The West River


What this southeastern Vermont river lacks in overall length (46 miles from its headwaters in Mount Holly to its confluence with the Connecticut River in Brattleboro) it makes up for with interesting stories.

The film discusses the geology of the area and how, in combination with the West River, it influenced settlement.  Wildlife covered in detail are aquatic insects, freshwater mussels, and Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s involvement in the Atlantic Salmon recovery program.  In addition to covering its remarkable natural history, the film highlights the fascinating human history as well.  Viewers learn about Abenaki life along to the West, early colonial settlement, and witness the workings of the Weston Mill.  Archival photographs and narrative brings to life the West River Railroad, building of the Townshend and Ball Mountain Dams, and the Dummerston Rebellion.  Lastly, contemporary topics like whitewater paddling, dam effects on fisheries, and community water monitoring offer further insight into this remarkable waterway.

Featured in ten screenings throughout the West River watershed of Southern Vermont.

We loved the film…beautiful photography.” – K. Aspden Chester, VT

This is an excellent documentary film. One that every citizen in the West River Valley should watch. – J. Washburn Stratton, VT

This remarkable documentary has succeeded in seamlessly combining the natural and social histories that so typically define a northern New England watershed. – A.H. Westing Putney, VT

Funded in part through a grant from the Wolf Kahn and Emily Mason Foundation and a Stratton Foundation Community grant.

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