Forest Management at Preston Pond Conservation Area in Bolton



December 18, 2018

Forest management activities on the Preston Pond Conservation Area (PPCA), a conserved forested parcel owned by the Town of Bolton, will continue this winter. This activity will include the strategic harvesting of trees, designed to increase species and structural diversity in the forest, improve wildlife habitat, capture value in mature and declining trees, encourage the growth and development of a healthy forest, demonstrate responsible forest stewardship and to highlight Vermont’s working landscape. This harvest will also seek to promote the resiliency of the PPCA to climate change, natural disturbances, and the invasion of exotic pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB).

Promoting biological diversity in the PPCA advances one of its primary objectives: “to conserve and protect biological diversity, wildlife habitats, unfragmented forest, natural communities, riparian buffers and native flora and fauna.”

The forest management activities, which began last winter, will be supervised and marked by Chittenden County Forester Ethan Tapper, with timber harvesting conducted by Bolton logger Kyle Pratt, who lives across Stage Road from the PPCA. This harvesting will be done in accordance with the PPCA’s Forest Management Plan (FMP).

In addition to demonstrating responsible forest stewardship, this operation will showcase the production of local, renewable resources from this public forest, and give the public opportunities to engage with this important aspect of Vermont’s working landscape. There have been several public walks of the property over the past year before, during and after last winter’s harvesting, and there will be similar opportunities this winter. Stay tuned to Front Porch Forum and the Bolton Gazette for details.

In addition to hardwood logs, this harvest will produce a large amount of firewood, a portion of which will go to Bolton residents for a small fee. In the winter of 2017-18, 60 cords of log-length firewood were distributed among 20 Bolton residents.

The PPCA is a 403.2-acre forested parcel, owned by the town of Bolton and located between Stage Road and Notch Road, near the village of West Bolton. The property features beaver ponds and wetlands, cliffs, and a large amount of upland forest. The property is protected from subdivision and development by a conservation easement, held by the Vermont Land Trust and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB).

The Forest Management Plan for the PPCA can be found on the Bolton Town Website at