About the Forest

Faces in our Community

To build community and increase awareness of the value our National Forests in Vermont and New York have, our Faces in our Community program highlights individuals in the communities we serve who love our forests and have a desire to share their passion for our National Forest Service lands with others.

These are avid forest users, volunteers, land owners and local small business owners who are enthusiastically sharing their words and values with us. In essence, we are embracing their leadership and hope their stories will inspire you to discover opportunities to be a steward of your National Forests in your own unique way.

 

Discover your Community

Select a Profile: Click a pin An icon of a pin.on the map below to view a community member profile. 

A map of Vermont with insets for the Middlebury RD in the North and the Manchester RD In the South.
 

Community Member Profile:

Donald Campbell

Vermont Land Trust

Donald Campbell beams a smile amidst the green under-story of the forest

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

The Green Mountains are a tantalizing backdrop to our community, one that reminds me daily that there is more to explore.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

Hiking, downhill skiing, and cross-country skiing

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

Our forest is filled with benign ghosts - stone wall builders, foundation diggers, quarrymen, farmers, loggers, and more - all of whom have left their slowly fading mark on the land. They are a pretty welcoming bunch.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

It's invigorating to feel a little lost, yet humiliating to get truly lost. Stick a compass in your pocket as backup.

Community Member Profile:

Marge Fish

Green Mountain Club and Manchester Appalachian Trail Community

Marge Fish smiles gently while taking a selfie against a grey sky.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

The Green Mountain National Forest provides me and my family a place to recreate where I can be assured that the land is protected from the rampant development that is happening nation-wide and at the same time remain open to public access.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

Hiking and backpacking

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

Peace, a re-filling of my personal “well”.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Treat this wonderful resource with care and love. Share it graciously with the many other users of this resource.

Community Member Profile:

Joe Miles

Northshire Area Trail Systems

Joe Miles poses with his mountain back at the Dorset Trail Trailhead

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

It is a place to recreate but it is also just good knowing it will be there in the future

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

Hiking, biking and skiing

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

It is a shared resource that we are fortunate to have in our local community.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

I have never not felt better after some time in the woods.

Community Member Profile:

Diana Todd

Dutch Hill Association of Skiers and Hikers

Diana Todd raises the face shield of her helmet and smiles for a photo.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

I grew up on a dead end road with National forest access. It was the foundation

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

The Forest Service plan for my neck of the woods (the Green Mountain National Forest) includes setting aside a significant portion of a former downhill ski area, Dutch Hill in Readsboro, VT, for human-powered recreation. I'm working with the volunteer group that is re-opening the former ski slopes, under Forest Service guidance. We're seeing outdoor winter recreation blossom again on this long silent hill.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

Working with the Forest Service to bring skiing back to Dutch Hill gives me a great feeling of satisfaction. I love establishing a link back to the history of skiing in Vermont. I love seeing young kids sledding on the hill after school, and college kids snowboarding on weekends. I love swooping down the slopes myself on skis, after climbing up under my own power. What a rewarding feeling, to know that we have brought invigorating outdoor winter joy to so many people.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

These lands belong to all of us, we Americans, not to any one user group nor to the Forest Service. We rely on the Forest Service to develop plans that make the best use of the forest for the maximum number of people, and to protect the health of the forest itself. You can have a say in how these forests are managed by participating in the public input aspect of the management planning process. The system works. Get involved. Have a say in how your forest is used.

Community Member Profile:

Bruce Flewelling

Rochester Historical Society

A man in an orange vest poses afield with his rifle.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

First and foremost, National Forests meant a 40 year career in natural resource management. It means an opportunity to pursue outdoor nature-based activities that I enjoy. It also means wise use of renewable resources, and economic value to local economies.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

I pursue many of the opportunities the NF offers. These include hiking, hunting, fishing, bird watching, walking my dogs, cross-country skiing and leading hikes to historic sites.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

I grew up in a rural setting, in a family that valued the natural environment. So while recreating in a National Forest, I feel "at home".

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

National Forests belong to you. Take advantage of all the opportunities they provide.

