Vermont Fish & Wildlife and VYCC Partner To Expand Accessibility At Snake Mountain

August 28, 2018 | 

Snake Mountain Partnership

Vermont Fish & Wildlife and VYCC Partner To Expand Accessibility

In July, VYCC’s Spike 5 crew tackled a substernal trails assessment and repair project for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife (F&W) on Snake Mountain. The crew worked with Ariel Burgess, Fish and Wildlife Specialist, to hike the Snake Mountain Summit Trail in its entirety, assessing and flagging trail features in need of maintenance. They then began working on improving trial features, prioritizing areas that had water run off issues. They built and improved water bars, addressed erosion issues around mud spots, moved and crushed rocks, created a stone path, and improved the lower section of the trail significantly.

Crew assessed and recorded digital data on trail conditions, identifying and taking notes on the status of 49 features and points of trail erosion or other problems requiring mitigation.  Along the way, they repaired 18 grade dips, and installed 3 stone armored walkways. Working in the historic heat wave of early July was challenging, but the team still managed to work effectively thanks to support from Fish & Wildlife staff.

The trail system on Snake Mountain is owned by the state of Vermont and maintained by Fish & Wildlife. As part of the department’s efforts to expand their work with the public beyond hunters and fishermen, they are focusing on having Snake Mountain trails improve to support more hikers, runners, and walkers. There are a number of trails on the

Mountain, but the VYCC crew focused on the main trail that the public can find starting in the parking lot, going all the way to the top. Along the way the crew used the app Collector to mark improvements they made and additional flags for future work. This app is popular with trail runners who compare their trail use data with other users. Having updated trail conditions makes trails far more popular for use!

Additional information about this project.

Spike 5 crew was led by Crew Leader Sage Hill, with Corps Members Avery Wallis, Emily Wight, Emily Auld, Brittney Buick, John Russell, and Luther Millison.

Fish and Wildlife’s Habitat Stamp imitative in part funded this partnership with VYCC. The Habitat Stamp funds public land habitat conservation and management projects, education and outreach to the public, and conservation assistance to landowners. In 2017, $101,000 was raised by Habitat Stamp, which any member of the public can purchase with a donation of $15 from F&W’s website.

VYCC will partner with Fish & Wildlife again the last week of the VYCC season, October 22-27 in the Windsor Grasslands. The crew will work on riparian restoration and tree planting. The week will culminate with a volunteer day to highlight the VYCC and F&W partnership and engage surrounding communities in the work while celebrating the habitat improvement of the project.