Forests: Essential to the Fabric of our Future
Vermont is the fourth most forested state in the country. Perhaps that is why Vermonters and visitors alike have a unique relationship with our forests. It is also why it is sometimes difficult to recognize the urgency of protecting this cherished resource.
Subdivision, fragmentation, and the conversion of forestland are threatening the economic and ecological integrity of our forests. The risk is great. Development activities affect plant and animal species, wildlife habitat, water quality, recreational access, and the ability of forests to support our rural economy and sequester and store carbon.
But there is a different vision for the future of Vermont’s forests that many share. Individuals, families, towns, large institutions, and our state’s leaders are joining VLT and making the decision to protect our beloved forestland, and the values that are associated with it.
In this annual report you will read about Bob Hoffman, Amy Ehrlich, and Sandy Ingraham, who are among many who have protected forestland by donating a conservation easement. You will read about an urban forested getaway that was protected in Bennington by community members. You will hear about a company’s generous decision to sell 5,660 acres lying between Putnam State Forest and the Worcester Mountain range to VLT for less than market value. You will also read about the stunning decision by Middlebury College and a donor to permanently protect the Bread Loaf campus, a diverse natural area abutting land already protected in the Green Mountain
For VLT, and our members and partners, we will continue the important work of safeguarding Vermont’s forests as an integral part of protecting the working landscape. Through these few stories of peoples’ personal connection with forestland, we can begin to understand the many relationships that matter for the whole—together, we can, in fact, see the forest for the trees.
- Bennington: Connecting a Community to Nature (Norman & Selma Greenberg Headwaters Park)
- Worcester, Elmore and Cabot: Leaving a Forest Legacy in Vermont (Worcester Woods & Molly's Falls Pond)
- Berkshire: Keeping a Dairy Farm in the Family (Barabe Family Farm)
- Barnet: Celebrating a Lifetime of Stewardship
- Ripton: Honoring the Natural Value of our Forests (Middlebury College)
- Albany: Realizing the Fream of Farm Ownership (Sweet Rowen Farm)