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New Forest Management Plan for Milton Town Forest Focuses on Biodiversity, Demonstration and Education


Vermont Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation


Ethan Tapper, Chittenden County Forester

Department of Forests, Parks & Recreation | Agency of Natural Resources

(802) 585-9099,

New Forest Management Plan for Milton Town Forest Focuses on Biodiversity, Demonstration and Education

A new forest management plan for the Milton Town Forest was approved by the Milton Select Board on July 18. The plan was prepared for the Town of Milton by Ethan Tapper, the Chittenden County Forester with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, working in conjunction with the Milton Conservation Commission over the last two years.

The Milton Town Forest (MTF) is a 485-acre parcel in Milton and Westford owned by the Town of Milton since 1969. It is home to an expansive public trail system as well as the 33-acre Milton Pond. A primarily forested parcel, it also features other important wildlife habitats, including Westford Bog and Milton Marsh.  

The forest management plan explores the history and ecology of the MTF while providing detailed recommendations for the stewardship of its forestland and other ecosystems over the next 10 years. Management is considered from a variety of related perspectives including forest health, wildlife habitat, climate resilience, recreation, and biodiversity. Stressors to the forest including invasive plants, pests and pathogens, climate change, effects of deer browse on regeneration, and the legacy of past land use practices are discussed in the plan, and inform the management proposed.  

The plan outlines a strategy to encourage a healthy, vibrant forest at the MTF through ecological forest management. This includes both active forest management and the designation of a “reserve zone,” an area comprising unique and special forest conditions that will be left relatively unmanaged into the future. But the benefits of the plan and the management it outlines are not intended to end at the boundaries of the MTF. Every activity prescribed in the plan is intended to be applied in conjunction with an open, transparent, and inclusive public process, including public events, forums, educational tools, and activities that will showcase and build understanding to support application of good forest stewardship across the landscape.

You can read the MTF’s Forest Management Plan at or explore an interactive “story map” about it at: