Vermont Traditions Coalition
 

 

Representing Vermont's Original Conservationists and Environmentalists
 


VERMONT TRADITIONS COALITION

 2017 LEGISLATIVE SCORE CARD

Ed Larson, Executive Director
Vermont Traditions Coalition
802-224-9177
larsonthree@comcast.net
www.vermonttraditions.org

Your involvement made a difference.

Early Friday morning, May 19, 2017, just after midnight, the Legislature finally went home. It was a rather strange night and the lightning storm was the icing on the cake.

This session had all the ingredients to cause great harm to our traditions, but in the end, we are able call it a session that “Did No Harm”. It could have been different if it wasn’t for VTC's Statewide Volunteer Network and our partner organizations. Your strong response to the VTC Alert on the Berlin Pond issue is one example. The Sergeant at Arms office informed us that, during the committee hearing on Berlin Pond, we set a record for the number of phone calls to the Sergeant at Arms Office with each call resulting in hand carried messages brought into the committee room. We were also told that legislative message deliverers were busy the day H.233, forest fragmentation and Act 250 was debated on the House floor. We also packed the Statehouse cafeteria a few times with two sportsmen’s social events with legislators and a Vermont Forest Products Association (VFPA) and Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) joint Legislative Breakfast event. Many thanks to all of you who contributed to these important efforts.

We turned back legislation to regulate Berlin Pond, there were no new gun laws, no addition of anti-hunters and trappers to the Fish and Wildlife Board, and efforts to reduce the coyote hunting season did not pass. We improved several bills and thereby prevented harm to Vermont’s rural traditions. VTC addressed unintended consequences in the aquatic nuisance control bill, and we improved opportunities for our voice in the Act 250 Study Commission bill so as to protect rural occupational and recreational interests from over regulation. We defended the Recreational Trail Fund, and fortified the funding for the Lake Champlain Walleye Association to continue their good work restoring walleye fisheries. In a big win for our retirees; VTC delegate, Bert Saldi, became a key leader in the successful effort to reverse the legislation from the previous legislative session that raised the qualifying age for a free permanent hunting-fishing license from age sixty-five to age seventy. Working together we were able to get the qualifying age for a free hunting-fishing license reduced to age sixty-six. Regulating pet shelters without being unreasonably restrictive has been controversial and elusive. However, with VTC leadership working with the Federation of Dog Clubs, we were able to find a consensus with most all interested parties and put a reasonable bill on the Governor’s desk.

It was because we work together that resulted in our new Governor appointing one of our own, Sam Lincoln, to Deputy Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation. A well-respected farmer/logging contractor from Randolph is becoming a key leader in addressing challenges in keeping our forest products industry strong.

Frank and Ed were tracking close to 60 bills. Except for those that have passed or merged into another bill, these bills are potentially up for action next year along with another round of new bills that will be introduced. VTC’s work is never finished!

The forest fragmentation Act 250 bill is poised to start the session in the Senate. Everything is in play next year so we need to be vigilant and continue to increase our base of support.

Now in its 16th year, the Vermont Traditions Coalition is strong, viable and relevant. However, we must always remember, we can never let up or get complacent. VTC diligently looks for information and tracks anything that could degrade our rural Vermont recreational and occupational traditions year-round. VTC’s full time, year-round effort is only possible with the financial support from our member organizations and supporting individuals and businesses. Our effort to fund this organization is an important role for all of us that believe we can keep our traditions alive in Vermont, our rural communities viable and the rural economies, both working lands and outdoor recreation, vital. Working together to grow our constituencies, gain more supporters and strengthen our partnerships is an ongoing endeavor.

At this time of year, we review how our member organizations did this year and the contribution they made to the cause. If your organization has yet to make that financial commitment, please consider contributing soon so we can finish this year with a balanced budget. Our sole source of income comes from you! VTC is a little short in meeting our 2017 financial goal. With just a little bit more effort, we can meet our revenue needs and work to focus on the plans for the next year. Our new Treasurer, Mike Bard, has put together a special fund-raising committee to focus on improving our efforts. If you have ideas on how VTC can increase efforts and find new methods to raise funds, please contact us.

VTC is the only organization with two full-time, year round lobbyists defending our reason for wanting to be Vermonters. Whether you seek outdoor recreation or if working the land is your livelihood, VTC is here to represent you. As we expand, our support expands as well. Public land lease holders, loggers and the forest products industry, trappers, farmers, snowmobilers, hunters, landowners, lakeshore owners, pet breeders and trainers, foresters, anglers and more all have a place with VTC where we strive to succeed together rather than fail separately!

VTC works to maintain and improve access to public lands, defend gun owner rights and property rights, and stop “over the top” regulations on pet owners, shooting ranges, trail construction, logging, farming and so on. We defend and promote Vermont’s fish hatcheries, fish stocking and lamprey control. VTC not only aims to let us keep doing what we do, but sounds off about the very important contribution we make to Vermont’s economy and our rural way of life. Make it your obligation to support VTC, and help us push back against the wealthy environmental and animal rights extremists that are working to undermine the Vermont we cherish.

Here is a summary of many of the issues we worked on in the 2017 Legislative session

Firearms owners protected: GunSenseVT, an anti 2nd Amendment group partially financed by former NYC Mayor Bloomberg, has for several years targeted Vermont as what they thought was easy pickings, but we have so far proved them wrong. Our Constitutional rights prevail, but are perpetually threatened by the anti-gun lobby. THIS YEAR WAS NO DIFFERENT.

In January, Chittenden County Senator Philip Baruth introduced S.4, a bill requiring universal background checks intended to close the so-called loopholes in the sale and transfer of firearms. The Senator held a press conference in the Statehouse, along with the usual suspects supporting any anti-gun agenda.

Our own VTC Firearms Policy Analyst, Bill Moore, spent considerable time working on this legislation and providing excellent leadership to the VT2A Coalition of pro-gun advocates. As a result of these collective efforts and close work with key legislators, the bill did not even have a hearing. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Dick Sears (D-Benn.) had no appetite for this fight. Other gun rights leaders such as Senator Joe Benning and Representative Pat Brennan helped make sure that legislative priorities such as budget fights and education tax policy eclipsed the gun control effort. The House gun control bill, H.151, never left the House Judiciary Committee. Both the House and Senate gun control bills died due to lack of support and our due diligence in providing committee members with the facts. Vermont is the safest state in the union and another gun law will not make a difference.

Another bill, H.422, was introduced purporting to address domestic violence in the home, but was actually disguised as another gun regulation. This bill allowed a law enforcement officer to take all weapons from the home when responding to a domestic dispute. Originating in the House Judiciary Committee, this bill did get onto the House Floor following substantial and convoluted amendments by the committee. The bill has crossed over to the Senate, but there was no action on H.422 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. VTC’s Bill Moore, again, with the members of the VT2A Coalition, provided pressure and counsel to sympathetic senators. The bill, so far, has little support in the Senate. However, the anti’s have made it loud and clear that they will be back in 2018.

With the strong help of VTC supporters, we can continue to prevail with the approach we have consistently presented to lawmakers and the support of the Scott administration; “Vermont needs no new gun laws!” Remember to thank your legislators who support this simple proposition and Governor Phil Scott for their support for Vermonters’ gun rights. When VTC asks the VTC Statewide Network for phone calls, attendance at meetings or rallies, that’s where you play a key role in demonstrating the depth and breadth of Vermonters’ support for our traditional gun rights.

Berlin Pond: For more than five years, the Berlin Pond issue continues to challenge recreational access and traditional use of public waters. The Supreme Court ruled that the City of Montpelier has no power to restrict uses on a pond that is not completely enclosed by an owner’s land. The state has the power, thru ANR rule making authority to determine what uses are allowed and they determined that non-motorized uses including fishing, trapping, hunting, canoeing, kayaking and swimming do not pose a threat to the water quality and are allowable uses on Berlin Pond.

The City of Montpelier, many home owners around the pond and Representative Warren Kitzmiller have fought for four legislative sessions to eliminate any uses of the pond. VTC worked to stop any advancement of their agenda, the latest being a City Charter Change passed at the 2016 City of Montpelier Town Meeting vote. Efforts of the proponents intensified this year as Rep. Kitzmiller was appointed to the House Committee on Government Operations, the committee of jurisdiction for charter changes.

After a half day hearing with only four witnesses, the committee decided that the charter change as proposed will not move forward. Instead the committee chose to send a letter to the city leaders, ANR officials and surrounding town leaders asking them to meet and discuss options towards a resolution. Admitting defeat, the Montpelier City Manager and Public Works Director have worked hard in these meetings to find concessions that allow for public uses while protecting their drinking water supply.

