Environmental group files petition over Camel’s Hump management plan

Standing Trees petition challenges Camel's Hump logging plan
Published: Jul. 20, 2022 at 10:16 AM EDT
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DUXBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - A Vermont environmental group has filed a petition against the state of Vermont over management plans for the Camel’s Hump State Forest.

Despite state leaders saying the plan meets all the criteria for conservation, recreation, and timber harvesting, the group Standing Trees is arguing the process wasn’t legal.

“If these are truly Vermont state lands, public lands, we need an administrative rule that the public gets a say in and that lawmakers have a say in to make sure that we are managing state lands as public lands,” said the group’s Zach Porter.

Jamison Ervin, a Duxbury resident, says she has concerns about the long-term management of Camel’s Hump including safety, invasive species, and climate responsive management. With logging at Camel’s Hump set to start in December, Ervin says she’s worried about the number of trucks expected to make their way up and down the dirt road. “I see what our roads are like now,“ said Ervin. “I serve on the Duxbury Selectboard and I know what it costs to maintain the roads.”

But she says it’s not just about logging. “It’s about doing what we need to do for climate change. I mean, we are in an emergency,” she said. “A plan that was developed by the commissioner and by the staff without any real long-term vision for the entirety of Vermont.”

Michael Snyder, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, says the 3,800 acres slated to be harvested for timber within Camel’s Hump is normal. “We also welcome the good scrutiny of our process and say if you lift the hood and look at all this, I think people would be quite comfortable with the approach we are taking and the way we approach stewarding these public lands,” he said. He also says the process they followed in developing the long-term management plan is legal. “We’ve enumerated the ways in which this is both settled by law and by science.”

Tony D’Amato with the University of Vermont Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources says the state’s approach to Camel’s Hump management is rooted in the right place. “That management is being done with the best science with trained professionals. They aren’t just grabbing anyone off the street to come up with these plans,” he said.

Snyder says it’s a good thing people love public lands and are concerned over their management, He also says that the management plan of Camel’s Hump was given an extra public comment period.

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Environmental groups take aim at proposed Green Mountain National Forest logging project

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