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:

  • To inform the public about the tangible threat invasive forests pests pose
  • Prepare their communities to respond to infestations
  • Monitor for infestations at the local level
  • Act as a liaison between their community and the state agencies and organizations that are monitoring for these pests

Since 2008, over 160 people across the state have completed the training and become Forest Pest First Detectors.

Next Training

Winter 2021 (On-line) - TBD

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.

Interested in becoming a Forest Pest First Detector?

Contact Ginger Nickerson at or 802-476-2003.