No concessions have been made! A big win for VTC and our partner organizations. VTC member organization, the Friends of Berlin Pond, whose leaders include Nate Smead and Mike Covey, used Facebook as a great venue to share information. Frank Stanley, VTC’s Lobbyist, orchestrated a sound strategy that concluded with a record breaking flood of phone calls and emails from our VTCers to members of the committee.

Aquatic invasive control is an ongoing concern, especially for lake associations trying to keep their lake or pond free of Eurasian Milfoil or other invasive plant and animal species. VTC includes several lake associations as members. The system designed by the state to allow lake associations to control their lake was cumbersome and time consuming.

Senator John Rogers of Essex/Orleans Counties District lives on Shadow Lake and is involved with the Shadow Lake Association. The Shadow Lake Association has been proactive in controlling invasive species for many years. Senator Rodgers introduced a bill, S.75, to streamline the permit process to make it easier and faster to get a control project going such as bottom barriers that can shade and choke out milfoil.

He also wanted to improve the effectiveness for lake associations that invest in boat washing stations and have a volunteer access greeter program that meets boaters at the ramp in an effort to educate them and work to keep these invasive plants from entering the water.

A third component of this bill increased the enforcement provisions for illegal transport of invasive species on a boat, trailer or the hauling vehicle. Enforcing an ANR violation requires a lengthy reporting process that discourages many law enforcement officers from issuing a ticket.

The bill streamlines the process for law enforcement to monitor and enforce this regulation when someone is carelessly transporting invasives. VTC monitored the work on this bill through both the Senate and the House. The bill went through a number of versions as it advanced, and at times seemed very complicated. The major concern to anglers and boaters and lake associations was the potential for conflict when a boater encounters a greeter. Several conversations and language attempts were proposed that attempted to allow a volunteer access greeter to inspect a boat and trailer, but there were concerns over greeter / boater conflict, creating long lines at access areas, and greeter training to reduce conflict.

The House language became an issue on the House floor and a floor amendment was adopted to soften the role of the greeter to reduce conflict and delays. Representatives Pat Brennan and Bob Bancroft presented excellent questions, and led the charge to find solutions to the potential problems. In the end, the Legislature sent a bill to the Governor that makes a modest improvement in invasive species control and its transportation. It may take some time to find out if the above concerns are valid and if problems do arise. Senator Rodgers said he is committed to re-working the language.

Walleye fisheries are important to Vermont’s anglers and for attracting visitors to our lake. The Lake Champlain Walleye Association (LCWA), one of the VTC charter members, continues to grow a stocking program that is having a huge positive impact on the walleye population of Lake Champlain and a couple of in land water bodies. Many years ago, VTC helped establish a partnership between LCWA and the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department that has grown into a nationally recognized success story.

Each year, the legislature has appropriated funds to assist the LCWA in their efforts, and it is working! $25,000 has been provided each year for the repair, maintenance and expansion of stocking ponds. In 2017, LCWA and VTC once again were able to get a Legislative appropriation of $25,000 for LCWA for each of the next two years. LCWA President Bob Samson and Vice President Cubby Smith provided excellent presentations to both the House and Senate Institutions Committees, demonstrating the effectiveness of the Fish & Wildlife Department’s intensive culture fish stocking program and the walleye rearing success of LCWA’s special fish rearing ponds.

For the first time in years, the Senate Institutions Committee actually made an attempt to raise the funds to $30,000, recognizing the need for the association and the great benefit to the state. However, the $30,000 figure was returned to $25,000 through the reconciliation conference process. Senator Peg Flory, Chair of the Senate Institutions Committee, along with the other members of the committee Senators Mazza, Branagan, Rodgers and Brooks have been strong supporters of this private public/partnership, and have worked very hard in lean times to ensure the successful program continues.

Pet Shelters and Animal Abuse are once again front burner issues in the Vermont Legislature. The recent, intentional killing of a neighborhood pet horse in Barre generated a legislative reaction to increase penalties for animal abuse. Dubbed the “Bunny Bill” named after the horse, the Senate greatly increased the penalties in Senate Bill, S.12 intended to discourage more violations. VTC did not oppose these penalty increases for egregious cases such as this.

For VTC and a key VTC member, the Vermont Federation of Dog Clubs, pet shelter standards has been a difficult issue to define and regulate. The battle lines were well defined in past years. VTC and the Federation opposed the proposed over-reaching language brought forward by the wealthy animal rights and anti-hunting organization, the Humane Society of the United States (HSUS).

