Our objectives are to communicate the benefits of working forests, recognize exemplary actions of woodland owners and managers, provide educational opportunities, and to represent our membership before governmental bodies.
Vermont Woodlands is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation whose mission is to advocate for the management, sustainability, perpetuation, and enjoyment of forests through the practice of excellent forestry that employs highly integrated management practices that protect and enhance both the tangible and intangible values of forests – including clean air and water, forest products, wildlife habitat, biodiversity, recreation, scenic beauty, and other resources – for this and future generations.
We strive to educate, train, and support private forest landowners in sound management practices concerning wildlife, water, wood, and recreation. We do this by managing and enhancing the American Tree Farm System® Program in Vermont. We work with all forestry-related groups to coordinate opportunities for landowners to network, meet natural resource professionals, and learn about management practices and program. VWA sponsors educational programs for teachers and students to produce future stewards of Vermont’s forests. We encourage efforts to promote and retain programs at the state and national levels to support private forestry.
A legacy of education and advocacy for private woodland owners began more than one hundred years ago with the establishment of the Vermont Timberland Owners Association (VTOA) in 1915. Their goal was to minimize “all danger from forest fires in the State by the establishment of a system of watch towers and patrol routes throughout the forested areas, by cooperation with State and Federal Governments and the Railroads, wherever possible, and by bringing to the attention of the general public the necessity for care with fires in the woods … also hope to be able to get more railroads to cooperate with us in this way; and want to take this opportunity to say to every timberland owner in the State, who owns land near a railroad right-of-way, that his lands should be listed in this Association, so that, all working together, we will soon be able to get the railroads to cooperate with us in keeping patrolmen on their lines, wherever and whenever there is any danger from fires.” From the VTOA 1917 Annual Report.
We are proud to have a long history of education and advocacy.
In 1993, VTOA merged with the Vermont Woodland Resources Association, which became Vermont Woodlands Association in 1996. Not much has changed besides our name and the issues woodland owners face today from taxes to timber, regulation to right to practice forestry, invasive species to cost share incentives. Also unchanging is the need for a powerful and unified voice driven by members. Landowners were critical to VTOA’s success… “we want to extend the work to every acre of timberland in the State… and to accomplish this we must acquaint every timberland owner with the purposes and aims of our Association.” It could not be said better today!
The Vermont Woodlands Association Board meets the third Friday of every month (unless otherwise indicated) at the VAST office on Granger Road in Berlin, VT from 9am to noon. This is an open meeting, and all members are welcome to attend.
Putnam W. Blodgett, President, from 2000 to March 3, 2020
Allan Thompson, Waterbury, Acting 1st President
John Buck, Waterbury Ctr, Acting 2nd President
Trevor Evans, Treasurer, Newport, VT
Marli Rabinowitz, Secretary, Guilford, VT
Al Robertson, Secretary, Sheffield, VT
Jamey Fidel, Montpelier, VT
Chris Fife, Fairfield, ME
Luke Hardt, Hardwick, VT
Steve Handfield, Poultney, VT
Dan Kilborn, Island Pond, VT
Leo Laferriere, Waitsfield, VT
John McClain, Randolph, VT
David Paganelli, Barre, VT
William Sayre, Bristol, VT
Stephen Webster, Randolph, VT
David Wilcox, Berlin, VT
Advisor: Keith Thompson, Advisor, VT Department of Forest, Parks, and Recreation
Executive Director and Administrative office
Vermont Woodlands Association
Mailing: PO Box 6004, Rutland, VT 05702
802 747-7900 || FAX 802 747-7989
Message From our Past President, Put Blodgett, who passed away on March 3, 2020
Most of us want to leave the world better than we found it. Forest landowners have a unique opportunity to make this positive impact by improving their woods – whether for wildlife habitat, recreation trails, or wood products. Vermont’s forest can justifiably be recognized as the foundation of the state’s economy. The forest products industry is one of the largest segments of Vermont’s manufacturing economy. We have a four-season tourism industry built around outdoor recreation activities such as summer travel, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, fall foliage viewing, fishing, and hunting. All of these depend on the forested landscape largely managed and maintained by private forest landowners. A strong voice for forestry is critical if we are to influence Vermont citizens, students, government agencies, and elected officials about the importance of our forests and the contributions of private forest landowners to Vermont. The long-term health of the forest depends on management. Vermont Woodlands Association (VWA) is a leader in demonstrating outstanding management through the work of its members. Members are the strength and foundation of VWA.
Add your voice to others who believe in the importance of well-managed forests. Become a member of Vermont Woodlands Association for good forestry on your lands and good forestry in Vermont.
If you knew Put Blodgett, count yourself among the fortunate. He was a man of passion, principle, dedication, and commitment to his land, his family, future generations, and Vermont Woodlands Association. With twenty years at the helm, he helped to bring the organization from barely breaking event to one with a solid future through creation of several Endowments. Please consider joining VWA in Put’s honor or making a contribution to help ensure his legacy lives on.