From a young age, Sally Schlueter knew she wanted to work with animals. Her career as a veterinarian began in Kansas and led her to Texas, Maryland, and Cairo. She landed in Vermont in 1994, where she now practices in the Northeast Kingdom. She and her husband Ric Prescott care deeply about wildlife and their woodlands in St. Johnsbury. “We have loved taking care of, exploring, and walking the forested areas,” said Sally. “There are so many hints of life from the past with old spring houses, stone fences, unloggable areas in the way back with huge, beautiful trees.”
One day in late December, Sally let her co-workers know she was leaving the office early, saying “I’ve got a dream coming true today.” That afternoon, she and Ric protected 386 acres with VLT by donating a conservation easement.
Their woodland rises steeply from the Moose River, with rocky ledges, forested wetlands, and a mix of hemlock and hardwoods. Much of the property was once owned by the Patenaude family, who worked with VLT’s Farmland Access Program some years ago to conserve and find new farmers to buy what is now Roots Too Farm, a vibrant vegetable and berry business across the road.
Ric and Sally’s land offers habitat for animals large and small, from black bear and moose to salamanders and frogs. Among the property’s most special features are several vernal pools that fill with water each spring. Many of the pools sit close to one another and are surrounded by ample undisturbed tree cover, perfect for breeding amphibians and their offspring to find shelter and food.
“With the VLT ecologist finding large areas of ecologically important wetlands and vernal pools … it brought even more meaning to what we could help protect,” said Sally. “We are grateful to have the opportunity to work with the mission of the VLT and its vision for Vermont!”