After VTC, the Dog Clubs Federation, and concerned legislators defeated several pieces of extremist legislation, the House Committee on Agriculture and Forestry asked all interested parties to sit at the table and work out our differences. This year, all sides saw the logic in adopting minimum standards for the housing of cats and dogs. Once a complaint is made, the minimum standard is intended to give a law enforcement officer a basis to measure shelters to determine compliance. HSUS and the Federation of Dog Clubs both agreed that the standards were reasonable, measurable and enforceable. Therefore, both sides came together to support the legislation, and it has now become law. H.218, introduced by Rep. John Barthalomew of Hartland, was the bill that moved through the process.

All along the way, controversies swirled around this legislation to find the right balance between protecting against animal abuse, but protecting pet ownership, private property rights, and ensuring animal rights organizations didn’t get enforcement authority. Veteran VTC lobbyist, Frank Stanley, led the coalition thru this challenge with great expertise. The leadership of the Federation of Dog Clubs worked very hard, and was in the action every step of the way.

Permanent Hunting and Fishing License: Starting January 1, 2017 a Vermont citizen could no longer apply for a $50 Permanent hunting/fishing license once becoming sixty-five years old, but would need to wait until the age of seventy when it would be free. The Dept. of Fish and Wildlife was looking to increase revenues from our aging sporting community, but did not realize the push back it would receive once the new law took effect.

Champion Lands Leaseholders & Traditional Interests Association Director and VTC activist, Bert Saldi, decided to voice his concerns and get the age for qualifying for a free Senior Citizen Hunting-Fishing License back to age sixty-five. He stood in front of the statehouse last December with a sign and protested the change, garnering much attention from state officials.

Fish & Wildlife Department Commissioner Louis Porter realized that his department could have done a better job informing the sporting community, and worked to find a solution to the issue. Unfortunately, because the new policy was already in place and folks that turned sixty five already had to buy a regular license, the Commissioner asked the Legislature to reduce the age for qualifying for a free hunting-fishing license to age sixty-six.

The one-time fee to qualify for a free Senior Citizen Hunting-Fishing license was raised from $50 to $60 to help backfill lost revenue. All agreed to this compromise. Bert Saldi spent considerable time at the State House playing a key role for VTC. This is an example of how VTC’s statewide network of volunteers make contributions that make VTC stronger and more effective.

Forest Products Industry Fares Well
Future still Uncertain

In one of the more business friendly sessions according to the Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Governor Scott’s pledge for no tax or fee increases prevailed. There are a couple items benefitting the Vermont Forest Products Industry. Two economic development bills, H.495 and S.34, were passed by the legislature. Governor Scott signed them into law in the presence of dozens of forest sector leaders, advocates and business owners surrounded by cedar logs and lumber at the Goodridge Lumber Co. sawmill and lumber yard in Albany.

VTC’s Ed Larson was selected by Governor Phil Scott’s administration to be one of the featured speakers. The provisions listed below, are modest, but positive legislative actions that will provide some cost relief to the forest products industry, especially loggers. Included in unfinished business, the Legislature has again failed to create a single definition of an independent contractor for both workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance. Improving independent contractor laws is important to those who work the land as well as many other occupations.

The Vermont Forest Products Association (VFPA) is a charter member of VTC as is the Vermont Farm Bureau. Legislation that benefits these working landscape industries benefits VTC recreational organizations, because a more favorable working landscape business climate means less open landowners who allow recreationists to use their land are forced to sell their land for development because working the land is not profitable.

Here’s a rundown of the positive legislation that benefits the forest products industry:

• Elimination of the sales tax for specific logging equipment, including big ticket items such as skidders, and repair parts. Vermont is the last state in the region to eliminate this tax!

• Off road fuel tax. A little-known snafu in tax law causes confusion for tax audits. Tax department allows the user of off road (dyed diesel) fuel to be tax exempt when the equipment is in motion known as the propelled exemption. If equipment is idle or not moving, that fuel used is taxable. No one tracks time of propelling vs idling so when a tax audit comes around, the entire use of fuel becomes taxable. This is an ugly surprise for the working landscape business that is being audited. H.495 contains a proposal that clarifies that the use of dyed diesel fuel for most all off road uses is 100% tax exempt.

