Regional planning in east central Vermont encompasses many different aspects of the natural environment, and often involves the way in which human beings interact with the world around them. Planning extends beyond our developed areas and works to integrate human beings and development with our region’s fields, forests, waters, wildlife, air, and climate.
Environmental planning consists of many different topics, and TRORC’s efforts focus on three specifically:
- Working landscapes, including agriculture and forestry related pursuits
- Land and water based conservation projects
- Watershed, water quality, and riverine planning
A municipality can establish a Conservation Commission, comprised of volunteer members who are dedicated to inventorying, studying, and conserving the community’s natural resources. Check with your local town office to see whether there is a Conservation Commission in your town. If there isn’t one yet, check out the enabling legislation which allows municipalities to create a Conservation Commission (24 V.S.A. Chapter 118, § 4501-6)
Association of Vermont Conservation Commissions –This Association maintains a listserv for Conservation Commission members across Vermont. If you’re interested in receiving their e-mails, please write to [email protected].
Curious to see what other conservation commissions are doing in our region? Check out this report we generated based on visiting some commissions in our region in 2019: CC 2019 Summary
If your town is interested in forming a conservation commission, please contact Jessica Richter at 802-457-3188 ext. 125
Climate change, also called global warming, is very real and impacting the region now and will continue to for centuries. The main driver of such change is increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere which traps heat from radiating back out into space. Carbon dioxide levels are now above what has occurred for at least the last 800,000 years.
Future effects of climate change will vary by location, but current effects are increased extreme rainstorms, which have jumped dramatically in the northeast in the last 20 years. This is one of the reasons that towns should be conservative in their flood regulations since the jump in storms is not reflected in outdated flood maps.
Projected Impacts to the region are expected to affect our climate, economy, the natural world, and human health as our climate shifts hundreds of miles southward in the best case scenario. Unless dramatic steps are taken to lower emissions, climate changes will be catastrophic. That is why towns should plan to take steps to lower emissions through land use planning that concentrates development, energy planning for increased generation of renewable energy, and transportation planning that increases walking, biking, and transit use, as well as changing over to electric vehicles. TRORC has assisted towns with all of these and will continue to do so. Just give us a call.
Links to Regional Plan
Pete Fellows, GIS Manager
[email protected] – 802-457-3188 ex. 21
Kevin Geiger, Senior Planner
[email protected] – 802-457-3188 ex. 24