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18, 2017, the Chittenden Select Board held a special meeting to discuss the potential purchase of a sizeable piece of Chittenden by the Green Mountain National Forest (GMNF).About 17 people attended, in addition to the entire Select Board, three planning commissioners and representatives of the Green Mountain National Forest and the New Hampshire-Vermont Trust for Public Land.To cover the other costs associated with the purchase, TPL must raise private funds privately, including winning a grant from the Lintilhac Foundation for this project.Funds for GMNF’s acquisition would come from the federal Bureau of Land Management’s Land & Water Conservation Fund for FY18.It was explained at the Chittenden meeting that since GMNF is not interested in being a landlord, the leased lots would be offered to the camp owners at fair market value as determined by an independent appraiser.
People interested in this opportunity can contact Chris Mattrick in the Rochester District, keeping in mind that the policy would not apply until and if the GMNF takes ownership of the property.
In addition, he noted that new private landowner(s) could close off the use of both the Long and Catamount trails, unless protected by easement, forcing them to be moved.
While not wilderness, Rolston Rest qualifies for “diverse back-country” management, meaning an effort to preserve the sights, sounds and feel of remote back country, with the natural mix of tree species and wildlife habitat, allowing natural forces to operate, and an unobtrusive human presence, including a prohibition on towers of any kind.
Associated with that, “diverse forest use” would manage for more general recreation, including campsites and bike or snowmobile trails, with care to enhance enjoyment of the forest through preserving sources.”larger trees, viewpoints and “forest communities.”While TPL owns the property, it will not be bound by GMNF policies and management plans, Mattrick said.
However, a joint statement by TPL and GMNF describes TPL’s mission as “protecting strategic and important forestland that protects recreational access, connected wildlife habitat, working lands, and drinking water.
GMNF acquisition of Rolston Rest would occur in two phases, Wanner explained to the Mountain Times.