**Click here for a map of the Property**
The Pomainville project (named after the current landowner, Edward “Babe” Pomainville Jr) is located in Pittsford, VT, just 15 minutes north of the city of Rutland. The project includes the protection of over 356 acres of upland and wetland habitats through permanent easement, the restoration of prior converted wetlands and habitat enhancements in the uplands. Excluded from the easement is a 30-acre parcel with several barns and a farmhouse currently occupied by Mr. Pomainville. The property is bound on the east by busy US Route 7 and on the west by over 8000 lineal feet of Otter Creek, on of the most significant wetland ecosystems within the Lake Champlain Valley Watershed.
Mr. Pomainville, who was born in the farmhouse on the property, represents the second generation of his family to farm here. The property was once made up of four different farms that he acquired over time and incorporated into one. The Pomainville farm is recognized for its aesthetic quality and for its well-cared-for look that comes from hard work and prudent management. Testimony to his good stewardship lies in Mr. Pomainvilles selection, in 1976, as Master Dairyman, with the top herd in all of Rutland County. Now, ready for retirement and able to turn his attention to other things, he made the decision to protect this land from development so that people could enjoy its rich resources well into the future. He is quick to point out that this is done with respect to his family’s wish and not just his alone.
Sally Eugair, NRCS’s soil conservation technician, is particularly excited about this project, and rightly so. She is the one who worked so diligently with Mr. Pomainville to broken the deal that will result in a win for the landowner and a win for wildlife. The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will place the property under a permanent WRP conservation easement with the NRCS; this will protect the land from future development and keep it in open space. In the second phase, Mr. Pomainville has agreed to sell the land to the Department of Fish and Wildlife for what amounts to a bargain sale price. NRCS will provide 100% funding for many of the planned habitat improvements. Funds to purchase the property will be provided by DU and the Fish and Wildlife Duck Stamp Program. The USFWS has provided in-kind services for survey work and other technical input.
The Pomainville site will be established as a state Wildlife Management Area (WMA) and managed by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife to provide habitats for a variety of wildlife and recreational opportunities for the visiting public. All of the major stakeholders participated in the planning process to develop management and restoration strategies for the property. The results of this input will be used by the Department of Fish and Wildlife to formulate a management plan that will meet the needs of wildlife and will allow for appropriate public use. It is important to point out that the protection and restoration of the Pomainville property goes well beyond just benefits to wildlife. It will also help to improve water quality by filtering sediments and nutrients from the surrounding uplands, reduce the threat of flooding by providing longer retention of flood waters and reduce erosion.
We all owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Pomainville for his generosity and foresightedness and to Sally Eugair for the Natural Resources Conservation Service for her hard work and determination in making this project possible.
The process of finalizing the land transfer is moving along steadily. If you would like to recieve an invitation to the dedication, please contact Jeffrey Whiting at JeffinGoshen@aol.com
. The ceremony will be in the Spring/summer of 2005. Check back here for more details as they become available.