Over the last two decades, New England towns and cities have experienced changing weather patterns and these changes are expected to continue over the next fifty years. New England is predicted to become warmer and wetter; storms are projected to become more frequent and intense; pest pressure and periods of extreme heat are expected to increase; as will the frequency and severity of short- and long-term drought. These changes will likely alter the species composition and structure of our urban forests (Source).
To help Vermont’s communities prepare for these changes, VT UCF has developed materials, compiled resources, and is providing technical assistance to communities for developing Community Preparedness Plans for storms and invasive forest pests, such as the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB). A Forest Pest Preparedness Plan, for example, outlines a municipality’s goals and objectives and the actions it will take to meet the current or anticipated impact of forest pests on its urban and community forests. When forest pests such as EAB arrive in Vermont, this plan will enable a town to address public and private needs in an efficient and effective manner. The reality is that once forest pests become established, communities may be forced to deal with tough economic, environmental, legal and social issues. Towns will need to respond. At a minimum, they will need to remove trees that become public safety hazards.