Get involved to ensure the long-term health of forested lands in the Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Region.

Conservation Commissions

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].

Regional Conservation Partnerships

Linking Lands Alliance – “Linking Lands Alliance is a grassroots, collaborative effort working in Vermont to address natural resource issues that transcend town borders… Linking Lands Alliance (LLA) region includes the towns of Hartland, Woodstock, Hartford, Pomfret, Norwich, Sharon, Thetford, Strafford, West Fairlee, and Vershire.”

Taylor Valley – The area where the towns of Vershire, Chelsea, Tunbridge, and Strafford meet – has significantly less development and more ecological richness than most of the surrounding land. It’s been recognized by The Nature Conservancy, Linking Lands Alliance, Audubon Vermont, Upper Valley Land Trust, and Vermont Land Trust as a special place for plants, animals, and people. The Taylor Valley Conservation Project (TVCP) formed three years ago in order to keep this region as working forest and farmland for future generations.

Orange County Headwaters – Orange County Headwaters Project (OCHP) began in 2003 when a group of landowners in Washington and Corinth, Vermont became interested in permanently conserving their land through the use of conservation easements.

Natural Resource Conservation Districts

White River Natural Resources Conservation District – The White River Natural Resources Conservation District is a locally led and operated organization that promotes and supports soil and water conservation. The mission of the District is to “help provide conservation assistance to the people living in the area through education programs and partnerships with federal, state, and local entities involved in natural resources management.” The WRNRCD works in the White, Ompompanoosuc, Waits, and Wells River watersheds.

Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District – The Ottauquechee Natural Resources Conservation District was founded in 1944 to help individuals, groups, and communities in eighteen towns in the Ottauquechee and Black River watersheds. ONRCD operates successful programming for water quality monitoring, education and outreach , agriculture, forestry,  and horse farm management.

Water Related Organizations

White River Partnership  – The White River Partnership began in 1995 as a group of local citizens interested in preserving the quality of life in Vermont’s White River Watershed. A grass-roots organization, the Partnership promotes the cultural, economic, and environmental health of the watershed through active citizen participation.

Connecticut River Joint Commissions – The catalyst for cooperatively meeting the Valley’s challenges is the Connecticut River Joint Commissions, who seek a strong and vibrant economy while capitalizing on the natural wealth of this place. Capitalizing without corrupting means conserving. Helping Valley people achieve that balance and finding the resources to ensure that quality of life is the role of the Connecticut River Joint Commissions.

Silvio Conte Fish and Wildlife Refuge – “Silvio O. Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge was established to conserve the abundance and diversity of native plants and animals and their habitats in the 7.2 million acre Connecticut River watershed in Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont.”

Trout Unlimited (Upper Valley Chapter) – The Greater Upper Valley Chapter of Trout Unlimited has operated continuously since its founding in 1969. The Chapter operates as an educational and charitable 501c(3) organization covering a wide geographic area of Vermont and adjacent New Hampshire. Chapter members meet regularly throughout the year, mixing food, fun and fishing with educational programs and conservation projects.

Connecticut River Conservancy – The Connecticut River Conservancy works to protect the Connecticut River Watershed from source to sea. From alpine forests to tidal estuaries, rural farmlands to urban riverfronts, spotted salamanders to bald eagles and mussels to salmon, the Connecticut River watershed unites a diversity of habitats, communities and resources.

Forestry Related Organizations

Vermont Forest Roundtable – The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) convenes the Vermont Forest Roundtable, which “is a venue for the exchange of information relating to keeping Vermont’s forests as forests, with particular attention focused on addressing parcelization and forest fragmentation….Participants have included consulting foresters, professional planners, government officials, landowners, sportsmen, representatives from the forest products industry, conservation groups, biomass energy organizations, and public and private universities and colleges.”

Vermont Woodlands Association – The Vermont Woodlands Association strives to educate, train, and support private forest landowners in sound management practices concerning wildlife, water, wood, and recreation.

Wildlands and Woodlands – Wildlands and Woodlands (W&W) is a regional vision that unites and inspires people across New England working to conserve New England’s natural heritage and to craft a sustainable future.

University of Vermont: Our VT Woods – This collaborative project engages landowners, municipalities, professionals and educators who want to learn about, network and care for Vermont’s forests.

Land Trusts

Appalachian Trail Conservancy – The Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) is a volunteer-based, private, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation, management, and promotion of the Appalachian Trail as a primitive setting for outdoor recreation (on foot) and for learning. ATC is both a confederation of Trail-maintaining clubs and an individual-membership organization.

The Conservation Fund – Since 1985, the Fund and its partners, dedicated to tangible, on-the-ground results, have protected more than 4 million acres of our nation’s outdoor heritage – our wildlife habitat and watersheds, working landscapes and community open-space.

The Nature Conservancy (Vermont Chapter)  – TNC’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.

Vermont Housing and Conservation Board – 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.

Vermont Land Trust – The mission of VLT is to conserve land for the future of Vermont. VLT does this by providing technical and legal assistance to individuals, communities, and local land trusts helping them achieve local conservation objectives.

Vermont River Conservancy – VRC works to purchase and conserve precious waterfalls and gorges, swimming holes, riparian areas, paddling and fishing sites and ensure that they remain accessible and free from development.

Upper Valley Land Trust – The Upper Valley Land Trust is a non-profit organization supported by over 1,000 members who share the belief that conserving our region’s rural landscapes and wild places is essential to maintaining the health and vitality of our communities and the special quality of life the Upper Valley offers.

The Northeast Wilderness Trust – The Wilderness Trust works with landowners, government agencies, conservation organizations and other land trusts to restore and preserve forever-wild landscapes through conservation easements, land acquisitions, donations and other preservation methods. Northeast Wilderness Trust bases its land protection priorities on conservation science, wilderness potential, community vision, threat, and opportunity. Northeast Wilderness Trust works in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Wildlife Groups

Keeping Track – This group works to foster community participation in the stewardship of wildlife habitat. Through a solid monitoring program, their volunteers provide planners with information on wildlife habitat.

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

Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife  – The mission of the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife is the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont. In order to accomplish this mission, the integrity, diversity and vitality of all natural systems must be protected.

Endangered and Threatened Species Program – Operates within the Vermont Department of Fish & Wildlife, and it’s mission is to inventory, protect, and enhance nongame wildlife, native plants, and significant natural communities in Vermont, and to help people better appreciate these resources.

Other Groups

Conservation Law Foundation (Montpelier, VT office) – The Conservation Law Foundation’s Vermont Advocacy Center has been “defending the law of the land” in the state for nearly 15 years.

The Stewardship Institute at the Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park (Woodstock, VT)  – The Stewardship Institute was established by the National Park Service to create new opportunities for dialogue, inquiry and lifelong learning to enhance the stewardship of our landscapes and communities.