GMFL-History and Culture



The Green Mountain landscape has been transformed over thousand years. Shifting climatic conditions have caused some long-term changes to this core of the Western Abenaki's tribal homeland.  But it was the intensive land use practices introduced during the last 400 years which resulted in wholesale alteration of forest vegetation, hydrology and habitats -- and the "look" of the region. 

Vermont's National Forest was established in 1932 in response to the environmental damage caused by the unregulated logging which had been occurring in the uplands for a century.  Over the last 75 years, much of  the forested landscape has been nurtured back to health while remaining a working forest.  Our job today is to protect, restore and manage the forested ecosystems and watersheds in the Green Mountains – including the evidence of past land use practices left on the landscape in the form of historic and archaeological sites.

The 400,000 acre Green Mountain National Forest contains more than 2000 archaeological and historic sites spanning the history of Vermont, from Native American sites, the remains of colonial-era subsistence farmsteads, and evidence of the technologies of the industrial period, to the roads, structures and facilities built by the Civilian Conservation Corps in the 1930's. These sites are part of the character of the landscape, and help us document the changes in land-use and ecosystems over time.  Information about these sites has been gathered from a variety of sources: documents, maps, oral histories, and field surveys. The site locations are plotted on our Geographic Information System ("GIS") computer mapping layers, and specific details are recorded on site forms.

The Original Vermonters

Historic Period Sites and Structures