Green Mountain Power (GMP) has announced that it will conserve more than 2,700 acres of land in the Northeast Kingdom region of Vermont. The land is being protected as part of GMP's Kingdom Community Wind project on Lowell Mountain.
When the Public Service Board (PSB) approved the 21-turbine project in May 2011, it included a condition that GMP obtain easements of "adequate size and location" to address fragmentation of habitat caused by the project. In an order entered on Dec. 23, 2011, the PSB approved GMP's proposal to conserve 1,662 acres of wildlife habitat on two parcels in Eden, Vt.
In addition to the two parcels just approved for conservation in Eden, GMP has also conserved approximately 1,070 acres on Lowell Mountain. Of these acres, 778 acres will be conserved in perpetuity, and another 292 acres will be conserved for the life of the project plus 25 years.
In its order approving the connectivity easements, the PSB noted that the primary purpose of the easements is to conserve and protect ecological and landscape connectivity between the Lowell Mountain and Green River reservoir habitat blocks.
The easements will also allow production of sustainable forestry resources, sustainable management of soil resources, and conservation of scenic and natural resources, according to GMP.