Spring 2013 Symposium


The Forgotten 20 Percent: Land Use Development and Conservation Challenges in Rural America

Friday, April 19th, 2013

Co-hosted by the Environmental Law Center, Office of the Associate Dean for Student Affairs and Diversity, and the American Planning Association, Northern New England Chapter

About the Symposium:

This symposium addressed a wide range of cutting-edge topics facing rural America, including:

  • Demographic trends in Vermont and in other rural areas across the country and the world
  • Alternative strategies for effective conservation of rural back country areas
  • Approaches for providing affordable, high quality internet, transportation and other public services
  • Exploring the state of the rural housing stock and rural economy
  • Examining the benefits and burdens of use-value taxation, such as the widely used “current use” tax programs

Conference Schedule

8:00 – 8:45 Registration 8:45 – 9:00 Welcome and Introductions Marc Mihaly. President, Dean, and Professor of Law, Vermont Law School.

9:00 – 10:15 Keynote Panel Ken Johnson. Senior Demographer, the Carsey Insitute, University of New Hampshire. Gershon Feder. Chair, Publications Review Committee, International Food Policy Research Institute. Mark Lapping. Distinguished Professor, Muskie School of Public Service, University of Southern Maine.

10:15 – 11:30 Rural Infrastructure: Challenges and Strategies Karen Horn. Director of Public Policy and Advocacy, Vermont League of Cities and Towns. Robert Bruce. Former General Counsel, Federal Communications Commission (FCC). Joe Segale. Policy and Planning Manager, Vermont Agency of Transportation.

12:15 – 1:30 Alternative Approaches to Land Conservation Robert Liberty. Director, Urban Sustainability Accelerator, Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning, Portland State University. Jane Difley. President/Forester, Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. Robert Anderberg. Vice President and General Counsel, Open Space Institute.

1:30 – 2:45 Rural Taxation: Benefits and Burdens Deb Brighton. Independent Consultant in VT, specializing in tax policy issues. Lori Lynch.  Professor of Agricultural Economics, University of Maryland. Darby Bradley. Former President, Vermont Land Trust.

3:15 – 4:30 Building Sustainable Communities: Employment and Housing in Rural America Gus Seelig. Executive Director, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. Laurie Ristino. Director, Center for Agriculture and Food Systems, Vermont Law School. Shaun Gilpin. Program Director, Mobile Home Program, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity.