Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept Expands Southern Vt Wildlife Management Area
Posted on 02/23/2015
Carolyn Bates Atherton Meadows WMA

Media Contacts:  Jane Lazorchak, 802-505-0561; John Austin, 802-476-0197

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Expands Southern Vt Wildlife Management Area

WHITINGHAM, Vt. – The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recently expanded a wildlife management area (WMA) in Windham County.  An 80-acre land donation has been added to Atherton Meadows Wildlife Management Area in the town of Whitingham, bringing the total area to nearly 900 acres.  

Atherton Meadows WMA is located just south of the well-known Harriman Reservoir.  It consists of hilly forests with hardwood and softwood trees, including many fruit and nut-producing mast trees and a large area of deer wintering habitat.  There are also extensive beaver ponds, wetlands and an alder swamp which provide rich habitat for a wide array of wildlife. 

“This donation adds additional land to a vast, rugged, and beautiful area of conserved lands,” said Jane Lazorchak, land acquisition coordinator for Vermont Fish & Wildlife. “The department was particularly interested in this land because it protects habitat on both sides of Route 100 in an area where we know bears and other wildlife cross the road.”

“Atherton Meadows WMA, Harriman Reservoir, the Deerfield River, and the adjacent lands protected by the Vermont Land Trust combine to form an expansive gem of conserved lands in southern Vermont.  This is truly a place for wildlife to thrive and for wildlife enthusiasts to enjoy,” said Lazorchak.

Fish & Wildlife Department staff have worked to improve habitat on the WMA for a variety of species.  The forest has been opened up near the beaver ponds to encourage the beavers to continue to create ponds and wetlands.  Department staff have also undertaken a variety of habitat management techniques on the property to improve habitat for species such as grouse, woodcock and snowshoe hare.

The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department manages more than 135,000 acres of land in 89 Wildlife Management Areas throughout Vermont, in order to promote wildlife habitat and give sportsmen and women more access to public lands. 

– 30 –

Photo Caption: The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department recently added additional land to Atherton Meadows Wildlife Management Area, augmented a large stretch of protected area near Harriman Reservoir in southern Vermont. Photo courtesy of Carolyn Bates, Carolyn Bates Photography.