Frequently Asked Questions

Our FAQs are organized in the following categories:


Vermont State Parks

Where can I find information about visiting Vermont State Parks?

Find everything you need at our Vermont State Parks website, including reservations, employment, and off-season camping information.

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How does Vermont State Parks plan and manage for public use?

The Agency of Natural Resources supports an integrated approach to planning and managing Agency lands through district stewardship teams. Learn more about the planning process and explore planning documents.

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Recreation

Is primitive camping allowed on state land?

Primitive camping is available in state forests, at some undeveloped state parks as well as some Wildlife Management Areas. This is not car camping -- you must backpack in at least 1,000 feet from any road. There is no public drinking water or toilet facilities, no reservation, or assigned sites. Vermont does not offer free, dispersed car camping on its state lands.

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How do I know if a trail is open or closed?

We maintain the condition of trails on the Trail Finder website. On the site, you will also find maps, directions, local services, and downloadable trail data.

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Do I need a permit to host an event on state land?

ANR lands are generally open to the public without fee or formal authorization for various educational, recreational, and other outdoor activities for individuals or small groups. However, while legally and environmentally permissible, such activities and events may alter a site or natural resources or exclude other public uses for varying periods of time. Therefore, formal written authorization is required for such activities and events so that the Agency may better monitor, control, and manage their impact and duration on ANR lands, natural resources, and the public. Formal written authorization is typically given by either Special Use Permit (SUP) or License.

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Is there a list of kayak and canoe access information?

Vermont is known for its mountains and lakes, and there are many opportunities to get on the water in Vermont State Parks. Sometimes called the sixth great lake, Lake Champlain has wide-open expanses, hidden bays and even state parks located on islands, providing great boating for both paddlers and motor boaters. Green River Reservoir offers 19 miles of undeveloped shoreline for quiet water paddling and the Connecticut River makes a great part-day, full-day, or multi-day river trip. Many state parks have car top and trailer boat launches and there is a marina at Burton Island State Park. And don’t miss our paddling page.

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Where can you go swimming?

Nothing feels as good as a dip in clear, clean water on a hot summer day. Vermont State Parks have some great options, whether you want to swim in a lake, river, or even a swimming pool. There are big lakes like Lake Champlain, Bomoseen and Lake Carmi, or smaller, quieter lakes like Silver Lake or Lake St. Catherine. There is a kid-friendly swimming pool with slides at Button Bay State Park and Salmon Hole on the West River is a great place to cool off at Jamaica State Park. Most Vermont State Parks that are located on bodies of water have beaches, restroom facilities, canoe and kayak rentals, and sometimes even concession stands. We perform weekly swim water testing. Lifeguards are available only at the Button Bay pool.

Vermont is also known for its swimming holes offer and they offer wonderful recreational opportunities, but swimming holes do not have staff oversight to manage daily use and swimming at unmanaged sites comes with risks. Good decision-making, and a little bit of planning, can often avert a tragedy.

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Forest Health

What’s wrong with my tree?

Trees can be affected by many forest pests, pathogens, and other tree and forest stressors. Our Forest Biology Lab employs forest health specialists who provide diagnostic services. The lab supports forest health assessments and management through research, public education, and extension activities, including maintaining insect and disease records and responding to requests. To stay informed on the latest forest health news, sign up for our monthly forest health updates.

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I think I may have found an invasive tree pest, what do I do?

If you think you found an invasive plant or tree pests such as Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) or hemlock wooly adelgid (HWA), you can visit VTinvasives.org to get help in identification and management, and in some cases, we want to learn more about it and you can Report It! If you have further questions, you can also reach out to our Forest Biology Lab.

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Tree Selection, Planting, and Care

What type of tree should I plant and how do I care for it?

We provide an online tree selection tool to help you select the right tree for the right place. We also provide resources on tree planting and care.

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Does Vermont have a state tree nursery?

Vermont operated a state tree nursery for many years, but we no longer do. You can use this Agency of Agriculture tool to locate the trees you are looking for at nurseries around Vermont.

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Firewood and Fires

Can I bring firewood into Vermont?

