Roll Call: House mandates conserving half of Vermont land from development

Editor’s note: Roll Call is published by the Ethan Allen Institute.

H.606, an act relating to community resilience and biodiversity protection, passed in the State House of Representatives on March 15, 2022, by a vote of 98-42.

The purpose of H.606 was to mandate conserving 30% of Vermont land by 2030, and 50% by 2050. The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department will work with private conservation groups to achieve these mandates. Conserved land would gain “permanent protection” of a “natural state” of land, or could by subject to “long-term forest management.”

To meet these mandates, Vermont would need to conserve another 6-8% of its private and public lands by 2030, and more than double its land conservation by 2050. One estimate suggests Vermont currently has conserved 22-24% of its private and public land, higher than the national average of 12%. These commitments mirror a Biden Administration executive order calling for the US to conserve 30% of land by 2030.

It is unclear what would happen if Vermont failed to meet these mandates, though conservation groups could conceivably sue Vermont for failing to address climate change quickly enough under the 2020 GWSA.

Analysis: Those voting YES believe greater conservation of land under H.606 will reduce the damage that climate change will have on Vermont ecosystems.

Those voting NO believe creating new mandates will only increase the cost of living and intensify Vermont’s housing crisis, if less land is available for residential and commercial development. Ultimately, this could result in a land grab against private landowners if they choose not to conserve their land.

As Recorded in the House Journal, Tuesday, March 15, 2022: “Shall the bill be amended as recommended by the Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 98. Nays, 42.” (Read the Journal, p. 558 – 563).

Watch the floor debate on YouTube.

HOW THEY VOTED

Sally Achey (R – Middletown Springs) – NO
Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – YES
Peter Anthony (D – Barre City) – YES
Norman Arrison (D – Weathersfield) – YES
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – YES
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – YES
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – NO
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) – YES
Alyssa Black (D – Essex) – YES
Tiffany Bluemle (D – Burlington) – YES
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – YES
Seth Bongartz (D – Manchester) – YES
Michelle Bos-Lun (D – Westminster) – YES
Erin Brady (D – Williston) – YES
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – NO
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – YES
Jana Brown (D – Richmond) – YES
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – ABSENT
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – YES
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – NO
Mollie Burke (P/D – Brattleboro) – YES
Elizabeth Burrows (P/D – West Windsor) – ABSENT
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – YES
Bill Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – YES
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – YES
Brian Cina (P/D – Burlington) – YES
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – YES
Selene Colburn (P/D – Burlington) – YES
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – YES
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – YES
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – YES
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – YES
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – YES
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland City) – NO
Lynn Dickinson (R – St. Albans Town) – NO
Karen Dolan (D – Essex) – YES
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – YES
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – YES
Kate Donnally (D – Hyde Park) – YES
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – YES
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – YES
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – YES
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland City) – NO
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – NO
John Gannon (D – Wilmington) – YES
Rey Garofano (D – Essex) – YES
Leslie Goldman (D – Bellows Falls) – YES
Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – NO
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – YES
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – NO
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – NO
Lisa Hango (R – Berkshire) – NO
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – NO
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – NO
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – YES
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – YES
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – YES
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – YES
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – YES
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – YES
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – YES
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – YES
John Kascenska (R – Burke) – NO
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – YES
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – YES
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – PRESIDING
Larry Labor (R – Morgan) – ABSENT
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – NO
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) –YES
Wayne LaRoche (R – Franklin) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – YES
Samantha Lefebvre (R – Orange) – NO
Felisha Leffler (R – Enosburgh) – NO
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – YES
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – NO
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – NO
James Masland (D – Thetford) – YES
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) – NO
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans City) – YES
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – YES
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – NO
James McCullough (D – Williston) – YES
Francis McFaun (R – Barre Town) – NO
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Michael Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – YES
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – YES
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – YES
Emma Mulvaney-Stanak (D – Burlington) – YES
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – YES
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – YES
Michael Nigro (D – Bennington) – YES
Robert Norris (R – Sheldon) – NO
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – NO
William Notte (D – Rutland) – ABSENT
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – YES
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – YES
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – YES
“Woody” Page (R – Newport City) – NO
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – NO
John Palasik (R – Milton) – ABSENT
Joseph Parsons (R – Newbury) – NO
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – YES
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – YES
Henry Pearl (D – Danville) – ABSENT
Arthur Peterson (R – Clarendon) – NO
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Barbara Rachelson (D/P – Burlington) – YES
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – YES
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – NO
Larry Satcowitz (D – Randolph) – YES
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – YES
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – NO
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – NO
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – YES
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – YES
Katherine Sims (D – Craftsbury) – YES
Taylor Small (P/D – Winooski) – YES
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – NO
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – ABSENT
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – YES
Gabrielle Stebbins (D – Burlington) – YES
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – YES
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – NO
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Dorset) – ABSENT
Heather Suprenant (D – Barnard) – YES
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – YES
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland Town) – ABSENT
George Till (D – Jericho) – YES
Tristan Toleno (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans Town) – NO
Maida Townsend (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Joseph “Chip” Troiano (D – Stannard) – YES
Tanya Vyhovsky (P/D – Essex) – YES
Matt Walker (R – Swanton) – NO
Tommy Walz (D – Barre City) – YES
Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – YES
Kirk White (P/D – Bethel) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – YES
Dane Whitman (D – Bennington) – YES
Terri Lynn Williams (R – Granby) – NO
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – YES
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – YES

