Forest Pest First Detectors

Forest Pest First Detectors

In response to the growing threat of invasive pests to Vermont’s forests, state and federal partners working with invasive tree pests identified a need to nurture local leaders to assist with ongoing outreach, education and local planning and surveying efforts. To address this need, the partners came together to develop Vermont's Forest Pest First Detectors (FPFD) program. FPFD volunteers are on the front line of defense against pest infestations.

Program Goals

The goal of Vermont's FPFD Program is to create a group of well-trained, committed volunteer leaders at the community level to:

  • Increase public awareness about the threat of tree pests to Vermont's forests.
  • Serve as a local 'expert' on the tree pests.
  • Help coordinate local volunteer efforts.
  • Assist their community in preparing for and responding to invasive forest pest infestations.  

Since 2012, over 180 people across the state have completed the training and become Forest Pest First Detectors.


Next training will be held on May 31 from 9:30am-12pm in Berlin.

The Forest Pest First Detector program prepares volunteers by providing training on technical information about the most wanted tree pests and how to be an effective First Detector.

The training takes place in person. Topics covered include:

  • Pest biology
  • The potential impact of the pests on Vermont's forests
  • Screening for potential pests

Basic Skills and Requirements

The position description is also available as a PDF.

  • Ability to identify (or learn) common tree species.
  • Able to visit sites and collect samples, if necessary.
  • Have regular access to the Internet and e-mail.
  • Report invasive pest related activities to VT Urban & Community Forestry Program quarterly.

Interested in becoming a Forest Pest First Detector?

Contact Gwen Kozlowski at or 802-651-8343.