Environment and Natural Resources


The Environment and Natural Resources element is finished and has been approved by the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission! This element of Plan Central Vermont encourages the protection of natural, scenic and recreational resources, and a rethinking of the attitudes, policies, and land use patterns that threaten their existence. It advances appropriate policies for acceptable development in floodplains and fluvial erosion hazard zones and strategies for helping our communities become more flood resilient to prevent social, environmental and economic loss in future events.

Approved Environment and Natural Resources Element
What Was the Process?
Related Documents and Planning Initiatives


Approved Regional Economic Element

The Environment and Natural Resources element is available in three forms:

  • To read an in-depth coverage of economic issues in the Region, look at the full element.
  • For a shorter read that still has all the details of our goals, policies and strategies for the Region, look at the summary version.
  • If you just want a quick look, check out our two page brief below.
What was the Process?

We started meeting with the Environment and Natural Resources  working group in June 2014, and continued meeting with them through November 2014. You can see a summary of all the meetings here:

These meetings addressed a series of ever-changing drafts and maps. The first draft of the element to be made available to the public was published on November 25, 2014. After extensive discussion by the Environment and Natural Resources working group, the Draft Review Committee, and the Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, another full draft was made available on January 21, 2015. There were significant changes made between the two drafts, which you can see by looking at the marked-up version of our goals, policies and strategies from December 2014. The final Environment and Natural Resources element was approved by the Commission on March 10, 2015. You can view the final documents above.

Related Documents and Planning Initiatives

There are a number of other important and interesting resources that address environmental issues in the Region. Below are some of the resources we drew on in writing the element, and information from some of the programs and organizations with which we work.

Disaster Recovery and Long Term Resilience Planning in Vermont: The EPA’s Smart Growth Technical Assistance (SGIA) program helps state, local, regional and tribal governments that need tools, resources, and other assistance to achieve their growth- and development-related goals. Click here to read about Vermont’s involvement.

Flood Ready Vermont: All over the state, select board members, planning commission members, town officials, planners, and citizens are working to make our communities flood resilient. Is your community flood ready? Find out now by checking out Flood Ready Vermont’s website.

Lake Champlain Total Maximum Daily Load: The State of Vermont and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are in the process of developing and implementing a new restoration plan for Lake Champlain and its tributaries. Click here to read about phosphorous pollution in Lake Champlain and cleanup efforts.

Winooski Basin Plan: This river basin water quality management plan provides an overview of the Winooski River Basin’s surface waters and a description of ongoing and future steps to restore and protect those waters. Click here for the full ANR report.

Forest Stewardship Draft Regional Report: CVRPC has compiled a draft report to address forest planning from an integrated approach looking at the big picture to keep forests intact. This report will be used by the Environment and Natural Resources working group to create regional policies and strategies related to the stewardship of our forests. For more information on this report, click here.

Vermont Wildlife Action Plan: Employing a rigorous science-based process using the best available existing information, WAP technical teams of FWD staff and Conservation Partners assessed the status all of Vermont’s birds (268), fish (94), mammals (61), reptiles and amphibians (42) and many, many groups of invertebrates ranging from mussels, to beetles, to butterflies. Click here to read the report.

Vermont Climate Assessment: The Vermont Climate Assessment was put together by a climate scientist and professor at the University of Vermont to provide state-level climate data similar to the National Climate Assessment. Click here for more information and to download the full report.

Vermont Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan: This plan was prepared by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and provides an assessment of Vermont’s outdoor recreation resources, issues, and directions from 2005-2009. Hundreds of Vermonters participated in the preparation of the plan, ranging from being interviewed in surveys to attending meetings and offering comments. Click here to learn more and download the 2014-2018 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).

Vermont Forest Action Plan: The Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation created an action plan in 2010 to guide towards healthy and sustainable forest ecosystems; a prosperous and sustainable forest products industry; abundant recreational opportunities; and a combination of ownership patterns supporting a working forest landscape and large, unbroken forest tracts. To learn more and to download the plan, click here.

The Economic Importance of Vermont’s Forest Based Economy: This brief report by the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation provides a brief overview of the value of Vermont’s forest and its economic contribution to the state. To download the full report, click here.