• H.495 also includes a cost share program for the purchase of skidder bridges. Senator Bobby Starr (Essex/ Orleans), Chair of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, felt that the revised Acceptable Management Practices for Logging Operations (AMP) requirements to increase the use of skidder bridges to protect water quality may be a good thing, but it is an unfunded mandate. On that basis, legislation was passed requiring the state to pay 90% of the cost of the skidder bridges. $50,000 was allocated from the Agricultural portion of the Clean Water Fund for the state to purchase as many bridges as possible and distribute them around the state available for purchase by loggers at 10% of the cost. The legislation also added spill kits in to this cost share program to encourage all skidder and equipment operators to keep one available on their job sites. The current skidder bridge rental program remains in place unchanged.

• H.495 included a directive to the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to work with the Secretary of Agriculture and Commissioner of Forest, Parks and Recreation to explore worker’s compensation issues including combining high risk job classifications into a larger pool in an effort to find lower premium costs. This will be taken up next year if meaningful recommendations are found. High worker compensation rates for logging companies is a big problem for the forest products industry.

Steve Hardy, President of VFPA, recognizes the good work of the general assembly, “This is a positive message to the industry. These modest changes are more than just token. This is a good first step towards addressing our industry challenges to compete in a global economy. This is a sign that our legislators are listening and we hope to continue on this trajectory and tackle more meaningful and complex issues next year.” VFPA and VTC hope to address the job killing workers' compensation costs, increase truck weights and achieve regulatory relief to encourage investment in value added businesses in Vermont.

All members of the Senate Agriculture and House Agriculture and Forestry committees have been very supportive and worked hard to get these changes through the process. Vermont Governor Scott put together a solid team to serve the forest products industry. His reappointment of Commissioner Mike Snyder and the newly created Deputy Commissioner position to which he appointed Sam Lincoln of Randolph, a well-known and respected logging contractor truly enhanced our opportunity to educate lawmakers and make these things happen.

Fragmentation Regulation passes House, Motorized Recreation Restrictions Addressed

A poorly designed regulatory bill came to life near the last few weeks of the session. H.233 passed the house on a vote of 85-61. This bill adds new criteria to Act 250 that, in many cases, will ban fragmentation of the forest or wildlife passage ways. VTC and VFPA testified in strong opposition to the bill. The primary reason is that this proposal will not work to limit fragmentation due to development or other activities. This measure if passed will only reduce the value or equity of property and antagonize landowners. A couple amendments were added before the final vote:

• Rep. Gary Nolan’s successful amendment removes recreational trails from being considered as fragmentation of forested areas. Without this amendment, new trails or trail re-routes would have been banned in these areas. This amendment is crucial to all trail organizations! VTC’s member organizations include many local and county snowmobile clubs plus VTC often partners with the Vermont ATV Sportsman’s Association (VASA) in their effort to establish a meaningful ATV trail system in Vermont.

• The second amendment was proposed by Rep. Brian Keefe of Manchester. His amendment adds language to make it clear that not every Act 250 application will need this review unless it enters one of these forest blocks. This portion was accepted. Keefe also proposed to include the same language for habitat connectors, and that these habitat connectors must be inside the forest block. That failed because the proponents of this regulation said habitat connectors are not necessarily inside forest blocks but are located in such a way to connect forest blocks and are in many other places such as along streams and rivers.

H.233 is now sent to the Senate to be considered next year. Many VFPA members and Directors provided testimony and took the time to contact their Representatives. VFPA President, Steve Hardy, Director Bill Sayre and Robbo Holleran provided excellent testimony. We also had calls into Representatives from the Vermont Traditions Coalition (VTC) organization members and our friends from the Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Vermont ATV Sportsmen’s Association and the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers.

Other Snowmobile and ATV Legislative Matters

In addition to the effort to restrict motorized recreation in so called Forest Blocks, there were a number of other bills that came onto the watch list mostly housed in the transportation and government operations committees.

H.287 –This legislation was introduced by Rep. Ron Hubert of Milton, whose grandson was seriously injured by a cable that appeared across a road that he regularly traveled. The bill requires a landowner to hang flagging or reflectors from a cable, rope, chain, pipe or other temporary barrier across a private road that the landowner knows or should know is used for vehicle traffic by the public. Vehicles are defined to include ATV, snowmobile, bicycle or watercraft.

Landowner groups and recreational interests oppose this bill, because it appears to expose land owners to a whole new category of law suits. Representative Nolan, also the Treasurer of VASA, paid particular attention to this bill. Landowner and recreation groups expressed serious concerns about the unintended consequences of landowners choosing to post their land to exclude all lawful uses of the public.

