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An extra-special day to ski in the nearly-conserved Bolton backcountry trail network!

Looking up at a portion of the Bolton backcountry today.

Great powder in the woods!

The Bryant Cabin.

Skiing along a piece of the Catamount Trail.

Isn't life funny sometimes?

Just as I started my climb up the Bryant trail on the Bolton Valley backcountry trail network today, an email was received and waiting on my iPhone in my backpack. The email announced that the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry and the Vermont Land Trust had done it: we successfully completed the fundraising campaign!

You'll be glad to know that because of the effort and generosity of many Vermonters, the Bolton Valley Nordic & Backcountry land is on its way to being conserved forever. The land trust may now close on the 1,161-acre parcel and then transfer it to the state to become part of the Mt. Mansfield State Forest.

Folks, this is huge. $1.8 million dollars was raised through grants and donations to make this happen! I had a very small role on the outreach committee, but I am so very happy that I was involved in this project!

Congratulations to all those who had a part in saving the Bolton backcountry!

<link http: initiatives bolton external-link-new-window land>See more information and photos on the Vermont Land Trust website. The press release is at the bottom of this blog post. ⇓

<link http: post vermont-land-trust-steps-in-to-help-skiers-hikers-protect-bolton-valleys-nordic-and-backcountry-l _top external-link-new-window>Here’s a link to our original post on this project.

Today's Ski Tour in the Bolton Backcountry

So, back to the skiing today. What a gorgeous day to be out there! It was sunny and the snow was light and fluffy. Just popping my pole into the side of the trail I saw that the powder was at least a foot deep at the bottom of Bryant trail, and deeper above the cabin.

I made some of best tele turns ever coming down between some trees on Gardiner’s Lane. It was sweet!

I had my plastic Scarpa T4s on and that makes a huge difference for turning in powder as compared to when I wear my leather-like Karhu boots.

I turned around a few times to see my tracks in the snow and I caught myself grinning. After working in front a computer all week, this was the attitude adjustment that I needed!

Get out on the snow while the gettin’s good!


Vermont Land Trust Meets Fundraising Goal to Save Bolton Nordic and Backcountry Land

The Vermont Land Trust announced today that it has raised all the money needed to purchase and conserve more than 1,100 acres of the Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry land. 

Thanks to the outpouring of generosity of so many people, organizations, and business the 15-month, $1.85 million campaign was a resounding success. The project will have an official closing this spring and the land will be transferred to the State of Vermont as an addition to Mount Mansfield State Forest. 

"The Bolton land, its trails, remote forest and wildlife certainly captured the imagination of people from all walks of life,” said Gil Livingston, President of the Vermont Land Trust. “This success is a testament to our community: the people, the recreation equipment businesses, the philanthropists and the state leaders who know our collective health and the future of Vermont are tied to the great outdoors." 

The Vermont Land Trust received more than 1,200 gifts in support of the project, ranging from $1 raffle tickets to three anonymous donors’ $100,000 contributions. Many businesses lent support with events, raffles, and in-kind and financial contributions. A grant from the Conservation Alliance of $50,000 closed the final fundraising gap with just a week and a half to go to the fundraising deadline. The project would not have been possible without an $800,000 grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. 

“Just over two years ago, a handful of dedicated skiers came together to prevent the sale of a beautiful niche of Vermont forest that would have closed the land to public use,” Ann Gotham, the leader of the Friends of Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry recalled.  “The passion to conserve this much loved parcel ignited the hearts, minds and passions to a large community of people of all ages, extending far past the borders of Vermont. Thank you to every single person who has made this momentous accomplishment happen!”

While the money to purchase and conserve the land has been raised, there is still work to be done. The final purchase is expected to happen this spring. After which, the land will be transferred to the State of Vermont as an addition to the Mount Mansfield State Forest.

“The Bolton Valley Nordic and Backcountry property has a rich history of outdoor recreation, and it is part of a large block of important wildlife habitat,” said Kate Willard of the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation. “We are excited about the prospect of adding this land to Mt. Mansfield State Forest and keeping it available to the public."

The land trust is still accepting funds toward the project. “VLT and the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation are creating a fund for the future care of this land and the quality of peoples’ outdoor experiences there,” said Elise Annes, V.P for Community Relations of the Vermont Land Trust. “Any further donations met will be added to this fund.”

The land management fund will be used for physical maintenance and improvements to trails, roads, parking areas, shelters, recreational facilities, and other recreational infrastructure and management needs on the land.

When the Bolton land is transferred to the State, the State will be issuing a license agreement to the Bolton Valley Resort to continue management of the Nordic and backcountry trail system, and the Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation will take on ultimate management responsibility for the property.

“Every so often a conservation opportunity comes along that is at the heart of what Vermonters want to hold onto,” said Elise. “By helping to protect the Bolton Nordic and backcountry land, hundreds of volunteers, donors and supporters have made their wishes known – public recreation and natural habitat are a part of what makes Vermont special.”

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