With the generous support of many people, a conservation easement was purchased for the headwaters of Warren Brook. This property is quite varied and is important for maintaining the quality of water that enters the Crescent Lake/Lake Wentworth system. It consists of a variety of features from beaver dams to tall cliffs. It also has the largest Yellow Birch in Carroll County.
For many people, the easiest way to “see” the property is to paddle up Warren Brook as far as you can go. The brook is often (but not always) accessible as it breaks through Warren Sands beach with high water flow. At the very eastern point of navigation for a canoe or kayak, there is a beaver pond that abuts the easement area. Recently, the beavers have been active and the dam was well maintained in 2017.
If you are at the beaver dam, across the beaver pond is a section of woods 100 yards or so thick and on the other side is another beaver dam complex. If you look to the left of the beaver dam, you are looking up toward Rt. 109. To the left of the property line, there has been quite a bit of lumbering with the easement area being generally untouched. If you look to the right, the hillside rises rather steeply and you see the north end of a ridge that extends from Tumbledown Dick. The property line climbs up that ridge, goes along the top of cliffs, some 100 feet high, and then back down and to the east. The southern and eastern borders of the property abut the Green Mountain Conservation Area. The property is about a mile and a half long, going north to south, and varies in width.
The entire property slopes down toward the beaver pond at the end of navigation of Warren Brook with all the water from the drainage entering the pond. From the north (and Rt. 109) it is a rather steep descent through some rough woods. From the east, it is less steep while from the south, there are some steep sections and a rocky valley below the high cliffs. In that valley, where it starts to flatten out, are some beaver dams. In late 2017, there was very active cutting and it is unlikely that the beavers got a permit. They were cutting close to the watercourse with no silt fences in place! Damn beavers.
Up the valley above the last beaver dam is the largest yellow birch in Carroll County. It is a big old tree and seems quite healthy. It is marked with a purple “+” on the map. The person who identified it and called attention to it, was surveying the property. This occurred when the leaves were off the trees as the surrounding trees would have blocked the view of it with their leaves. It is growing in a rocky area and the people who lumbered the area many years ago must not have bothered going through all the rocks to cut it down and turn it into lumber products. Nice that they didn’t.
The wetlands encompassed by this easement filter the water that enters our lake system. Water slows down and then the plants growing in the wetlands absorb nutrients that would enter the lake and cause algae blooms. The scale of this property is also important in that it covers a vast area that could be developed. It also abuts the Green Mountain lands and provides a wildlife corridor so animals can go from winter to summer areas with little interaction with humans. One visitor to the property enjoyed the experience of seeing a rather large bear at about 50 yards. The bear was not excited to see a human and took off at “typical bear retreat speed”, much much faster than a person can run. There is also moose sign as well as deer. Undoubtedly, coyote, fox, otter, mink and many other species use the area for their home. Nice that as we protect the lake that we also provide territory for our native animals.
The wetlands are not “spectacular” but are good at doing what they do. Small areas of water coupled with larger areas make for an environment where amphibians can start their lives in a small pool and then move to bigger places if the small pool dries up.
As with most land in our area, there are also signs of human use. There is an old cellar hold and stone walls. Yes, this land is part of New England.