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Location: Craig Miller
Joined: 08/26/2002
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Gov. Dean Issues Executive Order on Champion Lands

On November 1st Governor Dean signed Executive Order 12-02 righting the wrongs that had been done to sportsmen by special interest environmental groups. For the sportsmen and women of Vermont, this is one of the most important regulations since the enactment of the Vermont Sportsmen;s Bill of Rights in 1987.
First, it restores "All of the approximately 22,500 acres of the WMWMA ... for lawful and perpetual public access for traditional uses, including boating, fishing, trapping, ... hunting (including training and use of hunting dogs)". Road access must be retained within two statute miles of any point within the WMWMA. Most important of all, Management responsibility for this area now rests where it belonged all along with the Department of Fish & Wildlife.
Second, it establishes a Citizen Oversight Council to insure that these lands are indeed being conserved as a working forest for the sustainable production of wood products, conserved for natural resource including the maintenance of wildlife habitat on all 22,500 acres. This Citizen oversight council is to function as a forum to hear and attempt to resolve concerns as well as to provide a centralized point of contact for citizen input and information relating to the Champion Lands. This council is also to be included in all deliberative process on issues relating to this area.
We believe this Executive Order keeps the promises made to the Vermonters when the land purchase was authorized by your elected legislators. The Order is a powerful indicator that the Vermont sportsmen and women will fight together to sustain the rights of all Vermonters in keeping their traditional outdoor sports alive and well.

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