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We are heading off to Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica tomorrow to support the work of Kevin Peterson and the Eco Preservation Society.  Many thanks to Rayna Levin of EPS for doing such a stellar job of helping us with our arrangements for travel and volunteering. 

We'll be making Vermont Woods Studios furniture for a school in an eco-community called Portasol in Portalon.  We're excited to be able to help with this important conservation project and to learn about the many other projects Eco Preservation Society is doing to help save the rainforest.

Hopefully we'll have Internet access and be able to blog and tweet as we go.  Will keep you posted!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Mono Titi
As wood furniture makers, we know that in order to keep our craft alive, we've got to be active participants in sustainable forestry.   We support non-profit groups like The Vermont Center for EcoStudios that work in conserving Vermont's forests and wildlife.   We're also concerned with rainforest conservation which is a major part of our mission at Vermont Woods Studios

Soon we'll be working with the Eco Preservation Society, a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation and reforestation in Costa Rica and elsewhere around the globe. 

We're excited about this partnership and will write more in the following days.   Eco Preservation Society shares our passion for conservation, education and reforestation.  We admire the work they're doing and are looking forward to visiting and volunteering at one of their research and reforestation projects in Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica. 

These are Costa Rican squirrel monkeys or mono titi.  They are highly endangered due to habitat destruction and the Eco Preservation Society is trying to save the species.  We'll be volunteering on the project and will write about it when we're down there.  Stay tuned!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Thanks in part to a number of Vermont Woods Studios readers who sent emails and letters, a Vermont state legislative committee unanimously rejected a proposal to open up state-owned lands to ATVs.  Currently, all state lands in Vermont — nearly 350,000 acres — are closed to the destructive vehicles, a fact that was somehow overlooked by the Agency of Natural Resources that decided to approve an ATV expansion. It was not overlooked by the public, which commented 4-to-1 to keep the ban in place. Nearly 2,000 comments were sent in on the plan.

Unfortunately, Vermont Governor Jim Douglas says his administration will overrule the committee's decision and give ATVs access to state parks, forests and wetlands regardless of the public's wishes.

So we still have more feedback to give.  Whether you live in Vermont or not, please contact Governor Jim Douglas and respectfully ask him to keep ATV's out of state forests.  It takes only 60 seconds to send a message to the Governor.  Thanks!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

I am thankful for YOU!
At Vermont Woods Studios, we're thankful for our community of customers and supporters who have made this year our best one yet.  With each purchase of high quality, handcrafted natural wood furniture you are supporting several different sustainable forestry and wildlife preservation efforts led by the World Wildlife Fund, Heifer International and many more.  

Here's a free online Thanksgiving card I thought might be useful… perhaps for those very few of us who can't believe it's Thanksgiving already and haven't sent a card to our mothers yet.  This card is provided by one of my favorite charities, the World Wildlife Fund.  Check it out!

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Bobolink
We have several Vermont Conservation Heros that we admire so much, we named sustainable furniture collections after them. 

Dr. Rosalind Renfrew is a dedicated wildlife biologist in Vermont. We
first encountered Roz when she was leading the Vermont Breeding Bird Atlas project but her passion for Vermont's birds
and their forest habitats has led her into many other important conservation projects since.

One of Roz's projects is bobolink migration. Amazingly these tiny birds (weight: about 1 ounce– the weight of 1 slice of bread) migrate from Vermont to various locations in South America, approximately 8000-12,000 miles per year, round trip. Roz and colleagues have tagged 433 of the charismatic songbirds to learn more about them and help preserve the species.  The odds for recovering a tagged bird aren't so good.  Actually statistically they're essentially zero. 

Rosalind Renfrew and Bobolink Friend
Well, guess what?  This year the first Bobolink, No. 0961-10071 was recovered just 12 miles from Roz's home in Vermont.  The bird had been tagged 4300 miles away in Bolivia 3 years ago.  Since then he had flown at least 35,000 miles (more than a trip around the world which is 25,000 miles at the equator) in migration before a fateful summer day in VT when he had a most unfortunate encounter with a house cat.  How sad!

Roz notes that these magnificent flyers encounter numerous perils throughout their short and vulnerable lives.  No. 0961-10071 may have achieved the average lifespan of a Bobolink which is about 5 years.  Who knows? But regardless of the details of his demise, he is a special guy having flown all those miles and contributed much to the survival of his species through Roz's research.

Cat lovers (like me) take heed.  Might better keep those cat's inside… and get the stray cats neutered, but that's for another day.

This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.