Forests, Wildlife, and Communities Project Makes Headway

VNRC has been active testing new approaches to promoting forestland and wildlife conservation at the municipal level.

“We have been working with a diverse group of government officials, state and federal agencies, and conservation organizations,” said Jamey Fidel, VNRC’s forest and biodiversity program director. “For example, VNRC has been providing technical assistance to three towns in the Mad River Valley as a model approach to conservation planning in Vermont,” he said.

By working at a watershed scale, VNRC and partners have developed a comprehensive map to identify priorities for conservation, along with build-out models to project impacts to ecological features based on current development trends.

In addition, VNRC has helped communities improve town plan and zoning policies, and is developing a training program for Realtors and engineers so they can understand the benefits of reducing forest and habitat fragmentation.

VNRC is currently looking for towns within the Winooski Watershed to expand this kind of landscape level conservation planning. If you live in, or know of a town that may be interested in receiving free conservation and land use planning assistance, please contact Jamey Fidel or Brian Shupe.