A Special Message from the Commissioner
Last year was one of profound change.
The pandemic changed much about how we hunt and fish. But while change is difficult, it brought with it new opportunities for growth and learning, and It prompted significant increases in the number of Vermonters participating in those great outdoor pursuits.
It also brought a painful loss for those of us in Vermont’s interconnected community of hunters, anglers, and lovers of wildlife and wild land. Steve Wright, one of our state’s conservation legends, died in January.
Steve and I were not terribly close, but we were friends. And we had ties that connected us beyond our jobs as Commissioner of this wonderful department. Both of us had connections to Sterling College – he as a long-time teacher and president, I for a far shorter time as a student. Steve was from Georgia, my father moved from Alabama for similar reasons.
But what always impressed me about Steve was not his high-profile jobs, or even his immense skill as an angler and hunter. It was the fact that his dedication to protecting the land and the living things on it did not diminish one bit either with his retirement, or with health and other struggles. I truly benefitted from his polite, but very firm, commitment to his principles. Vermont did as well.
So here’s looking forward to a less tumultuous year, and one in which we both advocate for the landscape we believe in, and take the opportunity to enjoy it. It is what Steve would have done.
Louis Porter, Commissioner