Op/Ed

Letter to the editor: Fish & Wildlife board doesn’t reflect the state

Editor’s note: The writer sent this letter to Gov. Phil Scott and copied the Independent.
The current Fish & Wildlife board, that has been primarily assembled by your appointments, consists 100% of hunters and/or trappers, some of whom also own businesses or are heads of clubs associated with hunting/trapping. Per information on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website there are 65,000 resident hunters in Vermont. The total population in Vermont is 600,412. So hunters only make up 10.82% of the state’s population, yet 100% of this board. Per information on the Vermont Fish & Wildlife website the department’s mission is “the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the people of Vermont.” 
For the people of Vermont! How in the world can the people of Vermont be fairly represented when all of Fish & Wildlife’s decisions are being made by hunters and/or trappers?? Answer — They cannot!
You have two member terms that expired Feb. 28. If you want to start being more responsible with your appointments I would strongly suggest that you look to appoint two non-hunter/non-trappers who are adequately qualified to support the mission of the department. I would also expect you to continue this appointment practice in the future to finally arrive at, then maintain, a more representative mix of member backgrounds.
Leslie Blow
Middlebury

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