The mission of the Dummerston Conservation Commission is to promote community responsibility and awareness of our conservation needs and to encourage stewardship of the natural habitat.

For news about recent wildlife sightings check out Dummerston Sightings Blog
Share your sightings by posting your photos to Dummerston Sightings. Contact Lynn Levine ( to add your own photos.


Dummerston Conservation Commission Honored at BCTV Event

The DCC was recognized as BCTV’s (Brattleboro Community Television) “Nonprofit Member of the Year.” The award was presented at the BCTV annual members meeting on October 8, 2015. Accepting the award for the DCC was Mary Ellen Copeland, the DCC chairperson. She thanked BCTV for giving the commission the opportunity to further its educational mission. DCC programs are linked on our Projects page under Education Programs.

Clearing on Prospect Hill

Here’s a link to a short Youtube video that shows the clearing that was done on Prospect Hill in early September. The Prospect Hill Trustees (a group of local volunteers and the Dummerston Selectboard) contracted with ForestSavers to have the summit cleared of brush and invasives while preserving the blueberry bushes. Several large trees were cut back to open up the view. Take a walk up and see the work yourself! Please park at the town offices and use the Park Laughton Rd access.

Walks and Trails in Dummerston

This brochure (created by the Dummerston Conservation Commission) is available at local businesses, the town office and on-line (linked above). Thank you to the The Association of Vermont Conservations Commissions, the KOA Campgrounds, the Scott Farm, and Forest*Care for their generous support.

Educational Programs

Many of our educational programs are available on line at the Brattleboro Community Television Website or on BCTV Channel 8 or 10. You can find links to our programs by going to our Projects page and looking under Educational Programs. Check out this recent presentation on Lyme Disease by Jeff Ward.

Current Projects

Educational programs, Trail Committee (Prospect Hill), Rain Garden (Route 30), Friends of Black Mountain, Invasive insect pests. In addition the Conservation Commission provides information to the Planning Commission as they work on the town plan, and the commission meets regularly with other local Conservation Commissions.

 Program Seeks to Encourage Landowners to Open Their Forests to Hunters 

By Lynn Levine Special to The Commons

DUMMERSTON—The Dummerston Conservation Commission would like Windham County woodland owners, who currently post their land with “No Hunting” signs which make it a violation to hunt, to consider an alternative. Since 2013, landowners can post signs allowing “Hunting by Permission Only,” which is legally enforceable by the game warden serving Windham County, Kelly Price, whose home number is 802-251-2171.

The reason for this law is to allow more lands to be hunted, which helps to improve our forests’ health and, in addition, our own health. Deer browsing has profound implications for Windham County’s forested ecosystems. Overabundant deer (as is the case in Windham County) threatens the growth of new trees and endangered plant species, reduces cover and feed for other wildlife, and destroys habitat for nesting songbirds. The deer damage crops, gardens, and flowers and bushes around people’s homes. And, according to Jeff Ward of the Agricultural Extension Department of the University of Connecticut, they lead to an increase in invasive plants. More invasive shrubby plants lead to more ticks (12 times more) that flourish in the moist climate the invasives create, which leads to more Lyme Disease.

Regulated hunting is a wildlife management tool that effectively controls deer densities. “Hunting by Permission” will give the landowners in Windham County the flexibility they need to allow access to most Vermont hunters, while maintaining control over their lands. Landowners should know that they are not liable for personal injury, nor property damage claims, by members of the public who access their land or water free of charge for recreational purposes. In fact, many woodland owners find it helps them have more eyes on their property, with hunters they trust. Requirements for landowners posting “Hunting by Permission Only” signs are the same as the requirements for posted signs.

The graphic on the left shows the tick population, with invasives (in particular Japanese barberry).

The graphic on the right shows the tick population, without invasives.


Landowners will still be required to register their land annually with the town clerk and pay a $5 fee, and they will still be required to sign and date all signs annually. The sign size, lettering, and 400 foot spacing requirements will follow current posting regulations. Landowners must include contact information on these signs.

These landowners will also be ineligible for a landowner antlerless deer permit. These signs are available in Brattleboro at Brown and Roberts Hardware on Main Street and Fireside True Value on Putney Road.


The Conservation Commission meets the second Thursday of every month at 7:00 PM at the Dummerston Town Office, Dummerston, VT. Anyone who has an interest in supporting the mission of the commission is welcome to attend. Meeting times and place are subject to change. Please check the events listing or call 257-0012 for further information.

Conservation Commission Members
Mary Ellen Copeland-Chair, Ed Anthes, Bill Schmidt, Lynn Levine, John Anderson, Betsy Whittaker, Jane Michaud, Bill Johnson, Jonathan Royce


Please continue to check the site for the Conservation Commission activities and information about natural Dummerston. The Commission is collecting information and pictures for this site. Please send them to:

For more information about the town of Dummerston, go to

For more information please contact
Mary Ellen Copland at 802 257-0012