Burlington--University of Vermont (UVM) Extension and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation have partnered to develop a comprehensive online resource to provide information about forests and related topics to landowners, educators, town officials and forestry professionals.

The new website, www.ourVTwoods.org, is organized by audience and by topic, making it easy for visitors to find resources tailored to their interests. Topics include water quality, conservation, wildlife, recreation, maple sugaring, timber harvesting and forest-based products and industry, among others. Users also can learn about local, regional and statewide events, such as forestry workshops and field walks, and stay updated on useful resources for healthy forests.

"ourVTwoods.org serves as a portal for partner coordination and as a hub for information on forest health, stewardship and the Vermont forest economy," said Kate Forrer, UVM Extension community forestry specialist. "Our goal was to create one website where Vermonters could go to connect to the wealth of information and resources about our forests."

For landowners, the site provides information on a number of topics from tree identification and invasive pests to developing a woodland management plan, hiring a forestry consultant and understanding Vermont's Use Value Appraisal Program. Teachers can explore resources to plan classroom activities and field trips as well as improve environmental literacy and prepare students for careers in forestry.

The website also connects town officials with organizations that can provide technical, financial and educational assistance to help them care for local natural resources and take other actions to ensure healthy community forests. Industry professionals will find updates on industry issues, pest and disease observations, wood markets and forest statistics, licensing information and professional development opportunities.

Other features include a directory of organizations dedicated to caring for Vermont's woods, a resource hub and an automated e-newsletter, targeted by county, with upcoming events and forestry updates.

ourVTwoods.org was funded in part by a grant through a U.S. Department of Agriculture Forestry Service grant. Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Vermont Woodlands Association, Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife, the Vermont Natural Resource Council and the Center for Northern Woodlands Education also contributed.


Katherine Ann Forrer