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Trainings

Community Wildlife Program

Webinars and Trainings

Register for Webinars and Trainings

Click on the "REGISTER" text next to each posted session below. A new tab will open in your browser with a Microsoft TEAMS registration page. Fill out the registration information and click "Register Now". You will receive an email from Microsoft TEAMS with the URL for the event and an option to save it to your calendar. Please use Chrome or Edge as your internet browser, as these events are not fully supported on Firefox, Safari, or other internet browser types. 

Webinars

All sessions of our webinars are live online events that last approximately one hour and offer participants a chance to learn and ask questions to natural resources experts. Webinars are recorded and added to our online resource library.

Pic of presentationBecoming an Environmental Leader in your Town

In order to make real change in your town it is not enough to just understand the science behind land use planning. Real and substantial change occurs when community members rise as leaders and set visionary goals in order to adapt for a changing future. Leaders are people who guide communities to complete tasks that no one individual could have achieved alone. Join the Community Wildlife Program and to explore what it means to be an environmental leader in your town. We will dive into a variety of leadership styles, phases of group development, and ways to effectively collaborate with diverse groups of stakeholders. In the words of the Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu, "When the best leader's work is done the people say, We did it ourselves."

Presenters:

  • Lincoln Frasca, Conservation Planning Specialist, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

 Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

  • Session 1: Wednesday February 22nd 3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Register
  • Session 2: Wednesday May 24th,  1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Register

Pic showing subdivisionDemystifying Subdivision Regulations : Reducing Sprawl Development and Forest Fragmentation

Maintaining an intact network of forests and connecting lands is hugely important for current biological diversity and climate resilience. Subdivision can help towns guide the pattern of development in a community and is an important tool in reducing forest fragmentation and impacts on other natural resources. Subdivision can establish standards for evaluating the impact of land subdivision on natural resources. Within the Mount Ascutney Regional Commission, the vast majority of towns have subdivision regulations that address forest fragmentation. Join us for this deep-dive into an important land use planning tool.

Presenters:

  • Jason Rasmussen, Executive Director, Mount Ascutney Regional Commission​
  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

  • Session 1:  Thursday March 23 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register
  • Session 2: Wednesday May 10th, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Register

pic of forest viewBetter Habitat Blocks for Understanding Forest Integrity

Understanding forest pattern in your town is an important first step in conservation and land use planning. That basic pattern has a lot to do with biological diversity and climate resilience. The habitat blocks dataset is the best way to understand that pattern across Vermont. The Habitat Blocks dataset, first created in 2011, is appropriate for understanding the location of our forests, but the 30m resolution doesn't show all of the connecting lands on the edge of the blocks that facilitate wildlife movement. Recently released high resolution land cover data has allowed the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and its partners to re-map the Habitat blocks with greater accuracy around the edges of the blocks. The new data will be released in fall 2023 and will allow your community to better understand the overall forest pattern and connecting lands in your town related to Act 171 the Forest Integrity law. Join us for a special sneak peek at this new and exciting work.

Presenters:

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
  • Lincoln Frasca, Conservation Planning Specialist, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

  • Session 1:  Thursday January 26th, 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register
  • Session 2:  Friday April 7th, 11:00a.m.- 12:00p.m. Register

pic of beaver lodgeHow Towns Can Manage Conflicts with Beavers

In order to coexist with our state's thriving beaver population we need to become familiar with their natural history, biology, and habitat requirements. Beavers are a keystone species and their wetlands offer many benefits to people and wildlife. Their dam building activities can also create conflicts with private landowners as well as entire towns. There are many strategies to manage beaver activity such as baffles and fencing. Join the Community Wildlife Program and wildlife specialist, Tyler Brown, to learn how your town can balance the benefits of beavers while reducing potential damages to agriculture and infrastructure.

