- Somerset Old-Growth Forest
Thursday, March 29 – 9:30 AM – 3 PM. (This trip is highly dependent on weather and snow conditions so date and time are tentative.) WRWA Members Only
County Forester Bill Guenther will lead a tour to a Somerset woodlot in what we believe to be a stand of old growth, which consists mostly of yellow birch. This 60-acre property was a gift to Leland & Gray High School many years ago. About 12-15 acres of this property are stocked with the big birches, the remainder in spruce/fir and beaver flowage.
Bill went out last spring just before leaf-out and measured what he thought was the largest yellow birch. Since the State champion yellow birch died up in Victory few years ago, a new champ was crowned out here in Somerset.
We offer this trip only to WRWA members and the group size is limited to 12. Bill will need to hear from you by March 20th if you are interested in going. We need a minimum of five folks to sign up for the trip, so please contact Bill by phone or email to let him know you want to go.
We will meet in West Brattleboro at 9:30 a.m. to carpool (with a later stop in Wilmington) as parking can be very limited out there in the winter. We will travel 1.5 miles up the Old County Road to the western edge of the property, then bushwhack east out to the old growth. We recommend that people bring a combination of skis and snowshoes: skis for the road and snowshoes for the bushwhack woods where brush complicates movement on skis. So take your pick, but Bill probably will bring both.
At about lunchtime, we’ll stop at the campsite and have a picnic lunch. It will be a nice warm-up if you also bring a thermos of your favorite hot beverage. After lunch we’ll head out into the birch stand and look at these magnificent specimens; many are well over three feet in diameter.
We hope to conclude our day by about 3 p.m. Keep in mind that Somerset is the icebox of Windham County, and even though the trip will take place in March, we could easily have some pretty severe winter conditions, so dress warmly and in layers. We want to assure a safe and enjoyable day for everyone.
You need to call Bill Guenther at 257-7967 X 305 to reserve a spot, get the specific meeting place, and to make sure you’ve got the right gear. This trip is moderate to somewhat strenuous, and we’ll be a long way from anywhere. Bill also needs to ensure that the private road up to the dam has been plowed. Adverse road conditions could cause us to cancel. Spring comes very late out there!
- Sugar House Tour 2018
Saturday, March 24, 2018, 1:00 p.m. Dave Matt’s Sugar House, Marlboro
This season will be the 38th year that we’ve been sugaring on this farm and like most smaller operations, it’s truly a family operation with my Dad, both my sons, and my grandkids all helping out. As far as I can determine, my sugarhouse is the third one to be built on this property, and over the years we’ve done three major rebuilds as our needs and equipment have changed. We currently set around 1800 taps and make 450 to 500 gallons a year. About 1200 taps run directly to the sugarhouse and are on vacuum. The other 600 taps are gravity lines that empty into 3 separate tanks and are gathered with a 500 gallon tank on a pick-up truck. We do not have a reverse osmosis machine, but we have a 5X16 wood fired evaporator with a steam-away, so boiling gets done relatively quickly. Wood is cut, split, and piled on racks and stored in a shed with greenhouse panels and solar powered fans to heat and move the air so the wood we burn is very dry. The racks are brought to the sugarhouse with forks on a loader and set inside near the arch. We fire right from these racks, making handling as efficient as possible. I hope you can make it on March 24th, I’d love to show you around!
– Dave Matt
- Wildlife Patch Cut Tour -Lee and Diana Todd’s woodlot
Saturday, October 7, 2:00-3:30 p.m. Lee and Diana Todd’s woodlot in Halifax
Tour of a wildlife patch cut after three years of regrowth.
Landowners Diana and Lee Todd will host a second WRWA visit to their patch cut in Halifax, Vt. What does a site cleared with a forest mulcher (aka Brontosaurus) look like after three growing seasons? Come take a look at a patch cut that was cleared in the fall of 2014. The project’s goal is to develop early successional habitat for wildlife. The patch is at the intersection of two roads, so it’s very visible to the neighbors. The typical reaction after the work was done: “It looks like a bomb went off!” On this field trip, we will see how the patch has changed since the cut, the vegetation that is colonizing the site, and the wildlife that has returned.
