Into the Woods: Forest management is not deforestation, Chittenden County Forester says
Over the last few centuries, Vermont’s forests have been on a transformative journey. Prior to European colonization, Vermont was about 90-95% forested. Following the massive clearing of the early-mid 1800’s, Vermont rebounded from a low of about 20% forested around 1850 to 80% forested by the end of the twentieth century. In the last several decades, however, the amount of forestland in our state has begun to backslide, decreasing to about 75% today.
Deforestation, or forest loss, occurs when forests are converted to non-forest. While both local and global forest loss are driven by a variety of factors, here in Vermont development is one of the leading contributors. The estimates of annual deforestation in Vermont range from 2,000 acres to nearly 13,000 acres per year, depending on how we define the term.