• Diabetes benefit at Pico on Feb. 24
    STAFF REPORTS | February 10,2013
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    Vermont Fish & Wildlife

    The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Green Mountain Conservation Camp program offers young people the opportunity to learn about natural resource conservation and develop outdoor skills through hands-on learning experiences.
    MENDON — The third annual Downhill for Diabetes Ski and Snowboard Event will be on Sunday, Feb. 24 at Pico Mountain Resort.

    The event was created to raise money to battle Type 1 Diabetes. Participants will raise money to ski or snowboard, similar to a donation walk. One hundred percent of the proceeds from this event will be donated to JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation).

    Individuals and corporate teams are encouraged to participate, even non-skiers and non-boarders. Please make sure you pre-register on the website so you are eligible for all discounts or FREE tickets and merchandise.

    You can also find more details at http://www.donationsfordiabetes.org/p/sponsor.html.

    Crosby tract

    preserves wetlands

    The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department and The Nature Conservancy have partnered to conserve a parcel of land that connects two separate units of the Mud Creek Wildlife Management Area and protects a 4-mile contiguous stretch of wetland from Ransoms Bay of Lake Champlain to the Canadian border. The tract also connects with 1,000 acres of conserved land on the Quebec side of the border.

    The purchase of the 1,489-acre parcel follows a long-term effort to conserve the tract by Fish & Wildlife’s Bill Crenshaw and The Nature Conservancy’s Jon Binhammer.

    “What makes the Crosby tract special is that Bill Crenshaw and Jon Binhammer worked on the conservation of this land for 17 years with two different landowners,” said Jane Lazorchak, land acquisition coordinator for the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department. “Bill and Jon’s perseverance to see that this land was conserved and available to the public, in addition to their many other conservation projects throughout Vermont, represent a legacy that will last for generations.”

    Crenshaw retired in December following a 39-year career with the Fish & Wildlife Department.

    “We have finally achieved our desired result – permanent public access to about 30 acres of uplands, 120 acres of wetlands, and 1,800 feet of frontage on Lake Champlain, including a natural lake sand beach and rock outcrop called Blue Rock,” said Binhammer.

    The Crosby tract and Mud Creek area is well known for its waterfowl and other wetland-associated wildlife.

    “These forested wetlands are the preferred habitat for wood ducks, and the rocky outcrop is a basking habitat for the spiny softshell turtle, a state-threatened species,” said Binhammer.

    “This is an outstanding piece of fish and wildlife habitat,” added Crenshaw. “About 75 percent of it is Lake Champlain-influenced wetlands which are naturally productive.”

    Funding for this purchase came from the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA), passed by Congress in 1989 to conserve wetlands throughout North America for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Vermont Duck Stamp Funds were used in part to help match the NAWCA grant.The Vermont Duck Stamp Program started in 1985 by Legislative action and to date has completed 82 projects in the state with approximately 11,000 acres of wetlands and adjacent uplands protected or enhanced

    Revoked licenses

    cross borders

    Anyone contemplating violating Vermont’s fish and wildlife laws now needs to keep in mind that they can no longer just hunt, fish or trap in another state if their licenses are revoked here. Vermont is now the 39th member of the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact (IWVC), which recognizes license suspensions of member states.

    Any person whose license privileges are suspended in one compact member state will have his or her licenses suspended in all other compact member states. The IWVC assures that in participating states, nonresident violators will receive the same treatment as resident violators.

    A violator who fails to comply with the terms of a citation issued in a participating state also faces the possibility of suspension of their wildlife license privileges in the other member states until the terms of the citation are met. The goal of the IWVC is to improve enforcement of hunting, fishing and trapping laws through the cooperation of law enforcement units in member states.

    “Joining the IWVC provides an added deterrent to Vermonters who might be tempted to violate fish and wildlife laws at home and then expect to hunt, fish or trap in other states or vice versa,” said Col. David LeCours. “Also, we didn’t want Vermont to be one of the last states where bad actors from other states can come to violate our fish and wildlife laws.”

    Deer management

    survey online

    Hunters interested in Vermont’s deer herd should plan on completing Vermont Fish & Wildlife’s online survey to gather hunters’ opinions that will guide the department’s comprehensive deer management evaluation. The survey is linked from the front page of Fish & Wildlife’s website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com).

    The Fish & Wildlife Department is evaluating the impact current deer hunting regulations have on deer hunter satisfaction while ensuring future season structures and harvest regulations continue to promote deer herd health. The evaluation process included public meetings held Jan. 30 and 31, and also includes the deer hunter survey, the formation of three regional working groups and five public hearings to occur this March through May.

    “We are interested in your opinions regarding current deer management strategies and your deer hunting objectives in Vermont,” said Adam Murkowski, Vermont’s deer team leader. “We are conducting public surveys, both on our website and at the public meetings, to learn more about hunters in the state, where they live and hunt, their ages and gender, what rates they participate in Vermont’s various deer hunting seasons, and their satisfaction.”

    “The information gathered will be used to gauge how well different management options are accepted, to facilitate discussions among the regional working groups, and to help formulate a comprehensive deer management strategy for Vermont,” added Murkowski. “These data will provide important information to help us consider what kinds of season structures and harvest management techniques should be employed in the years ahead.”

    Hunters are asked to fill out the deer management survey before February 22.

    Conservation camp

    applications available

    If you are 12 to 14 years old and want to learn about Vermont’s wildlife and gain outdoor skills next summer, consider attending one of the Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department’s Green Mountain Conservation Camps.

    The one-week camp program is held at two locations: Lake Bomoseen in Castleton and Buck Lake in Woodbury. Campers participate in hands-on learning experiences about fish and wildlife conservation, ecology, forestry, orienteering, safe firearm and archery techniques, swimming canoeing, fishing and more in an attractive outdoor setting. Natural resource professionals come to the camp during the week to share information on their programs and take campers out for field activities.

    Conservation Camps open June 17 and continue until Aug. 17. Tuition is $250 for the week, including food, lodging and equipment. Please check the Fish & Wildlife website (www.vtfishandwildlife.com) for general information as well as information about partial and full scholarship availability for those with financial need. Information about the program is under “Education and Training” on the left side of the home page, and here is a link to the online registration page: https://anrnode.anr.state.vt.us/GMCC/ApplyCamp1.aspx A printable application also is available.

    For more information about Green Mountain Conservation Camps contact: fwgmcc@state.vt.us or call 802-241-3768.

    Vermont’s conservation camp program is unique because it is sponsored and directed by Fish & Wildlife Department professionals: the same people who manage Vermont’s fish and wildlife resources. Working biologists, foresters, game wardens, and conservation educators teach young people about Vermont’s forests, wetlands and wildlife. The program’s greatest strength is connecting young people to the outdoors. The camp program is sponsored in part through a grant from the Wildlife & Sport Fish Restoration Program.
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