Two people looking at a document in the forest

Land Management Resources for Forest Owners

If you have forestland conserved with the Vermont Land Trust, you can call a VLT forester at any time to talk about all things forestry: your forest management plan, finding a consulting forester, or best practices for a healthy woodland.

But most importantly, our foresters are here to explain how your conservation easement relates to managing your forest. If you aren’t sure if you should contact us, please call anyhow, or see our guide When to Call VLT. Please note that all forest management plans for conserved land must be approved by one of our foresters.

Invasive Species

There are many species in Vermont that are not native to our state. Many of these do not pose a problem (e.g. clover or tulips). Yet there are several that can damage or completely take over forests, fields, lakes, or riverbanks (e.g. wild parsnip and knotweed). And, invasive insects, such as the hemlock woolly adelgid, are increasingly becoming a concern for forestland owners.

We periodically host workshops about invasive plants and how to manage them. You can sign up for event notifications or visit our events page to see what may be happening near you.

If you own land conserved with the Vermont Land Trust, your stewardship manager can connect you with resources to manage invasive plants and insects on your property.

To learn more, visit www.vtinvasives.org

Timber Harvests

If you plan to harvest timber on your conserved land, one of our foresters must first approve your forest management plan (unless you are only harvesting firewood for personal use). See our guide, Managing and Harvesting Conserved Woodlands , to learn more.

We own a several demonstration forests across the state that we actively manage for timber, water quality, recreation, climate resilience, and wildlife habitat. The forests are located in Cambridge, Fayston, Greensboro, Starksboro, Troy, Woodstock, Stockbridge, Rockingham, Brattleboro and Waitsfield. We host walks, talks, and timber harvest tours that showcase best practices and innovative management. You can sign up for event notifications or visit our events page to see what may be happening near you.

For resources on timber harvesting, visit www.VTCutWithConfidence.com

Wildlife Habitat

Many landowners take pride in caring for their land in a way that offers excellent habitat for woodland creatures . There are all kinds of things that forestland owners can do to promote wildlife on their land, such as encouraging the growth of food-producing trees and leaving dead trees (a.k.a. snags) standing .

Vermont Coverts offers trainings for landowners who want to improve their property’s wildlife habitat. Learn more about improving your woodlands for birds through Audubon Vermont’s Foresters for the Birds program. And remember, you can always call one of our foresters to talk about managing your forest for wildlife habitat.

Current Use Program

Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal program, also known as Current Use, taxes landowners on how their land is used (e.g. as a working farm or woodlot) rather than on its full development value. Your land may be conserved with the Vermont Land Trust and also enrolled in Current Use, but there are some key differences between the two. For questions about Current Use, contact your Vermont County Forester.

Public Recreation in Conserved Forests

Most of the forestland we’ve conserved is privately owned. Some conservation agreements allow the public to use the property or a specific part of it, such as a fishing area, boat launch, trail network, or swimming hole. But, unless there is a specific clause that requires public access to land, it is the landowner’s decision whether or not to allow access. That said, many landowners do honor the Vermont tradition of not posting their land.

If you own conserved land and have questions about public access on your property, please contact your stewardship manager.

We have also conserved some amazing and very public places. These include state and town forests, ball fields and sledding hills, wildlife manage areas, and city parks. See places we’ve protected that are open to the public on our recreation map.

For resources on town forests, visit Vermont Urban & Community Forestry.

Sugarbushes

Maple syrup is a key ingredient of Vermont culture. There are sugarbushes of all shapes and sizes conserved with the Vermont Land Trust—from a few dozen to tens of thousands of taps. Some sugarers might gather sap using draft horses and buckets, while many others use vacuum technology. All are important to the character and economy of our communities.

Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation has standards for managing sugarbushes and guidelines for tapping. These are required for sugarbushes in the Current Use program.

Learn about Audubon Vermont’s Bird-Friendly Maple Project, which can help you to improve your forest habitat for birds, and lets you market your maple syrup as bird-friendly.

If you’re interested in producing certified organic maple syrup or sap, check out NOFA Vermont’s Guidelines for Certification.

 

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VLT
Facts
570,000+
Total acres
protected
700
Farms using
conserved land
400,000
Acres of
forestland
120
Recreation
spots
60
Miles
Catamount Trail
450
Miles
VAST Trail
2,300+
Properties
protected