Forests and Wildlife

VNRC believes that keeping forests as forests is essential to Vermont’s ecological, economic and social well-being. Forests contribute to tourism and provide recreational opportunities, diverse forest products and energy. They also provide vital ecosystem services such as clean water, clean air, carbon storage, flood control, and wildlife habitat.

Maintaining healthy intact forests is a priority at VNRC, on both public and private land.  Because approximately 80% of Vermont’s forests are privately owned, Vermont must develop policies to help landowners and communities promote the long-term stewardship of their forestland. And because some of the largest blocks of forestland are publically owned in the state, VNRC believes it is vitally important to encourage model management and conservation practices on state, federal, and municipally owned forests.

To help accomplish these goals, the Forest and Wildlife Program at VNRC focuses on:

  • Assisting communities and local governments with innovative planning techniques for forestland and wildlife conservation.
  • Promoting dialogue with landowners, land managers, foresters, planners, state agencies, elected officials, and other stakeholders to develop policies to keep forests as forests.
  • Encouraging legislation that promotes the maintenance and restoration of forests and wildlife habitat.
  • Encouraging and promoting sustainable forest management practices and sound tax policy and strategies to sustain working forests.
  • Protecting biological diversity, important natural communities, and ecologically sensitive resources.
  • Promoting sound stewardship and management of publically owned lands that include a diversity of appropriately protected areas in conjunction with well-managed forests and wilderness areas.
  • Educating landowners about strategies to promote long-term ownership and stewardship of intact forestland.
  • Encouraging sound energy policy that maintains forest health and the sustainable use of Vermont’s forest resources.

Program director:  Jamey Fidel, 802-223-2328 x117

Forests and Wildlife Projects

Conservation Planning

VNRC engages in planning to promote forestland and wildlife habitat conservation at multiple levels across Vermont.

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Forest and Habitat Fragmentation

A combination of forces are increasing land fragmentation and promoting unsustainable land use patterns in Vermont

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Technical Assistance to Communities

VNRC is working to develop creative new planning and zoning strategies in Vermont to promote forestland conservation and reduce forest fragmentation and parcelization.

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Vermont Forest Roundtable

The Forest Roundtable is a group of people with a common interest: the future of Vermont’s forests.

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Working Lands and Forest Management

Vermonters have a long tradition of living on, and with, the land.  VNRC supports that through our work on Current Use, Act 250, the Forest Roundtable, and the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative.

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