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Expanding the Woodlots Program

CHC Vice Chair and County Forester Nancy Patch meets with Woodlots landowner.

Richford Woodlots landowners gather for a woods walk. Photo: Liza Morse.

The Woodlots Program is the cornerstone of Cold Hollow to Canada’s approach to help landowners conduct forest stewardship and to participate in long-term conservation. The Woodlots Program enables groups landowners to manage their forests on a landscape scale with a greater impact on forest health than could be accomplished by individuals alone. The Woodlots Program gathers landowners with contiguous or near-contiguous forest parcels into town-based Woodlots groups. The Woodlots Program provides landowners with educational opportunities with experts as well as opportunities for peer-to-peer exchange of knowledge and experience, with topics ranging from forest management approaches, wildlife habitat improvement, water quality, climate change resiliency, and conservation strategies for private landowners. 

The Woodlots program started in 2013 Enosburgh and expanded to Montgomery and Richford in 2017. Group members receive assistance with forest management from CHC-affiliated technical experts, from State and Federal agencies, and from partner organizations such as Audubon Vermont and Vermont Land Trust. CHC also assist Woodlots members in obtaining financial support for stewardship activities and permanent conservation easements to improve the long-term health and economic viability of their forests. To date, Cold Hollow to Canada has worked with our partners and landowners to bring songbird habitat assessments to each of our Woodlots groups – totaling 7725 acres managed with songbirds in mind. Additionally, landowners in all three groups have received climate change assessments – helping to make our forests more resilient in a changing climate. Six landowners in our Woodlots Program have also put their land into permanent conservation with our partners at Vermont Land Trust, for a total of 2687 acres, and two of these conservation projects were supported by funding from Cold Hollow to Canada’s Land Conservation Fund

The Woodlots Program has been previously supported by the High Meadows Fund of Vermont. This spring, thanks to another generous grant from the High Meadows Fund, CHC can now expand the Woodlots Program throughout the Cold Hollow region over the next two years. We will be contacting landowners with qualifying parcels in the towns of Bakersfield, Belvidere, Waterville, and Fletcher to invite prospective Woodlots Program participants to informational meetings or webinars. If you would like to learn more about the CHC Woodlots program, please visit us at https://www.coldhollowtocanada.org/what/woodlots or email us at info@coldhollowtocanada.org.