Vermont Forest Industry Summit

June 9-10, 2022
Annual Vermont Forest Industry Summit
Burke Mountain Resort, Burke, VT

THANK YOU ATTENDEES!

Thank you Vermont Forest Industry Network members for attending the 2022 Vermont Forest Industry Summit June 9-10 at Burke Mountain Resort.

It was a long two-year hiatus, but we were so excited to see everyone in person for what has become the industry’s marquee event that brings together people and businesses from across Vermont’s forest economy.

This year’s Summit included keynotes and panel discussions on a range of topics of interest to Vermont’s forest economy businesses and partners. Among them:

  • The impact of climate change on forest management
  • New and innovative wood products in the region
  • Access to capital for forest and wood products business ventures
  • Marketing your forest or wood product business, and much more!

Vermont’s Forest Future

Keynote Speaker: Terry Baker, CEO Society of American Foresters
Keynote Speaker:
Terry Baker, CEO
Society of American Foresters

The Summit began on Thursday afternoon with a keynote address followed by topical sessions noted in the agenda (scroll down to see the full agenda). The sessions were followed by a happy hour, dinner and plenty of time for networking. Friday’s program began with breakfast and more industry discussions. The Summit closed after a delicious lunch, leaving time for attendees to enjoy and explore the beautiful Burke area.

This year’s theme was Vermont’s Forest Future and featured a inspiring keynote address by Terry Baker, Chief Executive Officer at the Society of American Foresters.

Continuing Education:

The 2022 Vermont Forest Industry Summit was approved for 5.5 Category 1, Continuing Forestry Education (CFE) Credits by the Society of American Foresters. SAF CFE Credits qualify for Vermont Forester Licensing continuing education.

LEAP loggers received 4 continuing education credits per day.

Join the Vermont Forest Industry Network

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The Rough Cut Vermont Forest Industry Network eNews

Get in Touch

Contact Christine McGowan
Forest Products Program Director
(802) 828-5770
christine[at]vsjf.org

2022 Forest Summit Recap Videos

This year, nearly 150 people attended the 3rd Annual Vermont Forest Industry Summit June 9-10, 2022 at Burke Mountain Resort. With so many great sessions to choose from, many attendees planned to watch the sessions they missed.

The Future of our Forests

Welcome – Christine McGowan, Coordinator, Vermont Forest Industry Network

Introductory Remarks – Commissioner Mike Snyder, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Keynote – Terry Baker, CEO, Society of American Foresters. Terry Baker’s career in forestry began as a forester with the USDA Forest Service, working in Florida, Oregon, Nebraska, Arizona, and Colorado. Today, Baker leads the Society of American Foresters, which represents forestry professionals and provides leadership to ensure that all members of the profession achieve excellence in sustainable forestry and natural resource management. Baker will discuss the state of forestry in the US and the important role that forestry and the forest products industry plays in confronting environmental challenges such as climate change and keeping our forests as forests. Baker will take questions from the audience.

Climate change is impacting Vermont’s forests in many complex ways, and these threats are creating an uncertain future for our forests and our forest economy. In this session, speakers will provide the latest information about climate change’s impacts on Vermont’s forests and forest products supply chain, and what actions can be taken by landowners and practitioners to make our forests and forest economy more resilient to climate change, as well as to ensure that they remain healthy and productive for the future. They will also solicit feedback from attendees about a new project underway to explore resiliency in Vermont’s forests and along the forest products supply chain.

Moderator:
Charlie Hancock, North Woods Forestry

Speakers:
Dr. Alexandra Kosiba, Climate Forester, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
Dr. Steve Bick, Forester, Northeast Forests, LLC

Click the image above to access the just-released Vermont Forest Economy Career Guide

Representatives of Vermont’s forest and wood products industry will explore common workforce and supply chain challenges as a result of Covid 19. Participants will discuss how they have solved workforce or supply chain problems, or brainstorm additional challenges. Attendees of the session will be encouraged to actively participate in the discussion.

