The Need for the Strategic Roadmap

Vermont’s forest economy provides more than 13,000 jobs, more than $2 billion in direct economic output, and supports the growing outdoor recreational and tourism sectors.

The relationship between the forest economy and Vermont’s forest landscape is a balancing act of benefits and costs. Vermont’s forest economy relies on access to forestlands, while forest landowners rely on the support and benefits of a vibrant forest economy to maintain intact forestland.

Vermont is losing thousands of acres of forestland to non-forest uses each year, destabilizing the forest economy and threatening Vermont’s forested working landscape. A revitalization of the forest economy has been identified as a primary strategy for keeping forests forested for the many values and benefits forests provide while supporting Vermonters engaged in the working forest landscape – from landowners to sawmills.

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“Building out this roadmap is an opportunity.”

Hear Danielle Fitzko, Interim Commissioner for the Vermont Department of Parks and Recreation and Director of Forests, discuss the importance of the Vermont Forest Future – Strategic Roadmap project.

Act 183 initiated the Vermont Forest Future Strategic Roadmap project, and the legislature provided the following reasons for doing so:

  • Forestlands are of statewide importance; contribute to the protection and conservation of wildlife habitat, air, water, and soil resources; mitigate the effects of climate change; benefit the general health and welfare of Vermonters.
  • The forest products sector manufacturers products that are used and enjoyed by Vermonters.
  • Private forestlands represent 80% of Vermont’s forestlands; 56% of private forestlands are enrolled in the forestland category of Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal Program (UVA) and are managed as primarily working forests supporting the forest-based rural economy.
  • Forestry operations support Vermont’s intact forests that benefit Vermont’s economy and all Vermonters.