Governor names top aide to lead Fish and Wildlife Department

Gov. Peter Shumlin on Monday appointed his Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs to become the new head of the Fish and Wildlife Department.

Louis Porter, who worked with the Conservation Law Foundation to advocate for improving Lake Champlain’s water quality before serving with the administration, will replace Commissioner Patrick Berry, who will leave the post in May to become vice president for philanthropy for the Vermont Community Foundation, according to a news release.

“Louis Porter’s devotion to Vermont’s tradition of hunting and fishing, and to making sure there is continued access to land and water for those that follow that tradition, will serve the Department well,” Shumlin said in a statement. “His experience working with the Legislature and in state government, as well as his background in biology and commercial fishing, prepare him for this important role.”

The department oversees wildlife and fishery management, habitat conservation, and search and rescue operations. Porter has a degree in zoology and was a commercial fishing deckhand in Alaska, according to the news release.

“The Department works very hard to protect and improve our land and our wildlife,” Porter said in a statement. “I can think of nothing more important than making sure that hunters, anglers and others continue to have the opportunity to experience all that the Vermont outdoors has to offer, and I am honored to join the department in that mission.”

Porter is the former chief of the Vermont Press Bureau, which covers the Statehouse for the Rutland Herald and Times Argus.

The release did not name a replacement for Porter.

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John Herrick

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  • Maurice Morey

    Mr. Porter is obviously a well connected, ladder climber in the little Vt community of politically acceptable appointees. At least he was born in VT, unlike most of the power holders in the state today. The Vt F&W is 78% funded from state and federal programs that are financed by hunters and fishers. When did Louis buy his first Vt hunting or fishing license? Do we really believe his research on ants at the U of Washington qualifies him to head one of the most politically sensitive, complex, and self absorbed departments we have. Deer hunting in VT generates $190,000,000 in income every year, not to mention other hunting, fishing, bird watching and other wildlife related outdoor activities. During a period when hunting participation grew 9% nationally, Vt lost 20% of its hunting license sales. We need someone who can turn around this failing Dept. Please Governor Shumlin, give us a wildlife professional to head this important Vt post.