Schoolcraft River Corridor Easement

Wolcott, Vermont

Wild Branch

Wildlife & Watershed Protection
Wildlife & Watershed Protection
Wildlife & Watershed Protection
Wildlife & Watershed Protection
Conservation land, not open to the public. Please respect private landowners.
An easement here protects a stretch of Wild Branch River floodplain, helping keep downstream bridges, roads, and houses safer during floods.
Dogs not allowed
Dogs not allowed
  • Public access: No
Schoolcraft River Corridor Easement Wolcott, Vermont Wild Branch

Schoolcraft River Corridor Easement

“They don’t call it the Wild Branch for nothing” say the landowners living along its banks in Wolcott. After big floods, especially in 1995 and 2011, the Schoolcraft Family saw first-hand how much the Wild Branch River can move across the river valley. Years ago, the Schoolcrafts hayed fields right up to the edge of the river, but when rushing water hit the denuded banks, the water would simply carry away the soil. When the river carries extra sand and gravel like this, it’s bad news for downstream fish habitat. Plus, each flood would leave the Schoolcrafts with less and less land to hay.

After big floods, often state road crews swoop in to replace bridges, or FEMA buys out flooded properties. But those fixes are temporary, and don’t help the river itself to cause less damage. That’s where the Schoolcraft Family comes in. By protecting their land with a river corridor easement, the Schoolcrafts are committing the land to be part of the river’s natural migration across the valley floor. They still hay their fields, but they’ll let native trees and plants grow-up within 50-feet of the riverbank, helping hold soil in place. Though North Wolcott Road, and many houses, farms and bridges are not going anywhere, open, undeveloped floodplains like this can help lessen impacts from big storms.

Conservation Details

  • River: Wild Branch
  • Acreage: 8.50
  • River frontage (ft): 2,550

Funding Partners

This project made possible thanks to the support and partnership of:

  • Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Ecosystem Restoration Grant

Photos

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