Today, H.926, a bill to support our forests, wildlife habitat, and rural and recreational economy, passed the Legislature. We look forward to the Governor signing this bill and moving these policies forward.
H.926 will accomplish the following:
- Update Act 250, Vermont’s landmark development review law, to better maintain intact forests and protect wildlife habitat when large projects are being reviewed;
- Bolster rural economic development by supporting working forests;
- Help tackle climate change by sustaining our forests, which absorb vast amounts of greenhouse gases and reduce the vulnerability of our communities to flooding;
- Grow our outdoor recreation economy by supporting trails, in part through the creation of a new program that fosters environmental stewardship and best management practices for Vermont’s expanding trail networks.
We thank Senate Pro Tempore Tim Ashe, Speaker of the House Mitzi Johnson, Senate Majority Leader Rebecca Balint, House Majority Leader Jill Krowinski, Chair of the Senate Natural Resources and Energy Committee and Senate floor reporter Chris Bray, Chair of the House Natural Resources, Fish and Wildlife Committee Amy Sheldon, House floor reporter Representative Kari Dolan, and all the committee and House and Senate members who supported this legislation.
“The passage of this bill is an important step forward for supporting our rural communities, recreational trail development, and the health of our forests and wildlife in Vermont,” said Jamey Fidel, Forest and Wildlife Program Director at VNRC. “Like many of the House members who spoke today, we recognize there is remaining work to comprehensively update Act 250. We are committed to these efforts, and we look forward to the Governor’s support for the meaningful progress made this year.”