Affiliate of the Week: Vermont Natural Resources Council
In honor of our 80th Anniversary celebration throughout 2016, the National Wildlife Federation is recognizing each of our Affiliate Partners in a special “Affiliate of the Week” blog series that showcases the dedicated conservation efforts taking place across the country each day. This week we celebrate our affiliate, the Vermont Natural Resources Council, and their commitment to wildlife.
Who We Are
The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) is Vermont’s oldest, independent, environmental advocacy organization. They work from the local to state level to advance policies, programs and practices that protect and enhance vibrant communities, clean water, working farms and forests, wild places, and clean energy.
What We Do
VNRC has four major programs offering a valuable multi-disciplinary approach to their work:
- The Forest and Wildlife Program offers a variety of strategies to combat forest fragmentation and enhance habitat conservation through conservation planning strategies, technical assistance to communities, and approaches to working lands and forest management. VNRC is also the lead coordinator of the forest roundtable.
- The Sustainable Communities Program compliments forest and wildlife management strategies through land use planning strategies and tools, technical assistance to communities, the Community Planning Toolbox, and a myriad of other opportunities to plan for smart growth communities surrounded by open and working farms and forests.
- The Water Program operates at a number of levels to improve the health of our watersheds and improve habitat connectivity through the removal of so-called “deadbeat” dams.
- The Energy and Climate Action Program enables communities across Vermont to pursue energy efficiency, conservation measures, renewable energy generation, and alternative transportation options to speed up the transition off of fossil fuels, and curb our contribution to climate change, which has a direct impact on the health of wildlife populations that live in and travel through the state.
Making a National Impact
VNRC is unique in Vermont in that they leverage a multi-program approach to wildlife conservation, which allows them to address the complex nature of conservation in a comprehensive and holistic fashion.
VNRC has had a number of recent legislative successes, making progress through negotiation, activist networks, and grassroots organizing. In 2015, after years of educating, inspiring and activating their members on the issues, they championed a bill that will significantly help clean up local lakes and rivers.
More recently, VNRC strongly opposed a large development that was to be located on prime agricultural property, causing the developer in the case to withdraw his application. VNRC has seen continued success over many years through their efforts in building and supporting over 100 town energy committees throughout Vermont, who work to conserve energy locally across the state.
Sign up for VNRC’s E-News to follow their work and find opportunities to get involved. They are always looking for support at the Statehouse, and need activists to contact legislators on the issues that are important to all of us. It’s easy to become a Legislative Activist in Vermont — join us today!