Dear Network Friends,

I have a love-hate relationship with mud season in Vermont. I loathe the never-ending muddy boots, muddy dogs, and muddy car. But when I venture beyond the dirt roads, there are all kinds of incredible activities happening in the woods – migrating songbirds coming back to breed; ephemeral wildflowers making their brief appearance before retreating back into the carpet of green; foxes, bears and other mammals introducing their offspring to the world. Those of you who work in the woods for a living are fortunate to get to regularly witness Vermont’s forests coming alive in Spring. I envy you as I wait impatiently for the ground to dry so I can get back out on the trails!

With more than half of Vermont’s residents well on their way to being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, this spring is beginning to feel especially hopeful. If you own a business with employees, be sure to take advantage of a new tax credit to offset the cost of your employees taking time off to get vaccinated.

Along with that good news, I’m excited let you know that we’re planning to host the next Vermont Forest Industry Summit June 9-10, 2022 back at Burke. Mark those calendars for 2022!

Speaking of gatherings of people, Vermont LEAP’s spring workshops are underway and will be in-person, following state guidance. And, LEAP is also about to launch a new-and-improved website that will make keeping track of your LEAP credits a lot easier! If you didn’t already receive the spring schedule, email Dave Birdsall for the latest information and stay tuned for the new website. 

If you’re still stuck inside, or just need something to listen to while you’re in the woods or in the shop, our friends over at Our Vermont Woods have launched a new Podcast called Heartwood, a 5-part series connecting Vermonters to our forest economy. Episode 1 can be found here.  

Meanwhile, we recently caught up with the folks at VerMod Homes, a Vermonter-owned business in Wilder that is making it a priority to focus on sustainable, affordable housing stock, which can be hard to come by these days. Read our latest story about VerMod.

And in the “you can make just about anything out of wood” files, check out this YouTuber who carved a Bugatti out of oak! Or the 3D printer that uses wood scraps. See, this is the random stuff I find online during mud season when it’s raining and I can’t be out on the trails.

Get out and enjoy the sunshine while you can find it! 

Stay safe out there,