Forest Landowner Transfer Planning


    The Viability Program provides in-depth ownership succession planning for families who own forestland in Vermont in order to forestall the well-documented forest fragmentation that results from forestland passing hands from one generation to the next without a vision or plan for what should become of the land. This work allows families to engage highly specialized and skilled advisers who can play a neutral role as guide and facilitator during family discussions and while pursuing the services of foresters, accountants, financial advisors, and attorneys in the course of developing and formalizing a succession plan.

    autumn forest


    For Service Providers: 

    Through the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program’s forest landowner succession planning, participating families are matched with a lead adviser, who serves as a guide through the succession planning process. We expect that each client enrolled in the in-depth transfer planning process receives at least 20 hours of coaching/support from their lead advisor, and up to approximately 100 hours. The lead advisor role includes:

    • Providing information & guidance on transferring ownership of forestland, with particular focus on the legal, financial & family dynamic involved
    • Clarifying options for families
    • Convening meetings
    • Acting as a neutral party to family discussions
    • Connecting families with subject-area specialists & preparing them for taking best advantage of those services
    • Encouraging forward movement of the succession planning process


    Program Guidelines 


    For Landowners: 

    To be eligible for the in-depth succession planning advising services offered by the Viability Program, forest landowners must own forest in Vermont that is of significant scale or ecological importance. Vermont residency is NOT a requirement for eligibility. Landowners must be willing to commit significant time to this process, and must be on board with participating in the program model described in these guidelines.

    The next round of applications is anticipated to open in late winter 2023. At the time of application, there is a one-time $75 fee for enrollment in the Viability Program. 

    *Landowner applications are currently closed. Check back in February 2023*