thumbnail.jpgOn April 8th, 2024, the Vermont team submitted a comment to the US Forest Service on the Telephone Gap Integrated Resource Project (Telephone Gap IRP). The Green Mountain National Forest is part of one of the largest and most important areas of  publicly owned and accessible land in Vermont and is considered a high priority area with regard to BHA values of solitude, adventure, self-reliance, conservation, and access to high-quality fair chase hunting and fishing experiences.

The Telephone Gap IRP is located on the Rochester and Middlebury Ranger Districts in the towns of Brandon, Chittenden, Goshen, Killington, Mendon, Pittsfield, Pittsford, and Stockbridge. The project area encompasses approximately 72,253 acres, 49% of which is National Forest System (NFS) land. The Forest Service has been gathering data and working with individuals, organizations, towns and federal and state agencies since 2019 to develop potential management activities designed to implement the Forest Plan, and work toward desired future conditions at the site-specific level, within the Telephone Gap IRP area.

The scope of the project is broad and it includes a number of proposed activities including timber harvesting, wildlife habitat enhancement, recreation & forest access activities, and soil & wetland restoration work. In early 2023, the New England Chapter participated in the scoping period of this process and this year they continued with their mission to speak up for sound management of public lands. 

Highlights of the comment include:

  • Supporting Alternative C of the proposal, which will create or maintain needed early
    successional habitat within the 3-5% Vermont Conservation Design target, while also avoiding
    stands with complexity and age structure similar to old growth forests, as well as utilizing
    ecological forestry principles to enhance old-growth characteristics in other stands.
  • Concerns over proposed trail expansion 
    • trail expansion impacts on wildlife 
    • decommissioning of poorly designed/located trails
    • accessible trails that serve a variety of mobility types should be located close to existing infrastructure
  • Advocating for no permanent expansion of roads 
  • Supporting gates and access areas that allow for dispersed recreation on GMNF land.
  • Concerns about the addition of huts on the GMNF. 
  • Concerns about maple tapping on the GMNF

Read the full document sent by the Vermont team HERE.





About New England BHA Chapter

New England BHA is a voice for the sporting community in New England that values solitude, silence, clean and free flowing rivers, and habitat for large, wide-ranging wildlife.