Article

Mid-life crisis- The Agency of Natural Resources is feeling its age.

Every decision must be guided by one overriding principle -- to safeguard the uniqueness that is Vermont.

Created in 1970 by Gov. Deane Davis to oversee stewardship of Vermont's precious environment, the agency seems almost lost amid the rush of change and environmental threats that have come Vermont's way in the years since.

As a youngster in the '70s, the agency operated in a farming state beginning to feel the nudge of growth.

Today Vermont is a far different place.

Easier highway access to New York City and Boston has increased development pressure. Big-box stores offer affordable shopping, but pose special risks to Vermont's traditional landscape. The loss of farms puts open land at risk. Increased suburbia threatens downtowns and village centers. The development of technology, such as wind turbines and transmission antenna, jeopardize our mountaintops. That's the short list.

It's coming so quickly there's almost a sense that if you blink, the state will have changed in that instant.

The Agency of Natural Resources is understandably feeling pressure amid all this change. This agency, with its $70 million budget and more than 600 employees, has the potential to shape Vermont's landscape into the future. It must be well positioned to deal with these new challenges.

A committee of stakeholders has been appointed to review Vermont's environmental laws to ensure they meet modern demands. Members will make sure the agency has the staff and funding to enforce those... [truncated due to possible copyright]  

Created in 1970 by Gov. Deane Davis to oversee stewardship of Vermont's precious environment, the agency seems almost lost amid the rush of change and environmental threats that have come Vermont's way in the years since.

As a youngster in the '70s, the agency operated in a farming state beginning to feel the nudge of growth.

Today Vermont is a far different place.

Easier highway access to New York City and Boston has increased development pressure. Big-box stores offer affordable shopping, but pose special risks to Vermont's traditional landscape. The loss of farms puts open land at risk. Increased suburbia threatens downtowns and village centers. The development of technology, such as wind turbines and transmission antenna, jeopardize our mountaintops. That's the short list.

It's coming so quickly there's almost a sense that if you blink, the state will have changed in that instant.

The Agency of Natural Resources is understandably feeling pressure amid all this change. This agency, with its $70 million budget and more than 600 employees, has the potential to shape Vermont's landscape into the future. It must be well positioned to deal with these new challenges.

A committee of stakeholders has been appointed to review Vermont's environmental laws to ensure they meet modern demands. Members will make sure the agency has the staff and funding to enforce those laws. And it ought to find ways for the various departments of Fish and Wildlife, Environmental Conservation and Forests and Parks to interact more easily.

Every decision must be guided by one overriding principle -- to safeguard the uniqueness that is Vermont.

Vermonters treasure the open fields, forests, lakes and mountains. We love the small-town lifestyle and treasure our village centers. We like to believe our air is cleaner and our water purer than anywhere else.

The environment is also Vermont's golden goose, drawing up to $1.4 billion annually from tourists and businesses coming for the quality of life offered to employees. Any changes to the Agency of Natural Resources must be based on a fundamental understanding of the value of that landscape.

Vermont needs growth, but in a well-planned fashion. Vermont needs technology, but implemented on a manageable scale. Vermont needs housing, stores and highways, but structured in a way that preserves as much as possible the village-center heritage we love.

This state is at increasing risk of becoming Anywhere Else, U.S.A., and that would be a tragedy. The committee overseeing the review of the Agency of Natural Resources must ensure that doesn't happen.


Source: link missing! please notify us

AUG 14 2005
https://www.windaction.org/posts/285-mid-life-crisis-the-agency-of-natural-resources-is-feeling-its-age
back to top