What is it like to be a landowner restoring a riparian forest?

Guy Choiniere, Geo Honigford, and Larry Trombley
March 30, 2022

View or download a copy of the transcript here.

By Liz Woodhull

In this latest episode of Restoration Roundup, we speak with three farmers who made the decision to restore riparian areas on their land. First we spoke with Geo Honigford, a retired vegetable farmer from South Royalton, VT who sold his farm last year. We also spoke with Larry Trombley from Swanton, VT, a landowner who leases his land to farmers, who was particularly motivated by growing up in Vermont and seeing how agricultural production affected the health of the Missisquoi Bay. Finally, we spoke with Guy Choiniere, a third generation dairy farmer from Highgate Center, VT whose land is conserved through a land trust and won an Aldo Leopold award for his conservation work on the farm. 

Over 80% of Vermont land is privately owned, meaning that a big piece of the puzzle with restoring riparian areas is connecting farmers to opportunities to restore a riparian site. All three men were approached by the USDA to restore a riparian area on their land. Though a shared reservation many farmers have is the loss of their land to the forest, we discuss with Guy, Geo, and Larry how the programs they worked with helped navigate how to best support their surrounding land and ecosystems, while still ensuring a productive farm. Join us in this special episode of Restoration Roundup where we hear from farmers themselves on how their restoration projects changed how they view land management, what they learned, and the positive impacts they’ve seen the forests make on wildlife and their surrounding waterways. 

If you or someone you know is interested in restoring a riparian area, click the link below for finding support to restore a riparian forest on your land through the Vermont Agency of Agriculture CREP Program.

For more information on how to restore a riparian area, use this link.

Image (Guy Choiniere and his son, Matt) courtesy of the Choiniere Family Farm. Visit their website here.

The bird featured in this episode was the Cedar Waxwing. It was recorded by Ezekiel S. Jakub on April 12, 2011 in Greenfield, Massachusetts. The song was downloaded from xeno-canto.org.

This project has been funded wholly or in part by the United States Environmental Protection Agency under assistance agreement (LC00A00695-0) to NEIWPCC in partnership with the Lake Champlain Basin Program.

* * *

Get the RSS link to subscribe to the podcast

Go back to all episodes