Town Forests


Engaging Residents in Planning for Municipal Forests: A Case Study of Lincoln, Vermont

National Community Forestry Research Center-2003
The story of Lincoln, Vermont demonstrates how a small, rural town can engage its residents in planning for town-owned forests. This study illustrates the steps that can be taken to involve local residents in an effort to determine appropriate priorities for use of town forests. It also shows some of the obstacles a small community needs to overcome in attempting to bring its residents together to discuss municipal forests.

Choices and Challenges in Town Forest Management

Report from A Community Forest Workshop
September 13, 2003 Gorham, New Hampshire
National Community Forestry Research Center

The purpose of this workshop was to engage individuals from communities that own and manage forestland as community assets with individuals from communities that are strategically poised to do so in order to:

  • Explore how to engage a community in planning for its town-owned forests;

  • Consider how citizens can influence decision-making with respect to the use of town forests;

  • Explore options for how to use town-owned forest resources;

  • Examine challenges in management and use of town-owned forests;

  • Hear about the experiences of communities in the Northern Forest region who have successfully set community-wide goals for managing their town-owned forest resources;

  • Discover strategies and resources to assist in meeting the challenges of town ownership and management of forest resources; and

  • Help capture questions and lessons to share with other towns.

Valuing Forests as Community Assets in the Mount Washington Valley

A study of the economic, environmental, and social contributions of public and private forests and their potential role as a component of a regional economic development strategy.
By Keith Bisson and Martha West Lyman-2003

The goals of this study are to highlight the economic value and public benefit of forest land in the Mount Washington Valley, to analyze the value of town ownership and management of forest land, and to assess the potential of town forests and their role as a component of a regional economic development strategy in the Mt. Washington Valley.

A return to the town forest: Some turning to an old conservation idea (NH)

Afraid their forests are disappearing, Errol and Freedom are protecting thousands of acres by resurrecting an age-old New Hampshire tradition: the town forest. Voters in Errol approved a $2.2 million bond to protect 5,300 acres known as Thirteen Mile Woods. The local bond is combined with contributions from the federal Forest Legacy Program, Trust for Public Land and the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program, raising more than $4 million to preserve the land for recreation and as a working forest.

Additional Web Links

National Community Forestry Center Northern Forest Region

National Network of Forest Practitioners

Community Forestry Resource Center

Forest Community Research