Moderator:
Ellen Kahler, Executive Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

This will be a roundtable discussion, but participants who will attend to share their experiences will include:
Trevor Allard, Allard Lumber
Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark
Logan Sears, Long View Forest

Outdoor recreation businesses have unique connections to Vermont’s forests, whether building trails in them, skis from them, or cultivating recreation enjoyment by Vermonters and visitors. Other similarities to forest products businesses abound in sourcing materials, training for technical work, as well as being drivers of the local economies and employment bases of Vermont’s rural communities.

Hear from Vermont’s outdoor recreation entrepreneurs and engage in a moderated discussion on approaches to: Forest use that balance resource sustainability, traditions, and craftsmanship while securing materials and providing quality, healthy experiences in the outdoors; Recruiting and training a skilled workforce and anchoring the economic vitality of communities; and, Ways the sectors can collaborate to advance the pillars of the Governor’s Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC) of strengthening outdoor businesses, participation, public health, and the quality, extent, and stewardship of recreation resources.

Moderator:
Abby Long, Kingdom Trails Association, member of the Vermont Outdoor Business Alliance and the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative

Speakers:
Vin Faraci, Owner, WhiteRoom Skis
Zac Freeman, Owner, Apex Trailworks
Sam Hooper, Owner, Vermont Glove
Hal Ellms, Owner, Pinnacle Outdoor Group

NOTE: There is no recording available for this session.

In this session, attendees will hear from national and state communications professionals on the power of language to combat negative perceptions about forest management practices such as logging, and will leave with practical tips and advice on becoming more effective forest economy ambassadors.

Moderator:
Kelly Nottermann, Communications Director, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:
TJ Struhs, #forestproud, a national initiative to elevate the profile of the forest products industry
Emily Bradbury, Emily Bradbury Communications – Emily manages the content for the Vermont Forest Industry Network’s story series.

Welcome – Joe Short, Northern Forest Center, Network Steering Committee Member

Investing in the Future – GO Lab and Timber HP, a Case Study – GO Lab Co-Founder Josh Henry will talk about TimberHP, North America’s first wood fiber insulation plant gearing up to begin production in Madison, ME; the facility will manufacture insulation made from wood fiber as an environmentally-friendly and cost-competitive alternative to traditional fiberglass and foam insulation, and will utilize wood chips and waste from mills in Maine and the Northern Forest. His remarks will be followed by a discussion with some of GO Lab’s public and private investors; the session will be moderated by Janice St. Onge, president of the Flexible Capital Fund, an investor in the project.

Opening Remarks by: Josh Henry, Co-Founder and President, GO Lab, Inc.

Plenary Moderator: Janice St. Onge, President, Flexible Capital Fund

Panelists:
Josh Henry, Co-Founder and President, GO Lab
Tony Grassi, Investor and Board Chair, GO Lab
Heather Johnson, Maine’s Commissioner for Economic and Community Development
Deborah Favreau, Chief Development Officer, Massachusetts Housing Investment Corporation

NOTE: There is no recording available for this session.

COVID-19 has presented many challenges to forest economy businesses, but it has also helped spawn unprecedented demand for wood products. The need to support the expansion of businesses serving consumers of wood products from fuel to furniture is as great as ever. In this session, attendees will hear from businesses planning expansion projects that will have a positive impact on Vermont’s forest economy.

Moderator:
Matt Langlais, County Forester for Caledonia and Essex Counties, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Speakers:
Morton Bailey, Lyme Green Heat, Inc. – expansion of a bulk Wood Pellet Mill in Wells River
Ethan Gevry, Gevry Firewood, LLC – firewood processing improvements to expand firewood market
Timothy Engell, White Rock Farm, LLC – sawmill expansion

Vermont building designs have a rich tradition of timber frame construction. However, due to the lack of current mass timber supply in the state, some have been hesitant to specify mass timber products for local projects, knowing that supply will come from outside the region. Across the country, mass timber products such as cross-laminated timber and glulam have opened the door to many new opportunities for sustainable construction. Concurrently, research and testing on the use of Eastern Hemlock in mass timber products has progressed such that real projects in Vermont and Massachusetts will soon be constructed using these locally-sourced raw materials. Join this interactive discussion on mass timber to hear what’s happening from a national, regional, and local perspective – and what we can all do to further the use of mass timber in Vermont. The Eastern Hemlock in CLT story will be told, and several local mass timber projects will be highlighted.

