Woodland - Winter 2019 - 30
native plants, especially indicator species of good soils
like wild columbine. Again, local forest owners attended.
In the 1990s, the Parkers participated in classes
by Vermont Coverts, an organization dedicated to
managing what it called "Woodlands for Wildlife." Since
then, they've invited neighbors and landowner friends to
attend its twice-yearly training for a woods walk, picnic
and talks on wildlife on bears, bobcats and so on.
Having attended tree farm conventions as well, the
Parkers were well versed in conservation easements
by fall 2017, when they finalized one with the Vermont
Land Trust to protect 540 of their forested acres. This
easement allows the public to hike, ski and ride, but the
land can never be sold for development.
Peter and a neighbor split wood regularly, priding
themselves on stocking the woodpile for furnace heat.
The Parkers' daughters have helped with that chore,
and grandchildren love thinning young stands and
cleaning up rock walls. Peter mounted a swing in an old
boundary maple by a stone wall in a mowed pasture.
Once the management plan was humming along and
the health of the land had significantly improved, the
Parkers turned to planning for perpetuity.
The Importance of Succession Planning
"Realizing that without succession planning a forest
can often be broken up by the attraction of subdivision,"
Peter says, "we have tried to instill in our children a
love for family forests and a knowledge of the practical
benefits of forest management for revenue." This work,
too, has had its challenges, surprises and rewards.
Succession planning isn't a new idea to the Parkers.
It started almost right away, when they invited 12-15
neighbors to an estate planning presentation led by
Tom McEvoy, a former University of Vermont extension
forester. McEvoy outlined the challenge of owning a
land asset, illiquid yet valuable when sold, that creates
temptations for inheritors needing cash.
One of the Parkers' proudest contributions to forest
succession is acquiring forest land from neighbors who
planned to subdivide. The original 187 acres grew to
560, immediately incorporated into the couple's forest
management plan. Besides bringing quality timber,
the additions created contiguous land areas for wildlife
connectivity, clean water and carbon sequestration.
David Brynn, founder of Vermont Family Forests, also
brought members onto the property to demonstrate
forest management in progress. His focus featured
30 WOODLAND * Winter 2019
"They Have Demonstrated Their Deep Commitment"
The 2018 Outstanding Vermont Tree Farm sign is
posted proudly on several maplewood gates. Peter wants
passersby to know "this is a managed forest in perpetuity,
not subdivided, and recognize that there are people who
feel it's important to care for their land and trees."
That's also why he and Julie became donors
to AFF. It's not just critical to keep our forests as
forests, but those forests must be actively cared for
to keep them productive for the myriad benefits they
provide. Peter elaborates: "Our forests are crucial for
wildlife, for carbon sequestration, for wood - the most
environmentally friendly commercial building material
in the world," he says. "Certification is important so
the public knows that the wood they use comes from
forests that are well managed and well maintained for
After all, he says, forests that are more valuable are
more likely to be kept as forests than be converted to
homes sites, parking lots or retail space. By supporting
the goals of AFF - through personal labor, through
teaching, through donations and so on - the Parkers
are helping ensure that forests are protected for many
generations to come.
"Peter and Julie are not only valued supporters of
AFF's conservation programs," says Ema Johnson,
AFF's Northeast strategic partnership manager. "They
have demonstrated their deep commitment to forest
stewardship through their continued investments in
AFF's conservation programs.
"They are teaching us what it means to be committed
to positive change in the woods. I am continually
impressed by their lifetime dedication to family forests.
With their financial support, we've been able to develop,
implement, and improve our action on the ground."
As Julie wrote long ago, the farm "is one small
model of forest balance in America that connects us
to stewards of land we will never know, but will speak
through the trees that outlive us." Her and her husband's
deep involvement with AFF has helped ensure that the
trees - and the wildlife, water and all else within - thrive
well into the future.
Woodland - Winter 2019
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Woodland - Winter 2019
FORESTS AND FAMILIES
FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Intro
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover1
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover2
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - OVERSTORY
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 5
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FORESTS AND FAMILIES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 7
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 8
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 9
Woodland - Winter 2019 - FOREST INTERACTIONS Seedlings
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 11
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 12
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 13
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 14
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 15
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 16
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 17
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 18
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 19
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 2019 Outstanding Tree Farmers of the Year
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 21
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 22
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 23
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 24
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 25
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Giving Back for the Forests of Tomorrow
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 27
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 28
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 29
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 30
Woodland - Winter 2019 - Policies And Partnerships Go Hand In Hand For Strong Forests
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 32
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 33
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 34
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 35
Woodland - Winter 2019 - TOOLS AND RESOURCES
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 37
Woodland - Winter 2019 - 38
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover3
Woodland - Winter 2019 - cover4