Over 91 percent of Jericho residents voted to conserve the Town-owned Mobbs Farm at Town Meeting Day on March 2, 2021. This overwhelming public support put in motion a lengthy process to protect 232-acres of the 275-acre Mobbs Farm. As with all conservation projects, this property needed to be inventoried for its “conservation values”. Of course, Mobbs Farm has plenty! The special qualities of Mobbs include: forestland, wildlife habitats, natural communities, riparian buffers, wetlands, soil productivity, water quality and native flora and fauna.
Also protected is the right for the public to enjoy non-motorized recreation and educational opportunities. The next step to conserving Mobbs farm was to draft a conservation easement. This legal document follows the land in perpetuity and details the important conservation values and how they will be protected. The Vermont Land Trust (VLT) “holds” this easement and is responsible for ensuring that this document is followed with all management decisions.
Beyond the legal aspects of land conservation, there is also the cost. It was determined that $43,000 was needed to pay for all of VLT’s legal work plus a sizable stewardship fund to monitor this land by VLT in perpetuity. The JULT was responsible for a sizable portion of this cost and we are extremely thankful to the Kusserow Family Fund for contributing $13,000 towards the conservation of Mobbs. Another $10,000 came from JULT's reserve fund for land protection. This support is where most of your JULT membership contributions go! The Vermont Land Trust also helped with $10,000 from a forest grant. Jericho’s Conservation Reserve Fund was also used to provide the last $10,000. This is the FIRST use of this very significant financial resource that Jericho’s taxpayers support.
With funding in place, The Town of Jericho and the Vermont Land Trust, along with the Mobbs Committee, worked on the draft conservation easement. On May 12, 2022, the majority of Mobbs Farm was permanently protected. A Town-wide celebration is being planned for this summer. We all have much to be excited about!