Green Mountain National Forest

Green Mountain National Forest is a national forest in Vermont, a forest area that is typical of the New England/Acadian Forests ecoregion. The forest supports various wildlife, including moose, coyote, black bear, beaver, and white tailed deer. It also supports abundant varieties of bird species, such as ruffed grouse and wild turkey. The forest, as it is situated in Vermont’s Green Mountains, has been referred to as the “granite backbone” of the state.

The forest was established in 1932 as a result of uncontrolled overlogging, flooding, and fire. It makes up 399,151 acres; and is the largest contiguous land mass in the state. If Finger Lakes National Forest, which is managed as a unite of the Green Mountain National Forest, is included within it, GMNF is one of only two national forests located northeast of the Pennsylvania-New Jersey barrier; the other being the White Mountain National Forest. As it is divided into southwest and central areas, the forest has a total of eight wilderness areas. These were designated by Congress starting with the Wilderness Act of 1964 to be areas that are off-limits to mechanized gear down to and including bicycles.

It lies in parts of Addison, Bennington, Rutland, Windsor, Windham, and Washington counties. Why the official forest map covers maybe half of Bennington County; and why Ran McNally maps have the forest covering all of aforesaid county is not clear. The headquarters for the forest are located in Rutland, Vermont, alongside those of Finger Lakes National Forest in New York.

It contains three nationally designated trails, including some parts of the Appalachian Trail and the Long Trail, as well as the Robert Frost National Recreation Trail. Additionally, the forest also includes three alpine ski areas, seven Nordic ski areas, and about 900 miles of multiple use trails for hiking, snowmobiling, horseback riding, cross country skiing, and bicycling.

The forest benefited from the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2008. More typical forest revenue may come from Recreation fees and Timber sales. Some 429 acres were set for forest regeneration in 2009. The bulk of expenditures may go towards Road Construction, Recreation/Wilderness and Heritage, and Wildlife/Fish Management. Some projects in the latter category might include, land/water modification supporting Ruffed Grouse, Bear, Wild Turkeys; Trout and Salmon, Bicknell’s Thrush; and the plant Jacob’s Ladder. The Emerald Ash Borer and the Long Horned Beetle represent a vexing side result of the global economy and a close threat to Vermont’s trees.

There are 8 officially designated wilderness areas that lie within Green Mountain National Forest that are a part of the National Wilderness Preservation System. They are Big Branch Wilderness, Bristol Cliffs Wilderness, Breadloaf Wilderness, George D. Aiken Wilderness, Glastenbury Wilderness, Joseph Battell Wilderness, Lye Brook Wilderness, and Peru Peak Wilderness.

Image Caption: The Hapgood Pond Recreation Area of the Green Mountain National Forest displays its fall foliage splendor. Credit: U.S. Department of Agriculture/Wikipedia (CC BY 2.0)