In 2016 Act 171 amended Vermont Planning Statutes to encourage and allow municipalities to address protection of forest blocks and habitat connectors, while also supporting the local forest products industry. After January 1, 2018, municipalities seeking to have their plans approved by their Regional Planning Commission must include additional information on the future land use map and language that identifies state, regional or locally significant forest blocks and habitat connectors. The plan may also include specific policies on how the community will take steps to reduce forest fragmentation, enhance forest health, and support essential ecological functions.
ACT 71 Implementation
The Agency of Natural Resources has prepared a document entitled PLANNING: A Key Step Towards Protecting Forest and Wildlife Resources – ACT 171 GUIDANCE to assist communities in forestland planning.
A full length (1 hr 30 min) training video is also available: