Ethan Tapper receives his award from Patty Thielen, with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources at an annual meeting in Duluth, MN.
The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation’s county foresters help private landowners – who own about 80% of Vermont’s forestland – manage their land responsibly. One of the Department’s thirteen county foresters, Ethan Tapper, Chittenden County Forester, was presented with the Cooperative Forest Management Forester of the Year Award from the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance.
This regional award is highly competitive and presented annually to a forester from one of the 20 states from Maine to Minnesota and West Virginia to Missouri for their outstanding work to advance forest stewardship on private lands.
Vermont’s county foresters have been serving Vermonters since the 1940s and oversee the enrollment of nearly two million acres of forestland in the state’s Use Value Appraisal (“Current Use”) program.
In addition, each year, they advise thousands of landowners on how to take care of their forests, help municipalities manage tens of thousands of acres of community forests, and deliver education and outreach to thousands of Vermonters.
Ethan Tapper has been the Chittenden County Forester since 2016 and is being recognized for his expansive and innovative public outreach. Serving the state’s most populous county, he leads dozens of public events each year, touching thousands of people in Chittenden County and beyond.
Keith Thompson, who oversees the work of the county foresters, says, “Ethan is a hallmark of how to engage Vermonters in understanding the value of Vermont’s forests and how they can take care of their woods. His success is rooted in storytelling, getting Vermonters outside in the woods, working with a diversity of partners, and using digital tools to broaden his reach.”
At the height of the pandemic lockdown, Ethan moved from in-person presentations to online, creating nearly 100 educational videos about forests and forest management. You may also recognize his byline from his monthly “Into the Woods” column in 11 community newspapers in Chittenden County or his quarterly “Forest Insights” column in Northern Woodlands magazine.
Ethan grew up in Saxtons River, Vermont, and studied forestry at the University of Vermont.
To learn more about Vermont’s county foresters, visit: https://fpr.vermont.gov/CountyForesters