Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Says Paul Hamelin, Vermont Fish and Wildlife habitat biologist, “Data from the U.S. Forest Service indicate that as Vermont’s forests continue to mature, the amount of young forest has decreased by 50 percent in just ten years. Many birds, mammals, and reptiles that depend on young forest are declining in numbers due to the decrease in their habitat. Research has shown that young forest patches are also preferred by mature forest birds after the nesting period, and the patches seem to be extremely important to migrating birds as well. Many common animals such as deer, moose, ruffed grouse, rabbits, and snowshoe hares also need young forest to thrive. Because our developments on the landscape suppress the processes such as flooding and fires that would naturally create young forest, we need to implement carefully planned management actions, such as timber harvests, to continually provide large patches of this essential habitat.”