The Catamount Trail Association currently holds over 40 trail easements, protecting over 35 miles of the Catamount Trail. Along with additional easements held by other organizations, over 80 miles of the Trail on private land are permanently protected. The CTA’s Trail Protection Plan outlines our approach and protocol as we work to protect all 300+ miles of the Trail in perpetuity. CTA also has an Easement Stewardship Plan that guides us in drafting sound easements and in monitoring those easements on an annual basis.
When a landowner along the trail expresses interest in selling or donating an easement to the CTA, our staff will work with the landowner to outline the terms of the agreement.
The CTA also partners with other organizations to protect the Catamount Trail as part of larger conservation projects. As we make adjustments to fine-tune the route of the trail, we locate it on conserved properties to the extent possible. In some instances it makes sense for the parcel of land to have only one conservation easement, in which case the Catamount Trail is protected as an asset of the parcel with more stringent restrictions in place as well — including no subdivision or development on the parcel at all. These sections of the CT are protected through conservation easements rather than trail easements. CTA has partnered with the Stowe Land Trust (SLT), the Vermont Land Trust (VLT), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board on these projects.