Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation/Thesis

Advisor(s)

Walter M. Poleman

Robert L. McCullough

Cecilia Danks

Abstract

The Vermont Town Forest Recreation Planning Community Assistance Program (VTFRP) was a comprehensive community planning process held in ten diverse towns across Vermont. Led by the Urban and Community Forestry Program and the SE Group, the VTFRP helped towns develop a vision for the future management of their forests through open house workshops, site visits, steering committee meetings, and community surveys. The process provided towns with a forest recreation planning toolkit and an individualized action-based forest stewardship and recreation plan. By analyzing data from the community surveys and open house activities across all ten towns, my project considered the recreation trends and the statewide implications of the VTFRP.

Forest management practices on public and private land were analyzed to demonstrate the appropriate balance between active forest management and forest-based recreation. The role of recreation in sustaining rural economies, conserving forestland, and guiding future forest management in Vermont was evaluated. The outdoor recreation economy has outpaced the traditional forest products industry and offers new strategies for conservation of the working landscape in Vermont. This project highlights strategies in forest management with recreation to inspire future conservation and recreation initiatives across Vermont towns.

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