Securing habitat connectivity
The northern Green Mountains are a key linkage area in the Staying Connected Initiative.
Habitat connectivity needs vary, depending on the species.
The Staying Connected Initiative and the local Hawk Hill Committee arranged a series of walks and talks last winter and spring called Discovering Hawk Hill. Here, field trip leader Helen Mango explains the influence of geology to some of the youngest participants.
Hawk Hill is 230 acres of conserved land in Brandon that is owned by Otter Valley Union High School and managed by the Hawk Hill Committee of school, town and citizen representatives who consider the land a key area for wildlife.
Hawk Hill is part of a wildlife corridor connecting the Green Mountains and the Adirondacks. Now a place of forests and trails, it was once a thriving community.
Staying Connected Linkage Coordinator Monica Erhart leads a wildlife walk at Hawk Hill on a chilly February day.
Finding a path for wildlife: From left, Chuck Dominie of the Poultney-Mettowee Conservation District, Kathy Doyle of Green Mountain College, and Annette Smith of Vermonters for a Clean Environment pore over maps of the Adirondacks to Green Mountains linkage.
Even in the northern reaches of the Green Mountains, here in the Bakersfield area, it's not easy for animals to reach food sources without having to cross roads.
Volunteers with Cold Hollow to Canada, representing seven towns, look for bear signs in the northern Green Mountains.
Wildlife tracking expert Sue Morse helps groups track animals like fishers.
The northern Green Mountains provide important animal habitat and Staying Connected aims to protect and enhance connectivity here.