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Welcome to the Community Wildlife Program


What is the Community Wildlife Program?


The Community Wildlife Program is an important component of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department's overall conservation technical assistance project. The Program provides assistance and resources for professional and lay planners in Vermont. We help regional and municipal planning commissions and non-governmental organizations in their efforts to protect wildlife habitat and significant natural communities by providing them with the most up-to-date information on conservation science and help them with the implementation of their conservation projects.

We help towns identify their important wildlife habitat by providing data for GIS review as well as instruction in using field work. We help towns translate conservation goals that the community has agreed on into language suitable for the Town Plan and further assist with turning that language into appropriate zoning and subdivision regulations that bring these conservation goals into action. We serve as a resource in helping towns and town organizations connect with other assistance organizations and funding in moving their goals forward. The program helps these organizations understand and address public use and interests of their fish and wildlife resources, linking, for instance, hunting opportunities in a community to their conservation planning efforts.

Services Offered

  1. Finding Information: Vast amounts of natural resource data is available to towns as GIS coverages. Field data collected by townspeople and experts is also necessary for some applications. We can help you determine what type(s) of data you need and where to get it.

  2. Reviewing Town Planning Documents Whether your town is rewriting its Plan, zoning ordinances or sub-division regulations, we can review these documents and provide suggestions to ensure the legal language meets your goals.

  3. Access to Other Resources or Project Partners We can help you find organizations to partner with (for funding or additional services) in implementing your conservation projects.

  4. Changing the Scale As a statewide technical assistance program, we are likely working with your neighbors and are familiar with conservation planning on a larger, ecoregional level. We can review your projects and help you integrate them into the big picture

How to use this site

It is best to move through the site using the tabs in the navigation bar, starting from the left,  then moving down each item in the pull-down menus and then moving to the next tab.

  • Tools is the toolbox of all sorts of techniques available to protect natural resources and plan for a community's growth & enduring character. 
  • Resources offers a list of organizations that might be useful to you in carrying out conservation planning and projects. A bibliography of sources that might prove useful in researching various topics is also included.

We offer this site as a resource to anyone involved in planning and development decisions in Vermont . It is intended to help town commissions and organizations to engage in conservation planning. We want to help your town achieve its own goals. The site offers a variety of options to choose from since no two towns are exactly alike.


A Service of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department 

The Community Wildlife Program is a service of the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department as part of the Department's mission to "conserve all species of fish, wildlife, and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont."

Three of the Department's planning goals are:

  • Conserve, enhance, and restore Vermont's natural communities, habitats, and species and the ecological processes that sustain them.
  • Provide a diversity of fish- and wildlife-based activities and opportunities that allow the safe and ethical viewing, regulated harvesting, and utilization of fish, plant and wildlife resources consistent with the North American model of fish and wildlife conservation.
  • Maintain safe fish and wildlife based activities and limit harmful human encounters with fish and wildlife species and provide general public safety service incidental to primary fish and wildlife enforcement duties.

Download Conserving Vermont's Natural Heritage (A Guide to Community-Based Planning for the Conservation of Vermont's Fish, Wildlife, and Biological Diversity. Much of the Manual is presented in this website.)


Copyright © 2003-2015 Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. All Rights Reserved.