VFF’s Consulting Conservation Forestry

How do I take really good care of my forest? How do I meet the planning, mapping, and forest management requirements of Vermont’s Current Use program? My forest access road is badly eroded–how do I deal with that? I’d like to harvest trees without compromising my forest’s health–what does that look like? Can I deal with invasive plants like common buckthorn without using pesticides? Are cost-share funds available for some of my forest work?

Vermont Family Forests’ conservation foresters work with forest landowners to answer these questions and a whole lot more.

Contact our conservation forester

In our office, a wall of shelves holds more than 175 green binders—one for each of the family forest owners we work with in the forests in and around center-west Vermont. Collectively, the binders represent more than 22,000 acres of private forest land. Most landowners initially contact us needing a management plan to satisfy the requirements of Vermont’s Current Use Program.

VFF Conservation Forester Kathleen Stutzman checks a log landing during a timber harvest in a VFF landowner’s forest.

We aim to give them much more than that. Our conservation forester, Kathleen Stutzman, walks and talks with each landowner, learning about their connections with and aspirations for the forest and learning about the forest community itself. She then develops a Forest Conservation Plan that melds these aspirations and forest characteristics with VFF’s forest-centered approach to conservation. She works closely with our conservation mapper, Callie Brynn, to develop a beautiful map to accompany each conservation plan.

In addition to writing and updating forest conservation plans, we help landowners carry out their conservation practices—marking forest treatments and harvests, marking wildlife habitat improvement cuts, improving and closing out access trails, painting boundaries, creating tree planting plans, and more.

VFF also offers events solely for the landowners within its green-binder pool—like our annual VFF landowner gathering and special landowner workshops that teach particular skills in forest conservation.