Moderator and Presenter:
Ricky McLain, WoodWorks – overview of mass timber development and trends across the region and beyond

Speakers:
Charlie Levesque, President, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions, LLC – overview of a pilot project to demonstrate eastern hemlock’s viability as a species for use in Cross-Laminated Timber.
Megan Nedzinski, Project Architect at Vermont Integrated Architecture, P.C., Fairbanks Museum Mass Timber Demonstration Project – an update on the project; use of eastern hemlock in the project; other local wood considerations
Paul Boa, Head of Timberframe Operations, and Florian Back, Structural Engineer, Bensonwood, JT Imming, ReArch Company – an update on the Adimab Expansion: Lebanon, NH’s 1st Mass Timber Building

Attendees can earn 1.5 AIA/CES HSW LUs, 1.5 PDH credits or 0.15 ICC credits

Click the image above to access the just-released Vermont Forest Economy Career Guide

Workforce, or lack thereof, remains a critical challenge for forest economy businesses. This session will explore existing apprenticeship programs that can be tailored to the forest economy, and will also seek industry input into a new initiative from the Vermont Wood Works Council to develop additional workforce solutions.

Moderator:
Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:
Molly Willard, Vermont Technical College, Office of Continuing Education and Workforce Development
Jason Finley, Career Services Coordinator, Randolph Technical Career Center
Amanda Chase, Director of Strategic Engagement, Advance VT
Jay Ramsey, Director, Registered Apprenticeship Program, VT Department of Labor

Charlie Shackleton and Kate Ziehm, Vermont Vermont Wood Works Council, will discuss a new initiative: Careers in Wood: Building a Workforce for the Future 

In this session, presenters will outline various funding opportunities available for forest and wood product businesses in Vermont, and share practical advice on how best to access grant funding. Past recipients of Working Lands Enterprise Initiative business grants will describe their funded projects, and discuss pros and cons of applying for and/or receiving funds for projects.

Moderator:
Calley Hastings, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board Farm and Forest Viability Program

Speakers:
Mariah Noth, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
Lynn Ellen Schimoler, Working Lands Interprise Initiative
Steve Bick, Northeast Forests, LLC

WLEF grant recipients Lucas Jenson (Treehouse Hardwoods & Millshop) and Heath Bunnell, (Kirby Mulch), will share their experiences pursuing and utilizing a working lands business grant.

A very special thanks to our funders:

  • Northern Border Regional Commission
  • Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Initiative
  • Agency of Commerce and Community Development
  • The Daybreak Fund (formerly the High Meadows Fund) at the Vermont Community Foundation

A big thank you to the following summit sponsors and partners:

Vermont Forest Industry Network Steering Committee:

Trevor Allard, Allard Lumber; Dave Frank, Sunwood Biomass; Paul Frederick, VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation; Liz Gleason, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board; Charlie Hancock, North Woods Forestry; Lucas Jenson, Treehouse Hardwoods and Mill Shop and Vermont Wood Works Council; Ricky McLain, Woodworks; Michael Rainville, Maple Landmark; Joe Short, Northern Forest Center; Michael Snyder, Commissioner, VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation; Tim Tierney, VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development; Allan Thompson, Consulting Forester Network Coordinator: Christine McGowan, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

The Life of a Tree in Vermont

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.

 

2019 Forest Summit Recap Videos

Vermont’s forests are an invaluable asset – they provide us with clean water and clean air, abundant wildlife and an opportunity to connect with nature through hiking, camping, skiing, mountain biking and other forest-based recreation. Our forests also support Vermont’s economy through jobs in logging, forestry and milling to fine woodworking, design and building, not to mention recreation-based tourism and maple production. What does the future hold for Vermont’s forests, and our forest-based economy? Deputy Commissioner Sam Lincoln will moderate a wide-ranging discussion with some of the leading experts in our state and region to explore the challenges and opportunities that come with managing the forests of the future.

