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Resources - Organization

Please Contact us if there are other organizations that you have found helpful in conservation planning.  


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This page includes listings of various organizations in the following topic groups:

  • I. Planning

  • II. Fish, Wildlife and Natural Heritage Data and Technical Assistance: Private and Quasi-Public Organizations

  • III. Fish, Wildlife, and Natural Heritage Data and Technical Assistance State and Federal Agencies

  • IV. Land Trusts

  • V.Community

  • I. Planning


    The following agencies and organizations are especially well suited to help towns and other groups develop good local plans and to implement them with sound conservation strategies.

    Vermont Planning Information Center (VPIC)

    Presented by the Land Use Education and Training Collaborative, this site provides information for planning commissions, zoning boards, development review boards, zoning administrators, and their staff, including links to some of the other organizations and publications mentioned in this document. This is an excellent clearinghouse for all manner of planning related information.


    Agency of Commerce and Community Development Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA)

    The DHCA issues planning grants to municipalities. The grants may be used to hire consultants to work with towns to update town plans and craft bylaws, including bylaws designed to protect natural resources.

    National Life Building, 6th Floor

    Drawer 20

    Montpelier, VT 05620





    Designated Downtown and Village Centers Program


    Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC)

    The Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions fosters local conservation commissions in the stewardship of Vermont's natural resources. Over one third of Vermont municipalities have established conservation commissions or similar committees (see 24 V.S.A. Chapter 118 for more information).

    114 Sparrow Road

    Adamant, VT 05640




    Consulting Conservation Biologists of Vermont

    Ecologists, zoologists, botanists, and conservation planners who are trained in the principles and practices of conservation biology. They can assist towns, watershed associations, multi-town groups, and individual landowners with ecological assessment, conservation planning, and site management planning.

    Elizabeth Thompson

    c/o Department of Botany

    University of Vermont

    Burlington, VT 05401


    Consulting Foresters Association of Vermont (CFAVT)

    Foresters who can help landowners develop management plans.

    P.O. Box 196

    Poultney, VT 05764




    People Can Plan

    This web site is an interactive resource for local land use and environmental activists who want to learn more about how the planning process works. Sponsored by the Vermont Conservation Education Fund

    64 Main Street, Suite 25

    PO Box 744

    Montpelier, VT 05601



    Orton Family Foundation

    Mission: To help citizens of rural America define the future, shape the growth, and preserve the heritage of their communities. The Foundation offers technical tools, such as CommunityViz, for local planners.

    138 Merchants Row, 2nd floor

    Rutland, VT 05701






    Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) Enhancements Program

    The Enhancement Program provides funding to municipalities, state agencies, non-profit organizations, and federal agencies for surface transportation-related projects. One of the 12 eligible activities covered under this program is "Environmental Mitigation to Address Water Pollution Due to Highway Runoff or Reduce Vehicle-Caused Wildlife Mortality While Maintaining Wildlife Habitat Connectivity."

    National Life Building, Drawer 33

    Montpelier, VT 056033

    (802) 828 3522


    Vermont Forum on Sprawl

    The organization's mission is to assist Vermont and Vermonters in achieving compact settlement surrounded by rural landscape while encouraging community and economic development to be consistent with this vision.

    110 Main Street

    Burlington, VT 05401




    Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB)

    The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is an independent, state-supported funding agency providing grants, loans, and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, and state agencies for the development of perpetually affordable housing and for the conservation of important agricultural land, recreational land, natural areas, and historic properties in Vermont.

    49 State Street

    Montpelier, VT 05602


    Fax: 802 828-320


    Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT)

    Founded in 1967, VLCT is a non-partisan, nonprofit organization owned by Vermont's municipal governments. The League provides educational, legislative, and insurance trust services, as well as legal advice, to all political subdivisions of the state of Vermont. Their Municipal Assistance Program has lawyers on call to answer your towns questions as well as a fulltime wetlands coordinator who can help your town write language in the zoning that protects water quality.

