Vermont Taking Environmental Regulations to New Extremes

Vermont, long known as a testing ground for some of the strongest state environmental initiatives, is now moving to set aside an unbelievable 50 percent of its total land as a “conservation” zone for wildlife by 2050.

The Vermont state House of Representatives has passed the Community Resilience and Biodiversity Protection Act (CRBPA) which mandates that 30 percent of the state’s total land area shall be “conserved” by 2030, leading up to the full 50 percent 20 years after that. The act defines “conserved” as being part of an “ecological reserve,” “biodiversity conservation area,” or a natural resource management area.

Although the act will not have any real connection to helping Vermont’s ecosystem, it will significantly expand the tyranny of an elitist ideological bureaucracy. That formula is, unfortunately, the same one used almost every time politicians and public interest groups work to appropriate more power, money, and influence.

The tactics used by CRBPA are not surprisingly intended to eradicate private property and transfer wealth from poor citizens to rich elites. In addition, the bill will not serve to protect the environment.

CRBPA states that the state’s most effective way to help maintain a “landscape resilient to climate change” is to “conserve” an intact landscape. The legislature goes on to say that a “full range of conservation approaches” is necessary, including education programs as well as establishing conservation easements and outright acquiring private property by the state.

Vermont politicians ignore a simple truth known by every good farmer and property owner — land is best maintained not by excluding people, but through thoughtful management. Intelligent land use produces goods that greatly enhance human life while conserving soil, water, wildlife and open spaces.

The Vermont land use plan will undoubtedly remove land and resource management from those who have a vested interest in protecting the land and handing it over to technocrats who have no experience or real stake in sustainable and productive land uses.