Presenters:

  • Tyler Brown, Wildlife Specialist, VT Fish and Wildlife Department
  • Lincoln Frasca, Conservation Planning Specialist, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Repeat sessions of this webinar will be offered on the following two dates: 

  • Session 1: Wednesday February 8th, 1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Register
  • Session 2: Thursday March 30th,  10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. Register

Trainings

Our trainings are in-depth, collaborative online courses. Participants must attend all three sessions as well as complete additional brief online coursework. These courses are designed for Vermonters serving on municipal boards or who work as conservation volunteers and want to learn more about the science, concepts, and leadership involved in VT land use planning and land management.

pic of hiker on mountainEnvironmental Leadership Training
Unit 1: From Science to Planning

This training will introduce participants to important scientific concepts involved in planning for natural resources and focus on skills leaders need to operate effectively. Participants will explore the full suite of issues at play in natural resources planning, from forests and wildlife to floodplains and climate change. Presentations on context, ecological scale, and planning for whole Communities are interspersed with interactive hands-on activities that make this an intensive and exciting training.

Instructors: 

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
  • Lincoln Frasca, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Note: This is a 3-session training course. You must sign up for all three sessions if you wish to take this class and receive the certificate.

  • Session 1: Monday January 30th, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)
  • Session 2: Monday February 6th,, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)
  • Session 3: Monday February 13th, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)

Register for ELT Unit 1 (REGISTRATION IS FULL)

pic of groupEnvironmental Leadership Training
Unit 2: From Planning to Action

This training will help you choose locally appropriate land use planning strategies for conserving natural resources and explore how leaders can best work with groups to move ideas forward in a municipal context. It uses case studies and exercises to show how taking action can work in real life. The overall goal is to build an understanding of what you can do, how to work with different people in your community, how to choose strategies to protect natural resources, and how to make it all happen. Completion of Unit 1 is a pre-requisite for this training (or permission from instructors).

Instructors: 

  • Jens Hilke, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 
  • Lincoln Frasca, Conservation Planner, VT Fish and Wildlife Department 

Note: This is a 3-session training course. You must sign up for all three sessions if you wish to take this class and receive the certificate.

  • Session 4: Monday March 20th, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)
  • Session 5: Monday March 27th, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)
  • Session 6: Monday April 3rd, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. (online)

Register for ELT 2

About Our Staff

Jens Hilke is a Conservation Planning Biologist at Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He leads the Community Wildlife Program, which provides technical assistance to Vermont municipalities on land use planning.  He helps towns, regional planning commissions and non-governmental organizations with their conservation planning efforts. This includes help with GIS natural resource mapping, advice on prioritizing significant natural features and help with implementing town conservation goals. Jens completed his undergraduate work at Connecticut College in Environmental Sociology and then got a Masters in Botany from the University of Vermont as a Field Naturalist.  Jens has taught high school science in Vermont, New Hampshire, and New Jersey and for a study-away program in Thailand, Southeast Asia.
 Contact Jens at Jens.Hilke@Vermont.gov

 

Lincoln FrascaLincoln Frasca is a Conservation Planning Specialist at Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. He works in the Community Wildlife Program, which provides technical assistance to Vermont municipalities on land use planning. He collaborates with planning and conservation commissions to help achieve their conservation goals. This includes presenting educational webinars, facilitating technical trainings, and attending town meetings statewide. Lincoln completed his undergraduate work at the University of Vermont where he earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Studies and a minor in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. Since graduating he has led expeditions with Outward Bound California, worked as a backcountry caretaker with the Green Mountain Club, and completed the Vermont Master Naturalist Program in both the Mad River Valley and Winooski Headwaters Chapters.

Contact Lincoln at lincoln.frasca@vermont.gov 
 


Community Wildlife Program

The Community Wildlife Program of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department provides technical assistance to towns, Regional Planning Commissions, and conservation organizations. We keep tabs on the latest in conservation science and help integrate that information into efforts to protect wildlife, habitat, and the most important lands and waters in Vermont. Whether you are drafting a new town plan, seeking a project partner, or looking to level up your conservation planning, we are here to help.

To schedule a consultation with our staff of Conservation Planners, email Jens.Hilke@Vermont.gov. Consultations and follow-up services are free of charge and sponsored by the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department.