Vt. Law School Will Support WRP ‘Landscape Auction’

/ Jul. 8, 2010 1:40pm EDT

Vermont Law School is supporting the White River Partnership’s landscape auction on August 14, the first such conservation effort in the United States designed to revitalize watersheds, wildlife and people’s connection to nature.

Landscape auctions originated in The Netherlands in 2007 as a financing tool to attract private capital for nature conservation and landscape protection. The money helps private landowners to protect landscape elements that have scenic, cultural or natural resource values, such as songbird habitat, walking trails and covered bridges. The funds go for management costs of protecting a landscape element, such as fencing cattle out of streams. Winning bidders “adopt” the landscape element but do not become the legal owner.

Vermont Law School has several connections to the project:

•VLS plans to raise funds from faculty, staff and alumni to submit a bid at the auction.

•Abby Armstrong, WRP’s board president, is VLS’s director of Career Services.

•Mary Russ, WRP’s executive director; Susan Shea, a WRP board member; and Annette Lorraine, a Montpelier attorney who is finalizing the auction’s contracts, are VLS alumni.

•The VLS Environmental and Natural Resources Law Clinic hosted public meetings on the auction and monitors water quality for the WRP.

•The WRP’s summer interns include Falko Schilling, a current VLS student, and Lindsey Cole, who will be a VLS student in the fall.

•Polly Davis, a VLS Land Use Institute student, prepared the auction’s preliminary contracts.

•Peg Elmer, assistant director of the VLS Land Use Institute, is putting her riverside property up for bid at the auction.

"We hope this event will trigger greater public awareness about the White River watershed and create special bonds between those who take care of it and those who enjoy it," Armstrong said.

More information is available at www.whiteriverpartnership.org and http://landscape-auction.com/

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