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Doug Kerr
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7 thoughts on “Roll Call: House mandates conserving half of Vermont land from development

  1. Wow huh ! Pretty solid “party lines”, dems want it all for themselves, and repubs want development,,,well, if it passes, then the 1/2 acre of ledge we own (a little bigger’n a postage stamp) on a muddy nasty dirt road just tripled in value 🙂 sweet, that’ll give us a little more cash for a flat, well drained area to buy or build on in anyplace other than this over taxed utopian mecca for dilusionists (sp)

  2. Is there a breaking point for the Vermont voter? Will we have to wait until these progressives run out of people to harm? Do democrats really like what’s going on? This isn’t your Pappy’s democratic party anymore. These people are carpetbaggers who have come here to implement a California style totalitarian government. These people do not care about Vermont or the people who live and were born here. They care about the progressive movement as other have said, you will own nothing and be happy. Are people this brain dead or too lazy to see what’s happening? Can anyone list the good things the legislature has done for the people. Progressive actually stands for arrogance. These people actually believe they can change the weather here in Vermont while punishing the citizens as China and India build massive amounts of coal fired plants to produce energy. Progressive arrogance has ruined life in Vermont. Thank you Vermont voters for destroying one of the most beautiful places in the world to live prior to the progressive infestation of the carpetbaggers.

  3. On this issue and so many others, Vermonters need to understand that the Democratic and Progressive legislators DO NOT CARE about the people who live in Vermont. They are hell-bent on putting into place every liberal national agenda the national liberal organizations, NGOs, Democrat and Progressive Parties etc. want to see enacted. They do not seek citizen input nor care to hear it. Vermont has been overwhelmed by the special interest groups and made into an experiment. The political wheels for this takeover have been in motion since the 1970s at least to ensure the liberals stay in power. Some major steps that have been taken are: legislative action allowing college students who pay OUT OF STATE tuition to register and vote as Vermonters in Vermont, allowing non-citizens to vote in local (for now) elections, starting to allow 16- and 17-year-olds to vote, banning the sale of gasoline-powered cars after 2035, mandating that Vermonters heat their homes only with sources approved by the state government which conform to a liberal social agenda, pushing population control and uncontrolled abortion via the upcoming Proposal 5 vote in November 2022, sexualizing minors and removing parental authority even where their own children are concerned, micro-managing private property, using Act 250 to follow UN Agenda 21/30 to herd humans into servitude so the state can become a nature haven for animals and plants, etc. etc. The list goes on. In at least two instances, the Legislature is acting in total defiance of clear Vermont Constitutional language. They are a runaway breeding ground for a failed Socialist state. And yet, and yet, we keep electing the very people who are forging the chains they are using to bind us. I thought Vermont was an anti-slavery state?? They want to save Vermont eco-systems from climate change damage, they say, but what about the damage they are causing to the PEOPLE who live here? One possible reason this is occurring with more and more frequency is that Vermont is the least religious state in the nation, so the social agenda elitists who serve in the Vermont Legislature really see themselves as accountable to no one higher than themselves. They are not accountable to God nor the citizens of the state. They are passing horrible, intrusive legislation and will bear no consequences for their failures. The only way much of this agenda will work is if the peasant class submits quietly. And so far, we have. Wake up, Vermonters.

  4. Vermonters really need to elect a lot of Republicans who will respect our individual rights AND our private property. At the rate the Democrats are going, “we the People “won’t be able to make any personal decisions because legislators are creating laws that empower government at our risk. It is time to say NO MORE ! Vote Republican !

  5. What a bunch of idiots. I think the first place they should start is by leveling the Burlington area and re-wilding it. Oh and Middleburry also.

  6. Here we go again!

    Act 200 and Act 250, grabbing private property for so called “public benefit”
    Long hard fight, widely supported – except by Liberal, land grabbing Progressives,
    Doing these land grabs..

    You don’t own / control, your land, and your home is only because someone issued a permit.
    Pay your taxes, and expect NOTHING !!?

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