Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Norwich — The Upper Valley Land Trust says it has acquired conservation easements to protect more than 70 acres of open space in the hilly terrain near the Norwich-Hartford town line, helping to expand a greenway of conserved land near the Appalachian Trail corridor.
Landowners John and Judy Wiggin donated a conservation easement on more than 60 acres near Griggs Mountain in Norwich, just north of the Jericho Rural Historic District that extends into Hartford, the land trust said in a news release last week.
John Wiggin’s great-grandfather, Philip Lyman, bought the property during the Civil War and raised horses there for the Union Army. It stayed in the family through several generations, and the Wiggins live in a farmhouse that dates back to 1793.
The land includes several nonmotorized trails and is next to the Appalachian Trail corridor.
A Vermont Association of Snow Travelers snowmobile trail also runs through the southern part of the property.
The Wiggin property includes high-value forest habitat, native species and a stream and vernal pool which now have the protection of a buffer zone, the land trust release said.
In addition, Elisabeth Russell this summer bought a 12-acre parcel adjoining the 118-acre Cossingham Farm, which she had helped conserve in 2002. Protecting the 12-acre parcel is “consistent with the goals of the Norwich Conservation Commission and with (the land trust’s) mission to help conserve unfragmented core forest areas for the benefit of wildlife, water quality and scenic and recreational enjoyment by the general public,” the news release said.
In July of this year, a separate parcel, a 49-acre “Podunk Forest” parcel, was also the subject of a conservation easement, according to the land trust.
Efforts at obtaining conservation easements in the so-called Norwich-Hartford Neighborhood Greenway Project began in 1993, and the land trust said more than 1,230 acres of land in the project area are now conserved and protected from development.