Forest Stewardship

Forest Stewardship Sidebar

According to the Vermont Forest Resource Fact Sheet, more than 70% of Vermont’s 4.6 million acres of forest can be characterized as nonindustrial private forest land (NPIF). This land is divided among an estimated 88,000 landowners, independently managing their properties with unique private interests. The fragmented nature of Vermont’s NPIF ownership means that forest resource planning occurs parcel by parcel. A more integrated planning approach would better address the State’s objective of keeping forest land intact to maintain habitat connectivity, forest health and productivity, ecosystem quality and strong forest products based economic activities.

A landscape stewardship approach was identified as the most effective way to address these concerns and help communities and private landowners conserve forest resource values. Regional forest stewardship planning will help ensure Vermont’s public and privately owned forests are managed in an environmentally responsible way.

Project Goals for Franklin & Grand Isle Counties
  • Identify forest resources important to the region.
  • Characterize distinct landscape types. For example forests reflect a continuum from remnant forests and single trees in urban areas to woodlots and small forest blocks in semi-rural areas to large intact forest blocks in remote rural areas.
  • Engage stakeholders in conversations to identify priority forest landscapes, values and issues.
  • Develop strategies and tools for regions, municipalities and forest landowners to keep forest as forests.

Stakeholders invited to participate in the process include: county forester, private forest landowners, consulting foresters, local officials, representatives of forest product industries (saw mills, maple sugar maker, etc), logging contractors, and environmental/conservation groups.

Project Outcome
The project will result in a regional, landscape-scale forest stewardship plan for Northwest VT that will be used by the VT Division of Forests, local decision makers and forest landowners to support the sustainable management of private forest lands in Vermont.

For more information on the Forest Stewardship project please contact Amanda Holland at or 802-524-5958.