Gov. Phil Scott signed an executive order in June creating the Vermont Outdoor Recreation Economic Collaborative (VOREC). The collaborative aims to “promote prudent stewardship of state recreation assets and marketing the outdoor recreation values and attributes of Vermont to effectively foster economic growth.”
Leading the effort is Michael Snyder, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation. A Shumlin appointee, Snyder has been a long-time forester, serving 14 years as head of Chittenden County forestry in addition to teaching for 12 years at UVM.
In this episode of Vote for Vermont, co-hosts Pat McDonald and Ben Kinsley interview Commissioner Snyder about marketing and managing Vermont’s natural resources and forests.
The Department of Forest, Parks and Recreation has five regional offices and four sub-departments: Administration, Forestry, State Lands Administration, and State Parks and Outdoor Recreation. The department oversees 55 developed state parks, as well as heavily forested, undeveloped parks like Camel’s Hump.
Vermont’s recreational offerings — from skiing and hiking to snowmobiling and hunting — attract 1 million visitors each year and generate $2.6 million in revenue. To keep these resources healthy, Snyder and his teams must address issues such as effective management of wood and paper industry, the high cost of worker’s compensation, and the use of portable skidder bridges, among other things.
Watch full episode: