Family Forest Blog

A Land of Hope: A Grandfather Fights to Preserve His Land for Future Generations

Katie Taylor, Communications Manager & Macey Howell, Family Forest Storytelling Intern

July 5, 2023

Bennett AFF Vermont-7

Tim Stout, an FFCP enrolled landowner from Vermont, stands in the woods he proudly stewards.

When Tim Stout, a Vermont Native, became a grandfather to Abe and Faye, he began to think more critically about climate change and how to protect his woodlands for the next generation.  Located in Rutland County, Vermont, Tim and his brother, Chris and their families, own Jockey Hill Farm, 173 acres of land and forest that has been in his family for 80 years. One of the main reasons he signed up for the Family Forest Carbon Program (FFCP) was to make efforts toward sustaining this land for his kids, grandkids, and future generations to make similar the precious memories he and his family have made.  

Over the past few years, the effects of climate change, including recurring droughts, brief heavy rainfalls and erosion have damaged Tim’s woodlands. New weather patterns have brought new species into the area, often causing new diseases and infestations to drive native species out of the area. All these changes make it more difficult than ever for Tim to sustainably maintain his land.

This change in biodiversity requires changes in management from the landowner, which can be costly depending on the resources or professional assistance required. Increased cost of maintenance often pressures landowners to decide between preserving their land or providing security for their family. But with his desire to keep his land in the family for his grandchildren, Tim found relief and support through enrolling in the Family Forest Carbon Program.

Bennett AFF Vermont-4

Located in Rutland County, Vermont, Tim, his brother Chris, and their families own Jockey Hill Farm. The farm is 173 acres of land and forest that has been in his family for 80 years.

The Family Forest Carbon Program’s goal is to assist landowners who want to increase the health and wellbeing of their forestland. Tim’s land qualified for FFCP’s Enhance your Woodland program which is designed for landowners who want to actively manage their land by thinning their forest for canopy growth, building the understory and accumulating more debris on the forest floor.   

Tim explains, “FFCP is a core element of my urgent goal to preserve our forests and mitigate climate change so my grandchildren (and their generation) can enjoy this farm and the rest of Vermont the way that our family has enjoyed them over the last 80 years. I want this farm to be a land of hope. Look at what small landowners can do to actively participate in climate action and building resilient forests! It's astounding how much we, as landowners, can do with the expertise AFF provides.”

Learn more about Tim Stout’s involvement in FFCP today

Enrolling in FFCP has allowed Tim to preserve his woodlands and has ensured his grandchildren will have the opportunity to make more memories on their family farm, all while providing security for him and his family for generations to come. The program has improved his forest’s overall health and productivity, allowed Tim to pursue his goals of maximizing carbon capture and storage, and fostered a connection for Tim’s grandchildren to the land.  

Tim Stout and Abe (grandson) on tractor

Tim Stout drives a tractor with his grandson, Abe.

Are you a family forest owner, looking for guidance on how best to care for your land? The Family Forest Carbon Program assists landowners who own 30 more acres of non-planted, naturally replenishing trees on their property, have the legal right to harvest on their land, and can commit to a 20-year agreement. FFCP helps landowners improve the health of their forests through monetary compensation, access to professional foresters, and guidance to create habitat for wildlife and treat invasive species. These sustainable practices will not only allow your families to benefit from your land but will also help maximize carbon storage in your forest, contributing to the global effort to combat climate change. FFCP is available in select states and is expanding rapidly. Stay up to date on your state’s eligibility on the FFCP website. 

Katie Taylor, Communications Manager & Macey Howell, Family Forest Storytelling Intern

July 5, 2023

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