Audubon Vermont's Jim Shallow recently spoke to VT Digger's Mike Polhamus about importance of Vermont's forests as breeding bird habitat, and why creating new Fish and Wildlife Refuges can help stem the tide of forest fragmentation. Read the article at Vermont Digger.
Recently Governor Scott sent a letter to Interior Secretary Zinke raising concerns about the Silvio Conte National Fish and Wildlife Refuge 15-year management plan which includes goals to expand their land holdings in Vermont. The Governor's letter lands on Secretary Zinke's desk just as as he is developing plans to eliminate protections on hundreds of thousands of acres of public lands.
According to Jim Shallow, "We are seeing alarming declines in forest birds like the Wood Thrush and Canada Warbler. Expanding the Silvio O. Conte Refuge in Vermont will help protect critical forests and riparian bird breeding habitat."
Fortunately, Vermonters overwhelmingly support acquiring land to protect wildlife. A recent public opinion survey conducted by Vermont's Fish and Wildlife Department found that 97% of Vermonters think it is important or very important that ecologically important habitats and land in Vermont are being protected and preserved.
While asking questions and doing proper due diligence is an important part of any real estate transaction, Audubon Vermont is concerned that the timing of Governor Scott's letter to Secretary Zinke may create the impression that Vermonters do not support the Silvio O. Conte Refuge. We believe the opposite to be true, Vermonters are supportive and committed to protecting wildlife habitat.