Conservation Planning at Multiple Scales, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Swanton, Vermont

Personnel: Charlotte Clews, Zoe Richards, and David Capen

Cooperators: Trust for Public Land, Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge


This project, in partnership with the Trust For Public Land, is being conducted to aid the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge (MNWR) with long-term conservation planning. The aim of this project is to promote conservation at two scales: the local scale and the watershed scale.

At the local scale, a natural communities map was created through digital orthophotography and field-based surveys for the entire MNWR. A natural community is an “interacting assemblage of organisms, their physical environment, and the natural processes that affect them”(Thompson and Sorenson 2000). This type of ecological mapping will be used to identify and conserve important natural features and communities on the refuge.

A land-cover/land-use map for the length of the Missisquoi River is also currently being created. This broad-scale mapping effort will allow for the assessment of potential land use practices that impact the refuge which is located at the delta of the Missisquoi River and Lake Champlain.

This land-cover map is being created from 1:5000 digital orthophotography. Twelve different land use classes will be delineated from the orthophotography. When the land-cover map is completed, land use patterns will be analyzed for an 800 meter buffer on either side of the river. Results of the analysis should highlight priority conservation areas on a broader scale.

Literature Cited

Thompson, E. H. and E.R. Sorenson 2000. Wetland, Woodland, Wildland: A guide to the natural communities of Vermont. University Press of New England.

       Updated: 21 December 2002