Moderator:
Sam Lincoln, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Speakers:

  • Michael Snyder, Commissioner, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Charlie Hancock, North Woods Forestry
  • Ken Gagnon, Gagnon Lumber
  • Mike Rainville, Maple Landmark
  • Abby Long, Kingdom Trails
  • Emma Marvin, Butternut Mountain Farm

Learn about a new program in Vermont to improve safety in the woods and reduce worker’s compensation rates for Vermont loggers. Sam Lincoln, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, will lead a discussion about the challenges Vermont loggers face with high workers compensation rates and solutions that are in the works to reduce rates and promote safety.

Moderator: Sam Lincoln, Deputy Commissioner, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Speakers:

  • John Adler, LPA Logging
  • Alex Barrett, Long View Forest
  • Nancy Cass, Cass Insurance
  • Rocky Bunnell, Log Contractor

The number of sawmills in Vermont has been declining for several years. However, many of those that remain are investing in the future. The panel will explore whether the loss of sawmills in Vermont has resulted in a loss in capacity to fulfill market needs in the state and region. They will also will discuss what investments Vermont sawmills are making to stay competitive, and explore what is needed to ensure remaining mills are successful and also what, if any, gaps exist that new or expanded mills could fill.

Moderator: Eric Kingsley, Innovative Natural Resource Solutions

Speakers:

  • Paul Frederick, Wood Utilization Manager, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Bill Sayre, Co-Owner, A. Johnson Lumber
  • Trevor Allard, Allard Lumber
  • Colleen Goodridge, Owner, Goodridge Lumber
  • Joel Currier, Currier Forest Products

Forest-based recreation is on the rise, and more and more, tourists are seeking unique experiences during their travels in the Green Mountain State. Vermont’s forest and wood products industry has the potential to tap into this growing market by re-connecting visitors to where their wood products come from just as farms and food producers have re-connected people to where food comes from. The panel will explore example in the forest and wood products sectors of where businesses can provide unique visitor experiences while also helping visitors make positive connections between the forests they treasure and the wood products they use in their everyday lives.

Moderator: Tim Tierney, Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Speakers:

  • Charles Shackleton, ShackletonThomas
  • Joe Short, Northern Forest Center
  • April Lemay, April’s Maple

Learn DIY tips and tricks to easily improve your website’s search engine rankings with Kelly Nottermann of Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund. Search Engine Optimization (a.k.a. SEO) doesn’t have to be complicated. Kelly will share some current SEO trends and practical tactics you can use to help more people find your business through Google search. Optional homework: Enter the name of your business into an online search and see how many times you appear on the first page of results.

Our keynote speaker is Donna Cassese, who recently retired after four decades at pulp and paper giant Sappi and now consults for the company and sits on the executive committee of the Maine Forest Economy Growth Initiative. Donna will discuss the promising work being done across the globe to develop new and innovative products made from wood, from jet fuel to soccer balls to clothing to food additives. You name it, it might be made of wood someday!

Donna Cassese graduated from UMO with a B.S. in Forest Management and worked for Sappi for over 40 years. She has had diverse roles within forestry, operations, and manufacturing.  After nearly 15 years as a forester in both Maine and Alabama she transitioned into managerial roles in the Woodyard, Waste Treatment, Pulp Sales and Human Resources at the Somerset Mill in Skowhegan, Maine. Following these roles, Donna held the position of Plant Manager at Sappi’s Allentown Pennsylvania converting facility and then transitioned into the Supply Chain group at the Somerset Mill. In 2006 Donna became the Director of Inside Sales for Sappi’s North American operations. In 2008, Donna assumed responsibility for the Westbrook Mill as Managing Director. In 2014 Donna returned to forestry as the Director of Wood Supply Strategy with responsibility for developing and implementing wood supply strategy for Sappi’s mills in Maine and Minnesota. In January of 2018 Donna retired and now works as a consultant for Sappi leading government relations work in Maine.

Following Donna’s presentation and Q&A, we will facilitate a discussion of potential products in various stages of research, development and commercialization, and gain insights from the audience about where is Vermont’s sweet spot is when it comes to the next generation of wood products.

