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Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Partners with Researchers in Innovative Forest Adaptation Project

For Immediate Release 

Media Contact: 
Megan Davin, Communication and Outreach Specialist 
Department of Forests- Forests, Parks and Recreation 

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation Partners with Researchers in Innovative Forest Adaptation Project 

Montpelier, VT (1/8/2024) 

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) is beginning an innovative project in the Camel’s Hump Management Unit, as outlined in the 2021 Long-Range Management Plan. This project underscores FPR’s commitment to sustainable and adaptive forest management and is designed to demonstrate an important approach in increasing forest resilience to climate change and invasive pests.  

Collaborating with the University of Vermont (UVM) and the Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, this project is part of a series of forest adaptation experiments being implemented across the Northeast. Tony D’Amato, Professor and Director of the Forestry Program in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources at UVM, is a lead researcher on the project. 

“This project aims to address the dominance of poor quality American beech suffering from beech bark disease and use forest management tools such as timber harvests to allow other species to thrive,” said Oliver Pierson, FPR’s Director of Forests. “This research furthers our goals of creating resilient forest stands that are diverse in tree size and age and includes an array of species that are well-adapted to a future climate, including red oak, yellow birch, and sugar maple.” 

 The research area, covering 90 acres in Duxbury, will see management on 18 acres, with “treatment patches” ranging from ¼ acre to 3 acres. A portion of the research area will then be replanted while the remainder will allow seedlings to sprout naturally.  

 "Climate change and non-native insects and pathogens pose an increasing threat to forests in Vermont and throughout the Northeast,” said D’Amato. “Our forests are also quite simple in their structure (age and size of trees) and in terms of the number of threatened tree species they have, which makes them particularly vulnerable. It is crucial that we work to better understand how our forests will respond as these stressors intensify.” 

At the completion of the project, FPR will have created a diverse forest stand that includes tree species that are better adapted to future climate, insect, and disease threats.  


The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is charged with oversight and management of Vermont’s natural environment on behalf of the people of Vermont. It is comprised of three departments: the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, the Fish and Wildlife Department, and the Department of Environmental Conservation.