Dear Network Friends,

Registration for the 2022 Vermont Forest Industry Summit is open! We can’t wait to gather at Burke Hotel and Conference Center June 9-10 for a lot of great topical discussions and lots of time for networking – in person!

We’re thrilled to announce that Bettina Ring, the new Chief Sustainability and Diversity Officer at Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) will give a keynote address. Bettina recently joined SFI after serving as the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Secretary of Agriculture and Forestry, as well as the state’s forester for several years. You can read more about Bettina here. We’re also excited that our friends at Go Lab and Timber HP in Madison, ME will also be joining us to share the details of their much-anticipated wood-fiber insulation plant.

The summit planning committee is hard at work developing many more timely topics, so be sure to register ASAP!

We’re also excited that Northern Vermont University and Do North Co-Working have just launched a new forest products accelerator program in Lyndonville. This intense, 4-month program will be open to a limited number of start-up and seed stage forest products businesses from throughout North America. Learn more about the program here, and please share with entrepreneurs you think would be interested.

This spring has been busy at the State House, and among the bills making their way through the legislative process is the Vermont Forest Future Strategic Roadmap, a bill that would direct the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to contract with the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund to work with industry stakeholders to develop a comprehensive industry roadmap that will identify detailed strategies to advance Vermont’s forest economy and the businesses that support it. The bill is now embedded in a larger workforce development bill, (H.703, pages 127 – 133) that passed the House and has headed over to the Senate for consideration.

One forest economy business that has the future squarely in its sights is Long View Forest. Co-founder Jack Bell recently took us on a tour, and we think you’ll agree that his crew members have Vermont’s long-term forest viability on their minds when they’re in the woods. Read more about this growing Vermont business here.

As the Summit nears, we’ll continue to update the agenda, so feel free to visit the Summit page for the latest updates. I hope to see you in June!