Forests, Wildlife & Communities Project

The Mad River Valley (MRV) of Vermont, consisting primarily of the towns of Moretown, Fayston, Warren and Waitsfield, is situated in and around the majestic Green Mountain National Forest, Camel's Hump State Forest, and the privately owned Northfield Mountain Range. The geographic location and forested resources of the MRV makes it abundant in recreational opportunities, ecological and forestry resources, and critical linkages for wildlife.

With a shared goal to facilitate the continued existence of large expanses of forested lands, interested parties have entered into a collaborative initiative called the Forests, Wildlife & Communities Project. The goal of the Forests, Wildlife & Communities Project is to implement a regional and landscape level campaign for conservation by advocating with local officials, landowners, and realtors and engineers to implement community land use and landowner based strategies for forest land and wildlife habitat conservation.

The specific objectives of the Forests, Wildlife & Communities Project are to:

  • Prioritize key wildlife, forest and natural resource areas in the Mad River Valley;
  • Engage local citizens and landowners in the Mad River Valley to create grassroots support for conservation through diverse non-regulatory strategies and policies.
  • Advocate land acquisition of key conservation areas and develop local funding options to achieve conservation in the Mad River Valley;
  • Promote sound local land use development through creative land use and zoning mechanisms to conserve key forest resources and habitat areas.
  • Positively influence local land use development by promoting smart growth principles with realtors, engineers and local decision makers in the Mad River Valley.

In order to coordinate conservation education and advocacy in the MRV, the Forests, Wildlife, Communities Project is governed by a diverse Steering Committee, which consists of members of local conservation commissions, planning commissions, development review boards, Select Boards, the Mad River Valley Planning District, local business owners, realtors, local and statewide conservation organizations, the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, and the United States Forest Service. Vermont Natural Resources Council acts as the fiscal agent for the project and provides staff to coordinate the Steering Committee, which meets on a bi-monthly basis.

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