Margaret (Meg) HarringtonMeg Harrington

Environmental Conservation


Advisor: Brett Butler

Assessing the Efficacy of Conservation Assistance Programs for Family Forest Landowners in Vermont

Of Vermont’s estimated 4.5 million acres of forestland, 62% is owned privately by family forest owners. Various federal, state, and non-governmental organizations operate within Vermont to assist these landowners with the conservation of their forests through technical assistance programs. On behalf of the American Forest Foundation and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department, I study the efficacy of these assistance programs and determine how they can be improved. Through semi-structured interviews and a mail survey of Vermont landowners, I examine programs such as those that assist with wildlife habitat management, enrollment in the state’s current use tax program (UVA), and management for healthy forests. Additionally, I am assessing whether offering non-governmental, accelerated cost-share funds over traditional cost-share methods affects family forest owner engagement.

Education and Previous Experience

  • Before joining the Family Forest Research Center at UMass, I spent four years as a field biologist in New Hampshire and California
  • BS in Conservation Biology from St. Lawrence University in 2014


I love hiking, road-tripping, and finding new places to explore with my dog.