Precious little ancient forest still exists on the shores of Lake Champlain, but in our community one special stretch of old-growth forest occurs between Essex and Westport. From the Lee Trust land on Rose Point to the Rock Harbor land on Dickenson’s Point, there are towering giants of hemlock, maple, and oak on the rich inland soils, and equally ancient smaller, gnarled, oaks on the rocky windswept coast. Part of this forest has recently been recognized by the national Old-Growth Forest Network.
Recognizing the ecological uniqueness of this forest, when an 8-acre parcel on Dickenson’s Point became available for sale, in 2006, the Eddy Trust purchased it. Then they put a conservation easement on the parcel that would allow one home to be built in an existing clearing, but would protect the rest of the forest on their parcel as ‘forever wild.’ The easement was donated to the Eddy Foundation.
This action was in keeping with the Eddy Foundation’s mission of protecting clean air, old growth and wild forests, unpolluted lakes, rivers and streams. They are specifically working to purchase and protect lands in the ‘Split Rock Wildway‘ – a green corridor of land from the Adirondack Mountains to the shores of Lake Champlain where wild animals can roam free. This parcel is considered part of the Wildway.
The Old-Growth Forest Network is the first national organization working specifically to preserve ancient forests for the enjoyment of present and future generations. They recognize exceptional forest advocates, educate about the extraordinary ecological benefits of old-growth forests, and speak out regarding immediate threats to specific ancient forests. In counties capable of supporting forest growth they identify at least one forest that will be forever protected from logging and open to the public. In three years the Network has grown to include 44 forests in 14 states. The forests are listed on their website: www.oldgrowthforest.net. The Old-Growth Forest Network also recognizes private forest owners who have made the commitment to forgo logging income in favor of preserving biodiversity and beauty. The Dickenson’s Point forest at Rock Harbor is in this Private Forest Network.
This waterfront parcel on the rocky shores of Lake Champlain is also for sale and waiting for just the right nature lover to call it home.
- Split Rock Wildway: A Critical Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Where is the Split Rock Wildway? (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Naturalists Searching Champlain Valley for Rare Species (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Split Rock Wildway: Creating and Protecting a Wildlife Corridor (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)
- Beatrice Disogra’s Bald Eagles on Lake Champlain (www.essexonlakechamplain.com)