Tuesday, December 16, 2014

NRA Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) taking applications

Last year Vermont sent a student from Colchester High School to Washington, D.C.
with the NRA Youth Education Summit (Y.E.S.) educational event. 
The National Rifle Association is now accepting applications for the 2015 Youth Education
Summit. Current high school sophomores and juniors are eligible to apply. Admitted students
receive an expense-paid week in the Washington, DC area with the chance to earn $30,000 in
college scholarships. The summit offers a unique opportunity to learn more about American
history, government and the NRA while making friends with other students from all over the
country. Don't miss out on the experience of a lifetime!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Fwd: Batchelder Tapped for Head Game Warden Position


Press Release


For Immediate Release:  December 15, 2014

Media Contacts:  Louis Porter, 802-828-1000


Batchelder Tapped for Head Game Warden Position


MONTPELIER, Vt. The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has announced that Lt. Jason Batchelder has been named the new director of fish and wildlife law enforcement.  Batchelder will begin the role of Colonel this week, filling the position vacated by Col. David LeCours who retired in October.


Batchelder has been with the department for ten years, working most recently in the Morrisville area, first as a field warden and then as the lieutenant for the northeast district since 2013. 


"I am pleased and excited that Lt. Batchelder will be our new head of law enforcement," said Fish & Wildlife Commissioner Louis Porter.  "During his time with the department, Lt. Batchelder has developed a reputation among his co-workers and with the general public of energetically, meticulously, and fairly pursuing fish and wildlife violators." 


Porter emphasized Batchelder's knowledge and experience in his selection for the position.  "Lt. Batchelder has a deep understanding of the vital role that law enforcement plays as part of the department's overall mission," said Porter.


Batchelder grew up in Derby, Vt.  He worked for the U.S. Coast Guard in Virginia and Alaska for four years before graduating from the University of Southern Maine in 2001 and from the Vermont Criminal Justice Training Council Academy in 2005.  He currently lives in Morrisville with his wife and two young children.  Batchelder is an avid hunter, angler and runner. 


"Lt. Batchelder's calm, thoughtful demeanor will be an important asset to the department in this position," said Porter.


– 30 –


Tom Rogers

Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

Information and Outreach

Davis 2 Building, 1 National Life Drive

Montpelier, VT  05620

[phone]      802-377-2628

[website]   www.vtfishandwildlife.com




Saturday, December 6, 2014

Montpelier Bridge: Berlin Pond Survey Revived, Montpelier Ready to React

The City of Montpelier continues to be obstructive to public use of the Berlin Pond. 
Trying to access the story through the link can be very, very slow
Berlin Pond Survey Revived, Montpelier Ready to React

by Carla Occaso

BERLIN — Will Berlin Pond get a boat launch or ramp? What would it look like? At first glance it depends upon the results of a land survey authorized by Berlin. However, if Berlin's findings favor boating access, Montpelier officials are ready to conduct their own investigation.
Berlin officials have recently met with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife and decided to advance work on a survey that had been thwarted by a petition filed last spring by a group called Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond. That group sought a ruling to completely ban all human activity on the pond in order to preserve the purity of Montpelier's, and some of Berlin's, source for drinking water. However, the Department of Environmental Conservation ruled against a total ban on Aug. 14 and continued allowing some public recreation such as non motorized boating, swimming and fishing. That DEC ruling gave Berlin officials a reason to continue pursuing the land survey.
"We have asked the surveyor to move forward and complete the survey. It probably will not be finished until next spring" due to weather, said Dana Hadley, Berlin town administrator on Dec. 1.
Berlin is working with the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife to establish what access would be like if the town is determined to own land at the shoreline. Speaking to The Bridge by telephone Dec. 1, Michael Wichrowski, Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department land and facilities administrator, said the access area is not so much going to be some kind of huge boat launch as more of a spot "where people can park and drag a boat to water's edge. There is no boat launch or boat ramp that people keep saying there is going to be … it is really going to be more of an access. On all of our properties we provide access to the water … at this point there no plans for construction." The Fish and Wildlife Department is helping to pay for the survey up to around half the cost, which is expected to be around $10,000.
The land survey could possibly show that Berlin doesn't own frontage at the targeted spot — an area at the north side of the pond — in which case plans to improve access would be dropped. Or, it could show ample Berlin-owned property, and pave the way for public access. In that case, Montpelier officials plan to do a counter survey, according to City Councilman Thierry Guerlain by phone on Dec. 1, but council members are not going to commit dollars until they find out what boundaries are defined. Montpelier City Council voted against allocating funds to help pay for a land survey "for the area being considered for pond access by the Town of Berlin," as worded in the Nov. 19 City Council agenda. Council members unanimously agreed not to fund a survey at present. Yet, if "there is a move to put a boat ramp on Montpelier's and the hospital's drinking water," Guerlain said. The city will "do our own survey if that survey is in any way suspect," he said.
"We (Montpelier City Council) are fully backing and supporting the people that want to keep all activity off Berlin Pond," Guerlain said. "The state of Vermont basically wants to put a boat launch in our water supply, where we spent tens of thousands of dollars to supply the city and Central Vermont Hospital. We support no activity on the pond. There are dozens of other places to go fishing, kayaking and swimming."
Montpelier actively kept up ordinances forbidding people from entering the water from 1884 to 2012 by purchasing most of the land around the pond, exercising its own authority and using its own police force. However, five years ago the Vermont Supreme Court sided with some kayakers who ultimately successfully argued a body of water as large as Berlin Pond is governed by the state.

Hunting, fishing and trapping folks have too much influence... (very interesting comments)

Vermont's gun control element and their big dollar lobbyists are telling the legislature
that the demographics in Vermont have changed. It is now time to kick hunters/shooters/
trappers/anglers and kick them hard.  Hence, all of the opponents of outdoor sporting
activities are jumping on board this campaign.  Read the article and the comments.
The vast majority of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Departments funding comes from license
and permit fees and the Pittman-Robertson (guns, ammo, archery) and Dingell-Johnson
(fishing equipment) federal excise fees. The writer thinks hunters, trappers and anglers
have too much say in Vermont. Like the antigun advocates, they say it is their state now.

Hunting, fishing and trapping folks have too much influence...

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Fwd: BFP Letter: Traps pose indiscriminate threat to animals (Stand Together or Hang Separately)

Did you really think the antis would limit themselves to banning/regulating guns out of existence?  Attacks are on all fronts.
Lately there has been an increase in anti hunting/trapping Op-eds and LTE's in the Vermont papers. Here is a BFP Letter:

Traps pose indiscriminate threat to animals
Official trapping season is upon us in Vermont so it's important for Vermonters to be aware of the indiscriminate nature of traps and their inherent danger to dogs, cats, endangered and even federally protected species such as eagles.
The national organization Born Free USA estimates that 300,000 times a year, non-targeted animals are captured in traps throughout the United States.
Traps and snares, which are currently illegal in Vermont, cannot differentiate between a cherished family pet or a raccoon or an endangered lynx or a bobcat.
The lynx is an endangered species in Vermont and I find it appalling that trapping offers us no guarantees that one won't end up either injured or killed by a trap set for another animal. Even more worrisome, at least two Vermont dogs were killed over the past year at the hands of these body gripping traps.
Animals captured in traps can suffer dehydration, physical trauma, predation by other animals among the horrors. The state of Vermont requires trappers check their traps every 24 hours, but that is a very difficult regulation to enforce and therefore animals may suffer even longer periods of time.
While we can't protect our wildlife from these traps, we can do our best to keep our pets safe by keeping cats indoors and dogs leashed.