Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Public Trust bill has first hearing in Montpelier

The VT House Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Committee took testimony on H.91 to reverse the Nelson Amendment and restore the Public Trust of our wildlife resource. Everyone testifying in favor of the bill spoke with a united focused voice. Congratulations to all the individuals and leaders of the hunting/conservation and environmental groups.
Doug Nelson also testified and showed his true colors. He refused to agree to cooperating in solving the problems his facility poses to the health of Vermont's deer herd. Testimony was offered by the Fish and Wildlife Dept that his facility has never been in compliance with FWD or Ag rules in over 10 years. He brushed that off and said he is in compliance now and the Ag dept has agreed that he doesn't have to mark his animals as called for in the Ag rules he is currently under.
More testimony is scheduled to tomorrow (Wed the 9th) morning and again again on Friday.
Lots of press coverage by WCAX, FOX 22, Public Radio, Burlington Free Press, and Vt Digger.com

Margolis: Nelson scolds lawmakers in bid to "save Pete," and ...
By Jon Margolis
Photo of Eric Nuse. Eric Nuse, executive director of Orion — The Hunter's Institute, told the committee that legislation passed last year violated the Public Trust Doctrine. Photo by Josh Larkin. In response to anger from hunting groups ...
Vtdigger.org - http://vtdigger.org/

Will Vt. lawmakers change their minds about Pete the Moose?

The saga of Pete the Moose continues. The Legislature is revisiting a controversial deal that allowed the wild moose to live out his days on a Northeast Kingdom elk farm. More>>

Vermont: Pete the Moose's Life Is on the Line, Again
New York Times
... save Pete the Moose, who gained thousands of online fans but in the process gave the owner of a private game preserve ownership of a wild animal herd. ...
See all stories on this topic »

Lawmakers Re-Consider “Pete The Moose” Law
Vermont Public Radio
(Dillon) But for Eric Nuse that's exactly what's wrong with what the Legislature did last year. Nuse is executive director of Orion, an organization that ... 

The News-Herald : Breaking news coverage for Northern Ohio
Now, they're reconsidering because they say Vermont's wild animals belong to the state, not to any one person. Associated Press ...


  1. The Vt.Law school's position paper was some of the most informational reading on the entire subject, history , potentials, relevancies and possible impacts. The opening sentence says it all. "Wildlife management in Vermont is undergoing sighnificant public and political change." I was truly inspired by the speakers at the meetings , especially Steve Wright's testimony today. Well said and many thanks! Perhaps VPT's Outdoor Journal, the FWD, VNRC, sportsman federation & others could collectively come together in the educational aspects that were requested today.As Steve said today ,people often think better together. This coordinating group drives these points home. A constant vigilance in protection, wise and thoughtful use must continually be taught to the people, even though seemingly it is all we do. Nice job Eric! I would hope the school's paper would be available to group members somehow. Let us know if help is needed. Great job!

    Rod Elmer

  2. Thanks Rod! I will get the VT Law School paper out via email to the group. I agree we should reconvene and work on an outreach/education plan.

  3. below excerpt is from the 1st story above. The new F&W commissioner has a pair - yeah!

    [Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry noted that while Nelson says he wants to save the deer, “he has raised these animals specifically to have someone kill them” in his private hunting compound, where hunters pay as much as $12,500 to shoot a big elk. “He’s keeping native wildlife in a penned facility so people can pay to kill them.”]

  4. I was unaware that Pam Vesilind was the Moose's lawyer! As written on the moose's supporter's web site. Did she remove herself from the property after learning things because of conflicts of interest? Before the position paper?

  5. According to her testimony to the House committee on Tuesday, she withdrew herself after only a couple weeks in the fall of 2009.

    Brian Ames

  6. After Some careful review of our H.91 bill, there are changes that must happen ! Correct me if I'm Wrong. SEC. 5 Transition, Sections 1-4 should be removed and simplified to revert back to T. 10 REG. 19! Why does the owner still maintain the status quo of agreement? All the work Brian and the board put into definitions in Reg . 19 Should apply

    (2) wild cervidae entrapped at the captive facility shall remain at the facility until( the owner of a relevant captive hunt facility and ) the commissioner of F&W "Agree" to a final dis postion of the wild cervidae entrapped at the facility;

    Why does this section maintain his power? This bill should not empower the owner. Part (3) says no deer out but leaves out, no more deer in. Part (4) should say The wild cervidae entrapped shall not be subject to hunt! This allows him to collect the checks! No wonder their is no resistance from the owner ,he's maintaining the status quo! Why does part (C) say "Except that" it leaves the Dept. Impotant! Page 7of 9 line 19! Is our Lawyer mentioning these things?

    Rod Elmer

  7. Also to maybe their is some housekeeping rule issues with elk being considered big game in tital 10 and under ag authority. Does REG.19 cover that?


  8. Much of the bill is massively stupid, redundant, and poorly written. (oversteer, if you will).

    Transition C.1 holds Nelson unaccountable. The rest of the bill does nothing. Nelson can either 1) turn it into a zoo, 2) fill his tags each year, or 3) have all his buddies fill their tags each year, 4) have under the table for profit hunts, or 5) all of the above.

    Other parts of the bill are moot and redundant. There already are laws governing importation of animals, from cats, dogs, chickens, and cows to wild and domestic cervidae. There are no exceptions to those rules by anyone.

    "..upon transfer of regulatory authority to the department of fish and wildlife, a relevant captive hunt facility that is complying with the requirements of Sec. E.702.1 of No. 156 of the Acts of the 2009 Adj. Sess.2 (2010) and the agency of agriculture, food and markets’ rules governing..."

    Transfer of the facility to the FWD is stupid, but at least the bill acknowledges the FWD doesn't have the right toolbox. Once/if the native animals are removed, the Ag Dept should remain in control. The FWD has no role. Once the wild deer are removed, what rules, labs, and scientists will be used as resources for management of the facility? It will be the Ag department's resources. If anything, injecting the FWD department into the equation (which means Nelson<->FWD<->Ag Dept) means more bureaucracy in the management of the facility, which of course means less management. The bill is "cut off the nose to spite the face".