New Wildlife Management Area to Be Established

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The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department announces the establishment of a new 360-acre Wildlife Management Area in Pittsford, Vermont. The new WMA contains a rich and diverse mixture of woodland, grassland and wetland along the flood plain of Otter Creek and is considered outstanding fish and wildlife habitat.

The project, which has taken five years to complete, represents a joint effort by the U.S. Department of Agriculture/Natural Resources Conservation Service, Ducks Unlimited, Inc., the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. It involved the efforts of many people, both in the public and private sectors.

The property was formerly owned by Edward "Babe" Pomainville, who was born on the property and operated it as a dairy farm until 1986.

In 2003, the USDA/NRCS and Mr. Pomainville signed a Wetland Reserve Agreement, which placed 356 acres of his farm under a perpetual easement. Under this agreement, a jointly prepared management plan will create a forested buffer along Otter Creek, expand existing woodlands, maintain grasslands for nesting birds, and restore 46 acres of formerly drained wetlands through a series of ditch plugs. This agreement represents the largest wetland reserve project ever completed in Vermont. The Wetland Reserve Program is one of several voluntary cost-shared wildlife habitat conservation programs offered to private landowners under the Farm Bill passed by Congress in 2002.

Excluded from this agreement is a 30-acre parcel with several barns and a farmhouse, which was recently sold.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department will acquire 360 acres with funds provided by the Vermont Duck Stamp Program and Ducks Unlimited Inc. The additional four acres acquired will provide two small parking areas along U.S. Route 7.

"This project would not have happened without the efforts of many individuals and organizations," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Wayne Laroche. "In particular, we would like to acknowledge and thank Sally Eugair, USDA/NRCS, who coordinated the Wetland Reserve Agreement, and Ducks Unlimited, who purchased the property last year and held onto it while the department completed the necessary reviews and approvals. We also want to thank the Pomainville family for their generosity and foresightedness in wanting this outstanding property conserved." In recognition of the family, the department intends to name the parcel The Pomainville Wildlife Management Area. A dedication to complete this project is scheduled for 10 a.m., June 3, at the farmhouse now owned by Mr. Thor Konwin.