Vermont Conservation Voters

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Healthy Forests & Wildlife

By investing in smart growth development, we can simultaneously protect the lands and waters that Vermonters love, and that our wildlife depend upon – including our forests, wetlands, rivers, and lakes. Reducing the fragmentation of intact forests, actively restoring rivers and wetlands, and leaving areas of land and water undeveloped improves climate resilience. Intact forests and wetlands help to absorb excess rainfall, reduce flooding risk from extreme climate events, create carbon sinks to mitigate climate change, provide wildlife habitat, and help to maintain recreational opportunities and our rural economy.

We need policies that help make our communities more resilient to a changing climate, and forests are a central climate solution. Forests are the lungs of the planet. They store carbon, clean our air and water, provide habitat for plants and animals, and provide important economic and ecological functions for our state. Unfortunately, we are losing forestland every year. We need to slow the rate of forest loss and fragmentation so we can maintain our highest value forest blocks, and maintain the critical functions that forests provide on our landscape. To accomplish this goal, we must use a suite of policy tools and investment strategies to conserve and restore forestland.

2023 Legislative Priorities: