Alumni Association Recognizes Inaugural Outstanding Young Alumni Award Honoree Ethan Tapper ’07

The Vermont Academy Alumni Association established the Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 2023 to recognize a graduate of the past 20 years for their significant contributions to Vermont Academy, in their community, or in their professional field. 

It is with great pride that the Association recognizes Ethan Tapper ’07 as the inaugural recipient. 
As a day student at Vermont Academy, Ethan was a musician, artist, athlete, and proctor. Ethan received the Green and Gold scholarship from the University of Vermont, where he went on to earn an undergraduate degree in forestry. That degree has taken him far!

As Vermont’s Chittenden County Forester from 2016-2024, Ethan has worked diligently to ensure that Vermont’s forests are well cared for. This includes advising landowners, foresters, loggers, non-profits, government agencies, and municipalities, managing thousands of acres of community forests, managing Vermont’s Use Value Appraisal (“Current Use”) program in Chittenden County, and providing education and outreach to the public. Ethan reaches thousands of Vermonters each year through public events and digital content including his thriving How to Love a Forest (@howtoloveaforest) YouTube and TikTok channels and Instagram account. Ethan is excited to announce that he is starting his own business, Bear Island Forestry, which will provide forestry and outreach consulting to landowners, governments and NGOs.

In recognition of this work, Ethan was awarded the Northeast-Midwest State Foresters Alliance’s Forester of the Year Award in 2021, chosen from foresters in 20 states. In 2024 he was named the American Tree Farm System’s National Outstanding Inspector of the Year – the forester of the year for an iconic national family forest certification program.

For years, Ethan has written a monthly “Into the Woods” column for community newspapers in Chittenden County, as well as a quarterly column for Northern Woodlands magazine. In 2024 he will release his first book -- How to Love a Forest.  He will also be releasing a children’s book titled Willow & The Storm this year. 

In his free time, Ethan writes, birds, hunts, plays in a 10-piece punk band, and manages Bear Island – his own 175-acre forest, orchard, and homestead.

The Vermont Academy Alumni Association is thrilled to honor Ethan Tapper ’07 as the inaugural Outstanding Young Alumni Award recipient during Reunion on Saturday, June 8.

The Vermont Academy Alumni Association takes nominations for the Outstanding Young Alumni Award on a rolling basis. If you wish to submit a nomination, please visit www.vermontacademy.org/alumni/alumni-recognition.
Vermont Academy is a coed college preparatory boarding and day school in southern Vermont, serving grades 9-12 plus a postgraduate year.