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If a picture is worth a thousand words, how about the real experience? We’ll let you decide with a visit to the Lydia Spitzer Demonstration Forest at NorthWoods.

Benefactor Lydia Spitzer cuts the balsam fir garland to formally inaugurate the Spitzer Demonstration Forest in Febuary, 2013. Left to Right- Nancy Engels (Board President), Jayson Benoit (FSI Director), Meghann Carter (Conservation Science Specialist), Lydia Spitzer, and Sam Perron (Forestry Specialist).
Photo by Bethany M. Dunbar, courtesy of the Chronicle

When Lydia Spitzer donated over 1,350 acres of conserved forestland in 2009, a new realm of educational possibilities appeared – the ability to not only talk about sustainable practices, but to test those practices in real life and show the results. Located in East Charleston, VT, our 1,475 acre property is accessible from the main NorthWoods facility, as well as from several trailheads around the property. This diverse acreage encompasses natural communities ranging from forested wetlands and beaver ponds to upland northern hardwoods and mixed forests, and includes 1,800 feet of undeveloped shoreline along Echo Lake. The landscape is influenced both by a land use history of brief agriculture and intensive logging, and by our northern latitude, which results in a transition forest with elements of northern hardwoods and boreal softwoods. Common wildlife species include moose, fisher, bobcat, and less common ones like rusty blackbird and black-backed woodpecker have also nested on the property. Above all, our forest is an educational tool for you- landowners, forestry professionals, and anyone curious about managing a healthy forest ecosystem.  With that in mind, we’ve added informational signs and trailside access to many of our forest management areas. Use the links below to explore our demonstration sites… or come by for a hike, and see them in real life. Our management plan includes detailed goals, stand descriptions, and our silvicultural schedule.

Forwarding firewood from a small-scale improvement harvest in the Spitzer Forest

Forwarding firewood from a small-scale improvement harvest in the Spitzer Forest

Affiliations and recognition from other organizations help make the Spitzer Forest what it is today- a sustainable, educational, multi-use working forest. Over 96% of our forest is enrolled in the Vermont Use Value Appraisal (also called Current Use) program, allowing the land to be appraised at a reduced rate based on a commitment to maintain it as undeveloped working forest. Approximately 1,360 acres are protected under a conservation easement held by the Vermont Land Trust, and 11 acres along the Clyde River are under easement with The Nature Conservancy, a further commitment to the future protection of this intact forest. The entire 1,475 acre Spitzer Forest is enrolled in the American Tree Farm System, the nations oldest certifier of privately owned forestland. Most recently, the Forest Guild accepted the Spitzer Forest into their Model Forest program which recognizes the “places, people, and relationships that foster sustainable forest management and demonstrate successful silviculture”.

There’s always something new happening in the Spitzer Demonstration Forest! Follow us on Facebook, keep an eye on upcoming events, explore the links below, or come for a hike to our demonstration sites- we hope to see you out there!

Read the plan

Read the plan

View the Map

View the Map

 

Demonstration Sites

Forestry for the Birds: Variable Density Thinning

Forestry for the Birds: Crop Tree Release with Gap Creation

Invasive Species Management Area

Vernal Pool Protection Area

Pine Plantation Conversion

Crop Tree Release

Pre-Commercial Thinning

 

Property Map

Click on a point of interest below to learn more about our individual demonstration plots.

Forestry for the Birds: Variable Density Thinning Pre-Commercial Thinning Pre-Commercial Thinning Pre-Commercial Thinning Vernal Pool Protection Area Invasive Species Control Plots Pine Plantation Conversion Crop Tree Release Forestry for the Birds: Crop Tree Release with Gap Creation Forestry for the Birds: Crop Tree Release with Gap Creation Image Map