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Clarification on ATVs on Carpenter Park

From: Isaac Bissell
Sent: Tuesday, January 16, 2024 4:15 PM
To: Robert Blanchard <>;; ‘Ethan Hill’ <>
Cc: Maya Bower <>
Subject: Carpenter Park, Washington – Proposed ATV Trail

Good Afternoon Fred, Robbie and Ethan,

I am emailing to follow up on our conversation about the proposed ATV trail at the Carpenter Park property in Washington that occurred this past August. We had a chance to visit the site with a State of Vermont wetlands ecologist this fall to do a preliminary walk of the portion of proposed ATV trail that is on the Carpenter Park Property. We also walked along the western boundary of the conserved parcel to get an idea of any wetland characteristics that are in proximity to the old logging trail that is just to the west of the conserved land and from which the proposed trail would enter Carpenter park. The map below depicts the approximate boundaries of the wetlands in blue (approximate because this site visit did not constitute a full wetlands determination). There is a portion of the wetlands on the conserved parcel that the ATV trail would need to cross. It appears that there is not a viable path to building the trail on the conserved parcel without crossing this portion of the wetlands. While not subject to the conservation easement because it is not located on the conserved parcel, the wetlands ecologist noted that the old logging trail to the west of the conserved parcel is likely within the wetland buffer, and if this is the case a wetlands permit would be required to make improvements to the logging trail. Further north where the proposed trail would cross the stream and the associated wetlands, he was more certain that a wetlands permit would be required.

Based on this site visit, we feel that the proposed ATV trail is inconsistent with the purposes of the conservation easement. The easement includes the protection of the natural resources of the property as a primary purpose, and lists the wetlands as one of the attributes associated with the purposes of the easement. Providing opportunities for public recreation is listed as a purpose of the easement, but it is stated to be a secondary objective. While providing opportunities for public recreation is a critical part of VHCB’s mission, in this instance we need to balance recreational needs against the protection of the other conservation values associated with this easement.

In the case of this parcel, particularly given that one of the primary reasons for conserving the land was due to the wetlands and the associated natural resource values, we feel that it would not be appropriate to approve an ATV trail that crosses the wetlands.

We understand that you may find our perspective disappointing, and we would be happy to schedule a time either at the carpenter park property, or virtually, to talk through our concerns and the findings of the wetland ecologist. Please let me know if you would like to set up a time to meet.


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