The patch cut is directly across the road from the house. We’ll walk along the road a bit, then ramble through the flat, easy terrain of the patch itself, covering no more than about a half mile. Wear footwear suitable for uneven surfaces and bring insect and tick repellant.
For more information, contact Diana Todd at
From Brattleboro: From exit 2 of I-91, take Route 9 west for about 12.5 miles. At a big bend in the road just before ascending Hogback Mountain, turn left (south) onto Butterfield Rd. Follow Butterfield Road about 3.5 miles until it ends at a T-intersection. Turn right (west) onto Hatch School Road and go a few hundred yards to the first house on the left (#273, white house, white barn). Park on the lawn. (It’s tough. It can take it.)
From Wilmington: Take Route 9 east. After passing the 100-mile view at Hogback, descend the mountain and take the first right (south) onto Butterfield Road. (Just before this turn, there will be a blue-roofed barn on the north side of Route 9.) Then follow the directions as above.
- Cersosimo Lumber Company Tour
Thursday, October 5, 5:00 – 7:00 P.M. Cersosimo Lumber Company Mill in Vernon
Cersosimo Lumber Company will host WRWA at their facility in Vernon, Vermont. This sawmill operation produces hardwood lumber and White Pine lumber from local forests that reaches markets all over the globe.
Dress appropriately for a short walk; closed-toed footwear is required. Our hosts will provide hearing protection and safety glasses. All participants must be at least 12-years old, and no pets are allowed on the tour.
If you plan to attend, please contact Eric Parenti (802-254-4508 ext. 129- office, 603-355-6980 – cell, Eparenti@cersosimo.com) by September 29 so that Cersosimo will know how many guests to prepare for.
From the south end of Main Street in Brattleboro (near the Brattleboro Food Co-op) go east towards the bridge over the Connecticut River. Just beyond Main Street, make a quick right turn (south) onto Route 142. (Do not go over the bridge into N.H.). Continue south about two miles, looking for a red Cersosimo office building on the right (west side of Route 142). Park across the road from the red building.
- WRWA Annual Meeting and Potluck Lunch
Molly Stark State Park, 705 Route 9 East, Wilmington, Vt.
Saturday, September 9 (Rain or shine), 9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
IMPORTANT: Please provide information by Thursday, September 7, if you plan to attend the meeting. Please let Carol Morrison (WindhamWoodlands@gmail.com) know whether you would prefer a hamburger made from locally produced beef, Grand Kosher hot dog (low-fat, no filler), or a Vegetarian Burger. Your timely notification will help to ensure that we have adequate grill foods. You are welcome to enjoy more than one of the items; just let Carol know. Thank you!
Registration: Enjoy coffee and donuts while visiting with Woodlands friends, old and new.
Welcome to Molly Stark State Park
Brief business meeting presided over by WRWA President Marli Rabinowitz.
Tour led by Tim Morton, State Forester from Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, of this winter’s spruce patch clear-cuts designed by FPR and completed by Long View Forests Inc. The purpose of this cut was to increase trail views and enhance habitat for snowshoe hare while protecting existing recreation trails and park infrastructure. The project features large openings; retained connector habitat; riparian zone protection; and salvage of declining spruce, ash, and fir timber. If there is time, we will look at some of the hardwood areas and patch cuts that will be harvested next winter (if we have one!).
Grill Master (and Windham/Windsor Counties Forester) Sam Schneski will cook our hamburgers, hot dogs, and vegetarian burgers. If you can, please bring a potluck dish to share as well as a suitable serving utensil. At a recent meeting, Past President Stu Thurber remarked that the lunch gets better each year! Again, please let Carol Morrison (WindhamWoodlands@gmail.com) know by September 7 whether you will want a hamburger, hot dog, vegetarian burger (or all the above!) If you do not have e-mail, please call Dana Ruppert at Bill Guenther’s office (802-257-7967, Ext. 302).
