Vermont Business Magazine The Hinesburg Town Forest Committee and the Chittenden County Forester invite the public to visit the Hinesburg Town Forest (HTF) to learn more about responsible forest management and its benefit to wildlife and habitat through two new self-guided tours.
Creating and promoting high quality wildlife habitat is dependent on responsible forestry practices and thoughtful planning, both of which are highlighted in the most recent project at the Hinesburg Town Forest (HTF).
From 2018-2020, an innovative forest management project at the HTF was completed, demonstrating an integrated, ecological approach to the stewardship of Vermont’s forests, simultaneously managing for wildlife, biodiversity, climate resilience, carbon sequestration, and storage, local, renewable resources, recreation, and more.
A major goal of this project was also to show responsible forest management to the public in an open, transparent, and inclusive way. Over two winters 19 public events were held, attended by more than 500 people. The project reached still more Vermonters through articles and appearances on local television and radio programs. For more information about this innovative outreach project, check out a “story map” about the project, here: https://arcg.is/09zfC1
The self-guided tour consists of eight “stops,” each marked by permanent interpretive signage created by the Chittenden County Forester in partnership with students from the University of Vermont and the Hinesburg Town Forest Committee. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department’s Habitat Stamp Program provided the funding and additional support for the creation of the signs. Each sign contains information on different aspects of the project, linking to educational resources and videos with QR Codes, with the goal being to give the public the tools to understand what management techniques were used and what benefits they will provide into the future.
To take the virtual tour, visit the HTF’s trailhead at the end of Economou Road in Hinesburg (online maps may show it as being in Huntington). A sign by the trailhead kiosk will guide you through the download of the free Avenza Maps app and a map that will allow you to navigate to each stop on the tour using your smartphone.
The public is also invited to take a self-guided tour of a future forest management project that will occur over two winters from 2021-2023, from the HTF’s trailhead on Hayden Hill Road East in Hinesburg. Signed instructions to download the Avenza Maps app and a map of this area will allow you to navigate through the area to be managed in 2021-22 and see the trees marked to be cut.
The Chittenden County Forester and the Hinesburg Town Forest Committee welcome your questions, comments, and feedback on this project. Additional virtual and in-person learning opportunities will provide more opportunities for the public to learn about this project over the next several years.
The Vermont Habitat Stamp program is run by the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department and helps fund the conservation and improvement of habitat for all wildlife species on public and private lands in Vermont. This includes supporting and showcasing responsible forest management in our local forests and communities. To learn more about supporting Vermont’s wildlife and the Vermont Habitat Stamp, visit vtfishandwildlife.com/vthabitatstamp.
The HTF is an 864.5-acre forested parcel owned by the Town of Hinesburg. HTF is one of Vermont’s oldest and most storied municipal forests, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The HTF is a multi-use public resource, with a long and rich history of forest management, demonstration, research, education, hunting, mountain bike riding, birding, and other recreation coexisting on the property.
To learn more about these and other related projects from the Chittenden County Forester, visit his YouTube channel or sign up for his email list at https://linktr.ee/ChittendenCountyForester.
Source: July 22, 2021 - ANR