Strategic Plan 2015-2020

NOTE: In 2017, the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative became the Forest Ecosystem Monitoring Cooperative. The plan here will be updated in 2017 to reflect the regional expansion of the VMC, in the meantime, the text of the plan is left to reference the VMC

Download Strategic Plan

The VMC Strategic Plan

The Vermont Monitoring Cooperative Strategic Plan charts the course for the organization over the coming years. This plan sets out broad goals and objectives, and specific activities and deliverables, drawing on extensive engagement with the Cooperative network and intensive work by a range of stakeholders. Browse the components of the plan using the links above, or download the Plan as a PDF.

Letter from the VMC Steering Committee

For over 20 years, the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative has brought together practitioners from a range of disciplines and institutions to work together on monitoring and assessing the forested ecosystems of Vermont and the surrounding states. In light of the many evolving activities that VMC cooperators maintain year after year and the changing nature of threats to forest health across the region, the Steering Committee formed a Strategic Planning Committee in 2014 to reevaluate the role of the VMC within the larger network of natural resource professionals. This strategic planning exercise charts the course for VMC over the coming years, both in terms of broad goals and objectives, and specific activities and deliverables. After much work and repeated engagement with the VMC collaborative network, we are pleased to present the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative Strategic Plan for the 2015 – 2020 fiscal years.

This Strategic Plan affirms and renews VMC’s long-standing mission, outlines critical gaps that VMC can fill in the capacity of our larger collaborative network, and identifies the research and monitoring activities needed to sustain the health of the region’s forested ecosystems. While many new ideas and directions were discussed during this process, the consensus among stakeholders was that the core VMC activities – maintaining long-term ecosystem and environmental monitoring, securing and providing broad access to this data, and facilitating collaboration among organizations, disciplines and arenas – remain essential to our collective success.

In addition to building on the historical strengths of VMC, this Strategic Plan identifies new or previously unrecognized synergies with our partner organizations. Specifically, this includes overlapping objectives and activities defined by the US Forest Service Northeastern Area, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Green Mountain National Forest, US Forest Service Northern Research Station, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources (see page 22). Many challenges are ahead, ranging from the threat of continued climate change to institutional pressures of shrinking budgets. In light of these, working together to find shared goals and greater efficiency is a crucial step in maximizing the impact of our collective activities.

Many thanks go to all the partners who had a hand in shaping this plan. Not only did they help sharpen the focus of the VMC mission and objectives, they brought to light a wealth of opportunities to further engage our current collaborators, broaden stakeholder involvement, and connect leadership from across the many organizations represented in our network. In particular, we are deeply indebted to the members of the VMC Strategic Planning Committee who volunteered their time, expertise and enthusiasm. The VMC is in the end, the sum of its parts, and we are both encouraged by and thankful for the many dedicated colleagues who have already contributed so generously to the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative, and their continued efforts to strengthen the Cooperative into the future.


The Vermont Monitoring Cooperative Steering Committee


This work was produced in part through funding provided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northeastern Area - State & Private Forestry, with additional in-kind contributions of time from partners at the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, and the US Forest Service Northern Research Station.

VMC Strategic Planning Committee Members

US Forest Service

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources

  • Laurence Becker – Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Neil Kamman – Department of Environmental Conservation
  • David Mears – Department of Environmental Conservation
  • Barbara Schultz – Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Mark Scott – Fish & Wildlife Department
  • Steven Sinclair – Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Michael Snyder – Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Sandra Wilmot – Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

University of Vermont

The Vermont Monitoring Cooperative Staff