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Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund Update: “The Land Belongs to the Future”

Posted Tuesday, April 30, 2019
— Connections 2019 Spring

Wetland complex located near the Heneveld's property in Enosburgh, VT. The Heneveld's property is now protected in a conservation easement, established with the help of Cold Hollow to Canada and Vermont Land Trust. Photo courtesy of Charlie Hancock.

At Cold Hollow to Canada, we are excited to share an update on recent activity with the Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund, namely two recently conserved parcels totaling over 700 acres in the Cold Hollow region. The following update comes to us courtesy of the Vermont Land Trust who will hold the easements on the properties.
The Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund was established in 2017 by Cold Hollow to Canada (CHC) through a grant from the Jessie B. Cox Charitable Trust Fund at The Boston Foundation and the Linthilac Foundation. The Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund (CHLCF) is available to support landowners in the CHC service area (Richford, Bakersfield, Enosburg, Montgomery, Fletcher, Belvidere, and Waterville) interested in donating a conservation easement. Up to $10,000 from the CHLCF may be used for transaction costs for each project. These costs may include: procurement of surveys, appraisals and appraisal reviews, attorney services, title searches, closing services, deed preparation, baseline documentation, easement and land recording, and other professional services. To be eligible for funding, projects must meet or exceed 50 acres in size and fall within a core forest or connectivity areas identified in the CHC landscape analysis. Additionally, the property must be at least 60% forested. To apply to the Cold Hollow Land Conservation Fund visit us at Applications may be submitted at anytime, and will be batched for review on a quarterly basis. Please contact us at if you have any questions.

“The Land Belongs to the Future”: More than 700 Acres Conserved within an Important Wildlife Corridor

In the far reaches of Northern Vermont, lies a massive swath of forest that is an important link between the Green Mountains and the forests of Canada. The Cold Hollow Mountains connect with a wide network of animal habitats stretching from New York to Nova Scotia. Having large areas of connected habitat helps keep wildlife populations strong and can play a critical role in species adapting to a changing climate.

Protecting the integrity and health of these woods is the mission of Cold Hollow to Canada (CHC), a locally driven nonprofit group that works with landowners in a seven-town area and with partners such as VLT. Recently, two families worked with CHC and VLT to protect forestland in this important area. 

Landowners Ward and Cheryl Heneveld have been CHC members for several years, but their connections to the forest go way back. “Over 45 years ago we bought part of an old farm on a back road in Enosburgh,” explained Ward. “[It] had an empty farmhouse, a couple of dilapidated out-buildings, and a mature sugarbush.” The Henevelds now use their 50-acre sugarbush to host a Cold Hollow Career Center program in which students learn about tapping trees and making syrup. The 181-acre property also has scenic views of the Cold Hollow Mountains. This winter, Cheryl and Ward worked with VLT to permanently conserve the land and protect it from development. In addition to managed forest, the conservation of this land protects a half mile of Beaver Meadow Brook. 

“Landowners like Ward and Cheryl can really make a difference in protecting the travel corridors so critical to wildlife,” said VLT’s Carl Powden. “The work happening in the CHC region shows how traditional uses of the forest, such as logging and sugaring, can co-exist with protecting habitat and clean water.” 

Further south, in Belvidere, Jackie Brown and her brother-in-law Gary Brown protected a 495-acre parcel located on both sides of Route 118. The land has been in the Brown family since 1937, when Isaac and Bessie Brown bought it from a timber company. The land is spectacularly diverse, with elevations ranging from 1,100 to 2,500 feet. It provides excellent habitat for animals. At its lowest point it meets the South Branch of the Trout River. Streams run down the steep slopes, tumbling over exposed bedrock and small waterfalls into two large wetlands, which then flow into the river. The woods and water features support beavers, songbirds, small mammals, and amphibians.

“The conservation of the Brown property represents a major milestone in the effort to ensure that our forested landscape remains healthy, productive, and intact for the future,” said Charlie Hancock, forester, CHC co-founder and Board Chair, and VLT board member. “The parcel was a missing puzzle piece among conserved lands, the protection of which [secures] core wildlife habitat for animals such as moose, bear, lynx and forest breeding migratory birds.”

Reflecting on conserving the family property, Jackie Brown quoted John Muir: “The land belongs to the future.” 

The conservation of the Heneveld property was funded by the Town of Enosburg’s Conservation Fund and Cold Hollow to Canada. (December 2018) The conservation of the Brown property received support from Cold Hollow to Canada. (March 2019)