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America’s forest sector is ready for climate action and rural America can benefit

While this election demonstrates there’s still a significant divide amongst Americans on many issues, there’s a center on climate policy that is tapping America’s forests as a natural climate solution. 

America’s forest sector is ready for this moment, with deep consensus among public and private sector leaders on needed policies to grow natural carbon capture in forests and wood products, generating thousands of new jobs in the process and significant economic opportunities for rural communities and landowners. 

This hard-won consensus has been developed by the Forest-Climate Working Group (FCWG), a coalition that represents every aspect of the forest sector — private landowners, forest products and other major companies, state and federal forestry agencies, environmental NGOs, researchers and carbon finance interests — and which our organizations co-chair. The FCWG has patiently worked together since 2007 to identify needed forestry actions for climate and then translate that understanding into policy proposals that bipartisan elected officials can confidently move, knowing they have sector-wide support. 

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Vermont Capitol Christmas tree coming from Cadwallader Tree Farm

On November 24, this year’s Vermont Capitol Christmas Tree, which will illuminate the statehouse in Montpelier for the holiday season, will be cut down from Cadwallader Tree Farm in Wallingford, VT, owned by Len and Mary Ann Cadwallader.

The Cadwalladers have owned the land from which the tree comes from for 80 years, and Len’s grandparents first got the farm involved in Vermont Tree Farm. While not specifically a Christmas tree farm, the farm had several large balsam firs among other varieties. Mr. Cadwallader described the balsam tree as “stately and full” standing at over 60 ft tall. He knew
the capitol was looking for a tree, and felt he had one that could be the Capitol Tree. So, he alerted his local forester who notified the statehouse, and he was given approval to donate the tree to the Capitol.

The event at Cadwallader Farm on November 24 will include the cutting of another balsam tree, which will go to Dartmouth College to be erected on the Hanover Green.

Mr. Cadwallader is grateful for the opportunity saying, “I am pleased to donate the trees and brighten the holiday season, particularly this year with the pandemic.”

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Forestry, Conservation and Environmental CEOs Establish Common Ground on the Role of Private Working Forests as a Natural Climate Solution

WASHINGTON, Nov. 12, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — 48 environmental, conservation, and forest business leaders announced an agreement of principles on the important role sustainably managed forests and forest products can play in mitigating climate change.

Today, forests in the U.S. offset 15% of the country’s industrial carbon emissions. Carbon sequestration in sustainably managed private forest lands and carbon storage in forest products can provide a natural solution to climate change while also providing a wide variety of additional benefits like clean air and water, wildlife habitat, and good paying jobs.

The principles are signed by the CEOs of American Forests, American Forest Foundation, Environmental Defense Fund, National Alliance of Forest Owners, The Nature Conservancy, and the CEOs of 43 forestry businesses representing over 46 million acres of working forests across the United States.

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Pioneering Tree Farmers

Once upon a time, “Pioneer” was the pathway to becoming a Tree Farmer. Today, Pioneer status can still serve as an introductory level of participation in the program, but it is not a mandatory starting point. The Pioneer category allows interested landowners who may not quite meet AFF Standards of Sustainability but do meet eligibility requirements to join the American Tree Farm System. The goal of Pioneer status is to provide landowners an opportunity to work toward being a Certified Tree Farmer, whether new to the program or just needing a management plan update.

If you are a non-industrial private forestland owner (NIPF) with 10 acres or more of contiguous forest, you are eligible to be a Tree Farmer or to enter the program as a Pioneer. It’s really simple. There’s a form called the “004” that would need the first page filled out. This is basic contact information for you and basic property information. You can get help from Kathleen at the office, a tree farm committee member, or a consulting forester. Once you are enrolled as a Pioneer, you’ll have up to 5 years to complete a management plan that meets the Standards of Sustainability in order to become certified.

The Tree Farm Committee has a management plan template that we will share with you so you can familiarize yourself with the components of a management plan. We will facilitate an introduction to a tree farmer in your area who will be happy to meet with you and take you on a guided tour of his or her tree farm.

The American Tree Farm System has provided a grant to the VT Tree Farm Program to assist in our Pioneering Tree Farm effort. Because of this funding, we are able to waive the annual $30 administrative fee for the first year. This fee helps to cover the cost of administering the program to ensure its integrity and compliance with the American Tree Farm System and third party certification.