Forest-based recreation is on the rise, and more and more, tourists are seeking unique experiences during their travels in the Green Mountain State. Vermont’s forest and wood products industry has the potential to tap into this growing market by re-connecting visitors to where their wood products come from just as farms and food producers have re-connected people to where food comes from. The panel will explore example in the forest and wood products sectors of where businesses can provide unique visitor experiences while also helping visitors make positive connections between the forests they treasure and the wood products they use in their everyday lives.

Moderator: Tim Tierney, Agency of Commerce and Community Development

Speakers:

  • Charles Shackleton, ShackletonThomas
  • Joe Short, Northern Forest Center
  • April Lemay, April’s Maple

What are the latest design trends influencing Vermont woodworkers, and in turn how are they influencing styling with wood?

Moderator: Jon Blatchford, Vermont Wood Works Council; General Manager, J.K. Adams

Speakers:

Peggy Farabaugh, Vermont Woods Studios
David Hurwitz, David Hurwitz Originals
James Murray, Simon Pearce

Starting, growing and managing a business is hard work. But without a well thought out exit strategy, a business runs the risk of being forced to close its doors leaving employees – and owners – high and dry. Learn about the various options for your business when you want to move on.

Moderator: Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:

Janice St. Onge, President, Flexible Capital Fund
Ken Gagnon, Gagnon Lumber
Timo Bradley, Timberhomes

With a year of Vermont forest and wood products stories under our belt, we think we’re onto something! The Vermont Forest Industry Network will share results of our story-telling efforts to help raise the profile of Vermont’s forest and wood products industry. We’ll be joined by a Cabot Creamery and others to talk about effective story telling that any forest or wood products business can do, and why it is a critical component of any good marketing plan.

Moderator: Kelly Nottermann, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:

Christine McGowan,
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
Emily Bradbury, Emily Bradbury Communications
Amy Richardson, Richardson Family Farm

2018 Forest Summit Recap Videos

More than 150 people attended the 1st Annual Vermont Forest Industry Summit June 28-29, 2018 at Burke Mountain Resort.

  • We launched the Vermont Forest Industry Network, made up of forest and wood products industry members and service providers who want to advance Vermont’s forest and wood products sector, grow markets for Vermont wood products and improve our forest supply chains.
  • Click here to read a re-cap of the Summit and next steps for the Network.

What do we want Vermont’s forests to be in 50 years? A panel of distinguished industry experts explores this question in the context of local, regional and global issues that impact today’s forests and the industry that both stewards and depends on them.  How are other regions viewing forests of the future, and what actions are needed today to insure Vermont has the forests it envisions for future generations?

Moderator:
Sean Ross, Managing Director/Director of Forestry Operations, Lyme Timber Company, LP; Hanover, NH

Speakers:

  • Kathryn Fernholz, Executive Director, Dovetail Partners, Minneapolis, MN
  • Craig Rawlings, President/CEO, Forest Business Network, Missoula, MT
  • Michael Snyder, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
  • Alex Barrett, Consulting Forester, Long View Forest Management, Westminster, VT

This panel discusses how energy users across the scale are utilizing wood and moving away from fossil fuels. How will the emergence of home and business scale Combined Heat and Power (CHP) impact the market for pellets and chips in Vermont and the region? What do forest and wood products businesses in Vermont need to know about converting away from fossil-fuel based energy systems? Learn how the public utilities are using Tier III dollars to help forest industry businesses move away from fossil fuels.

Moderator: Adam Sherman, Biomass Energy Resource Center, Burlington, VT 

Speakers:

  • Dutch Dresser, Maine Energy Systems, Bethel, ME
  • Jack Byrne, Middlebury College, Middlebury, VT
  • Jeffrey Monder, Green Mountain Power, Rutland, VT

Workforce development continues to challenge Vermont businesses grappling with a shortage of workers and many forest products business owners are reaching retirement age. Overseas and over-the-border competition continues to put downward pressure on product prices. Staying focused ON your business and not just working IN your business can be hard to prioritize. Vermont forest and wood products businesses discuss how they have overcome challenges recruiting and retaining quality employees, as well as how they’ve invested in operational efficiencies that are yielding results. Stories of what can happen when the business is not attending to these needs are shared.

