Vermont Civil Air Patrol Supports State Forestry Division in Large Scale Aerial Surveys

The Vermont Wing of the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) has launched its third year of collaboration with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The Department monitors forest health in Vermont, including annual surveys from the air and on the ground.

Pictured (left to right): 1st Lt Anthony Derderian, CAP Mission Pilot; Lina Swislocki, Assistant Invasive Plant Coordinator; and Josh Halman, Forest Health Program Manager. Photo Credit: Vermont Wing, Civil Air Patrol.

The survey missions have been crewed to date by Capt Jonathan Mercer, Mission Pilot and Co-Commander the Wing’s Bennington Composite Squadron (VT-076); and 1st Lts Gerald Coleman and Anthony Derderian, Mission Pilots with the Vermont Wing’s Burlington Senior Squadron (VT-002) based in S. Burlington. Capt John Compo, Vermont Wing Director of Operations, supervises the missions.

Flights taken with the Vermont Wing of the Civil Air Patrol enable the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation to survey the entire state of Vermont and identify areas of forest disturbance. These disturbances include defoliation by forest pests, areas of tree mortality, and forest damage due to weather events, among other causes. 

“These CAP flights are a great asset for our ongoing surveillance of the health of Vermont’s forests,” said Joshua Halman, Forest Health Program Manager with the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

“Aerial surveys of this kind are essential to identifying disturbances caused by pests and diseases, as well as the impacts of abiotic factors on our forests.”

“Our ongoing support of the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, offers an excellent demonstration of the Wing’s versatility, our all-volunteer air crews, and fuel-efficient Cessna aircraft,” said Col Richard Beach, Commander of the Vermont Wing. “We look forward to helping the Department in future conservation missions.”