The Vermont Tree Farm Committee and our Vermont Tree Farmers are proud of their stewardship. Please consider joining the nearly 500 Tree Farmers who share a common love for and connection to the land.

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Welcome to our new website!

Welcome to the new website for the Vermont Tree Farm program! Please check back often as we get the site updated and provide informative and interesting content to you, our visitors. Nice to see you; hope to see you again soon!

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In Memory of John Hemenway

The Vermont Woodlands Association would like to remember John Hemenway who passed away on December 21, 2016 at the age of 92. His work for the New England Forest Foundation began in 1953. Hemenway served on the VWA Board of Directors for many, many years, with his involvement in the Vermont Timberland Owners Association (now VWA) beginning in the early 1980s. He was the Vermont Outstanding Tree Farmer of the Year in 2013. John was a trusted friend, mentor, and inspiration for many in the New England forestry community. We hope his work and commitment to support woodlands, conservation, and sustainable management continues to inspire woodland owners for decades to come. A link to his obituary can be found here.

The New England Forestry Foundation has a wonderful memorial write-up as does the Valley News.

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Woods, Wildlife and Warblers program

If you have not heard about the Woods, Wildlife and Warblers program yet, please visit the website to learn more and tell your southern Vermont woodland owner friends and neighbors. The Woods, Wildlife and Warblers is a partnership among Audubon Vermont, the Vermont Tree Farm CommitteeVermont Woodlands Association, and the American Forest Foundation. We couldn’t accomplish our work without the help of the rest of our partners, including Vermont CovertsVermont’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, and Vermont’s Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

Our focus is on providing landowners in Vermont with the knowledge, tools, and resources that will allow them to better care for their woods and the critters that call them home.We offer free, no obligation services to landowners, such as informational materials and site visits from a woodland expert. The expert will walk your land with you and discuss goals you may have for your land such as:

  • Enhancing wildlife habitat on your property;
  • Increasing the variety of wildlife species visiting your woods;
  • Identifying and controlling invasive plants and insects;
  • Monitoring how your woods are changing; and
  • Maintaining your woods into the future.

Learn more on our website and sign up for your free visit from a woodland expert.

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AFF Applauds Sonny Perdue as Secretary of Agriculture

WASHINGTON, D.C. (January 19, 2017) – The following statement may be attributed to Tom Martin, President and CEO of the American Forest Foundation (AFF).

“The American Forest Foundation welcomes President-elect Trump’s nomination of former Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue to be the country’s next Secretary of Agriculture. As a landowner and avid sportsman, he knows the importance of America’s forests, both public and privately owned, and understands the rural landowners and communities that work so hard to manage and protect these lands. As governor, he had an incredible track record of supporting policies at the state level, that helped landowners large and small to be responsible stewards of the land.”

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Boozman-Leahy Resolution Recogizes 75th Anniversary of the American Tree Farm System

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators John Boozman (R-AR) and Patrick Leahy (D-VT) introduced a resolution recognizing the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), a program founded in 1941 to help family and individual woodland owners sustain forests and promote the benefits that forests provide.

The ATFS celebrated its 75th anniversary on June 12, 2016. The resolution highlights its important role in providing Americans with clean air, jobs, wildlife habitats and sustainable resources.  

“Tree farms are important to the economy of Arkansas and the entire country.  Over 340,000 family forest owners own 9.3 million acres of forestland in Arkansas.  The forest industry contributes more than $2 billion dollars to to our state’s economy in addition to providing numerous benefits to the environment,” Boozman said.  “Arkansas tree farmers and woodland owners have made vital contributions to our state, both economically and in terms of conservation, and have much to be proud of. I’m proud to recognize ATFS on this milestone.”

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American Tree Farm System Celebrates 75 Years, Commits to Future

American Forest Foundation celebrates milestone for its signature program with a pledge to increase its impact on clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply

SEATTLE, WA – The American Forest Foundation (AFF) today kicked off its celebration of the 75th anniversary of the American Tree Farm System (ATFS), the largest and oldest sustainable forestry program for family forest owners. In celebration, AFF’s governance, Tree Farmers, volunteers and partners have pledged to measurably increase their impact on the clean water, wildlife habitat and wood supply that comes from family-owned forests. Read full press release.