Vermont Forest Products Program

Vermont Forestry Sustainable Harvest Products

The Vermont Forest Products Program is working to create and retain quality jobs, open additional markets for locally produced forest products, and improve economic development in the forest products industry.

In the fall of 2014, the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board commissioned a Forest Sector Systems Analysis to identify the biggest challenges and opportunities facing Vermont’s forest products industry. The analysis identified the need for network development and a value chain facilitation approach to economic development in the forest products sector.

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund launched the Vermont Forest Products Program in 2016 to help support and promote Vermont’s forest products industry through the development of value chain investment strategies to improve market opportunities for the industry. The program is a collaborative partnership between the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund, the Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, and the Northern Forest Center.

The Vermont Forest Industry Network tackles initiatives that no single business or organization could tackle alone. It brings together industry professionals and trade association partners throughout the state, including the Vermont Forest Products Association, the Vermont Wood Works Council, Vermont Woodlands Association, Renewable Energy Vermont, and others to encourage more collaboration and stronger relationships throughout the industry. The Vermont Forest Industry Network is working to advance the recommendations made by the Forest Sector Systems Analysis, including helping to promote new and existing markets for sustainable Vermont wood products, from high quality furniture to construction material to thermal biomass products such as chips and pellets.

Forest to Fiber: Next-Generation Pathways for Vermont and Regional Leadership in Wood-Based Fiber and Textiles


The potential for wood to replace plastic in woven and non-woven textiles is progressing rapidly, offering new market development opportunities across the Northern Forest region. This new report explores some of the emerging technologies and markets that show promise for using pulp grade wood to replace oil-based plastics.

The report includes:

  • An overview of the global and regional textiles industry, highlighting the industry’s evolution as well as current concerns about the sheer volume of textiles being produced and the waste being generated.
  • Provides data about various types of fiber, from animal and plant-based fibers to wood and man-made fibers.
  • Interviews and research to shed light on recent policy initiatives in Europe and elsewhere that are shaping global supply chains, opening potential opportunities for sustainable, next-generation wood-based textiles to be produced in Northern New England.

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund produced this report with support from the Northern Forest Center, U.S. Endowment for Forests and Communities and EDA, and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

Forest Economy Workforce Resources

From looking at statewide initiatives to address worker shortages to forest economy projects seeking to address gaps within the forest and wood products industry, the Vermont Forest Industry Network is committed to workforce development. Vermont has a tremendous amount of resources for employers and employees, but some of them are well-kept secrets.

In their 100th year, Cabot Creamery Co-operative teamed up with the Vermont Wood Works Council and the Vermont Forest Industry Network to thank the people and businesses in Vermont who steward and care for our forests, and the craftspeople who turn our trees into products we use and cherish for a lifetime.

Vermont Forestry Industry Summit

2024 VT Forest Industry Summit
June 6, 2024
Bolton Valley Resort
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Vermont Forest Industry News

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The Rough Cut Vermont Forest Industry eNews
Get in Touch

Contact Christine McGowan
Forest Products Program Director
(802) 828-5770

Vermont’s Forestry Industry

Vermont’s forest products industry generates an annual economic output of $1.4 billion and supports 10,500 jobs. In addition, Vermont’s forest recreation economy generates another $1.9 billion in economic output, and supports 10,000 additional jobs. The industry was hit hard in the 2008 Recession, and finding markets for low grade wood (the majority of wood harvested from Vermont’s forests) is becoming increasingly difficult due to a sharp decline in the region’s pulp industry, combined with the low price of oil and a move away from expanding electric-only biomass in the region. Markets for high grade wood are healthy, but cannot singularly sustain Vermont’s forest products industry. Without healthy markets for low grade wood, Vermont is likely to see continued decline in the industry’s in-state infrastructure such as logging operations, sawmills and kilns, as well as the local jobs they sustained.

Our Role

Over the past 20 years, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has provided industry analysis, expertise and project support, which positions the Vermont Forest Products Program to have a positive impact on the state’s forestry sector in rural communities throughout the state. Vermont’s forest products industry is imperative for job creation and sustainability, providing economic, environmental, and social benefits for rural communities that have limited economic opportunities. The Vermont Forest Products Program aims to help create and sustain thousands of jobs for Vermonters.

The Vermont Forest Products Program is supported by the Working Lands Enterprise Initiative, the High Meadows Fund, the Northern Border Regional Commission, and the Vermont Agency of Commerce & Community Development.

The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is a proud partner in the Feel Good Heat Campaign to help consumers make the switch from fossil fuels to local, renewable Automated Wood Heat.
The Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund is a proud partner in the Feel Good Heat Campaign to help consumers make the switch from fossil fuels to local, renewable Automated Wood Heat.
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