    89 Main Street, Suite 4

    Montpelier, Vermont 05602-2948




    Vermont Local Roads Program

    The Vermont Local Roads Program at Saint Michael's College is part of the Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP), a nationwide effort financed jointly by the Federal Highway Administration and individual state departments of transportation. Its purpose is to provide road and bridge know-how to municipal people involved with highways.

    Vermont Local Roads Program
    Saint Michael's College
    One Winooski Park, Box 260
    Colchester, VT 05439


    (800) 462-6555 (in VT)
    (802) 654-2652
    (802) 654-2555 (Fax)

    Vermont Smart Growth Collaborative

    The following 10 Vermont organizations have joined together to launch a collaborative effort to advance policy, education, and community strategies to reduce sprawl and achieve Smart Growth in Vermont. Contact through Vermont Forum on Sprawl (see page 131) or via the following Internet addresses:

    Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions (AVCC)

    Conservation Law Foundation (CLF)

    Friends of the Earth (FOE)

    Preservation Trust of Vermont (PTV)

    Vermont Businesses for Social Responsibility (VBSR)

    Vermont Health Foundation (VHF)

    Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC)

    Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG)



    II. Fish, Wildlife and Natural Heritage Data and Technical Assistance: Private and Quasi-Public Organizations

    The following private and quasi-public organizations are especially well-suited to provide natural heritage data and to help users interpret those data. See also Section III

    Audubon Vermont

    Protecting birds, other wildlife, and their habitat by

    promoting a culture of conservation through education,

    research, and advocacy.

    255 Sherman Hollow Road

    Huntington, VT 05462



    Bat Conservation International

    The mission of Bat Conservation International is to protect and restore bats and their habitats worldwide.

    P.O. Box 162603

    Austin, TX 78716




    Keeping Track©, Inc.

    Keeping Track is an organization that teaches people to observe, interpret, record, and monitor evidence of wildlife in their communities, and to support citizens' use of monitoring data in local and regional conservation planning. Information collected by citizens who have been educated by the Keeping Track program may allow communities to document presence of certain wildlife species and important habitats. This information may be useful to inform local conservation planning activities, monitor changes in wildlife populations over time and space, and support land protection projects. The data may also help communities understand the degree to which certain areas are important to the well-being of wildlife populations.

    P.O. Box 444

    Huntington, VT



    Mass Audubon

    The Conserving Grassland Birds section of the Mass Audubon website has a wealth of information on the history of grassland birds in the Northeast, their current status, survey efforts, and management guidelines.

    208 South Great Road

    Lincoln, MA 01773





    (formerly Association for Biodiversity Information)

    General information on the conservation status and distribution maps of many native plants, animals, and natural communities throughout the United States.

    11 Avenue de Lafayette

    5th Floor

    Boston, MA 02111



    Regional Planning Commissions (RPCs)

    Vermont has 12 Regional Planning Commissions, each governed by a Board of Directors composed of representatives from the member municipalities. Staffed with professionals in environmental/land use planning, geographic information systems (GIS), transportation planning, economic development and similar disciplines, these quasi-governmental, nonprofit Commissions provide technical guidance and support services to their member municipalities and the public. Their primary role is to provide technical assistance in writing town plans and zoning ordinances. The Vermont Association of Planning and Development Agencies (website address below) provides more detailed information and links to each of the 12 RPCs.



    Vermont Biodiversity Project

    The vision of the Vermont Biodiversity Project is to maintain ecological integrity in a manner that ensures the long-tem viability of all native species and natural community types in Vermont within their natural ranges.

    School of Natural Resources

    University of Vermont

    Burlington VT 05405



    Vermont Center for Geographic Information (VCGI)

    This is the primary source for digital map data on Vermont. Data range from basic things such as roads and town boundaries to complex analyses such as landforms and core forest. Many data layers can be downloaded for use with ArcView or other GIS software; others are available only on CD.

