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Freeman Brook Forest

Shrewsbury, Rutland County, VT
05738
Price: $490,000
Acres: 292
Type: Multiple Uses
Availability: Available
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Introduction
Location
Access
Site Description
Timber
Easement

Introduction

The property represents a solid long-term timber investment, including an easily accessible, attractive building site with local views of the Saddle Mountain Range,  combining a residence option with an appreciating timber asset.

The land is mostly gently sloping with dense, maturing forest resources, giving way to easy trail development with attractive woodland aesthetics, offering good recreational opportunities.

A conservation easement protects the land but provides for a building site near the quiet town road frontage.

Highlights include:

  • Approved +/-6 acre homesite development zone, easily accessible  with level terrain and close proximity to electric and phone services;
  • Abundant water features including streams, open water wetland ponds and wetland habitat;
  • Exceptional long-term timber investment attributes with a timber value of $472,000;
  • Subject to a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust restricting future subdivision & non-sustainable forest management.

Location

The forest lies in south central Vermont within the rural town of Shrewsbury. Locally, the land sits in a mostly forested region with small farms in the valleys and forestland on the hillsides and higher elevations. Homes near the property are widely scattered.

Regionally, the land is situated in a transition zone with more agricultural land to the south and west and abundant forestland to the east, made up mostly of the Coolidge State Forest, which starts 3 miles to the east.

The land sits between two main transportation corridors, Route 100, 17 miles to the east, and Route 7, 7 miles to the west. Route 103 connects the two and is 5 miles to the south.

The largest nearby town is Rutland (Pop 16,000), located 12 miles to the northwest. Equally distant to the southeast is Ludlow, home of Okemo Ski Resort.

The New York City region is a 4.25-hour drive to the south, with Boston, Massachusetts, a 3-hour drive to the east.

Access

The property has good access, with nearly 500' of road frontage along Eastham Road, a graveled, year-round town-maintained road with electric and phone service roadside.

An old driveway exists at the center of the road frontage, leading to the +/-6 acre allowable homesite. Beyond this, the internal access road continues +/- .6 miles to the land's historic homesite. This road is now grown in with small trees but can easily be reclaimed. Beyond the historic homesite (see map for location), terrain easily allows for the creation of a winter road further north into the property, providing access closer to the northern limits of the property.

Site Description

The property sits on high ground, between the Saddle Mountain Range just to the northeast and a series of un-named hilltops near the western boundary. The land includes the headwaters of Freeman Brook, which runs year-round through the property.

Slopes on the land are generally hilly but not steep, with most of the terrain at an elevation of 1,700'. The lowest areas sit along the land's three streams and associated wetland patchwork, which accounts for roughly 20 acres. In one wetland near the historic homesite, there is a small, open-water beaver pond.

The gentle slopes lend themselves well to the development of recreational trails along some of the old woods roads offering easy hiking or cross-country skiing to all corners of the land.

The conservation easement covering the property allows for the development of a homestead within the pre-approved 6-acre building envelope (see attached maps for location). This building zone provides scenic views of the nearby Saddle Mountain Range (with tree clearing) and is easily accessed from the nearby town road. The terrain in this location is gentle, allowing for various options for creating a  meadow around the homesite.

Timber

Timber data is based on a comprehensive timber inventory conducted in April of 2023 by F&W Forestry Services. The data reveal a total sawlog volume of 2,252 MBF International ¼" scale (8.4 MBF/acre) and 6,127 pulpwood cords (22.9 cords/acre). The combined total per acre volume is 39.7 cords, a figure well above the regional average. Stumpage values were assigned to the volumes in April of 2023 by F&W Forestry, producing a property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $471,900 ($1,761/commercial acre).

A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 80% and softwoods at 20% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix led by the red maple at 36% of total volume, followed by sugar maple (22%), spruce/fir (18%), and yellow birch (11%), with other common northern hardwoods as associates making up the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of the same species (The Maples, spruce/fir and yellow birch), all with historically strong demand.

Overall, forest stocking is extremely high, with overstocked conditions on all acres providing the new owner a "clean canvas" to plan future silvicultural goals. This unusually high stocking also offers wide income options from future silvicultural treatments. Average Basal Area (BA) is 126 ft2 on 201 stems/acre.

The current ownership's tenure started in 2004, with forestry operations since that time limited to minimal acres in 2007. Prior to this, a thinning occurred in 1985. Therefore, it has been nearly 39 years since the last forestry operation of scale, explaining the unusually high volumes on this property.

Easement

A working forest "partnership" with VLT offers the new owner predictability and cooperation, given the long history and solid reputation this conservation organization has in overseeing other conservation easements under its stewardship.

A principal objective of the easement is to conserve productive agricultural and woodlands, wildlife habitats, and other natural resources and scenic values.

Easement highlights include:

  • Most sustainable and traditional forestry/agricultural activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property;
  • The property can be posted against public access;
  • Silvicultural activities can occur under an approved forest management plan;
  • Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs), covering the riparian areas adjacent to the stream corridors, wetlands, and vernal pools, are protected from intense forest management activities;
  • The conservation easement allows for the development of a house site and associated structures w/location per the report maps.

A copy of the conservation easement is available upon request.

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