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waterTo Dig or Not to Dig

By Roy Schiff; Julie Moore; Elise Annes, (c) 2011

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As the immediate crisis of the flood following Tropical Storm Irene lessens, growing public debate about gravel mining our State's rivers has emerged.

Many in the most impacted communities suggest that gravel mining and armoring our rivers is necessary to ensure stability and safety. Meanwhile, there are those that strongly caution against the removal of sediment from the rivers. What is the best way forward?


 

farm landscapeLand Conservation and Property Taxes in Vermont 

By Deb Brighton, Tax Policy Consultant, (c) 2009

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What is the impact on local property taxes when someone permanently conserves their land? Do taxes increase, decrease, or stay the same? Does it matter if the land is conserved by a conservation easement or if it is purchased by a government entity?

In response to these and other questions, we asked Deb Brighton, VLT Board of Trustees member and legislative tax policy consultant, to analyze the short- and long-term impacts of land conservation on Vermont property taxes.The study concluded that more development tends to lead to higher taxes, and on average, tax bills are lower—not higher—in the towns with the most conserved land. 


 

apple blossomLand Conservation: The Case for Perpetual Easements

Vermont Land Trust, (c) 2007

Over the years, there have been recurring proposals to limit conservation easements to terms of 20 or 30 years, after which they could be renewed only if the landowner consents. Although Vermont law allows the use of “term” easements and various arguments have been advanced in their favor, the Vermont Land Trust, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, and most other land conservation organizations across the nation have elected to acquire only perpetual conservation easements. Read more.


 

baskets

Art from the Forest

Vermont Land Trust, (c) 2009

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Non-timber forest products, such as birch bark, elderberries, goldthread, and willow branches are common in Vermont forests. What can you do with them and how can they be incorporated into your stewardship activities? This 27-page guide will help you find and use these products.


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