Ben Moffatt 0

Save Great Hosmer Pond!

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A little known pond in the Northeast Kingdom is currently under siege as shore-front landowners and sportsmen and women battle with the Craftsbury Outdoor Center over usage and rights to this small publicly owned body of water. The Craftsbury Outdoor Center (hereafter referred to as COC) offers organized, for hire Sculling (man powered racing hulls) instruction on Great Hosmer Pond, sometimes launching as many as 50 boats and their coaches onto this small body of water. These groups operate as many as three times per day in the summer months including weekends. Individuals wishing to receive instruction pay upwards of $1,400.00 p/student for professional instruction and the use of the COC facilities and boats. Over the course of the summer this business entity is using our (the Citizens and sportsmen and women of Vermont) waterway to net well over 1.5 million dollars.

An issue has arisen where the COC and there sculling camps have monopolized much of the usage of the pond during the summer months and left camp owners unable to use their motorboats and fisherman and other users unable to access the pond due to the size constraints of the pond and having 40-50 rowing shells (20' long) on the water at one time. Despite efforts to resolve differences between the two factions, the State Department of Environmental Conservation Watershed Division has become involved to mediate the dispute and potentially enact rules restricting motorboats and other uses on the pond in favor of this private business entity doing business on land and water that belongs to the people of Vermont!

This is a true violation of the public trust doctrine and one that could impact future rulings governing Vermont’s public waterways, which are a public trust of the citizens of our State

There will be a public hearing to discuss the pond, the rulemaking process and to receive public input this Saturday January 21’st at the Craftsbury Academy Gymnasium (1422 N. Craftsbury Road Craftsbury Common, VT 05827) from 10:00 am-11:30 am The state wishes to enact rules early in the spring of 2017.

I ask that you sign this petition in order to say no to private entities and big money from stripping us of our rights to use our lakes and ponds as we see fit! This ruling could set historical precedent and begin the process of limiting Vermonters access to our own lakes and ponds!

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