    58 South Main Street, Suite 2

    Waterbury, VT 05676




    Vermont Institute of Natural Science (VINS)

    Protecting Vermont's natural environment through education and research designed to engage individuals and communities in the active care of their environment.

    VINS has three offices, in Woodstock, Manchester, and Montpelier.

    Vermont Raptor Center

    27023 Church Hill Road

    Woodstock, VT 05091-9642



    Vermont Center for Ecostudies and Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas

    Maintains Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas.

    PO Box 420

    Norwich, VT 05055


    Vermont Reptile and Amphibian Atlas

    Distribution information, by town, on all Vermont's reptile and amphibian species based on sightings, photographs, and specimens. This information is regularly updated by professionals and trained volunteers. Training for volunteer participation in surveying is available and encouraged. The Atlas can be ordered in hard copy or viewed online.

    James S. Andrews

    642 Smead Road

    Salisbury, VT, 05769





    III. Fish, Wildlife, and Natural Heritage Data and Technical Assistance State and Federal Agencies

    The following state and federal agencies provide a diversity of services, from data and technical assistance to regulatory functions. 

    Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR)

    The mission of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources is: "To protect, sustain, and enhance Vermont's natural resources: for the benefit of this and future generations." The following departments are under the administration of ANR.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671


    Wildlife Diversity Program (NHIP)

    Keeps track of information on rare species and significant natural communities throughout the state. Lists of rare plants and animals are available on the NHIP website.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671




    Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

    DEC administers most of ANR's regulatory programs plus several voluntary pollution and waste reduction programs. Program areas include: air quality, environmental assistance, public facilities engineering, geology, environmental permits, solid waste, hazardous waste, surface water quality, watershed planning, stormwater management, drinking water supply.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671



    Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation 

    Operates the Vermont State Parks system, manages state forests and natural areas, and provides assistance in the areas of forestry, recreation, and conservation education.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671




    Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department (VFWD)

    Manages Vermont's fisheries and wildlife resources, enforces the state's hunting and fishing laws, and studies and inventories nongame wildlife species and natural communities. Department staff can assist planners in interpreting and applying the information presented in this manual.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671

    802-828-1000 (Montpelier)

    802-476-0199 (Barre office and the Community Wildlife Program)


    Contact the Community Wildlife Program 

    Water Quality Division

    The goal of the Water Quality Division is to maintain and enhance the quality of Vermont's lakes, rivers, and wetlands to support healthy ecosystems and appropriate public uses. The Division provides assistance to municipalities and individuals to meet this goal, including administering several grant programs. A large division with programs in Biomonitoring and Aquatic Studies, Hydrology, Lakes and Ponds Management and Protection, River Corridor Management, Stormwater, and Wetlands.

    103 South Main Street

    Waterbury, VT 05671

    802-241-3770 or 241-3777



    Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP)

    The Lake Champlain Basin Program (LCBP) is a federal, state, and local initiative to restore and protect Lake Champlain and its surrounding watershed for future generations.

    P.O. Box 204

    54 West Shore Road

    Grand Isle, Vermont 05458

    802-372-3213 or 1-800-468-LCBP (NY and VT)


    Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)

    A locally guided federal agency that is responsible for helping Vermonters to manage and sustain their natural resources. NRCS administers the Wildlife Habitat Incentives Program (WHIP), which offers financial and technical assistance to private landowners for fish and wildlife habitat restoration conducted on private lands. There are 10 field offices throughout the state.

    356 Mountain View Dr., Suite 105

    Colchester, VT 05446

    802-951-6795 or 1-800-642-5146



    U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE)

    This agency works to develop water resources while also restoring, managing, and enhancing ecosystems. They manage five dams and their impoundments in Vermont.

