Some of Vermont’s most visible community trees and forests are those within the 27,000 acres of municipal right-of-way vegetation lining our scenic backroads. Beyond their often pleasing aesthetics, these plants, trees, and forests play an essential role in storm water management, invasive species monitoring, forest connectivity, and wildlife movement. To better inform the management of roadside vegetation, the Vermont Urban & Community Forestry Program conducted a roadside assessment along 200 miles of rural roads in 10 case study municipalities. In 2020, the findings of this project were published in, “Resilient Right-of-Ways: A guide to community stewardship of Vermont backroads”, providing town planners, tree boards, conservation commissions and highway crews with best management practices to maximize the ecological and economic benefits of their roadside vegetation. The VT Fish & Wildlife Department Community Wildlife Program is excited to partner with Joanne Garton of the VT Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and VT Urban & Community Forestry for a deeper look at the opportunities and challenges of roadside tree and forest stewardship.
- Joanne Garton, Technical Assistance Coordinator, Urban & Community Forestry Program, Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation
- Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department