Protected by a conservation easement, this maple forest offers an exceptional sugarbush opportunity with over 26,000 potential taps (51 taps/acre average), desirable downhill sap-flow and established access.
The conservation easement on the property will be held by the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), a Vermont-based organization and one of the most respected conservation organizations in the nation.
Easement highlights include:
Most sustainable and traditional forestry and sugarbush activities are permitted to support the long-term stewardship of the protected property;
The entire property is open to non-vehicular public recreation and hunting;
Silvicultural activities are limited to sustainable levels, with target diameters set for each species;
Surface Water Protection Zones (SWPZs), covering 74 acres, and an EPZ Secondary Zone covering 13 acres, permit limited harvesting and full sugaring operations, with special consideration to maintaining water quality;
One camp structure of 800 ft2 is permitted.
The forest lies in the northern Vermont township of Jay, home to the Jay Peak Ski Resort, situated 10 miles to the south. The ski hamlets of Montgomery and Montgomery Center are situated 16 and 18 miles to the southwest. Richford is the largest nearby town, located 9 miles to the west along Route 105. The region along Route 105 is highly scenic, showcasing the tall peaks of the northern Green Mountain Range, and is rich with recreation opportunities, including the Long Trail, which passes just east of the land, and a side trail running along the high peaks of the property’s northern end.
The primary access is from Route 105, which forms the southern property line. A year round truck road was constructed off Route 105 that heads north and downhill for a length of 3,000’ into the property. This internal road provides good access to nearly all of the land with multiple landings along the way.
The property has multiple aspects, with a southern aspect at the land’s northern half and the remaining acreage split between a northern and western aspect. The majority of the terrain slopes to the access road, with the exception of the extreme southern leg of the property (representing roughly 10% of the land). Terrain can be considered average when compared to most Vermont woodland, with some areas of steep slopes along the land’s northern end and along some of its brooks. However, most of the terrain can be considered moderate to, at times, gentle. Elevation ranges from 1,063’ where the southernmost stream exits the property to 2,401’ at the ridgeline along the northern boundary (the location of a Long Trail spur trail). Generally soils are well drained and well suited for the species composition of the forest.
Timber data is based on a monumented and comprehensive timber inventory, conducted in May 2016 by the ownership’s forest consultant. A species composition dominated by hardwoods prevails, with hardwoods at 95% and softwoods at 5% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined offers a favorable mix and is led by sugar maple (52%), followed by yellow birch (19%), with other common hardwoods and red spruce comprising the balance. Average diameter for all products combined is 13”, while the average sawlog diameter is nearly 14.5”, well above average.
A Capital Timber Value (CTV) of $535,200 ($1,037/commercial acre) has been set by Fountains in October of 2016.
The property offers an outstanding potential sugarbush opportunity, given the high level of maple stocking, slope factor, access and possible shorter routes to electric power (depending on adjacent landowner negotiations). A potential sugarbush analysis indicates a total maple potential tap count of 26,422 taps with roughly 92% of the taps from sugar maple with the balance from red maple. Trees 10” and greater were considered, providing an average of 51 taps/acre covering 523 acres. Also, the timber data indicates that an additional 26,000 taps will become available in the coming years from the maple resource within the 5-9” diameter class.
Electric power is roughly 3,500’ from the property’s southwestern boundary along Route 105. Most of the terrain lends itself well to a natural downhill flow.