Montpelier water hardly special
Following is my response to a mailer from “Citizens to Protect Berlin Pond” we received a couple of days ago regarding increased recreational activity in Berlin Pond.
First of all, the only land “protected” around the pond is that which is posted by the city of Montpelier or what is privately owned. All of the public land around the pond that I am aware of is open to hunting, hiking, biking, etc. (except Montpelier’s).
Second, Berlin Pond is unique to the state only in that it’s a tremendous resource that thus far remains unavailable.
Third, it’s extremely offensive to assume everyone who might enjoy such a resource has the means to travel 20 miles to do so. Have you purchased gasoline lately?
Fourth, the Berlin Conservation Commission’s report is riddled with inaccuracies: Stratification can, and surely does, occur at depths seen in Berlin Pond; invasive species are readily transported by wading/shore birds and waterfowl; whether Montpelier’s water comes from Berlin Pond or the Winooski River, it has to go through the same treatment process; and to argue that one group of people has a right to enjoy a resource their way while excluding others from theirs is elitist and discriminatory. There’s a reason it’s against the law to interfere with those lawfully in the act of hunting and fishing — we’ve paid to preserve these places. Refer to the Pittman-Robertson Act and the Dingell-Johnson Act if you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Fifth, a state Fish and Game access will prevent unsafe situations that occur with cars parked all over the place (which was already an issue before fishing resumed this past year).
Sixth, see Title 10, 1424 section c: “The board shall attempt to manage the public waters so that the various uses may be enjoyed in a reasonable manner, in the best interests of all the citizens of the state. To the extent possible, the board shall provide for all normal uses.”
Lastly, as I explained above regarding the Conservation Commission’s report, Montpelier’s water supply situation is no different than that of any other municipality with an open reservoir for its water supply. Perhaps all of those other reservoirs should be closed off? I certainly hope it’s not because Montpelier’s water is special.
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