University of Vermont

Northeastern States Research Cooperative Update October 2013

Autumn is a perfect time to think about the value of the northern forest. It’s impossible to ignore the spectacle when, to paraphrase Robert Frost, all our leaves turn to flowers. As out-of-state license plates fill our country roads, the economic value of a healthy forest is clear for all to see. But our forests have more value than the tourist dollars that are generated during the brief exuberance of our foliage season – they heat our homes, provide food and shelter for our non-human neighbors, clean our air and water, keep greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere, give us paper and lumber, and even serve up dessert in the form of maple syrup.

What’s the best way to keep our forests healthy? How can we make it economically viable for people to own large tracts of forested land? How much sap can we extract without sacrificing the long-term health of our maple trees? These are just a few of the questions being addressed in research funded by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC).

The NSRC funds research in 4 different themes ( and then works to communicate the results with landowners, foresters, policy-makers, and other scientists. NSRC has released a 2014 call for proposals and research pre-proposals are due October 25.

The NSRC will be hosting two “webinars” this fall to share results from recently completed studies. On November 13, Abby van den Berg (FOR '99, MS-FOR '00, PhD-UVM '06) from UVM’s Proctor Maple Research Center will be presenting “Finding the Sweet Spot: Growth Rates of Trees Tapped with High-Yield Sap Collection Mechanisms and Sustainable Tapping Guidelines for Modern Maple Syrup Production”. Tentatively scheduled for December 3, René Germain (FOR '83), from the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, will share findings from his research on the costs of implementing “best management practices” in family-owned forests. Stay tuned for details!

I am excited to be serving as this year’s NSRC Graduate Student Research Assistant, and I look forward to keeping you informed about our ongoing research.