Act 171

Guiding municipalities to maintain forest connectivity

VNRC played a key role in advocating for Act 171, which was enacted in 2016 to promote strategies to maintain intact forests in Vermont. It requires municipalities and regional planning commissions to identify areas that are important as forest blocks and habitat connectors and to plan for development in these areas to minimize forest fragmentation.

In collaboration with the Agency of Natural Resources and the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, we helped to develop an Act 171 planning guide that gives municipalities concrete guidance on how to maintain forest blocks and wildlife connectivity areas. Find it here.

With our partners, VNRC also developed a series of webinars to educate municipalities and regional planners on how communities can reduce forest fragmentation through land use planning. We continue to reach hundreds of planners and town officials through these webinars.

VNRC has assisted many towns in Vermont, such as Marlboro, Jericho, Bolton, Marshfield, Huntington, Richmond, Enosburg, and Montgomery, to implement land use strategies to better support animal habitats, maintain habitat connectivity, and reduce forest fragmentation. Our technical assistance helps conservation and planning commissions turn their vision into tangible strategies to maintain important natural resource at the local and landscape level.

Our Victories

Act 250

VNRC has been very effective in creating change in this area.


Exit 4

VECAN: Energy Committees

LaPlatte River Marsh Wetlands

Clean Streams at Jay Peak

Dam Safety Bill

Protecting Downtown Bennington

Forest Roundtable

Creating Statewide Precedent on Biomass Electricity

Protecting Black Bear Habitat at Parker’s Gore

Clean Water Funding

Current Use

Banning Billboards

Groundwater as a Public Trust