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Local-Led Conservation

The Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County Natural Resources Conservation Districts in partnership with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are seeking your ideas to focus our work and programming for the future in the Northwest Zone of Vermont via a Locally Led Conservation Survey and Public Local-Led Conservation Meetings!

Join us for a Thank You Dinner & Community Meeting

When: Thursday, October 5th, 2023 - 5:00 to 8:00 pm

Dinner is from 5:00-6:30 PM and the public meeting is from 6:30-8:00 PM.

Where: Smuggler's Notch Inn, 55 Church St., Jeffersonville, VT  05464

The Farmer Thank You Dinner from 5:00-6:30 PM is open to the public and geared towards residents of  Grand Isle, Franklin, and Lamoille counties. We want to celebrate the farmers and food makers, who feed us every day. Locally sourced food will be catered by Smuggler's Notch Inn. Free buffet and cash bar!

The Northwest Zone Public Local-Led Conservation Meeting from 6:30-8:00 PM. The Grand Isle, Franklin, and Lamoille County Natural Resources Conservation Districts will lead a discussion about the resource conservation issues that matter to you. Help us shape the direction of our work in the northwest and future funding efforts from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service.

This meeting will also include a brief presentation on Lamoille County Pollinator Pathways.


Northwest Zone Local Led Funding Pool for 2024 

Open for Applications until October 20, 2023


Locally led conservation is a collaborative approach where communities, organizations, and individuals at the local level take an active role in planning, implementing, and managing conservation efforts. It empowers local stakeholders to be the decision-makers and drivers of conservation initiatives.

Over the past year and a half, your Northwest Conservation Districts and the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) held three community meetings, surveyed their communities, and developed a conservation action plan to identify solution-based approaches to resource concerns.

Although each county has its unique needs, a common theme emerged – supporting enhanced habitats through native plantings that encourage greater biodiversity, specifically for Vermont’s pollinators, and field- and forest-based practices to support plant and water quality.

These efforts will benefit our local wildlife while also ensuring essential resource protections for our working lands such as erosion control, water quality improvement, wetland restoration, and more. Funding for supporting practices is now available for eligible Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County landowners.



Funding will be available for the 2024 fiscal year to eligible Franklin, Grand Isle, and Lamoille County landowners through their local EQIP fund pool. NRCS will provide a total of $50,000 in financial assistance for approved conservation practices that address the resource concerns. Land and producer eligibility must be met to participate.


Resource concerns addressed:

  • Aquatic habitat

  • Terrestrial habitat

  • Wind and water erosion

  • Concentrated erosion

  • Field, sediment, nutrient, and pathogen loss


Producers, ranchers, and forest landowners who own, lease, or have an interest in operating agricultural land are eligible. Contact your local Farm Service Agency (FSA) office to register.


The following NRCS practices are approved for the local funding pool based on survey responses and community feedback in 2022-2023. These practices must address one of the resource concerns listed on the first page. 

  • Waste facility closure

  • Windbreak / shelterbelt establishment and renovation 

  • Silvopasture

  • Riparian herbaceous cover

  • Riparian forest buffer

  • Wildlife habitat planting

  • Tree or shrub site preparation

  • Nutrient management

  • Vegetative buffer

  • Stream habitat improvement and management

  • Herbaceous wind barriers

  • Tree or shrub establishment

  • Wetland wildlife habitat management Upland wildlife habitat management

  • Early successional habitat development-management

  • Forest trails and landings

  • Wetland restoration

  • Wetland establishment

  • Amending soil properties with lime Soil carbon amendment


Contact your local Natural Resources Conservation District or your local NRCS office. 

For additional NRCS program information, application instructions, loan information, and more, visit:

Sign up for Fiscal Year 2024 funding by October 20, 2023.

Help us identify resource priorities for 2025 funding by taking a quick survey




The Northwest Zone of Vermont wants to hear from you! From the shorelines of our lakes and ponds, to the rolling fields dotting mountain roads, to your backyard, every space matters. We want to hear about your natural resource priorities and what we can do to help. 

We hope to incorporate the goals and needs of residents into developing priorities for program direction and funding. To do this, we need your help in deciding which natural resource concerns, along with their appropriate solutions, are most important in each of our counties. The survey above is open to all residents, farmers, farm workers, forest owners, loggers, recreators, and resource professionals.

Your feedback will be considered by regional professionals in natural resources management and agriculture, and incorporated into the NRCS's rankin
g system for awarding financial assistance to producers.

If you have questions or comments, please contact your Conservation District:


Franklin County NRCD

Lauren Weston, District Manager



Lamoille County NRCD

Peter Danforth, District Manager



Grand Isle County NRCD

Molly Varner, District Manager


A map of northwest Vermont showing Franklin, Lamoille, and Grand Isle Counties.
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