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Learn how to manage woodlands

VERGENNES — Did you know the beaver was once eradicated from Vermont and had to be reintroduced? Ever wonder what the big deal is about invasive plant species? Should you have your property logged? If so, what should you be aware of? All these questions and so much more are answered and discussed at a Vermont Coverts Cooperator Training Workshop.
Registration is now open for Cooperator Training program being held May 11-13 at the Common Ground Center in Starksboro. This weekend retreat provides an opportunity for those who care about woodlands and wildlife to learn about the resources available to help them define and reach their land management goals.
“The Coverts Training changed the way we think about our woods, from simple concepts like ‘mess is best’ to specific ways we can increase diversity and help improve habitat for a wide range of wildlife,” says Coverts Cooperator and Council President Rich Chalmers. “Through Coverts, we have access to both expert knowledge and examples of how other landowners have applied those concepts in their woods.”
The name Coverts comes from an old English word for cover or thicket used by wildlife for protection. Its full name — Vermont Coverts: Woodlands for Wildlife — highlights its mission to maintain and enhance diverse wildlife habitat and healthy ecosystems. More than 675 people, known as Cooperators, have completed the program.
The intensive two-and-a half-day session features presentations by state and local experts in wildlife and forest management and Coverts alumni from past sessions. In lectures, demonstrations and field tours, participants learn about topics such as wildlife and forest ecology, habitat management, invasive control, and land conservation.
Lisa Sausville, executive director notes, “Many who participate are already involved in these issues and are looking for more information while others are just starting to learn about their woods. That diversity creates a wonderful learning environment and gets at the heart of peer to peer networking.”
Once trained, Coverts Cooperators become part of a statewide network connected through newsletters, field trips, reunions and workshops. Through their outreach efforts they are part of a team working to spread the land stewardship ethic. Some might join a conservation commission, others make changes to their woodland management or plan a workshop on their land. Coverts provides information and resources to these new Cooperators as they learn and pass information on to their community.
If you love woodlands, enjoy seeing birds and other wildlife, and want to learn how a healthy forest can enhance wildlife habitat as well as provide recreational and timber benefits then the Coverts Training is for you!
“We’re looking for people who have a desire to make a difference for Vermont’s forests and wildlife,” notes Sausville. All materials, lodging, food and other expenses related to the training are covered through donations by past participants. There is a $100 registration fee, refundable upon completion of the training. Visit vtcoverts.org for an application, or contact Lisa Sausville at [email protected] or call (802) 877-2777.

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