In May 2023, the Trust for Public Land announced that they successfully expanded the Otter Creek Wildlife Management Area in Wallingford, Vermont by 355 acres, protecting critical forestland, biodiversity, and recreational opportunities. The property includes 107 acres of wetlands, 100 acres of floodplain and 1.25 miles of the Otter Creek. The project was supported by The Conservation Alliance through a 2021 grant and aimed to protect one of the most important tributaries to Lake Champlain. The 110-mile Otter Creek originates in the highlands of the Green Mountain National Forest and is Vermont’s longest river.
The expanded sections of Otter Creek, now under the ownership of Vermont Fish & Wildlife, will be co-held under a conservation easement by the Vermont River Conservancy and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. The area will now be passively restored to a riparian floodplain forest, which will allow it to improve flood resiliency and water quality, critical for the communities and residents in the Lake Champlain watershed. The forestland will be managed for biodiversity, wildlife habitat, and the public will have access to the property for hunting, fishing, wildlife watching, hiking, snowshoeing, and skiing.