Forests

A Hardwick log yard in 2004.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot

We hear a lot about Vermont's agricultural economy, but what about our working forests? Trees  cover more than 75 percent of Vermont. In past years the state's forest products industry has supported loggers, truckers and mills but its in decline and jobs and markets have been disappearing.

Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative

Looking for a firewood dealer near you? Or maybe you're in the market to kiln-dry some boards. Or do you just want to know the name of your local forester? The answers to all of these queries can now be found in one place, a new interactive online map of Vermont forest and wood products.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Vermont's forest economy provides over 20,000 jobs in the state and generates over $3 billion in annual revenues.

There are currently six forestry-related bills being considered by the State Legislature. They take on issues like timber theft and trespass, forest fragmentation, protection against nuisance lawsuits and tracking of logged timber.

Ric Cengeri / VPR

Hundreds of volunteer tree stewards are in charge of making sure Vermont's trees are healthy and treated fairly. With over three quarters of the state being forested, this is no simple task.

Seth Perlman / AP/file

Do you dowse? If so, the Tunbridge Town Forest Committee wants to hear from you!

If you drive along a Vermont highway and look out over miles of trees, it might come as a surprise that, for the first time in a century, the state is actually losing forest land.

That’s according to a new study from the state Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

To learn why, VPR's Alex Keefe stopped by the offices of the Vermont Natural Resources Council, an environmental advocacy group, and talked with Forest and Wildlife Program Director Jamey Fidel.

He says the culprit is something called forest fragmentation.