    Vermont District Office

    Camp Johnson, Building 10-18

    Colchester, VT 05446



    U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA)

    Mission: to protect human health and to safeguard the natural environment

    EPA New England, Region 1

    1 Congress Street, Suite 1100

    Boston MA 02114-2023




    U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS)

    Managing Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge, Pittsford National Fish Hatchery, and Bethel National Fish Hatchery. Leading the Lake Champlain Ecosystem Team from offices in Essex. The program offers financial and technical assistance to private landowners for fish and wildlife habitat restoration conducted on private lands.

    U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program: This program provides technical and financial assistance to landowners wishing to restore aquatic habitats.  


    Vermont Geologic Survey (VGS): The survey is part of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources and can provide data on surficial and bedrock geology for your area.  


    University of Vermont Spatial Analysis Laboratory : The University of Vermont has developed a GIS data layer that identifies contiguous forest habitat. This layer depicts those areas in Vermont that are at least 100 meters (330 feet) distant from a zone of human disturbance. Human disturbance zones are defined as developed, industrial, or residential areas, agricultural openings, and roads.  


    Lake Champlain Fish and Wildlife Resources Office

    Winston Prouty Federal Building

    11 Lincoln Street

    Essex Junction, Vermont 05452-3151



    U. S. Forest Service, Green Mountain National Forest

    Managing lands in the Green Mountains and Taconic Mountains.

    231 North Main Street

    Rutland, VT 05701



    Vermont Mapping Program

    This office provides orthophoto maps to municipalities and others.

    VT Department of Taxes

    133 State Street

    Montpelier, VT 05602




    Vermont Natural Resource Board

    The Natural Resources Board (NRB) was created to succeed the Environmental and Water Resources Boards. The NRB is a nine member board which is divided into two panels, the Land Use Panel and the Water Resources Panel.

        As of February 1, 2005 all appeals from District Environmental Commission (Act 250) decisions and District Coordinator Jurisdictional Opinions are heard by the expanded Environmental Court. All appeals from permitting decisions of the Agency of Natural Resources are also heard by the Environmental Court, as well as local land use decisions.

    National Life Records Building, Drawer 20

    Montpelier, VT 05602



    U. S. Geological Survey (USGS)

    The USGS has information on water quality in

    Lake Champlain.




    IV. Land Trusts

    Land trusts are primarily involved in protecting land through acquisition or through conservation easements. The more local the land trust, the more likely it is to be able to help you conserve land in your community. The location of local land trusts can be found at the following website:

    Lake Champlain Land Trust

    Working to permanently conserve Lake Champlain

    islands and shoreline.

    One Main Street
    Suite 205

    Burlington, VT 05401



    The Nature Conservancy (TNC)

    The Nature Conservancy's mission is to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities that represent the diversity of life on earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. The Nature Conservancy towns more than 30 nature reserves throughout Vermont, and has worked to plan for the conservation of biological diversity in three ecoregions that include Vermont.

    27 State Street

    Montpelier, VT 05401




    Trust for Public Lands (TPL)

    TPL helps conserve land for recreation and spiritual nourishment and to improve the health and quality of life of American communities.

    New England Regional Office

    33 Union St., 4th Floor

    Boston, MA 02108

    (617) 367-6200


    Vermont Land Trust (VLT)

    The Vermont Land Trust works throughout the state

    to conserve land for the future of Vermont. It holds

    easements on farms and forests throughout Vermont.

    8 Bailey Avenue

    Montpelier, VT 05602



    V. Community

    Antioch New England Institute Vision to Action Forum  The Institutes provides community goal-setting and problem-solving workshops for town members to communicate their values and address their futures.


    University of Vermont Place-based Landscape Assessment and Community Education (PLACE) Program The PLACE Program helps towns to research their cultural and natural history and present it to the town in several presentations.


    University of Vermont Landscape Change Program This website shows thousands of scanned historic images of the Vermont landscape as well as current photos for comparison. 




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