Sunday, April 2, 2017

Why National Outdoor Sporting Groups Take Seriously the Berlin Pond (H.6) Attack on Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights

Do you think the Berlin Pond battle (H.6) does not apply to you?   National Outdoor Sporting Groups take (H.6) it serously.

"Keep America  Fishing" takes it seriously:

To oppose H.6 call 802-828-2228 and leave a message for the Representatives Maida Townsend
and Ronald Hubert "No to H.6."  Calls will be answered Monday through Friday starting at 7 A.M.

You can also E-mail your opposition to H.6 to the members of the House Government Operations Committee at:

Maida Townsend (D) of South Burlington is the Chair of the House Government Operations Committee 
and Ronald Hubert (R) of Milton is the Vice-Chair of the  House Government Operations Committee.

The battle for Montpelier  to ban public use of the Berlin Pond, which lies completely in the Town of Berlin.
The City of Montpelier wants to end public current access to the pond.  Even for fishing, migratory bird
hunting, swimming, canoes, and kayaks.  

This is an attack on the Public Trust Doctrine,  Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights, and the Vermont Constitution, (see below)

This battle has been through the Vermont Supreme Court, review by the Agency of Natural Resources 
and a vote in Berlin (2-1 for public access) and the public use of the Berlin Pond has been upheld.   
If Montpelier succeeds in ending public access at Berlin Pond this will happen all over the state. 
If Montpelier succeeds with H.6, other towns will want to ban/strictly regulate hunting/trapping, shooting or fishing..   

Public Trust Doctrine 

The Public Trust Doctrine holds that the natural resources that are not privately owned shall be open to pubic use.

Vermont Sportsmen's Bill of Rights  (24 V.S.A. § 2295)

  • § 2295. Authority of municipal and county governments to regulate firearms, ammunition, hunting, fishing, and trapping
    Except as otherwise provided by law, no town, city, or incorporated village, by ordinance, resolution, or other enactment, shall directly regulate hunting, fishing, and trapping or the possession, ownership, transportation, transfer, sale, purchase, carrying, licensing, or registration of traps, firearms, ammunition, or components of firearms or ammunition. This section shall not limit the powers conferred upon a town, city, or incorporated village under subdivision 2291(8) of this title. The provisions of this section shall supersede any inconsistent provisions of a municipal charter. (Added 1987, No. 178 (Adj. Sess.), eff. May 9, 1988.)

Vermont Constitution 
The inhabitants of this State shall have liberty in seasonable times, to hunt and fowl on the lands they hold, and on other lands not inclosed, and in like manner to fish in all boatable and other waters (not private property) under proper regulations, to be made and provided by the General Assembly.