Rebuilding a Resilient Vermont

We can create a more resilient, equitable, inclusive and vibrant Vermont.

local residents work on Vermont restoration project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Four people planting trees.

The COVID-19 pandemic is having profound impacts on Vermonters across the state. But we believe the future for Vermont is greater than what lies behind—if we move forward in the right way. Photo: The Nature Conservancy

The health of our families, economy, and communities is inextricably tied to the health of our environment—including clean air and water, thriving food systems and working lands, functioning ecosystems, and access to the outdoors. As federal funding for COVID recovery comes to Vermont and our leaders make choices on how to rebuild out of the pandemic, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to invest these dollars and adopt complementary policies to create a future in which both people and nature thrive.

We believe Vermont’s future must be centered on investing in programs, policies, and projects that create jobs while addressing climate change and supporting our priceless lands and waters. Through these actions, we can create a more resilient, equitable, and vibrant home for all Vermonters.

Our Policy Decisions Must Create a Future Where:

1. Strategic investments in technology, career training, job growth, and other assistance create a more renewable, sustainable, and energy-efficient modern economy for all Vermonters.

Vermont invests in youth, the future generation of environmental leaders. Photo: TNC
  • Rural Vermonters are empowered to work and thrive in their communities through expanded broadband access, improved transportation options, and financial incentives that decrease their energy and transportation costs, help them relocate out of flood-prone areas, and reduce sprawl, pollution, and climate impacts.
  • Vermont’s job market is expanded, with additional training for emerging employment opportunities, particularly for struggling Vermonters from rural communities and historically disadvantaged and marginalized populations.
  • New and expanded programs that invest in vocational training, service learning, and other education for Vermont’s young adults create new career opportunities focused on natural resource restoration and conservation, outdoor recreation, energy efficiency, and green technology.

2. Investing in Vermont’s working and natural lands bolsters a critical part of our economy and our landscape.

Two local Vermonters plant a pine tree as part of a COVID-19 recovery project for a resilient Vermont
Conservation, restoration, and proper managing of lands and waters can improve the economy of the state. Photo: TNC
  • Forward-looking farm, food, and forest enterprises provide local products, reduce food insecurity, sustain the land base, and support good jobs for Vermonters while providing environmental benefits.
  • Our land use and other public policies better support resilient, connected, and attractive communities with walkable and livable downtowns surrounded by largely undeveloped countryside.
  • Increased investments in conserving, restoring, and managing our lands and waters support our tourism and outdoor recreation economies, protect high-quality habitat for fish and wildlife, slow climate change by storing carbon, and reduce downstream flood risks.

3. All Vermonters have access to clean and healthy air, water, soil, and outdoor spaces.

Vermont's natural resources improve the health, economy, and community lives of all Vermonters and will help create a resilient Vermont.
Vermont’s natural resources improve the health, economy, and community lives of all Vermonters. Photo: TNC
  • State agencies that are tasked with caring for public health and the environment have the resources they need to steward our land, water, air, and wildlife, and enhance resilience to climate change.
  • Our strategic investments and complementary public policies protect and restore air and water quality, which supports our well-being and economic vitality.
  • Well-sited and carefully maintained outdoor recreation opportunities are accessible to all Vermonters, bolstering public health, local economies, and community identity.

For Vermont to prosper, both our human and natural communities need to thrive. We can be a model for the nation in this time of crisis by prioritizing innovation and initiatives that support both our local economy and a healthy environment.


Groups that are working together to create a resilient Vermont during the COVID-19 recovery efforts.

Before you go... CLF is working every day to create real, systemic change for New England’s environment. And we can’t solve these big problems without people like you. Will you be a part of this movement by considering a contribution today? If everyone reading our blog gave just $10, we’d have enough money to fund our legal teams for the next year.