Monday, February 1, 2016

H.570 - Felt Sole Wader Ban Repeal Proposal

Please email me for better links because blogger is being difficult as usual...THIS IS IMPORTANT FOLKS! Please help and contact all these representatives that have know clue! email me at:

H.570 - VERMONT Felt Sole Wader Ban Repeal Proposal

This is a copy of an email I rec'd from Shawn Good, Fisheries Biologist with Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department Concerned Angler: For the 2016 Legislative Session, the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department has submitted a proposal to the Legislature to REPEAL §4616 Felt-soled boots and waders; use prohibited. If passed, the repeal would once again make felt-soled boots legal for use in Vermont. The felt-sole ban bill was introduced and passed in 2011 by the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources (not the VTFWD) in response to the discovery of Didymo in several Vermont rivers. It was thought at that time that felt-soles were responsible for spreading Didymo to new rivers. However, in the 5 years that have since passed, new scientific research has discovered that Didymo is in fact native to Vermont, and most regions of northern North America as a whole. Analysis of river sediment cores from across the region have proven that Didymo spores have been present in these rivers dating back hundreds of years. It’s now known that Didymo tends to manifest itself as “new” nuisance blooms when certain environmental and water chemistry conditions are present, which have recently been changing in some areas. Under this new light, the VTFWD believes that continuing a legislative ban with a focus on a single piece of equipment thought to be responsible for spreading an aquatic invasive species that is now known to be native and widely present is misguided and ineffective, and it unnecessarily impacts anglers’ ability to enjoy river fishing in Vermont. For many anglers, felt-soles are the safer option, providing better stability in many cases. There is also no strong evidence that felt-sole wading boots pose any bigger risk than non-felt boots to spreading other aquatic invasive species, or any other common pieces of fishing or boating equipment. Non-felt boots often have deep treads, zippers, cotton laces and materials such as neoprene and rough cordura nylon that can equally trap mud, water, and stay wet for periods of time, which could hold aquatic invasive species. To continue a ban on felt-sole boots when other items can pose just as high of a risk for AIS spread is short-sighted under current scientific knowledge. It also detracts from the larger, valid, and important Invasive Species Spread Prevention messages of Clean, Drain, Dry by providing the public a false sense of security. The ban gives the false impression that felt-soles are HIGH risk and need to be outlawed, while other actions and equipment aren’t that important. The Department believes that a more proactive Clean, Drain, Dry invasive species spread prevention campaign is a better option than a single-focused legislative ban on one piece of equipment. The VTFWD has proposed the repeal of §4616 within the larger Fish & Wildlife Omnibus bill – H.570 An act relating to hunting, fishing, and trapping. Unfortunately, we are up against opposition to the proposed repeal from other State Agencies, and possibly from with the Legislature itself. Therefore, we need your help, and as much public support as possible. If you feel that ineffective legislation that negatively impacts your Vermont fishing experience should be repealed, please show your support by contacting your State Legislative Representative, as well as David Deen, the Chair of the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources, and its other members. Please spread the work, and feel free to pass this email on to your fishing colleagues, and encourage them to contact the Legislature as well. Shawn P. Good, Fisheries Biologist Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department 271 North Main St., Suite 215 Rutland, VT 05701-2423 802-786-3863 CONTACTS: David Deen, Chair, House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources Putney, VT (802) 869-3116 You can also leave a message for Rep. Deen by calling the Statehouse Sgt of Arms at 802-828-2228. They will relay your message to Rep. Deen. Other members of the House Committee on Fish, Wildlife and Water Resources are as follows: Rep. James McCullough, Vice Chair Williston, VT (802) 878-2180 Rep. Steve Beyor, Ranking Member Highgate Springs, VT (802) 868-3456 Rep. Robert Krebs South Hero, VT (802) 372-4567 Rep. Paul Lefebvre, Clerk Island Pond, VT (802) 467-8338 Rep. Amy Sheldon East Middlebury, VT Rep. Thomas Terenzini Rutland, VT (802) 855-1945 Rep. Kathryn Webb Shelburne, VT (802) 985-2789 Rep. Janssen Willhoit St. Johnsbury, VT (802) 431-5118