The key departments of this agency are Environmental Conservation, Fish & Wildlife and Forest, Parks and Recreation.
The fiscal year 2016 audited expenditures for Natural Resources were $109.6 million and its 2016 budget was $104.1 million, so actual costs were about 5% higher than budgeted amounts. Federal funds and service revenues provide about 76% of the total cost.
The Agency of Natural Resources sits on the front line of Vermont’s environmental protection efforts.
Environmental advice, conservation, restoration, permitting, compliance and enforcement are all conducted through the departments of this Agency. Air quality, climate, waste management, flood control, water quality and watershed management are all under their purview.
The current administration in Washington is weakening the environmental conservation efforts of the federal government. As a result, state laws and regulations and state agencies, like Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources, will play a bigger role in the protection of the environment.
The Environmental Conservation Department is responsible for the conservation and management of the state’s natural resources, including air quality, water quality and the watershed. Environmental permitting, enforcement, compliance and inspection are all housed here.
The review of Act 250 permit applications, the review of Certificate of Public Good applications, the issuance or denial of permits and the process of appealing those decisions in the Environmental Court and/or Public Service Board and/or Natural Resources Board are all handled in this department.
The Fish & Wildlife Department is responsible for fish and wildlife conservation, hunting, fishing and trapping and the protection of endangered species. The state’s research and field biologists and game wardens are housed here.
This department manages 130,000 acres of protected habitat in Vermont.
The Forest, Parks and Recreation Department manage forestry and the state’s park system. This department oversees 1.7 million acres of land under Current Use as well and 345,000 acres of state owned property.
They also manage 52 developed state parks which have in excess of 1 million visitors annually.
The Informed Vermonter is very pleased with the efforts of The Fish and Wildlife Department to protect and restore endangered species.
Success stories include the moose, turkey, loon and falcon populations. The current Endangered and Threatened Species list is summarized below.
“Endangered” refers to a species whose continued existence in Vermont is in jeopardy. “Threatened” refers to a species whose numbers are significantly lower owing to loss of habitat or other human disturbance and risk becoming endangered.
There are 36 endangered and 16 threatened animal species in Vermont. There are 69 endangered and 94 threatened plant species.
Endangered and Threatened Species of Vermont: 2015
|Category||Number of Endangered/Threatened Species||Examples|
|Amphibians/Reptiles||8||Spotted Turtle, Timber Rattlesnake|
|Birds||13||Bald Eagle, Spruce Grouse|
|Fish||6||Lake Sturgeon, Northern Brook Lamprey|
|Insects||6||Yellow Banded Bumble Bee|
|Mammals||8||Canada Lynx, American Marten|
|Plants||163||Wild Garlic, Whorled Milkweed, Dwarf Birch|
Source: Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department