Diana Todd (President of Hogback Mountain Conservation Association and past WRWA Trustee) will make a presentation about HMCA’s 10-year program to develop Early Successional Habitat on the former ski slopes in the conservation area. This experimental program hopes to combine ESH-generation with recreational use of the former ski slopes. Diana will share preliminary results for this program that is now in its fifth year.
Bill Guenther, Windham County Forester, will provide a legislative update and update on wood products market.
Let’s have a “Green” Meeting! Molly Stark State Park provides a pleasant outdoor meeting venue. As in recent years, we continue to strive to “green” the meeting. To help, we ask that everyone be part of the “Green Team.”
What to bring:
Potluck dish for lunch, including a serving utensil
Travel mug for beverages
Chair, if you prefer a seat with a back. There also is ample seating at the picnic benches.
For the field trip, suitable footwear for forest trails with moderate hills; insect and tick repellant; and, if it suits your needs or style, walking sticks.
$7.00 registration fee per person to cover grilling supplies and other meeting expenses
(Note: You do NOT need to pay the park admission fee to attend the WRWA meeting.)
Coming from the East, take exit 2 from Interstate 91. Turn right (west) onto Route 9 and go about 15 miles. Turn left into the Park and proceed along the paved road to the picnic pavilion.
Coming from the West, at the intersection of Routes 9 and 100 in downtown Wilmington, go east on Route 9 for 3.3 miles. Turn right into the Park and proceed along the paved road to the picnic pavilion.
Please park in the designated parking area near the park office. If we need overflow parking, a park representative will direct the cars.
The Park does allow dogs that are on a leash. If you bring your dog, please do so only if it is well socialized to people and other dogs. Keep your dog on a short leash (< 6 feet), bring a water bowl, and clean up after your pet.
- Doug Cox’s Violin Shop Tour
Friday, August 4, 3:30-5:00 p.m.
WRWA will visit the most skilled luthier (maker of stringed instruments) in New England. Local craftsman Doug Cox studied his craft in Mittenwald, Germany, at one of the oldest violin schools in the world. Doug will open his Brattleboro shop to us for a look at how these fine instruments, worth more than their weight in gold, are produced. This tour will offer a look into the maximum economic value added that our local woodlands can provide.
Due to space restrictions, attendance is limited to 18 participants, and all must be at lease 16 years old. If you want to attend, please contact County Forester Bill Guenther by July 28 at Bill.Guenther@vermont.gov or 802-257-7967 (ext. 305). Bill will provide all participants with the West Brattleboro carpool location, where participants will meet at 3:15 p.m.
WRWA is offering this program first to members. After July 28, we will open up any available slots to the public. Please note that Doug’s studio is not wheelchair accessible.
- Scott Farm Timber Harvest Tour
July 25, Tuesday, 5:30 PM. Forester Tour of Recent Timber Harvest on Scott Farm.
Join Consulting Forester Ian Martin and County Forester Bill Guenther, for a tour of a recent timber harvest on a portion of the historic 500+ acre Scott Farm in Dummerston. The harvesting crew from Long View Forest Inc. in Westminster used a mechanical harvester and a forwarder, and hand-felled some of the larger trees. Most of the volume removed was large over-mature white pines that yielded high volumes per acre. During the tour, we will discuss some white pine health problems that we have seen in recent years, including needle blights and Caliciopsis canker.
The tour is family friendly, and can be enjoyed by all ages. Scott Farm will allow people to bring well-behaved dogs on short leashes. The terrain is moderate, mostly on logging roads, though we will walk on some logging slash. Given our local tick populations, please be safe and use repellent. As we can have warm weather in July, participants should also bring water for hydration.
