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.
Most importantly, VLT 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.
For the most comprehensive resource on all forest-related topics in Vermont, visit ourvermontwoods.org
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
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 Forest Management Plans for 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
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.
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.