Redstart was founded to provide forest management services to non-industrial private landowners. Since 1992, the company has steadily grown and now includes approximately 600 clients who together own approximately 70,000 acres. Most of these lands are found in east central Vermont in Orange, Washington, and Windsor counties. Many are enrolled in Vermont's Use Value Appraisal Program, also known as "Current Use." Redstart provides these clients with the forest inventory, planning, and implementation services necessary to maintain compliance with the Program. In all we do, we strive to help landowners carry out their goals for their woodlands and to help them keep their forests in the best possible condition.
In addition, Redstart is proud to provide forestry services to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park in Woodstock, Vermont – the only National Park that has timber management as part of its mandate. The Park is the oldest continuously managed forest in North America and offers a unique opportunity to interpret the history of conservation and forestry for the American public.
Redstart sees forest management as a comprehensive activity that requires an understanding and appreciation for the entire forest ecosystem: Bedrock, soils, water, natural communities of plants and animals, and silviculture (the art and science of growing trees) are all important parts of this system. Human interactions with the forested ecosystem, including timber harvesting, wildlife habitat enhancement, and recreational use, need to be carefully evaluated in order to minimize negative impacts and to identify and make use of opportunities to effect positive change.
Natural communities: Redstart has been trained to identify and map natural communities using Wetland Woodlands, Wildlands, a text by Elizabeth H. Thompson and Eric R. Sorenson. This manner of looking at the land is used to inform silvicultural decisions and to assist in identifying rare or sensitive areas in which human activities should be limited.
Timber harvesting: Each year, Redstart oversees harvest on approximately 40 parcels of land. We act as the landowner's agent by marking the trees for removal, finding a suitable logger to conduct the work, negotiating a contract for the sale of the wood, and overseeing the entire job to ensure that it is completed to the landowner's satisfaction. We see this portion of our work as essential for improving timber quality over time, maintaining forest productivity, and supporting the local jobs involved in harvesting, milling, and drying wood, as well as the jobs involved in creating products from wood. Vermont is blessed with a diverse forest and a diverse forest products industry, including manufacturing of furniture, flooring, cabinets, log homes, siding, dimensional lumber, and trim. Those interested in learning more about forests in Vermont should contact their county forester. Redstart’s forest management practices have been “green certified” by a third party audit, which allows clients who wish to participate a way for their wood to be specially marketed as sustainably harvested.
Wildlife habitat: In situations where there is interest in wildlife habitat creation or enhancement, Redstart works with landowners to plan and implement habitat projects aimed at assisting a variety of species from breeding songbirds to deer, bear, and grouse. Often, we assist landowners seeking cost-sharing for habitat projects through federal and state assistance programs including Wildlife Habitat Incentive Program.
Green Certification: In 2006, Redstart commissioned an independent audit of our forest management practices to increase the transparency of our policies and actions and to support the movement towards "green-certified" forestry and wood products. This movement appears to be growing as is evidenced by recent interest in green building and in the production of green furniture at Vermont companies. Redstart chose to be audited by SmartWood of Richmond, Vermont, a certifying body for the Forest Stewardship Council. The FSC is an international organization that maintains a set of policies and standards against which forest managers and land owners are evaluated. As a result of this audit, Redstart is approved as a certified land manager, and landowners that wish to join the certified group can do so at any time with only minor changes to management plans and procedures on the ground.