Community Member Profile:

Silvia Cassano

Green Mountain Club and Bennington Area Trail System

A young woman poses in front of a trail sign in the winter, her face obscured by a bandanna.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

For my sense of independence, discover and set me on my career path. Having worked to maintain trails as a USFS wilderness ranger, as Appalachian Trail Conservancy field staff and as a Green Mountain Club volunteer – I value the role the Forest plays in providing these opportunities to the public. Also, being a advocate for forest stewardship that benefits global bird habitat, I value knowing that the GMNF is a conservation corridor for wildlife.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

Backpack, hike, kayak, cross country ski, mountain bike, fish , backcountry ski, spring botany walks, birding scenic drives, gravel bike touring on the roads, and trail maintenance.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

The feeling of discovering new places or familiar places again gives me a sense of calm, a way to be physically acting, and a deep sense of personal renewal that I need to focus on my daily life.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Find a way to give back and be a steward through your actions, and inspire others to do the same. As you learn and discover new places in our National Forests, be mindful and don’t give away all the specific locations on social media. Social media is a tool to discover, but it can also take away the character that makes a place feel wild.

Community Member Profile:

Hardy Avery

Business Owner - Sustainable Trailworks, LLC

A man adventures into a snowy backdrop of mountain pines on skis

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

The National Forest is an amazing asset to the people of our country for its conservation, recreation and natural resource values.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

I enjoy backcountry skiing, mountain biking and bushwhacking all around on the National Forest.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

I really like the feeling on unity and freedom I get when I am on the National Forest. It belongs to the citizens and we are free to enjoy it.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Look at a map, get out there and remember to respect the land.

Community Member Profile:

Carina Crane

Burr and Burton Academy Mountain Campus – Junior

Carina Crane smiles for the camera amid a snowy forest back-drop.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

My local National Forest represents the beauty, serenity, peace and natural world that I am lucky enough to have right outside my door..

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

I enjoy hiking and going on walks in the National Forest. Mostly though, I enjoy just wondering and exploring. There is so much to observe.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

I feel disconnected and I feel like my head clears when I am in the National Forest.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Take the opportunity to spend time in the National Forest because we are lucky enough to live in a place where it is so accessible and untouched.

Community Member Profile:

Finley Forester

Burr and Burton Academy Mountain Campus – Junior

Finley Forester smiles for the camera amid a snowy forest back-drop.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

It’s a place where you can explore and step out of reality and social norms.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

I sometimes go hiking or even just small walks.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

I feel free and away from all of the social norms. I feel like I can be myself.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

If you need somewhere to think, going into the woods is a great spot. It’s peaceful, and a quiet place.

Community Member Profile:

Ciaran Van Ommen Kloeke

Burr and Burton Academy Mountain Campus – Sophomore

Ciaran Van Ommen Kloeke smiles for the camera amid a snowy forest back-drop.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

A place where I can get away from the complexity of day-to-day life.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

Camping, Hiking/Backpacking

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

Wonder, either of the complexity and beauty, or of how it has the power to release you from the stresses of everyday life.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Take advantage of the time you have in the forest, and respect it, so that others may do the same.

Community Member Profile:

RJ Thompson

Vermont Huts Association

RJ Thompson smiles for the camera amid a snowy forest back-drop.

What does your local National Forest mean to you?

To me, Green Mountain National Forest is a reminder that true adventures are still possible in Vermont. In the age of constant connectivity and overwhelming screen time, having large and contiguous parcels of public land - open to everyone - provide humans the opportunity to abandon the burdens of work, stresses of everyday life, and return to the forest for long-overdue time spent in nature. The restorative properties of the mountains cannot be understated.

What passion or activity do you pursue on your National Forest?

I am a backcountry skier, mountain runner, mountain biker, hiker, and more recently, a bow hunter. Soon, I will be a hiker with some extra weight in my pack, as we are expecting our first child in February. I enjoy doing all of those activities in Green Mountain National Forest.

What feeling resonates with you while spending time on your National Forest?

In general, Green Mountain National Forest gives me a feeling of solitude mixed with vulnerability. But not in a bad way. When you're up on the Long Trail early in the morning in the middle of the Wilderness, you just don't know what you might encounter. Between unpredictable weather patterns and abundant wildlife, that vulnerability provides the best and most memorable adventures. It also reminds us of our fragility.

What simple message do you have to share with others about our National Forests?

Spend more time in them. You will not be disappointed.

 





https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/gmfl/about-forest/?cid=FSEPRD602576&width=full