Lamoille Valley Farm & Forest Initiative
Many of us know the countless benefits of buying local economics, community building and environmental concerns all come into play. Increased development means greater disturbance to soils, greater impact on natural resources, and greater stress on the capacity of existing farm and forest land to produce more on less land and to maintain the pastoral nature of the landscape. How can we as consumers and producers keep fields and forests under sustainable cultivation? How does the working landscape impact water quality? The correlation between the working landscape and water quality is quite direct. More active farm and forest lands means more land that is allowed to filter, absorb, and hold water thus recharging aquifers and streams in a way that minimizes soil erosion and water quality degradation. Keeping the small farm and woodlot as mainstays on the landscape means less land that is lost to impervious surfaces such as parking lots and pavement.
Encouraged by the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation’s Lamoille River Basin Plan, LCCD works to look at the entire Lamoille Watershed as a project area when appropriate, and to create collaborative projects between conservation-minded organizations and agencies. Participants in the Lamoille Basin planning process outlined the loss of the working landscape as one of the top issues facing Lamoille Valley as land is fragmented and developed at a rapid pace. Based on this recommendation, the Lamoille Valley Farm & Forest Initiative’s main goal is to support the working landscape and advocate for a farm and forest lands-based economy of the Lamoille River Watershed. The initiative is comprised of a series of projects that support the working landscape, be it farming or forestry or their secondary markets.
LCCD strives to support Vermont’s Non-Point Pollution Reduction Program, both on the farm, home, and forestlands, through the promotion of Accepted Agricultural Practices (AAP’s), Best Management Practices (BMP’s), and Acceptable Management Practices (AMP’s). LCCD’s commitment to non-point pollution reduction is the driving force for our ongoing farm and forestry projects listed here.