Tuesday, December 21, 2010

VT Lawmakers Look To Reverse 'Pete The Moose" Law

The Public Trust of Wildlife got a boost today here in Vermont. Both the Burlington Free Press and Vermont Public Radio had feature pieces on a new bill designed to repeal the "Nelson Amendment" that passed in the 11th hour last year that gave control of native deer and moose to the operator of a shooting park in Irasburg. When the give-a-way of our public property became known, Orion began a campaign to educate Vermonters about the public trust doctrine. Using several papers commissioned by Orion in an earlier fight in Montana, it soon was clear to hunters and many legislators that this amendment was in violation of hundreds of years of common law and case law.
We then convened a meeting of the hunter/conservation leaders and legislators to craft a coordinated plan for reversing the damage and restoring the public trust of wildlife. Representative Kate Webb and Fish and Wildlife Committee chair David Deen crafted a draft bill. After input from the group at our second meeting the bill was finalized. With over 30 sponsors and the support of Governor Elect Peter Shumlin, it appears there is a good chance it will pass. However, the owner of Big Rack Ridge is unlikely to return ownership of "his" deer and moose to the citizens without a fight.

From Vermont Public Radio:

Lawmakers Look To Reverse 'Pete The Moose" Law

Listen (13:04)
Tuesday, 12/21/10 12:50pm
AP/Toby Talbot
Pete the moose eats leaves in a tree in Irasburg, Vt., Thursday, July 30, 2009.
Incoming Governor Peter Shumlin and other legislators are hoping to reverse a law that went into effect this year that ended up giving the owner of an elk hunting park custody of all the wild moose and deer on the property--including Pete the Moose. Burlington Free Press reporter Candace Page discusses the potential change to the law, and how it would impact Pete the Moose. 

From the Burlington Free Press:

Vermont lawmakers set to reverse 'Pete the Moose' law

By Candace Page, Free Press Staff Writer • Monday, December 20, 2010 

Key lawmakers and Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin are ready to reverse a 2010 law drafted in secret and passed at the 11th hour that gave an Northeast Kingdom farmer ownership of wild deer and moose on his property, an action that provoked an outcry among hunters.

Key lawmakers and Gov.-elect Peter Shumlin are ready to reverse a 2010 law drafted in secret and passed at the 11th hour that gave an Northeast Kingdom farmer ownership of wild deer and moose on his property, an action that provoked an outcry among hunters.

A bill already in draft form restates the longstanding principle that wild animals belong to all people of Vermont. It requires the wild deer and moose trapped inside Doug Nelson’s elk hunting park to be removed, probably through hunting. It also allows for protection of young Pete the Moose, an orphaned resident of the park.

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  1. This young moose actually orphaned? It wasn't according to the movie, David & the kingdom, how will the dept. deal with david lawerence in the future? Harmless old Man?

  2. 9:06,

    you're right. they have been stocking the shooting preserve with healthy moose calves, including the famous Peter. Nelson and Lawrence are liars. local word is that Lawrence walks the Black River with dogs to find them and Nelson pays him $1000/calf. His employee, Hisman, has been advertising moose shoots there for years on the internet, with 100% success; wow. The whole Pete the Moose thing was a scam, just like Bull the Moose before it. Moose are dropping dead in there too, probably from brainworm, so Pete the Moose might already be dead one way or another. the whole thing was so obvious, Vermont's media have really failed on this one.

    why would Nelson fight tooth and claw against a captive hunting rule that handed him the market along with the place in Fairlee? Because it did not allow white-tailed deer and moose shoots - period. elk, bison, etc were not enough. Want a moose burger? Go to the Cow Palace in Derby. This issue is all about a little man's huge ego and nothing to do with money; to be King of the Kingdom. Bartlet, Starr, and Kilmartin granted him that privilege. look at all the fools.

  3. /some more good press in today's Burlington Free Press:

    Green Mountain
    2010: The Year in Critters

    By Candace Page, Free Press Staff Writer • Sunday, December 26, 2010

    Pete rules!

    Like most moose, the orphaned Pete isn't much to look at, but he proved to have potent political muscle. When Fish and Wildlife rules threatened his life at an Irasburg elk hunting park, Pete's human defenders took to the internet and to the streets to defend him.

    In a controversial move in the final hours of the 2010 legislative session, lawmakers stripped Fish and Wildlife of its authority to regulate the elk park. His human defenders celebrated. Pete munched grain.

    Hunters were angry because the legislators' decision appeared to give the elk park ownership of other native moose and about 200 whitetail deer also trapped inside its fence. By legal tradition, wild deer and moose belong to all the people of the state. Biologists worried that continued mixing of imported elk with wild native deer and moose could introduce new diseases to Vermont's deer herd.

    By year's end, it appeared lawmakers might reverse themselves and return oversight of the hunting park to Fish and Wildlife. But never fear -- the draft legislation leaves room to leave Pete where he is until a new home can be found.

  4. the effort to find him a new home failed because everyone turned away when they learned of the history of rules' non-compliance in that facility. too risky with regard to spread of disease. all captive deer owners understand that by now. the moose was doomed when stolen from his mother and put into that pen; brainworm or bullet.

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