Working Lands Enterprise Board Announces Vermont Forest Economy Systems Analysis Project

The Working Lands Enterprise Board (WLEB), in collaboration with the St. Albans-based Yellow Wood Associates (YWA), is pleased to announce the commencement of an in-depth analysis of the forestry and wood products industry in Vermont. With direction from the WLEB, YWA will engage stakeholders across all sectors of Vermont's forest and wood products economy to better understand the current state of the industry and identify opportunities for future strategic investment. The goal of the project, slated for completion by July 2015, is a comprehensive report which will establish a strong foundation for increased support and strategic growth in this important sector of Vermont’s economy.

YWA will engage stakeholders through an on-line survey, regional focus groups, value-chain mapping workshops and a statewide summit to be held in the spring of 2015.  The study, which will include an exploration and analysis of forestry and wood markets, products, and services, will also:

  • Identify market opportunities,
  • Facilitate connectivity across the sector,
  • Identify gaps in infrastructure,
  • Identify priority interventions, and
  • Develop strategies to promote the forestry and wood products industry within Vermont.

Over the next year, the work completed by YWA, the Forestry Subcommittee, and industry stakeholders will provide an opportunity for cross-sector engagement as well as insight into emerging industry trends and opportunities. “The forest sector is a bedrock component of Vermont’s economy. This analysis will help drive targeted investment intended to stimulate growth and innovation in all aspects of Vermont’s forest-based economy,” said Michael Snyder, Commissioner of Vermont Forests, Parks and Recreation.

The undertaking of the industry analysis is a collaborative effort between:

The Vermont Working Lands Enterprise Board is an impact investment organization whose mission is to grow the economies, cultures, and communities of Vermont's working landscape by making essential, catalytic investments in critical leverage points of the Vermont farm and forest economy, from individual enterprises to industry sectors. Visit www.workinglands.vermont.gov/boards

The Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food, and Markets facilitates, supports and encourages the growth and viability of agriculture in Vermont while protecting the working landscape, human health, animal health, plant health, consumers and the environment. Visit www.vermontagriculture.com

The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation is dedicated to assuring that the forest resources of Vermont serve the long-term needs of society by promoting a balanced and diverse approach to management, use and protection of the state’s woodlands. Our mission is fulfilled through the broad programs of managing Agency lands, monitoring the statewide condition of forests and helping private landowners as stewards of their forestland. Additionally, programs assist communities in urban and community forestry; protect forests from large-scale outbreaks of diseases, insect pests and wildfire; assist the wood-using industry; and provide educational opportunities on forestry subjects to all ages. Visit www.vtfpr.org

The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) helps Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities. ACCD encompasses three major state departments and many programs that serve the Vermont public by enhancing the Vermont business climate, marketing Vermont to tourists and others, and strengthening our communities in a wide variety of ways. Visit www.accd.vermont.gov

Yellow Wood Associates, Inc. (YWA), a woman-owned consulting firm located in St. Albans, Vermont, has been providing services in natural resource-based rural community economic development since 1985. Yellow Wood has extensive experience in both qualitative and quantitative research as well as evaluation and measurement, enterprise feasibility studies, market research, business planning, and strategic planning for community and economic development. Visit www.yellowwood.org