John and Heather Bingaman are the owners of Bingaman Woods, LLC. Bingaman Woods consists of two Tree Farms: #1483 a 72-acre property in Brookfield which the family purchased in 1992, and #1484 a 123-acre property in West Corinth which was bought in 2007. Both properties were first enrolled in the Tree Farm program in 2008.
Bingaman Woods operates by the following vision statement: “Dynamic steward of multiple properties; primarily to facilitate quality timber production, but additionally to cultivate wildlife habitat, environmentally friendly recreation, soil and water conservation, and pleasing aesthetics.” In accordance with this vision both farms have undergone management throughout the years.
The Brookfield property has been undergoing a shelterwood cut since 2018 and the project is expected to be completed this year. Once the cut is complete the plan is to let the property respond and re-evaluate in 8-10 years when the next entry should be considered. Less actions have been taken on the West Corinth property to date. When it was purchased, the land was in a VT Land Trust conservation easement. In 1998 the property was damaged by an ice storm leading to a salvage cut. Trees are now self-selecting.
The Bingamans partner with Redstart, Inc. and forester Markus Bradley in managing their land. David Paganelli, VT county forester, has also been a tremendous resource and fount of knowledge to them since first meeting in 1992 according to John.
What does being in the Tree Farm program mean to you?
It is a tangible way to demonstrate our family’s vision and values, to emphasize those to the next generation(s), and to be part of the Tree Farm community comprised of like-minded land stewards.
What do you value about the Tree Farm program?
The representation of, and the connections, resources, and support provided to, land stewards.
Why should a landowner join the Tree Farm program?
The Tree Farm program is for those desiring to be the best steward of the land they can be. The Tree Farm program actively promotes stewardship through various workshops, events, and other readily available resources.
Do you have any advice for landowners that have recently joined Tree Farm?
Take advantage of the vermonttreefarm.org website to access information. Participate in workshops and events as you are able to further your understanding, knowledge and application of stewardship best practices. Participation will also introduce you to like-minded individuals
and their wide range of experiences and knowledge.
What are some ways that you would suggest to get the next generation involved in Tree Farm?
Get them in the woods as early as possible! Perhaps easier said than done, particularly when you don’t live on the land or in Vermont. We brought our children on the property when they were babies and as often thereafter as we could. Pictures and experiences help them to connect to the land. Include them in discussions, planning, and activities, as well as the greater impact land stewardship provides.
Anything else you would like to add?
Our belief system is summed up in the following scripture: Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. (1 Chronicles 29:11) We are on earth but for a short time and we are grateful to be allowed to steward the land while we are able and will then pass the work on to our next generation.