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

Spring 2021 (Online) - TBD

Want to be notified when registration opens for this course? Share your information below and we'll let you know when the Spring 2021 course starts!

Sign me up!

Basic skills and requirements:

  • 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.

The position description is also available as a PDF.

Interested in becoming a Forest Pest First Detector?

Contact Ginger Nickerson at or 802-476-2003.