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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 049A : Lake Shoreland Protection Standards

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 1447)
  • § 1447. Lake shoreland vegetation protection standards

    (a) Within 100 feet of the mean water level, cutting of trees is allowed provided that a well-distributed stand of trees and other natural vegetation is maintained. Vegetation management that occurs within the protected shoreland area and that is conducted according to the requirements of this section shall not be counted toward the cleared area on a parcel.

    (b) A “well-distributed stand of trees” shall be defined as maintaining a minimum rating score of 12, in each 25-foot by 25-foot area within 100 feet of the mean water level, as determined by the following rating system.

    (1) Diameter of tree at 4-1/2 feet above ground level (inches) Points
    2 ≤ 4 in. 1
    4 ≤ 8 in 2
    8 ≤ 12 in. 4
    12 in. or greater 8

    (2) The following shall govern in applying this point system:

    (A) 25-foot by 25-foot plots shall be established for vegetation management purposes.

    (B) Each successive plot must be adjacent to but not overlap a previous plot.

    (C) Any plot not containing the required points must have no vegetative cover removed unless the removal is allowed pursuant to a registration or individual permit.

    (D) Any plot containing the required points may have trees removed down to the minimum points allowed.

    (E) Existing vegetative cover under three feet in height and other ground cover, including leaf litter and the forest duff layer, shall not be cut, covered, or removed, except to provide for a footpath or as allowed pursuant to a registration or individual permit.

    (F) Pruning of tree branches on the bottom one-third of a tree’s height is allowed.

    (G) Removal of dead, diseased, or unsafe trees shall be allowed regardless of points.

    (c) As used in this section, “other natural vegetation” means retaining existing vegetation under three feet in height and other ground cover and retaining at least five saplings less than two inches in diameter at four and one-half feet above ground level for each 25-foot by 25-foot area. If five saplings do not exist, no woody stems less than two inches in diameter can be removed until five saplings have been planted or rooted in the plot. (Added 2013, No. 172 (Adj. Sess.), § 2.)