Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife

Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife is a nonprofit organization designed to engage and educate landowners and others about sound forest management and wildlife stewardship. Started in 1985 by the VT Extension Forester with seed money from the Ruffed Grouse Society the program became an independent entity in 1993. The mission of the organization is to enlist Vermont landowners in a long-term commitment to maintain and enhance diverse wildlife habitat and healthy ecosystems. The primary program is a residential 3-day workshop offered twice a year to interested landowners and others. The idea is to not only educate but to also empower landowners to help disseminate the information neighbor to neighbor through a peer-to-peer network. Individual landowners can play a vital role in enhancing and protecting habitat through careful forest management. Coverts also offers a variety of 1-day Stewardship workshops on a variety of topics including but not limited to; GPS mapping, estate planning, tree ID, harvesting strategies, shiitake mushroom, and more.

Project Contact: 
Lisa Sausville
Project Contact Email: 
Town: 
STATEWIDE
Year Project Started: 
1985
Year Completed: 
0
Project Lifespan: 
1985-present
Keywords: 
Citizen Science
Forest Land
Land Management
Outreach
Walks and Talks
Wildlife
Other Keywords: 
Peer-to-Peer
Project Accomplishments: 

Over 650 landowners have been through the Cooperator Training. Many have offered walks on their property, enrolled land in Current Use, improved their own forest, joined Conservation Commissions and planning boards, and conserved land. Landowners are more aware of the role they play in maintaining and enhancing wildlife habitat and connectivity.

Project Partners: 

VT Fish and Wildlife
Forest Parks and Recreation

Critical to Success: 
The program was kicked off by Thom McEvoy, Extension Forester. As a non-profit, Coverts now has an Executive Director and a 12 member governing board.
Challenges: 
Getting people to commit to a 3-day training. Keeping Cooperators engaged over time.