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Spring in the Cold Hollows

By Charlie Hancock, CHC Board Chair

Greetings friends and welcome to the Spring 2019 edition of CONNECTIONS, the quarterly newsletter from Cold Hollow to Canada. It’s finally starting to look like spring out there. Snow may continue to linger in the woods (or, if you’re in Belvidere, multiple feet of snow may be lingering) but the peepers have started their evening chorus, the chives are poking their heads up in the garden, and soon the brilliant splashes of rich green will appear like a patch work in our rich hardwood stands as wild leek make their annual reappearance. There’s a painting by Harald Asksdal that hangs in our living room titled “Hope”. It shows a small plant, perhaps a sedge, poking up through the duff in an otherwise gray forest, surrounded by downed wood, and framed by stems reaching for the canopy. It’s one of many Asksdal works found through our house, but this one particularly draws my attention this time of year. As we transition from the harsher months, when our woodlands are colored in muted tones, and our forests break their annual dormancy, the work reminds me that we also break a dormancy of sorts, and there’s a renewed sense of hope in our hearts. The blossoming of apple trees, and the resurgence of the morning cacophony outside our windows seems to harken a possibility that wasn’t there just weeks ago. 

It’s this renewed sense of possibility that fuels our work as we look forward to the multitude of projects on our horizon. Our tracking and game camera work, capturing the evidence of the neighbors which share our forests, continues, and we look forward to sharing more of the amazing images we capture. Our Woodlots groups are gearing up for their spring meetings, were we’ll be discussing everything from forest ephemerals to forest roads. The Carbon Aggregation project we’ve partnered with the Vermont Land Trust is chugging along as we break new ground in this exciting sector. And we continue to work with our friends and neighbors to permanently protect the most critical parts of our shared landscape.

In this issue of CONNECTIONS, we’re excited to announce the closing of an easement in Belvidere which connects two critical blocks of core habitat, as well as an amazing series of wetlands at the headwaters of the Lamoille. Check out the article on Black Bear den checks occurring this spring with our partners at Fish and Wildlife. Also in this issue is an update from our trackers, and a deep dive into the expansion of sugaring operations in Vermont, and what this means for the future of our forests, and those (human or otherwise) which call them home. We hope you enjoy it.