Clean Water Funds Address Water Quality Protection on Popular Forest Road


November 28, 2018

Orange, Vt. -The Butterfield Mountain Road in the towns of Orange, Groton and Topsham in the Groton State Forest is popular with anglers, hunters, runners, bikers, and snowmobilers. It’s the main vehicular access off Highway 302 for the Butterfield Mountain Block of the forest which is a headwaters for the Waits River. This portion of the river is one of central Vermont’s premier trout streams, so the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) has targeted the Butterfield Mountain Road for upgrades.

“We have been improving stream crossings here by replacing culverts with bridges for the past decade,” said Brad Greenough, State Lands Forester in the Central VT office of FPR. “But we also wanted to improve the road surface to reduce sediment movement and to decrease maintenance needs.” 

The district applied for a grant under the Ecosystem Restoration Program (ERP), administered by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  With support from the Watershed Planner in DEC, the district received funds to improve nearly twenty roadway sections where visible erosion was routinely observed.

The project contract was awarded to Chief Crushing & Excavation Inc. of South Ryegate for the spot application and compaction of crushed aggregate stone on nearly two miles of the Butterfield Mountain Road this fall. This surfacing material is more resistant to erosion than the native granitic soils. The contractor installed broad-based dips which are drivable depressions in the road surface at critical spots in the road surface that slow rainwater and turn it away from streams where it could carry sediment into streams. The completed project protects watershed values for the Waits River like clean water and healthy trout while keeping a local recreation access in good shape.