January 17, 2019

Comment period extended for Camel’s Hump management plan

The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is extending the opportunity to provide public comment on a draft management plan for a group of conserved lands in the Camel’s Hump area of central Vermont.

Five meetings have already been held to gather public input on the draft. The comment period has been extended through Jan. 15, with comments being accepted by email at ANR.CamelsHump@Vermont.gov or by mail to the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation, 111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT 05452-4695.

The draft plan is available for review at goo.gl/PchBei.

The plan covers Camel’s Hump State Park, Camel’s Hump State Forest, Robbins Mountain Wildlife Management Area and Huntington Gap Wildlife Management Area.

At 26,000 acres, the area is one of the largest tracts of unbroken forest in the state, supporting a diverse range of wildlife and wild plant species and hosting thousands of visitors a year for hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, biking, hunting, fishing and more.

The draft plan allows expansion of hiking, mountain biking and cross-country ski trail networks, as well as the potential management of backcountry ski glades. At the same time, the plan restricts rock climbing to a small portion of the area to protect a unique community of cliff-dwelling plants, and identifies large portions of the area that would not be open to new trails or recreational uses.

Timber harvesting has long been part of the management plan for this area, and sustainable harvesting on less than one-third of the overall acreage is also proposed in the new plan. The vast majority of this management will adhere to “uneven-aged management,” which mimics naturally occurring disturbances like storms or insect damage and maintains species diversity and multiple age classes of trees. Not only will the proposed harvesting improve forest health and promote ecosystem resilience, but it will also support Vermont’s forest economy and provide forest products.

“We think the draft plan meets the needs of multiple user groups while still supporting the forest economy and maintaining the fragile natural resources that make this place so special,” said Jason Nerenberg, district stewardship forester with the agency.

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