Letters to the Editor

Fish and wildlife policy translated to funding

Jan 17 2021, 8:21 AM

I just read the article by Walter Medwid regarding the crumbling wildlife management system present in Vermont today. It’s January 2021 now. The hottest years ever in Vermont were the last six. Ticks are spreading Lyme, anaplasmosis, and a host of other diseases. Ponds are warming. Vernal pools dry up sooner than they used to. Maple syrup production declines pointedly demonstrate climate change impacts in our own backyard.

Across the country, wildlife biologists make repeated calls for alarm regarding moose populations. For 10 years I’ve watched simple protections to thwart unnecessary wildlife disturbance be gleefully rejected by Louis Porter, Mike Covey, Kevin Lawrence and trapping and hounding enthusiasts who make up Vermont’s fur bearer board. I’ve been on the receiving end of vicious slurs by trappers who find anyone proposing a live fox is worth more than a dead one an immediate enemy. 

Maiming traps being placed near public trails should have sounded alarms at the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife when proposals to set restrictions were lobbied. Nope. The Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife is made up of trappers and hound hunters, and until non-trappers and non-hunters have merit on those policy boards, the illogical killing contests and animal cruelty of trapping will continue in full force. Vermont’s eco-system guardians, the very Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife members who see a bear as something just to be hunted, are causing the problems in this state, sadly.

Lynn Andrews