Protected by a conservation easement, this sugar maple and yellow birch forest offers an exceptional sugarbush opportunity with over 60,000 potential taps covering a northerly aspect with desirable downhill sap-flow.
The property is subject to a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation. The terms of the easement prevent subdivision and future development of any kind; however, forestry and sugarbush operations, and construction of associated support infrastructure, are permitted. Construction of one recreational camp is permitted.
Bakersfield Forest is set in the Cold Hollow Mountains in the town of Bakersfield at the northern end of the Green Mountain Range in northwestern Vermont. Bakersfield is primarily a farming and rural residential community in the eastern reaches of the Lake Champlain Valley. The property is a short distance from State Route 108 that runs north-south and state Route 36 that runs to the west. Both routes provide solid transportation to larger corridors and regional markets. The Canadian border is 20 miles to the north via Route 108.
The property is served by two access points branching from the end of the town-maintained portion of Cold Hollow Road. Each road extends into the property a distance of 3,000-4,600’, providing comprehensive access to the timber resource. The property boundary is fairly close to both the town-maintained road and electric power.
The forest sits at the center of the Cold Hollow Range, a series of remote mountains that span from south at the town of Waterville to north at Montgomery Village. A northern aspect predominates, with the highest elevation along the southern boundary at 3,130’, just short of the highest peak along the Cold Hollow Range. From this point, terrain falls northerly to a low elevation of 1,082’ at the northern boundary where Cold Hollow Brook leaves the property. The terrain can be characterized as steeply sloping in the southern half and moderate to gently sloping to the north. Forest management operability is generally quite good on the terrain deemed as commercially operable. Soil quality can be considered above average with a variety of calcium-rich indicator species present, common for the rich northern hardwood forest community types found within this region.
A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 92% and softwoods at 8% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (46%), followed by yellow birch (21%), other hardwoods consisting of red maple, beech and basswood (16%), black cherry and white ash (7%), with spruce/fir and hemlock comprising the balance. 2015 inventory data reveal a sawlog volume of 8,035 MBF (4.4 MBF/commercial acre) with 27,275 pulpwood cords (15.1 cords/commercial acre). Combined total commercial per acre volume is 24.0 cords. Overall, forest stocking is fairly high with fully stocked conditions prevailing, where the average Basal Area (BA) is 99 square feet on 171 stems/acre.
Average diameters for the two major species are 14.5” for sugar maple and 15" for yellow birch. Based on the 2015 timber inventory, Capital Timber Value (CTV) has been set at $2,086,600 ($942/total acre). A recent maple tap analysis indicates a total maple potential tap count of 66,745 taps, with roughly 93% of the taps from sugar maple and the balance from red maple. Trees 10” and greater were considered, providing an average of 42 taps/acre property-wide.