Charlotte Significant Wildlife Map and Database
In 2008, the Charlotte Conservation Commission in partnership with Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and the University of Vermont put together a map and database that provides information about local natural resources for the town. This included significant wildlife habitat, exemplary natural communities, rare species and characteristic landscape features of the area. The purpose of the map is to provide an advisory reference for town planning as well as to put scientific information in the hands of residents. The partners aimed to provide science-based information to the public that was easy to understand, as well as to adopt State methodology and structure for assessing natural communities
Forest Land, Inventory, Land Management, Town Plan, wildlife
The information provided by the database and illustrated on the significant wildlife map can be found online today. An interactive form of the map can be found online at http://map.ccrpcvt.org/wlhabmap/. Since 2008, the map has been used at least 6-8 times per year in reviewing development applications. Many local and statewide organizations have accessed the map to for a variety of purposes, including the Vermont Land Trust has also used the map to help identify and locate special treatment areas within parcels they have conserved in Charlotte.
University of Vermont
Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department
Charlotte Conservation Commission
Funding was provided by a municipal planning grant from Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs, the select board, the planning commission and the conservation commission. Professionals from the University of Vermont and Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department brought the expertise needed to distinguish and label the various natural resources across the town. Landowners in Charlotte were generally open to the partners conducting various assessments on their land which enabled a wide area of the town to be surveyed.
One challenge for the project was coming up with the protocol for taking in information from variety of sources and updated the database in an efficient manner. The partners came up with a site assessment protocol to solve this problem which ultimately standardized the procedure of entering in data.
The Interactive Habitat Map