MONTPELIER, VT – Surveys repeatedly show Vermonters want a strong working landscape for all its scenic, cultural, economic, environmental and recreational benefits. However if alarming trends that threaten its economic viability are not reversed, it will vanish within a generation.
The Vermont Council on Rural Development is launching a new nonpartisan and broad-based partnership to keep our farm and forest economy a vital foundation for the future of Vermont. The Partnership is proposing a bold plan. Today it announced the 17 member Vermont Working Landscape Council (VWLC) that will develop the details to make this plan a practical reality. The VWL Council represents deep expertise in issues pertaining to farm and forest enterprises and rural development in Vermont. It is chaired by retired Secretary of Agriculture Roger Allbee and includes:
Bob Ackland, VCRD Board, Recreation Development Consultant
Cliff Allard, Allard Lumber Company
Marie Audet, Blue Spruce Farm
Deb Brighton, Natural Resource Economist
Greg Brown, VCRD Board, Retired Regional and State Planning Leader
India Burnett Farmer, Northeast Vine Supply & Rutland Area Farm and Food Link
Peter Condaxis, Ryegate Power Station
Jacques Couture, Couture’s Farm, Sugarhouse and B&B
Allison Hooper, VT Butter and Cheese
Andrew Kehler, Jasper Hill Farm
Gil Livingston, Vermont Land Trust
John Meyer, Bardill Land and Lumber Company
Jan Rozendaal, retired Chittenden County Business Leader
Robin Scheu, Addison County Economic Development Corp.
Michael Snyder, Commissioner, Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation
Will Stevens, Golden Russet Farm
“It’s time to give voice to this quiet crisis,” explains VCRD Executive Director Paul Costello. “The Partnership will bring a singular focus to putting the policies in place that help everyone trying to make a living from the land.”
According to Roger Allbee, “The working landscape is fundamental to what Vermont is all about; let’s work together to ensure its future.”
All Vermonters are invited to join the Partnership to stay updated and help shape the campaign for the future of Vermont’s Working Landscape.