November 1, 2019
Forest management on the Hinesburg Town Forest (HTF) will continue this winter. This activity, which began in winter 2018-19, will include the strategic harvesting of trees, designed to increase diversity of tree species, sizes, condition, and spacing, improve wildlife habitat, capture economic value in mature and declining trees, and encourage growth and development of a healthy forest. This harvest will also seek to improve the resilience of the HTF to climate change and natural disturbances. The operation will be administered by Chittenden County Forester Ethan Tapper, working in concert with the Hinesburg Town Forest Committee. The harvesting will be conducted by Tim Brown, a local logger under contract with the town.
A major objective of this work is to demonstrate modern, responsible forest management in an open, transparent and inclusive way, with the goal of improving public understanding of forest management. To this end, eight public educational events highlighting this work have been held over the last year, both before, during and after last winter’s harvesting, attended by over 200 people. This winter will provide numerous additional opportunities for the public to see the work being done at the HTF and to ask questions and learn about it during free, public walks.
The next public walk will take place on Sunday, November 3 from 1:00 – 3:00 PM.
Location: Meet at the plow turn-around at the end of Economou Road.
This walk is co-sponsored by Vermont Woodlands Association, Vermont Coverts, and Woods, Wildlife and Warblers and will happen “rain or shine.” Participants should be ready to spend a couple hours outdoors walking over uneven surfaces.
In addition to showcasing high-quality forest management at the HTF, this operation will also highlight Vermont’s working landscape and the sustainable production of local, renewable forest products. Over the course of this winter Brown will cut the trees designated for harvest, shipping the products to local markets. Income generated from the harvest will be used to conduct stewardship projects, including trail maintenance and invasive species control on Hinesburg’s two Town Forests, the HTF and the 301-acre LaPlatte Headwaters Town Forest.
The HTF is an 864.5-acre forested parcel owned by the Town of Hinesburg and with trailheads on Economou Road, Hayden Hill Road East, and Hayden Hill Road West. Comprised of abandoned and tax-derelict old hill farms aggregated by the Town from the 1920’s-1950’s, the HTF is one of Vermont’s oldest and most storied municipal forests and has been 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, education, hunting, mountain biking, and other recreation coexisting on the property.
The current Management Plan for the HTF can be found on the Hinesburg Town Forest Committee’s page of the Town of Hinesburg’s website at http://www.hinesburg.org/townforestcomm.html
For more information on the HTF, the upcoming forest management or upcoming public walks and opportunities, contact Chittenden County Forester Ethan Tapper at email@example.com or (802)-585-9099.