Forestland Enhancement

The WNRCD is a strong advocate of sustainable forestry practices, and work to ensure that Vermont’s forest land resources retain their economic, social, and ecological benefits. Forests are an important component of Vermont’s landscape providing myriad benefits to both people and wildlife.  They serve as a home and refuge for countless animal species.  They provide timber and maple sap to help bolster our economy.  They filter and clean water.  They offer countless recreational opportunities to adults and children alike.  Our forestland is at risk: from development, improper management, and even climate change.  Through targeted projects and programs, WNRCD is working to ensure that our forests stay healthy and continue to provide their economic and environmental benefits.

Skidder Bridge

Portable Skidder Bridge Program Winooski NRCD has three portable skidder bridges to rent for stream crossings on logging operations.  Rental fees are $100/month and a $100 deposit is due upon bridge rental.  If you would like to rent a bridge, please call 802-828-4493 x110.  WNRCD currently has heavy duty portable skidder bridges available to rent and they are housed at mills across the District:

One is housed at Fontaine’s Saw Mill in East Montpelier, VT, another at Lamell’s Lumber Corp in Essex Junction, VT  and a third at Cyr Lumber Inc in Milton, VT.  Images on how our skidder bridges are constructed are located here.

Use of a portable skidder bridge is an example of Vermont’s “Acceptable Management Practices” (AMP’s) to protect water quality on logging jobs.

WNRCD PSB Rental Form and Agreement 2015

Operating Procedures (Heavy Duty Bridge)

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Skidder Bridge Brochure

WR_Heavy Duty PSB SOP’s Check List 2015

WR_Heavy-Duty Bridge_Details

Additional Info

Bridge Dimensions:  20′ long by 12′ wide, consisting of three 4′ x 20′ panels. Heavy Duty Design:  10″ thick Standard Design: 8″ thick.

Maximum Allowable Clear Span:  14 Feet.  Three feet on each end of bridge should be resting on solid ground using sill logs.  Do not drag panels through the stream.  Chain each panel to the skidder or forwarder blade, lift and set in place.

Weight Limits on Heavy Duty Design Bridge:  Skidder:  40,000 pounds with full load Forwarder:  70,00 pounds with full load Mechanized Timber Harvester:  up to 55,000 pounds

Weight Limits on Standard Design Bridge: Skidder:  32,000 pounds will full load Forwarder:  50,000 pounds with full load No Timber Harvesters!

Sill Logs:  Set ends of the bridge on sill logs.  This will help to make the crossing level, protect the streambanks and prevent the bridge from freezing into the soil during winter operations making removal difficult.  You will still be responsible for monthly payments if bridge is frozen in place!

Bumper Logs:  Install as many bumper logs as need to ensure that hitches stay on bridge and don’t drag soil into stream.

Do not backfill the ends of the bridge with soil!  Build up and stabilize approaches using logging slash and corduroy.  This will help prevent the bridge from freezing during winter operations.[/three_fourth]

Volunteers planting trees at the Winooski Waste Water Treatment PlantCaring for the Canopy

WNRCD helps communities with their urban trees, by providing support through multiple activities, including: an ecosystem service inventory and analysis using i-Tree software, tree plantings, outreach and the facilitation of the development of a citizen-run Tree-Board.

The WNRCD is currently working with the City of Winooski to care for its urban forest through the creation of a community tree program.  This project is made possible through funding from the Vermont Department of Forests Parks and Recreation. As the most densely populated city in Vermont, Winooski’s urban forest has an extremely important role both socially and environmentally. Quantifying the ecosystem services provided by the urban forest, including carbon storage and stormwater absorption, will help the City of Winooski and its residents understand the makeup and function of the existing urban forest and help create a tree program that maximizes the benefits provided by trees in an urban environment. Findings from combined 2014 and 2015 inventory data are summarized and available in a brief presentation; a more in-depth look can be found in the Winooski iTree Key Findings Report and all data is available and stored on the Vermont Monitoring Cooperative’s website.

For more information about the Caring for Canopies initiative please email:

 Forestland Enhancement Resources