It would be impossible to summarize all the ways the Agency of Natural Resources impacts the lives and economy of Vermonters in this brief document. From the management of our state forests to programs that encourage composting of waste, the Agency’s 550 employees are working across Vermont to protect and enhance our state’s air, water, forests, and other natural resources. We at the Agency consider ourselves to be stewards of Vermont’s natural environment for the benefit of this and future generations.

The Agency of Natural Resources consists of three departments:

  • Environmental Conservation, which administers most of the Agency’s regulatory programs plus several voluntary pollution and waste reduction programs;
  • Fish and Wildlife, which manages Vermont’s fisheries and wildlife resources, enforces the state’s hunting and fishing laws, and studies and inventories nongame wildlife species and natural communities; and
  • Forests, Parks and Recreation, which operates the Vermont State Parks system, manages state forests and natural areas, and provides assistance in the areas of forestry, recreation, and conservation education.

In addition, the Agency’s Central Office supports the departments by providing several administrative, planning, information technology, and human resource functions.

The Agency’s total budget for fiscal 2000 is $54.5 million, of which $10.2 million comes from the state’s General Fund. The Agency’s budget accounts for 1.3 percent of the state budget.

Between its state appropriation and federal funds, the Agency of Natural Resources in Fiscal Year 1999 distributed $27,965,190 in grants and loans. (See chart.) In addition to the environmental benefits of upgrading sewage treatment facilities and increasing recycling rates, these grants and loans boost the state’s economy and nurture emerging technologies.

Enforcement

To protect the health of our environment and to help ensure that all businesses compete on an equal footing, the Agency of Natural Resources Enforcement Division vigorously investigates complaints lodged by Vermonters. The great majority of investigations carried out by the Enforcement Division commence with a complaint filed by citizens who believe they have witness a violation of Vermont’s environmental laws.

For the 10-month period that ended October 31, 1999, the Enforcement Division received 1,195 citizen complaints and closed 973 complaints—with the latter figure including complaints received prior to the beginning of 1999. Among the closed cases, no violations were found in 427 investigations, violations were voluntarily corrected in 302, and the Agency took enforcement actions in 63.

Fish and Wildlife

The overall health of Vermont’s game species is strong. Good management and a series of mild winters have combined to increase the state’s populations of deer, moose, bear, and turkey. The 94,977 resident and non-resident deer hunters in 1998 took 20,068 deer, and Vermont’s total deer population stood at nearly 150,000 as of early autumn, 1999. As for Vermont’s largest game animal, 120 of the 200 sets of hunters with moose hunting permits in 1999 were successful.

State Parks

Unquestionably, 1999 was a banner year for Vermont State Parks, as the system celebrated it 75th anniversary. Governor Howard Dean, Vermont’s congressional delegation, and many others kicked off the season-long celebration in May with a opening day ceremony at Mount Philo State Park, Vermont’s first state park. Throughout the summer, parks across the state featured concerts, balloon festivals, nature walks, circuses, and other special events to mark the system’s diamond anniversary.

The Vermont General Assembly also made 1999 a special year by approving a special $2.9 million appropriation to begin upgrading park facilities. Although one of the best state park systems in the nation, Vermont’s parks are showing their age. The State Park system was largely built in the 1930s, with major construction of campgrounds, facilities, and trails by the Civilian Conservation Corps, and was greatly expanded in the 1960s. A 1999 engineering study of all park facilities and structures concluded that the park system needs approximately $31 million to bring the infrastructure to acceptable standards. These renovations will not only make the entire operation less costly to maintain over the long run, but will make the parks more attractive to park visitors, which will boost attendance and revenue.

The Web

The Agency of Natural Resources continues to expand its use of the World Wide Web as a means of providing information about our state’s environment to Vermonters and a global readership. The Agency’s website—www.anr. state.vt.us—has begun the development of several new features in 1999, including the ability to view and query dynamic GIS maps online. Maps are expected to cover such themes as watershed planning, biodiversity, E-911 information, protected lands, water supply, and waste management.

Like everyone else using this still-young technology, we at the Agency are struggling to understand how best to provide information and receive feedback on our website. Several of our web pages have built-in links designed to allow readers to automatically send e-mail to someone who can deal with specific concerns. In addition, the Agency is planning online surveys, suggestion boxes, and other interactive applications to gather input from the users of our website.

By January 2001, we hope to have electronic commerce applications running primarily for taking state park reservations and allowing the purchase of some hunting and fishing licenses online. Much of this depends on coordinating efforts being undertaken by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.

To learn more, the Agency encourages anyone with an interest in Vermont’s environment to visit our website (www.anr. state.vt.us) or give us a call. Here are just some of our telephone numbers:
Agency Secretary’s Office 241-3600
Department of Fish and Wildlife 241-3700
Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation 241-3670
Department of Environmental Conservation 241-3800
Recycling Hotline 1-800-932-7100
Pollution Prevention Hotline 1-800-974-9559
Air Pollution Control Division 1-888-520-4879
Hazardous Materials Spill 1-800-641-5005
Lake Champlain Basin Program 1-800-823-6500
Operation Game Thief 1-800-75ALERT
Vermont State Parks 1-800-658-6934
(Northeast)
. 1-800-252-2363
(Northwest)
. 1-800-299-3071
(Southeast)
. 1-800-658-1622
(Southwest)

Environment 2000 is published by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, 103 South Main Street, Center Building, Waterbury, Vermont, 05671-0301.

Both this Web site and the printed report were designed by Page Designs, Inc., Burlington, Vermont.

Several photos in this report were provided by the Vermont Department of Tourism and Marketing.

This publication is available upon request in large print, braille, or audio cassette.

The Agency of Natural Resources is an equal opportunity agency and offers all persons the benefit of participating in each of its programs and competing in all areas of employment regardless of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, sexual preference, or other non-merit factors.

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