For the last 10 months Jordana Jusidman, Seth Westbrook and Matt Stout have been deeply engrossed in navigating an Act 250 permit for the Aqueduct Trail network. We are nearing the end of that process and would like to share with you all what has been going on, and what it means for our trail network. Most of all we are excited to be moving beyond this process, because we can now proceed with doing what we love – making better trails for our community to enjoy.
New Trails: We have approval for construction of 4 more miles of trail – these new trails are shown on the Overall Site Plan linked to above. We will be adding a lot of variety and new loops for you all to enjoy.
New Pump Track: We have permission from the Woodstock Aqueduct Company, and approval from VT ANR to build a pumptrack at the clearing where Rum Street / Spawn of Vaughn end. This is going to be a really cool spot, and will allow for a new and improved pump track.
New Parking Lot: We have secured an additional Conditional Use Permit from the Town of Woodstock, and permission from VT ANR to allow for an expanded parking lot at the current trailhead. The Woodstock Aqueduct Company is fully supportive of this as well. The new parking configuration is going to make our trailhead meetup spot / kiosk so much nicer. There will be 16 parking spaces, picnic tables, shade, and no need to cross Cox District Road.
Some Changes to Existing Trails: Per ANR requirements, we have to change portions of Dyno-Mite, and close the North half of the Pump Track (see full description below, and full map in link) This work will occur this fall.
TODAY (10.30.18) We’re headed out to complete the ANR remediation work on Dynomite. We’re working from 3pm onward – so come on out if you can lend a helping hand.
Pumptrack work – This will be sometime in November – we’ll be shutting down the North end of the Pump Track per ANR requirements. We’ll send out a notice.
Come Join us at the MTBVT Green Mountain Showdown Encore Showing at Artistree Dec 1st at 7pm.
This is an awesome visual celebration of Vermont riding and riders. This is going to be a great way to wrap up our riding year as we party to raise funds for our 2019 projects. We’ll send out more information soon on this event.
Like what we do but can’t make it out to help? We can also use support from your checkbook! We have paypal too! Don’t forget – We’re a real 501(c)3, and can write you a nice thank you note to keep the IRS happy.
We look forward to seeing you out and about – and we’re excited about all we have to accomplish in 2019.
Thanks for your patience throughout this process – 2019 is going to be a busy year!
ACT 250 PERMIT BACKGROUND: LINK TO PROJECT DOCUMENTS: HERE
First of all – why did we have to get an Act 250 Permit?
– Because there was a pre-existing (and expired) permit that was taken out for construction of the water storage tank in 1989. It was determined that our trail system represented a “material change” to the original permit, and therefore we had to go through the amendment process. (IF there had been no pre-existing Act 250 permit in place, our trail system would not trigger Act 250 review because we fall well below the 10 acre disturbance trigger. )
CUE THE SPECIALISTS…… After we challenged – and lost – the initial determination that we had to go through an Act 250 amendment, the project was reviewed extensively by Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources. We have given extensive tours / site vists to : VT Regional Fisheries Biologist, VT Regional Wetlands Ecologist, VT State Zoologist, VT State Botanist. In the process, we were required to spend $1,000 on a Wetlands Engineer to do an actual delineation so we could challenge VT ANR’s initial wetlands findings. After responding to ANR’s requests and requirements, we have finally come to a solution that allows us to move forward.
A SOLUTION TO WHAT? Most of ANR’s specialists had no issues with our project or trails. There is one area that we have to change. The north end of the pre-existing woods road that we built the pump track on is apparently 23′ from a Wetland Boundary. That means it is in the Wetlands Buffer (which is 50′) We tried every avenue possible to leave the Pump Track alone, but ANR would not budge. So – we are required to flatten the portions of the Pump Track that fall within the Wetland Buffer, re-seed them, and allow them to return to the condition they were in before we made the Pump Track. This will affect about half of the Pump Track. All portions of the Pump Track that exist outside of the Wetland Buffer will remain and be improved to work as a shorter track. We felt it was important to have something closer to the trailhead for young kids and families.
In addition to the Pump Track – Sections of Dyno-Mite (the trail that goes out of the Pump Track) fall within a Wetland or Wetland buffer. The sections that fall within these areas have to be closed and allowed to re-naturalize. We will be closing these sections tomorrow (10/30/18) and starting work on re-routing the trail to comply with ANR requirements.
We have already completed ANR required work at the Reservoir Connector trail – the raised dirt portion of trail bed before the boardwalk was returned to pre-existing grade conditions. We will be installing longer boardwalks at this area per ANR request.