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Wade Brook Forest

Lowell, Orleans County, VT
05847
Price: $187,000
Acres: 197
Type: Multiple Uses
Availability: Under Agreement
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Introduction
Location
Access
Site Description
Timber
Easement

Introduction

The property represents a solid long-term timber investment, supported by an attractive building site with views of Hazen’s Notch and the northern Green Mountains, one of the region’s iconic landscapes.

The land is bisected by the year-round Wade Brook, a notable trout brook and recreational attribute.

The land is protected by a conservation easement however providing an approved building site offering a view of Hazen’s Notch and other nearby mountain peaks.

Highlights include:

  • Approved homesite with verified soils for septic system and close proximity to electric/phone services,
  • Long road frontage facilitating future forest management and recreational activities,
  • +/-3,000’ of frontage along both sides of Wade Brook, a clear, year-round water source that bisects the property,
  • Nice long-term timber investment attributes with a timber value of roughly $111,000,
  • The land is subject to a conservation easement restricting future subdivision & non-sustainable forest management.

Location

 

The forest lies in the northern Vermont town of Lowell, between the Green Mountains, 3 miles to the west, and the Lowell Mountains, 4 miles to the east. This is a rural, mountainous area of the state populated by small hamlets, working forests, and scattered farms. The town of Lowell, tucked in the Missisquoi River Valley between the two mountain ranges, is a scenic area with a small hamlet at its center along Route 100, 3 miles to the east of the property. One of the region's landmarks is Hazen's Notch, a mountain pass through the Green Mountains, set directly within view of the property. Hazen Notch Road runs through the pass between Sugarloaf Mountain to the north and Haystack Mountain to the south. The pass is open only during non-snow months and is considered one of northern Vermont's most scenic roads.

The main transportation corridor through the area, Route 100, is 3 miles to the east of the property in Lowell Village. This north-south corridor provides access to Newport, the region's largest city, 22 miles to the north, and the Jay Peak Ski Resort, 17 miles also to the north. Interstate 91 is 15 miles to the east via Route 58 from Lowell Village, providing easy access to points further south in New England and north in Quebec. Montreal is a 2-hour drive to the northwest, and Boston is a 3.5-hour drive to the southeast.

Access

The property has excellent access with nearly 3,000' of road frontage along Hazen Notch Road. This road is a town-maintained, gravel road with electric and telephone services. The private Hoisington Road (aka Bayley Hazen Road) runs through the eastern end of the property for roughly 600', providing access to an old field that overlooks the property's central river valley. The long road frontage provides many potential driveway cuts into the forest and its small fields, facilitating future management, recreational activities, and homesite development.

Site Description

Two notable landscape features define the forest: Wade Brook, which bisects the land, and the highly scenic vistas of the nearby Green Mountains. The year-round Wade Brook runs through the land (and onto the Missisquoi River in Lowell village), coursing its way through the property's open wetland and riparian zone. The clear river offers excellent fishing opportunities and an ideal recreational amenity.

The local mountain vistas from the property's center are dramatic and include an uninterrupted view due west of Hazen's Notch. The view is further enhanced by the inclusion of various peaks along the Green Mountain range, including Tillotson Peak to the southwest, Belvedere Mountain to the south, and Buchanan Mountain and Domays Dome to the north.

The terrain within the small old fields near the river and wetland is mostly gently sloping with some level areas. Elevation changes moderately from 1,456' at the property's southern boundary to 1,182' where the river leaves the property along the road frontage. The northern section of the land rises from the river to an elevation of 1,360'.

The conservation easement that covers the land allows for the development of a homestead within the pre-approved building envelope (see attached maps for location). This building zone provides scenic views of the nearby mountains and river corridor, whose soils have been verified for septic /wastewater disposal.

Timber

The timber resource has recently been professionally managed to concentrate growth on selected crop trees and the removal of mature balsam fir. Using the timber inventory data from the 2019 forest management plan and subtracting the harvest volumes plus applying growth since the inventory, it is ROUGHLY estimated that the current property-wide Capital Timber Value (CTV) is $111,000 ($730/commercial acre).

Species Composition:

A species composition dominated by softwood prevails, with softwoods at 52% and hardwoods at 48% of total volume. Species composition for all products combined is led by spruce/fir (38%), followed by red maple (19%), sugar maple (8%), hemlock (12%), and aspen (5%), with other common associates making up the balance. The sawlog volume breakdown consists largely of species with historically strong demand, dominated by red spruce, The Maples, and yellow birch.

Stand Stocking:

Overall, forest stocking is variable, with stocked conditions in stands not recently thinned. Within the two stands recently thinned, conditions are also mostly fully stocked; however, understocked conditions exist within the small group cut areas which harvested the mature balsam fir.

Forest Stands & Silvicultural History:

Prior to the current owner's purchase in 2017, the timber resource had not been managed in decades (nearly forty years). The previous ownership goals focused on natural forest progression, allowing the forest to develop without intervention.

The property's 2019 forest management plan has delineated 4 forest operating stands.

Forest management occurred in 2020 within stands 1 and 3, covering 112 acres. Treatments were a mix of light thinning and small group harvests targeting the mature balsam fir. The resulting forest resource is well-positioned for future asset appreciation and value growth

Easement

The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) holds the conservation easement on the property.

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, non-commercial recreational opportunities and activities, 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 river corridor and other streams, are protected from forest management and agricultural activities;
  • The conservation easement allows for the development of a house site and associated structures.
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