Parking is limited at the tour site, so we will carpool from Dummerston Town Office (1523 Middle Road) in Dummerston Center. Please arrive at the Town Office by 5:30 p.m., so that we can arrange the carpooling and use as few vehicles as possible. The tour site is just a few minutes drive from the Town Office.
For more information, contact County Forester Bill Guenther at Bill.Guenther@vermont.gov or 802-257-7967 (ext.305)
- Vermont Coverts -Woodland Owner Cooperator Training
This program is not sponsored by WRWA but may be of interest some members
September 8-10th, Woodland Owner Cooperator Training
Do you love your woodland? Enjoy seeing birds and other wildlife? Want to learn how a healthy forest can enhance wildlife habitat, provide recreational and timber benefits? Are you interested in reaching out to others in your community? If you answered yes to any of these then join us for the Coverts Woodland Owner Training. It will allow you to connect with resource professionals and other landowners just like you while learning how you can improve your woodland. The fall program dates are September 8-10 and will be held at Kehoe Conservation Camp in Hydeville, VT. Space is limited so register now! The program is free! To learn more, see a sample agenda or download an application visit our website atwww.vtcoverts.org. You can also contact us by calling Lisa Sausville at 802-877-2777 or e-mail .
- Sugarhouse Tour at Bunker Farm
March 25, Saturday, 11 AM. Sugarhouse Tour at Bunker Farm
The 110-acre Bunker Farm is run by two families with expertise in naturally raising meats, annuals, and perennials, as well as maple syrup. The farm is also an agricultural educational center for students and the community. Visit the sugarhouse, watch the boiling process, and sample the delicious syrup, which won Best In Show at the 2016 Maplerama tasting competition. Take a tour of the 16-acre working sugar bush and visit with the farm animals. This family-friendly event is free and open to the public. Bunker Farm is located at 857 Bunker Road, Dummerston. More information and directions here.
- Big Tree Tour 2017
November 11, Saturday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. — The BIG Tree Tour (rain or shine)
Bill Guenther, Windham County Forester, will once again lead a daylong tour to view some of the largest trees in Windham County, either champions or significant trees on the Vermont Big Tree Register. The tour is free and open to the public. We ask that you please leave your dog at home.
Participants need to wear sturdy footgear and clothes to match the weather, and to bring water and lunch. Lunch will likely be from 12:30 – 1:00 p.m. at the Newfane Courthouse.
The tour will kick off at the information booth on the Brattleboro Common at the intersection of Park Place and Putney Road. There is ample parking on nearby streets. After a brief intro, we will walk to the first tree at the Inn on Putney Road B&B, walk back to our cars and then drive to the rest. From the start in Brattleboro, we will finish the tour in Harmonyvillle (hamlet in the Town of Townshend).
Most of these trees are found on private property; therefore, folks on the tour are encouraged to carpool to lessen the impact of the tour. It is also very difficult to keep a lot of cars together, so it is hoped that participants will be willing to carpool together wherever possible.
After a short introduction, the tour will depart at 8:45 SHARP, so don’t be late! For more information contact Bill Guenther at the Extension Service Office, 257-7967, Ext. 305. or
A booklet will be provided that includes the day’s schedule, types of trees, locations, and tree identification information. There is also an explanation of how to take the three measurements that are used to qualify a tree for the Big Tree Register.
The tour involves driving from one area to the next, then walking to the big trees, which are spread out around the county. There will be seven trees on the tour this year. The last 6 trees are within 100 yards of parking.
In the morning, we will visit what will likely become the state’s largest Japanese Maple, which we will measure on the tour. Following that will be the Runner-up Black Cherry, State Champion Red Mulberry, and the runner-up Butternut at the late Esther Falk’s residence.
For those who wish to join just the afternoon portion of the tour, you can link up with the group at the Newfane Courthouse between 12:30 and 1:00 p.m. The afternoon will include visits to three champion trees – Apple, Sycamore, and White Pine.
Please contact Bill Guenther or check back at the WRWA website, http://windhamwoodlands.org/, to confirm the final schedule.