University of Vermont

University Communications

Congress Allocates $1.6 Million for Forest Research

Release Date: 10-07-2004

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

The Northeastern States Research Cooperative (NSRC), a program jointly directed by the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the University of Vermont and the Hubbard Brook Project of the USDA Forest Service Northeastern Research Station, today announced over $1.6 million in research grants for studies of the Northern Forest and its communities. The grants were made possible through the continuing efforts of U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy (Vt.) and Judd Gregg (N.H.) to make Northern Forest research programs a priority.

A total of 21 proposals were funded by the NSRC this year, with final grant awards ranging between $30,000 and $155,000. Funded research includes studies of:

• business and employment stability in logging communities

• forest ecosystem health

• new strategies for effective public debate and discourse about Northern Forest land use

• branding and marketing research into the value-added potential of certified forest products

• national forest appeals and litigation issues

• recreation and tourism issues in the Northern Forest

• forest management demonstration programs

• forest pest issues

• wildlife management

• effects of climate change on Northeastern forests.

A full list of NSRC-funded projects and contact information for lead investigators are listed on the NSRC public website:

"The Northern Forest is home to diverse wildlife habitat and recreational opportunities and is the heart of many rural economies,” said Leahy, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior. “These grants help Vermonters and our partners from across the Northern Forest address the many issues facing the region, including forest health and economic development. This four-state program helps the people who live and work in the Northern Forest share key research and develop new partnerships to enhance our region." “Scientists at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire have been studying ecosystems for more than four decades,” said Gregg, also a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior. “There is nothing more important to environmental protection than thorough scientific knowledge of how ecosystems function combined with long-term, sustained ecological monitoring. The NSRC partnership expands our base of knowledge at a critical time. I’m proud of what NSRC has achieved in the past and I know that the region will rely even more on NSRC research in coming years.”

The 26 million-acre Northern Forest region is home to one million residents and stretches from eastern Maine through New Hampshire, Vermont and northern New York State. A working landscape with timber and forest products investments, unique recreation opportunities, vast watersheds, and a diversity of wildlife, the Northern Forest has long been a priority for sustainable economic development and conservation by its local, state, and federal leaders. Congress created the NSRC in 1998 following the 1994 recommendations of a four-state Northern Forest Lands Council that had dedicated over a decade of work towards Northern Forest issues.

“In this fourth year of the NSRC grant competition, we received a record number of highly-competitive proposals requesting over $12 million in funding for projects meant to directly benefit on-the-ground issues of Northern Forest lands and communities,” said Don DeHayes, Dean of the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at the UVM. “As the program continues to grow, with sister programs emerging in New York and Maine, we believe NSRC will continue to develop and reach out to all Northern Forest interests to promote relevant and useful research.”

“A hallmark of the 42-year Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study has been the diversity of research and the way that scientists in different disciplines share their findings,” said David Sleeper, executive director of the Hubbard Brook Research Foundation. “NSRC expands on the Hubbard Brook model by involving social scientists and other researchers as well as ecosystem scientists. The result is a much more thorough understanding of the natural environment and how mankind interacts with it. Senators Gregg and Leahy deserve credit for recognizing the importance of this kind of research to the health of the northern forest.”

For more information on the Northeastern States Research Cooperative contact:

In Vermont
Melody Brown Burkins
NSRC Theme 1 Director
The Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
University of Vermont
327 George D. Aiken Center
81 Carrigan Drive
Burlington, Vermont 05405
Phone: 802-656-2982

In New Hampshire
Chris Eager
Hubbard Brook Project Leader
USDA Forest Service
271 Mast Road
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
Phone: 603-868-7636