust (DLT) has been actively seeking assistance to conserve the Ward Hill/Dowsville Basin land. Among the actions taken in the late 1990s was gauging the support of townspeople and contacting state and federal officials and non-profit conservation organizations, including: the Vermont Land Trust, Conservation Foundation, and The Trust for Public Land. Because of the poor condition of the land after the heavy timber harvest, the State was not interested in acquiring the property at that time. However, the DLT never lost its interest and concern about the future of the Ward Hill/Dowsville Basin land and is a partner in its protection today.
View from Dowsville Property
In March, the State of Vermont and the Duxbury Land Trust (DLT) finalized two conservation easements in conjunction with the sale of the buildings section of the old state farm. In addition, the Trust holds a third easement on another section of the former farm that was finalized in 2004 and covers 73 acres.
One of the new easements covers 100 acres of wetland, wildlife habitat, and forestry resources on the parcel that is now in private ownership. The conserved land is adjacent to the town gravel pit and located southeast of Crossett Brook Middle School. The second easement covers approximately 92 acres on both sides of the River Road starting at the village (Duxbury Corners) west to Hart Road. Both parcels allow agricultural and forestry uses.
The three State Farm Property easements ensure the conservation of agricultural land, forestry resources, wildlife habitat, scenic vistas, and open space for generations to come.
These photos were selected as the winners in the Duxbury Land Trust photo contest, which was part of the Duxbury’s 250th anniversary celebration in 2013.
The Duxbury Land Trust is a private, non-profit organization based in Duxbury, Vermont. Our mission is to preserve and protect the natural, historic and scenic resources that contribute to our town’s rural character. In particular, we are interested in conserving Duxbury’s wetlands and riparian corridors; upland and ridgeline forests, recreational areas and important wildlife habitat.