Conservation Trust

The Mount Holly Conservation Trust (MHCT) is a nonprofit, volunteer organization whose mission is to preserve the beauty and character of Mount Holly through the conservation of land and natural resources that are valued by the community. Our primary objectives are to: (1) conserve specific parcels of land and/or natural resources, (2) educate the community about the value of conservation and the means of achieving it, (3) acquire financial resources for conservation, and (4) work with other organizations to promote the mission of the MHCT.

The MHCT is pleased to partner with The Conservation Fund, The Ninevah Foundation, and the Vermont Land Trust to secure a wildlife corridor linking the northern and southern sections of the Green Mountain National Forest with other state-owned and privately conserved lands. This will provide a contiguous corridor for black bear, moose, and other species as well as assure working landscape and recreational opportunities for the public in perpetuity. Mount Holly sits prominently in the middle of this corridor.


The Mount Holly Conservation Trust sponsors events, often in partnership with the Ninevah Foundation, to promote education and information about the flora and fauna in Mount Holly.  These programs typically involve a specialist about a topic or species and are offered free of charge to the community.  An email list is maintained to inform people about the programs.  Contact Brigid Sullivan to be added to the email list. 

A Sampling of Programs offered previously:

August 2013 — Michael Clough of the Southern Vermont Natural History Museum presented “Raptors and others Birds of Prey” that drew over 60 participants to the Mount Holly Community Association. This included families, environmentalists, and other community folks.  Michael had show-and-tell items including live birds.

July 2013 –- Chris Bernier and Cory Cheever from the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife presented an educational forum about beavers to a packed community center. They provided useful and fascinating information about the lives of beavers under water, in their houses and searching for food.  They also spoke about how to handle nuisance beavers

August 2012 — “Frogs, Turtles, Snakes and More” — Speaker and Naturalist James Andrews serves as coordinator of the Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas Project.   Andrews tracks frogs, toads, turtles and snakes in each Vermont town. He distributed an up-to-date list of those known to be living in Mount Holly and urged everyone to send him photos of many species that haven’t been documented in 25 years.  

July 2012 — “Meet the Moose” – Cedric Alexander, Moose Project Leader for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department for more than 20 years spoke about moose and their habitat to a packed house. Cedric knows about moose – their lives and habits, their history in Vermont and likely places to spot one.  Look for them at roadside “salt licks” created by road-salt runoff.

August  2011 — “Loons” – Eric Hanson, biologist with the Vermont Loon Recovery Project, Where the audience learned that just 25 years ago, common loons were disappearing from Vermont, with only 10 nesting pairs statewide. Now there are over 60 pairs — and the loons on Lake Ninevah have played a major role. The chicks they’ve produced since 1995 have likely helped colonize seven nearby water bodies.

July 2011 — “Bears” – Forrest Hammond of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department shared intriguing bear facts with the audience and answered questions at this popular presentation.

July, 2009 — Michael Lew Smith, MS and Kathy Doyle, Ph.D. presented “Natural History Inventory of Mount Holly,” An overview of the significant natural communities and wildlife habitats of Mount Holly documented and mapped by the environmental scientists of Arrowwood Environmental from 2006 to 2009 using remote identification and field verification.  Click HERE for the entire natural history report produced by Arrowwood Environmental.

Completed Projects:

§  2015 – Star Lake Dam reconstruction
The State of Vermont, Department of Dam Safety, had determined that the dam at Star Lake was a “safety hazard” and that it must be removed or rebuilt.  The dam’s removal would have drained Star Lake, originally created in 1790s.  The reconstruction project was undertaken because of an awesome $500,000 gift by the late Patricia Nye.   Over the next two years an additional $100,000 was donated from more than 280 local residents and friends, Vermont businesses and artists, and from Town organizations and Mt. Holly students.  This project was managed as a collaboration between the Mount Holly Select Board and the Mount Holly Conservation Trust and its committee, the Friends of Star Lake.  Star Lake is now preserved for generations to come.

§  2008 – The Conservation Fund purchased the 506 acre Richard Anderson property along Branch Brook Road with financial support for the project from the MHCT. This spectacular parcel of valley and mountainside is visible from Healdville Road and Hedgehog Hill Road. It provides additional contiguous habitat protection for bear, moose, beaver, and other wildlife that is critically important to their long term success. It provides yet another parcel in the fabric of protected parcels in Mount Holly, bringing the total to almost 1100 acres.

§  2006 – Easements were purchased next to the P.K. Brown parcel (400+/- acres), located in Mount Holly on the Ludlow town line at Buttermilk Falls by The Conservation Fund. This property was cleaned up with financial assistance from the MHCT. Protection of this highly visible property at the head of Buttermilk Falls ensures protection of stream quality and the wildlife corridor.

§  2005 – Lory and Pete Doolittle completed their private donation of a conservation easement on 70 acres of property on Bowlsville Road.

§  2004 – The Freeman/Fiske private donation of a conservation easement on 40 acres of property across from the Dana-Seward Project brought that total to 117 acres along Rte 155.

§  2003 – The Dana-Seward Farm Conservation Project conserved 77 acres of mixed farmland and woodland on Route 155 thanks to support from the Vermont Land Trust, the Freeman Foundation, and over 150 residents of Mount Holly who contributed to the project.

Board Members:

Andy Tanger,  President
Annette Lynch,  Vice President
Stephanie Smith,  Secretary
Ron Unterman,  Treasurer
Jim Corven
Philippe Crane
Minga Dana
Dottie Finnerty
​Jon McCann
Brigid Sullivan

MHCT Contact Information:

Mount Holly Conservation Trust
PO Box 85
Belmont, VT 05730
[email protected]

Click HERE for a membership form to join the Mount Holly Conservation Trust.
Thank you for your support!!