Firewood is widely recognized as a major source of non-native forest insect and disease infestations. To prevent the movement of these pests, use only local firewood and follow firewood rules that went into effect in 2016 which prohibits the importation of untreated firewood into Vermont. Visitors to Vermont State Parks and State Forests may not bring firewood UNLESS the wood is packaged, labeled as having been heat-treated, and certified by USDA or the appropriate state department of agriculture.

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Do I need a permit to open burn outdoors?

Open Burning Permits or a “Permit to Kindle Fire” regulates open burning in every town in Vermont. Town Forest Fire Wardens are responsible for issuing open burning permits if fuel and weather conditions are safe for outdoor burning. Fire Wardens have the authority to ban open burning in their towns during times of high fire danger or hazardous local conditions. 

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Does FPR offer permits to harvest firewood from state lands?

Due to the limited availability of safe access and ready projects, FPR does not offer permits to harvest firewood off of state land.

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How can local fire departments order wildland fire fighting gear at a low cost?

Rural fire departments in Vermont can purchase wildland fire fighting equipment and PPE from the federal government supply through the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Forestry Division.  The order form and information on our annual 50/50 purchasing pogrom can be found here: https://fpr.vermont.gov/forest/wildland-fire/wildland-fire-equipment

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State Lands

What’s allowed on public land?

ANR lands are generally open to the public without fee or formal authorization for various educational, recreational, and other outdoor activities for individuals or small groups.  However, while legally and environmentally permissible, such activities and events may alter a site or natural resources or exclude other public uses for varying periods of time. Therefore, formal written authorization is required for such activities and events so that the Agency may better monitor, control, and manage their impact and duration on ANR lands, natural resources, and the public. Formal written authorization is typically given by either Special Use Permit (SUP) or License.

Full list of FAQs


Do you have a plan to manage public land?

The Agency of Natural Resources supports an integrated approach to planning and managing Agency lands through district stewardship teams. Learn more about the planning process and explore planning documents.

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Interested in donating or selling your land?

There are several ways you can make a donation to the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The Department is allowed by statute to accept donations of all types to further our mission and service to the State of Vermont from volunteers, donations in general or land donations.

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Can I place a memorial on state lands like planting a tree?

Many of the state forests and state parks around the state hold dear memories for the residents and visitors to Vermont. Rather than accept generous donations of memorials, our goal as landowners on behalf of Vermonters is that the commitment we make to steward these special places will serve as a meaningful honor to those memories and the lives this land has touched.

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Can I set up a geocache or letterbox spot on state lands?

Geocaching and letterboxing are popular treasure hunting games that can use public lands. If you'd like to create your own, please see our policy and application form.

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How do I report unauthorized use of public land?

We appreciate the public helping us manage the allowed uses of state lands. To report unauthorized use, please contact the district office where the land resides.

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Can I obtain a permit to cut down a Christmas tree on state land?

The State of Vermont does not issue permits for cutting Christmas Trees. The U.S. Forest Services issues permits for cutting Christmas Trees on sections of the Green Mountain National Forest only. For more information and to obtain a permit, please visit the U.S. Forest Service permit site.

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Water Quality

Where can I rent a skidder bridge?

The Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation is providing temporary bridges to loggers, foresters and landowners who will use them to meet the AMP guidelines and protect streams. 

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Who do I call about a potential water quality violation or excessive cutting on a timber sale?

FPR oversees the administration of the Acceptable Management Practices to Protect Water Quality on Logging Jobs and the Heavy Cut of forty acres of more through our Watershed Forestry Program.

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Big Trees

Where are Vermont’s Big Trees? And how do I make a nomination?

Big trees fascinate us because they catch our attention. At first sight, people are often amazed by big trees’ size and beauty. A second look can spur imagination, and our interest deepens. How did this tree get here? If this tree could talk, what has it seen? Why did this particular tree live so long? Learn more about Vermont's big tree list and how to make a nomination.

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Invasive Plants

Where can I learn more about invasive plants?

If you are looking for information about identifying a species, reporting a species, questions about control check out VTinvasives.org . For questions about Invasive Plants, contact: ANR.FPRInvasivePlants@vermont.gov.

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