Bennington County Sustainable Forest Consortium

BCSFC The Bennington County Sustainable Forest Consortium is a collaboration between landowners, foresters, loggers and other natural resource professionals. The Consortium facilitates the exchange of ideas and experiences to encourage people to care about our forests. The mission of the BCSFC is to promote responsible use and exemplary stewardship of the woodlands of Bennington County, and in so doing, to sustain the healthy ecosystems and rural livelihoods those forests support.

Sustainable forestry protects the ongoing productivity of a forest's tree species. It preserves native plant and animal biodiversity, clean water, and clean air. In some areas, sustainable forestry preserves cultural as well as ecological benefits - things like recreational opportunities, pristine vistas, or a sense of wildness. It offers employment and investment opportunities to local residents. Sustainable forestry fairly values the efforts of those who labor in the woods, and the products they send to market. And most importantly, sustainable forestry is a long-term undertaking, where success is gauged over several decades, even several generations.

Woods - Brian Lary

Photo: Brian Lary

A variety of threats presently affect our forests. Climate change, acid rain, invasive species, and deer and moose damage are major biological stressors in Vermont. An ailing housing market nationwide, a statewide scarcity of value-adding industries, a shrinking wood products labor force, and financial pressures to sell wood out of state are some of the economic stressors threatening our working forests. One of the largest threats to a resilient, diverse, and productive forest ecology and economy in Vermont, however - and one we can address through grassroots actions - may be a lack of understanding of our forest resource by landowners and the general public. Our workshop series addresses this need.

Among our workshops:

  • What Every Woodland Owner Should Know - A series of three workshops for Vermont forest land owners
    Last summer, Bennington County Forester Kyle Mason of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Bennington County Sustainable Forest Consortium, and the One World Conservation Center co-sponsored three evening workshops on “What Every Forest Owner Should Know.” Presentations were videographed and can be viewed at the links below.

    The Vermont Coverts Program

    The Vermont Woodland Association

    Natural Resource Conservation Service Programs

    Consulting Foresters & Forest Management Plans

    What to expect during a timber sale

    The Vermont Tree Farm Program

    What the State has to offer forest landowners (UVA and more)

  • When the Emerald Ash Borer Comes to Vermont, a workshop for road crews and community officials with NYSDoT regional engineer Tom Story and Cornell Co-operative Extension Forest Ecologist Mark Whitmore. (May 2014)
  • Ash Tree Tagging, with by Forest Pest First Responder Mike Rosenthal and 5th and 6th graders from the North Bennington Village School. (May 2014) (See photo of Mike Rosenthal, Co-operative Education student Nicole Snow, and students tagging trees here.)
  • Hemlock Wooly Adelgid 101. A hands-on workshop on surveying for the invasive insect. (April 2014)
  • Deer Butchering: A Primer for Hunters, A workshop on how to skin, butcher and package a deer. (October 2013)
  • Earthworm Impacts on Forest Soils with Dr. Tim Fahey (June 2013)
  • Living with Vermont's Black Bears with Forrest Hammond (April 2013)
  • Fruit Tree Pruning with Charlie Nardozzi (April 2013)
  • A Primer for Forest Landowners (with an update on the Use Value Appraisal Program) (December 2011)
  • Green Mountain Timber Harvests a Generation Later (December 2011) - Event Announcement.
  • Managing Your Forest for Wildlife (October 2011) - Event Announcement.
  • Agricultural Abandonment and Forest Return, with Prof. Kerry Woods of Bennington College. September 2011.
  • Wild Woodland Edibles walk, with Russ Cohen, forager extraordinaire. Co-sponsored by the Equinox Preservation Trust. June 2011.
  • Deer in Southern Vermont Forests (April 2011) - Click here to view Dave deCalesta's presentation.
  • All Things Sugar Maple (January 2011) - Event Announcement.
  • What Every Forest Landowner Should Know! (July 2010) - Event Announcement.
  • Forest Ownership and Succession: Making plans for the future of your forest (May 2010) - Event Announcement.
  • Vermont's Three Most Unwanted Forest Pests (April 2010) -
    Event Announcement.
  • Asian longhorned beetle and emerald ash borer surveyors workshop
    (July 2009) - Event Announcement.
  • Woodland Invasive Plant Management (June 2009) - Event Announcement.
  • Focus Species Forestry (March 2009) - Event Announcement.
  • Selling Timber from Your Woodlands (February 2009) - Event Announcement.
  • Hemlock wooly adelgid surveyors training (December 2008)
  • Passing the Forest On: Conserving Woodlands and Wealth through Forest Estate Planning (November 2008)
  • Exploitive or Responsible Forestry? (August 2008)
  • Edible wild woodland plants (May 2008)
  • Carbon Sequestration
  • Tree Identification
  • Vermont's Use Value Program
  • Forest Access Roads and Water Quality
  • And More!

For forestry assistance, contact:

The following Conservation Currents articles regarding sustainable forestry appeared in the Bennington Banner.