The Vermont Agency of Natural Resources promotes the sustainable use of Vermont's natural resources, protects and improves the health of Vermont's peoples and ecosystems, and promotes sustainable outdoor recreation. In order to accomplish these goals we rely on data -- and lots of it! From scientific surveys of the impact of invasive species, to biological analyses of the health of our wildlife populations, to studies of sediment transported in our rivers and streams, we rely on data to help us develop public policy, deploy agency resources and make regulatory decisions.
We don't just keep this data to ourselves. We believe it is important to make Agency information accessible so that everyone can benefit from it. By looking at our State Parks visitor data, families can find a campground that offers them the experience they are looking for. Our Natural Resources Atlas helps landowners look up drilled well locations; before a developer purchases a parcel of land they can check our data to see whether there are threatened and endangered species, or a known wetland or deer yard on the property that would make it less suitable for development.
This issue of Ripples highlights web-based tools that make the work of ANR's scientists and analysts available through accessible data. One article invites all lovers of wildlife, anglers, and hunters to discover a Wildlife Management Area (WMA) this fall using the WMA locator tool. After a unique low-water and dry summer, another article highlight the emergence of rare plant species---some that are globally rare!---and what that means for the massive natural heritage inventory dataset, and how to access it. We also meet Leslie Pelch, Outreach Coordinator for Vermont Center for Geographic Information, to learn about a big project to update the State's parcel data, which will improve land-based decision-making for many agencies of the state as well as for the private and nonprofit sectors.
I hope you take some time to visit our website;
I am sure you will be impressed by the amount of helpful information you find there. I want to particularly recommend you look at our new climate site at
There, you can find information about how Vermont's climate is changing and what you can do about it.
This is a perfect example of how information can drive action.
A special thanks to our many ANR staff who work every day to help us make science-based decisions, and who carefully and methodically collect the data that enables us to accomplish our important mission.