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Annual Review of Legislative Action on Wildlife 2019-20
To access Review, click here.
Who Makes Decisions about Vermont’s Wildlife?
“The wildlife and its habitat cannot speak, so we must and we will.” — Theodore Roosevelt
Shelburne, VT — The Vermont Wildlife Coalition (VWC) announces publication of the second issue of the annual Review of Legislative Action on Wildlife. The Review of the 2019-20 session identifies who makes decisions about wildlife in Vermont, how those decisions are made and what decisions have been made, or avoided. It reports on wildlife-related bills before the Vermont legislature in the past year. It provides brief summaries of relevant bills, describes committee and legislative actions on those bills, denotes their final status at end of session, and, where available, provides legislators’ voting record. The Review also includes summaries of specific petitions to the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Board. The Review’s purpose is to promote transparent government, educate Vermonters about pressing wildlife issues, and promote public participation in the effort to protect wildlife into the future. The VWC also hopes to promote exchange between legislators and their constituents on wildlife-related issues.
Publication of the Review reflects the rapidly changing status of wildlife in the 21st Century. Although Vermonters clearly place high value on wildlife, many are not aware of the issues facing wildlife, or assume that the government will find solutions. The fact is that wild species face major challenges and those will intensify in the years ahead. Wildlife management is a political process reflecting different viewpoints that must be acknowledged and reconciled. Public involvement is key to ensuring protection, but clarity about who is making decisions and how those decisions are made is essential.
Jane Hoffman, on the steering committee of VWC states, “An educated, engaged public is going to be crucial to support wildlife in weathering the decades ahead. Political support must happen if we are to muster the research and conservation effort, habitat protection, and continued appreciation of wildlife necessary to ensure protection for our diverse species. VWC is pleased to present the Review as a contribution towards those goals.”
The Vermont Wildlife Coalition is a statewide, grassroots, all-volunteer organization. Its mission is to ensure a vibrant and protected future for Vermont’s wildlife species through wildlife-centered public education and political action. Members include scientists, wildlife watchers, farmers, hikers, hunters, birders, anglers, etc. Recognizing the intrinsic value of wildlife, all share an interest in promoting humane, science-based wildlife regulations and conservation strategies and use of diversified and public funding for wildlife programming.