University of Vermont

University Communications

New Partners Join Forces to Help Northern Forest

Release Date: 11-07-2003

Author: Cheryl Ann Dorschner
Phone: 802/656-4308 Fax: (802) 656-3203

Two important regional events are joining forces for the first time this fall – bringing together research scientists, business people, community leaders, and government agents to share new ideas and build strategies for regional collaboration in the Northern Forest of northern Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and New York.

“Partnerships for the Northern Forest,” Nov. 13-14 at the Radisson Hotel in Burlington, Vt., will combine the science-based research program of the First Meeting of the Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC) with the regional networking and policy development of the Northern Forest Center’s second annual Northern Forest Community Leadership Exchange. Research presentations and sessions covering forest products, conservation, community planning and funding strategies will occur throughout the two-day event.

“This is an exciting opportunity to integrate research that’s been taking place in the Northern Forest with emerging ideas about a new policy agenda for the region,” said Mike Wilson, senior program director for the Northern Forest Center. “With the approaching 10th anniversary of the 1994 report of the Congress-sponsored Northern Forest Lands Council, we’re bringing together leaders from across the region to work together on a broad-based policy agenda to help secure support and funding for sustainable development in the Northern Forest over the next 10 years.”

“One of the Northern Forest Lands Council’s recommendations was creation of a four-state research cooperative to study and help inform Northern Forest land management and communities,” said Melody Burkins, Vermont’s NSRC director at the University of Vermont’s School of Natural Resources, “NSRC is that cooperative. It has helped grant over $3 million in research projects focused on Northern Forest ecology, economic issues, forest products, recreation and tourism, and land-use change, and other issues vital the region’s long-term well-being.”

Judy Brown, acting executive director of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation added, “This conference gives NSRC researchers a chance to share their results with one another and with community and business leaders who are shaping the region’s future. It is important for Northern Forest leaders to know that there is great interest in studies of their region that can help to inform ongoing policy questions about issues as critical as acid rain, overall forest health, regional economics, conservation and biodiversity.”

“Partnerships for the Northern Forest” conference will feature scientific research presentations on ecological and socioeconomic issues; an intensive work session on strategies and opportunities for regional collaboration and funding; and theme-based discussions of issues ranging from forest products manufacturing to land conservation, tourism, the creative economy and sustainable communities.

Conference sessions are designed to engage business people, community and non-profit leaders, state and federal agency representatives, academic researchers and others committed to the long-term well-being of the Northern Forest.

As part of the event, on the evening of Nov. 13, the Northern Forest Center will present the first annual Northern Forest Community Partnership Awards to one individual from each of the four states. This new awards program is supported by First Colebrook Bank, Laconia Savings Bank, Connecticut River Bank, Community Guarantee Savings Bank, Community National Bank and Woodsville Guaranty Savings.

The NSRC is a competitive research grant program to study the ecological, economic, social and cultural challenges facing Northern Forest lands and communities. It is jointly directed by the School of Natural Resources at the University of Vermont and the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station Hubbard Brook Project, with federal support from U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Judd Gregg (N.H.).

The Northern Forest Center is a non-profit organization founded in 1997 to combine social change and conservation to improve the lives of people and the health of the natural world in the Northern Forest and beyond.

“Partnerships for the Northern Forest” has been endorsed by more than 40 organizations and businesses from across the region.

The Northern Forest Community Leadership Exchange has received additional financial sponsorship from: International Paper, Lyme Timber Company, Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller NHP, New England Foundation for the Arts, North Country Health Consortium, Northern Woodlands Magazine, Adirondack North Country Association, Businesses for the Northern Forest, Northern Forest Heritage Park, James W. Sewall Company, E. D. Bessey & Son, NH Division of Forests & Lands, Powell Real Estate, and Stratton Lumber, Inc.

Conference coordination is being led by University of Vermont Continuing Education. The $140 fee ($80 for students) includes registration, meals, and entertainment by renowned Adirondack story-teller Bill Smith. The conference runs 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 13, and 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Nov. 14.

Complete conference details and registration information are available at and

Additional contacts include: Mike Wilson, Northern Forest Center, 207-824-8263 and Melody Burkins, Northeastern States Research Cooperative, 802-656-2982.