Vermont does consider public accessibility and public usage when approving forest and conservation management plans that are requirements for current use eligibility.
Statute: VT. ST. 30§ 3751-3757.
Purpose of Assessment: The purpose of this subchapter is to encourage and assist the maintenance of Vermont's productive agricultural and forest land; to encourage and assist in their conservation and preservation for future productive use and for the protection of natural ecological systems; to prevent the accelerated conversion of these lands to more intensive use by the pressure of property taxation at values incompatible with the productive capacity of the land; to achieve more equitable taxation for undeveloped lands; to encourage and assist in the preservation and enhancement of Vermont's scenic natural resources; and to enable the citizens of Vermont to plan its orderly growth in the face of increasing development pressures in the interests of the public health, safety and welfare.
Method of Assessment: The owner of eligible agricultural land, farm buildings or managed forest land shall be entitled to have eligible property appraised at its use value . "Use value appraisal" means, with respect to land, the price per acre which the land would command if it were required to remain in agriculture or forest use.
Application: Owner shall have applied to the director on or before September 1 of the previous tax year.
Renewal: Not required unless there is a change in ownership.
Area Requirements: "Managed Forest Land" must be at least 25 acres in size and be under active long-term forest management for the purpose of growing and harvesting repeated forest crops in accordance with minimum acceptable standards for forest management.
Plan Requirements: Managed forests require a forest management plan. The department, upon giving due consideration to resource inventories submitted by applicants, may approve a conservation management plan, consistent with conservation management standards, so as to include appropriate provisions designed to preserve: areas with special ecological values, fragile areas, rare or endangered species, significant habitat for wildlife, significant wetlands, outstanding resource waters, rare and irreplaceable natural areas, areas with significant historical value, public water supply protection areas, areas that provide public access to public waters, open or natural areas located near population centers, or historically frequented by the public. In approving a plan, the department shall give due consideration to: the need for restricted public access where required to protect the fragile nature of the resource, public accessibility where restricted access is not required, facilitation of appropriate, traditional public usage, opportunities for traditional or expanded use for educational purposes and for research.
Unique or Functional Characteristics:
No person may charge or receive a fee, consideration or other thing of value in exchange for the right to hunt or fish on land enrolled in a use value appraisal program under this chapter. 3776.
Proposed Changes: Currently, amendments to Vermont’s current use program have been proposed. For more information visit the Vermont Land Trust current use information page, http://www.vlt.org/current-use.html