Poll Results on Vermont’s Next Fish and Wildlife Commissioner
Vermont –-(Ammoland.com)- On Friday, December 21, Outdoors Magazine conducted a public opinion poll relating to Vermont’s new secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources and the state’s next fish and wildlife commissioner.
It was requested only people who were familiar with Vermont fish and wildlife issues respond.
As of Tuesday, December 21, at 11:00 a.m., 201 people responded to the poll. The results listed below show both the percentage and number of people who answered.
Please note, 44% of the poll respondents left comments. Space does not allow for them all to be printed. The excerpts below Question 5 represent what Elk Publishing feels to be an accurate representation of the comments received. Other comments will be included in a future issue of Outdoors Magazine.
1. Because Wayne Laroche is not being given the opportunity to retain his job as commissioner of the Vt. Department of Fish and Wildlife, should a nation-wide search be conducted to find a qualified replacement as was done during the Dean administration?
- Yes 66% 132
- No 33% 67
2. Do you agree with Governor-elect Peter Shumlin’s appointment of Deb Markowitz as the secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources? (Please note: The Agency of Natural Resources oversees the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife)
- Yes 10% 20
- No 90% 180
3. Should the rumors that Deb Markowitz is a vegetarian and anti-hunter have been considered prior to her appointment from a public perception standpoint?
- Yes 91% 182
- No 9% 18
4. Do you feel that Deb Markowitz was appointed because she was qualified for the job, or because of political favoritism?
- Her experience, including her terms as secretary of state, qualify her for the job. 6% 12
- The primary reason she was appointed was because of her political connections. 94% 188
5. Do you have comments on any of the above questions?
“Wild game populations should be managed by science and science alone. The commissioner should be a wildlife biologist specializing in game which is native to Vermont.”
“They always give deference to individuals who ran for statewide office and lost. It's common practice to reward losing candidates with appointments in appreciation of their efforts. Some are suited to the new jobs and others are woefully inadequate.”
“We need a Commissioner who will continue to do the work started by Wayne Laroche. He has done an excellent job in a rather difficult position in Vermont. Every hunter and fisherman has opinions about seasons, fish and game management, etc. However, the Department seems to be doing a good job of determining a good balance between science and Vermont desires. I do not agree with everything that Wayne or the Department has done over the past several years but they are on the right track and need to stay the course. Deb Markowitz is a TERRIBLE choice for the Agency of Natural Resources, but I am not surprised that the Governor-elect is paying back his political buddies rather than looking at the credentials needed for the job.”
“Vermont is in big trouble with this new administration.”
“These questions suggest a strong anti-Deb Markowitz bias. This does no good for the pro hunting argument!”
“I believe the next fish and wildlife commissioner should not be a politician at all. It should be given to someone who actually spends time in the woods and has a vast knowledge of how to improve the hunting and fishing situation in Vermont not only for the hunters but the animals, too. Perhaps someone who is currently a game warden or an instructor for the hunter education classes.”
“Wayne Laroche has been doing a great job and has the record to prove it. I am greatly disappointed that Peter Shumlin did not reappoint Wayne Laroche. This was a very poor decision.”
“Ms. Markowitz has presented as a competent, though not outstanding, manager during her term as Sec. of State. She probably meets all the minimal requirements for the job, but has not exhibited a particular skill suiting her for the ANR position. The ultimate question will be how partisan and ideological her appointments will be. Because of her lack of orientation for the position, she will be relying on other advisors to operate. If she accepts guidance from the career people in the agency, her time there will not be a disaster. If she responds to pressure from various special interest advocacy groups, it could be.”
“I really like Deb Markowitz. I have voted for her every time she ran for office. The democrats created a power vacuum when they all ran for Governor. Peter Shumlin feels by appointing ALL his challengers to positions, he will keep them involved in Vermont politics. Otherwise the loss of this many democrats would weaken the party in the long run. Sadly it may not matter who is the new commissioner. The issue is not which deer we have survive. The question is how do we sustain more healthy deer? Our carrying capacity is too low due to our failure to create and maintain quality habitat. Until this is addressed we will always be a second rate deer hunting state.”
“I personally feel that Peter Shumlin and many of those he has and will appoint, will be so detrimental to well being of our beloved state, that I am near the point of looking elsewhere to raise my family. Vermont is no longer even a vestige of what it once was, and we are assuredly now going in a direction that points me elsewhere. We, as Vermonters, should know better. It is now obvious that there is the Chittenden County mindset and then there is the rest of us. However, it is also very apparent that Shumlin will cow- tow to the ebbs and flows of opinion. Therefore it is essential that all of us who share in the passions surrounding our outdoor endeavors, make it widely heard, our displeasure with the on goings of this administration. I fear though that we will take many steps backward, perhaps irreversibly altering the very fabric of what makes Vermont what is believed by many to be, I am happy to see the road that you folks at Elk publishing are traveling. Please keep working toward making it known how the core of Vermont feels on these issues. Despite how voters actually put us in this position, the influences from your mediums played a huge role in the end result. I am glad to see your form of media reflecting more the wants and needs of us, Vermonters. Keep up the good work and thank you.”
“I feel Wayne Laroche did an outstanding job for Vermont sportsman and it is a crime this administration feels it has to change the commissioner. They will mess this up I am sure.”
“I believe that Wayne should remain as commissioner. He has done a great job. He needs to be replaced with a highly qualified person that is pro hunting, fishing and wildlife – not a political buddy.”
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