The Lamoille County Planning Commission, The Nature Conservancy and the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department are partnering on a project near the Wild Branch River in Wolcott to re-establish wetlands and reduce ice jams and flooding, improve wildlife habitat and improve access to recreation.
Ice jams and flooding of the Wild Branch River have inflicted repeated damage to North Wolcott Road in recent years.
The project will also improve access to hunting, fishing, snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoeing, paddling, hiking and swimming, and improving wildlife habitat will enhance hunting and fishing.
The comprehensive project is divided into two phases.
Phase 1 re-established an old stream to its natural flow path, which in turn will create wetlands near the riverbank.
Wetlands also contribute to water quality. Phase 2 will involve removal of a closed bridge, which is known to snag ice and large trees during flooding, and the water backup has severely damaged private property and public roads upstream.