Ed Larson testified on behalf of the Vermont Traditions Coalition. In response to strong testimony from VTC, VAST Vermont Farm Bureau and other groups House Transportation Committee Chairman, Pat Brennan, presented a new draft that directs state agencies to develop a brochure to distribute to landowners describing the dangers of cables, chains and wire that are not easily visible to travelers on vehicles.

This is a big win for maintaining current landowner liability protections. Chairman Brennan deserves praise for the work he did to find a solution based on education rather than regulation. Representative Hubert also needs to be recognized for trying to find a way to prevent injuries like those suffered by his grandson, while, at the same time, avoiding increased landowner liability and removing an increased reason for landowners to post their land.

H.231 - Authorizing municipalities to prohibit through traffic by heavy vehicles. This proposed bill gives municipalities the authority to prohibit large trucks and trailers from using a class 3 or 4 town road to shortcut through an area. The exception is for local stops. VTC has reached agreement with the bill sponsor, Representative Peter Fagan of Rutland, to create language that allows trail groups to use these roads to transport heavy trail building and maintenance equipment.

A miscellaneous transportation bill, S.127 passed the Senate and is working its way through the House. The bill has several technical and housekeeping changes to a number of Department of Motor Vehicle laws. Section 17 deals with the transfer of registration to a surviving spouse of vessels, snowmobiles and ATVs. It allows the registration to be transferred upon request to a surviving spouse without any fees. It also creates a default in that if there is no specific request in a will or trust, these vehicles will automatically transfer to a surviving spouse.

The Anti’s

A major purpose of VTC is to counter the Anti movement. The anti-hunting, fishing, trapping, farming, meat eating, logging and just about everything else we do movement has become aggressive in Vermont. Protect Our Wildlife (POW) is an organized anti-hunting/ trapping group and is using misinformation, propaganda, and a false narrative to grow their constituency and raise funds.

In February 2015, the Green Mountain Animal Defenders (GMAD) volunteer coordinator branched out and created POW. She has since helped organize the Vermont Coyote Coexistence Coalition and Vermont Wildlife Coalition. She actively supports the GunSense Vermont gun control organization, and is one of two HSUS regional coordinators in Vermont. These folks, although extremist and poorly informed, are aggressive and insistent. Employing tactics which are parallel to those we've seen from GunSense Vermont on gun control, they are propaganda based. Although they claim to simply want a "seat at the table", they are well known for doing all in their power to silence knowledgeable opposition to their positions.

Priority goals of the anti-hunting, POW crowd, include stopping the open hunting season for coyotes and crows, a total ban on lead ammunition, adding anti-hunters to the Fish and Wildlife Board, closing or reducing training seasons for hunting dogs and outright banning trapping. Their leadership has also been involved with the GMAD "Walk for Farmed Animals", billed as "a funeral procession for the billions of animals suffering in the farming industry."

These extremists chose trapping as their first target, and have been building from there. However, VTC has vowed to throw the entire weight of our organization in their path and to keep the pedal on the gas as long as necessary. VTC has been a front-line defense for our traditions, and trapping is one of the oldest forms of land use in our state. Trapping provides tangible benefits for farmers, foresters, landowners, homeowners, municipalities, and snow machine/ATV trail maintenance coordinators. VTC will continue to work with our member organization, the Vermont Trappers Association, and our entire statewide network in defense of trapping and all the other hallowed Vermont traditions that these extremists are attacking.

At most VTC meetings, time is spent sharing information about what we know about POW activities and strategizing how to counter them. Fortunately, the facts and science support the current approach of responsible, sustainable use of our wild resources. Working with the strong and growing network of VTC and the strength of our resolve, we will continue to expose the antis, defend our rural traditions, and promote responsible natural resource management.
 

Thank you for your support!

Whether you seek outdoor recreation or if working the land is your livelihood, VTC is here to represent you. We strive to succeed together rather than fail separately!


Ed Larson, Executive Director
Vermont Traditions Coalition
802-224-9177
larsonthree@comcast.net
www.vermonttraditions.org


VTC Officers:
President – Nate Smead, Berlin
Vice-President – Bruce Jean, Essex
Treasurer – Mike Bard, Waterbury
Secretary – Dennis Fournier, Barre

Contributing VTC Delegates:
Bill Moore, Mike Covey, Steve McLeod, Nate Smead




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Vermont Traditions Coalition
Frank Stanley
PO Box 622
Hinesburg, VT 05461
info@vermonttraditions.org

802-238-0364