"Vermont Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Barre F&G Club provided
funding for successful challenge to barring public access to Berlin Pond"
The media reported the issue of the public access to the Berlin Pond
was the subject of a non-binding ballot referendum, in which the
Berlin voters overwhelming supported the select born allowing town
land to be used for public access.
The media also credited this ballot issue as generating a large voter
turnout at the polls on Tuesday, November 6th.
In an article in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus, the 790-440 vote
was reported as"being hailed as a victory by outdoor enthusiasts,..."
Funding provided by the federation and Barre club helped in a
successful legal challenge that resulted in the ballot issue.
The select board will have to make a decision about access to the
pond across the land the town owns and the offer of Vermont Fish
& Wildlife to construct a modest access for non-motorized vessels
to use to gain access to Berlin Pond.
After the Vermont Supreme Court ruled the Berlin Pond is an open
body of water and the City Montpelier did not have the authority to
sue people legally gaining access to the pond to kayak or canoe.
Prior to the lawsuits, the City of Montpelier had been criminally
charging citizens who were on the pond in kayaks or canoes.
But, when the Washington County State's Attorney Office refused
to prosecute Rick Sanborn of R&L Archery and another person
for being on the pond, the city sued them for being on the pond.
It was at this point the federation and Barre club provided funding
aiding in the legal representation of the two citizens sued for using