Moderator: Lawrence Miller, Business consultant and founder of Otter Creek Brewing Company

Speakers:

  • Jennifer Fraser, General Manager, Appalachian Engineered Flooring, North Troy
  • Chris Brooks, Owner, Vermont Wood Pellet Company, N. Clarendon
  • Andrew Pearce, Owner, Andrew Pearce Bowls, Hartland

Due to their high strength, dimensional stability and positive environmental performance, mass timber building products are quickly becoming materials of choice for sustainably-minded designers. Regions of the country such as the Pacific Northwest, the southeast and New England have shown particular interest in adopting this new style of construction, undoubtedly in large part due to their abundant forest resources. This presentation provides an overview of the variety of mass timber products available, including glue-laminated timber (glulam), cross laminated timber (CLT), nail laminated timber (NLT), heavy timber decking, and other engineered and composite systems. Applications for the use of these products under modern building codes are discussed, and examples of their use in U.S. projects reviewed. Next, the results of a recently completed mass timber feasibility study on a 5 story mixed-use project in Brattleboro are presented, with an emphasis on cost, assemblies and lessons learned. Finally, non-structural wood species native to Vermont is discussed, highlighting possible applications for these products in mass timber buildings.

Moderator/Speaker: Ricky McLain, WoodWorks, Cabot, VT

Speakers:

  • Jillian Tomaselli, Stevens & Associates, Brattleboro, VT
  • Paul Frederick, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Research shows that consumers have an innate love of forests and a desire for quality wood products – two things Vermont has in spades. How can forest and wood products businesses more effectively tell their stories and emphasize their role stewarding the forests people love and making the wood products people want?  Hear results from a recent survey of Vermonters and visitors about their perceptions of our forests and wood products and learn about a new regional marketing campaign to grow the market for automated wood heat.

Moderator: Kathleen Wanner, Owner, GWC Communications and Executive Director, Vermont Woodlands Association 

Speakers:

  • Maura Adams, Northern Forest Center
  • Christine McGowan, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

A look at case studies of previous and current efforts to source local wood. What lessons can be learned by previous efforts to develop a Vermont wood supply chain from landowner to consumer? Examples of current local sourcing efforts are discussed.

Moderator: Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:

  • Joe Nelson, Consulting Forester, Addision, VT
  • Andy Harper, Winterwood Timber Frames, East Montpelier, VT
  • Michael Rainville, Maple Landmark, Middlebury, VT
  • Tony Fletcher, Green Mountain Grain & Barrel, Richmond,

Trends come and go, but the trees that grow in Vermont and the region are steady. What are the latest trends in wood use? What species are coming into vogue for architectural design? How is Amazon impacting the market for cardboard? Are we taking full advantage of the species that grow in Vermont, and are there opportunities for underutilized species to meet consumer demands?

Moderator: Ellen Kahler, Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund

Speakers:

  • Donna Cassese, SAPPI
  • Craig Rawlings, Forest Business Network
  • Sam Lincoln, Deputy Director, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation

Shifting markets, an aging workforce and global trade all could be seen as formidable challenges to Vermont’s forest and wood products businesses. But Vermont’s forest and wood products industry also has plenty of rising stars who see a future in our forests. This closing panel explores the future of Vermont’s forest and wood products industry.

Moderator: Ian Hartman, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board

Speakers:

  • Charlie Hancock, Consulting Forester, North Woods Forestry, Montgomery Center
  • Kyle Pratt, Logger, Jericho
  • Peter Gardner, Clifford Lumber, Hinesburg
  • Adam and Andrew Rainville, Maple Landmark, Middlebury
  • Carina Driscoll, Vermont Woodworking School, Cambridge
  • Ben Nottermann, Green Mountain Technical & Career Center, Hardwick

Vermont's Forestry Industry

Vermont’s forest products industry generates an annual economic output of $1.5 billion and supports 10,000 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 Windham Foundation as well as the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the Northern Border Regional Commission.

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