James M. Jeffords Center for Policy Research at UVM Joins New Partnership to Keep Vermont's Working Landscape Vital
- By Laurie T. Eddy
Vermont’s working landscape—its open meadows and mixed forests—offers economic, cultural, scenic, environmental and recreational benefits that are essential to our future prosperity. Yet if alarming trends are not reversed, it could vanish within a generation along with Vermont’s unique character and many of the key values that unify the state.
Fifty years ago half of the state’s land was in agriculture; today barely one-fifth is being actively farmed. Forest products mills are closing and production is down. Parcels are smaller, and development is spreading across the countryside.
The new nonpartisan and broad-based Vermont Working Landscape Partnership is leading a bold year-long campaign to keep our farm and forest economy vital. It will bring a focused Action Plan to the Governor and legislature—one that will help everyone trying to make a living from the land. James M. Jeffords Center for Policy Research at UVM is already endorsing this effort and welcomes this new voice in the State House.
It’s important to show our elected leaders how much Vermonters care about this issue. Sign up as an individual member of the Partnership to stay updated and help shape the campaign for the future of Vermont’s Working Landscape.
In December, leaders from the state, federal, nonprofit and private sectors packed the Vermont State House for the Summit on the Future of the Working Landscape. Many of them have already joined this Partnership in support of its Plan. Learn more and add your name to the growing list. (Click to see the names of individuals and organizations/businesses that have already signed on).
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is leading this effort. If Vermonters focus and work together, we can build an agricultural and natural resource Renaissance and keep our land working for future generations!