Scott signs “old forest” management, tax relief bills

By Guy Page

Gov. Phil Scott on May 27 signed into law H697, a controversial bill giving tax breaks for woodland owners who agree to not log or develop their land.

Supporters say ‘old forest’ management practices benefit wildlife, climate, and the trees themselves. However, the Vermont wood forest products industry says the practices not only will harm their industry, but will result in less healthy trees because ‘unmanaged’ forests often result in disease and pest proliferation. Also, wood products ‘sequester’ carbon by converting wood into furniture and other usable products that last for years, capturing inside them the CO2 consumed by the trees from which they came. 

Scott Also signed H.517, providing educational benefits for members of the military and their families and expanding eligibility for election to serve as Adjutant and Inspector General. He offered this written statement:

“Whenever we have the opportunity to support those who devote themselves to protecting our state and nation, we should take it. This bill takes important steps to benefit members of our National Guard, building on progress we made several years ago, while also helping their family members. Increasing and extending the National Guard Tuition Benefit Program will bolster recruitment efforts and make Vermont a more attractive place for those seeking to serve Vermont and their country.”

Scott also signed:

H.515, banking, insurance, and securities

H.533, forfeited property disposition and a study assessing civil and criminal seizure and forfeiture of property in drug-related offenses

H.546, racial justice statistics

H.551, prohibiting racially and religiously restrictive covenants in deeds

H.559, workers’ compensation

H.626, the sale, use, or application of neonicotinoid pesticides

When signing H.510, a tax relief bill, Governor Scott said:

“Tax relief has always been my priority, but instead I’ve had to resort to preventing efforts to raise taxes over the last six years, so I’m encouraged the Legislature agreed with me this session that Vermonters need a break. Although the proposals I put forward would have helped a broader cross section of taxpayers, such as working families, low-income households, seniors on fixed incomes and students, while also helping to recruit and retain needed workers, and more, this bill is a step in the right direction. As Governor, I will continue to push for broader tax relief in the future, while pushing back against attempts to increase the already high cost of living in Vermont.”

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6 replies »

  1. Phil knows that old forest’ “management” practices do not benefit wildlife, climate, and the trees themselves . Creating “old growth forests” is in fact a lack of management . Trees, forests are a renewable resource, and not a “monument”. In this day of “following the science,” to assign a random amount of acreage of land to be set aside, and not to be manage is caving to preservationists, and that is a terrible policy . Preservationists are like ant-hunters. First we will get 1% of the forest set aside as “old growth”, the next year, or the year after we will come back for 2% or 5%. The camel’s nose will just keep infringing on the space in the tent until he has displaced all else under the tent. Kick that camel in the nose now !

  2. I totally agree with Pat Finnie. My woodlot will cont.to be managed as it should be, and it will be healthy for all, incl. humans and wildlife.

    • Me too Gail, I enjoy allowing others to enjoy the woodlot…gives me pleasure while I’m in this state. However, as a 65 yr old, Mr Scott can count on me leaving asap……for friendlier territory ro the aging ….population!

  3. Amen, if you even put one spark, one flash of lightening on these unmanaged forests (and they are a mess), the forest fire will be out of control in NO time. Awww, but then you can blame it on “global warming”! Absolutely maddening. How stupid do you think people are?

  4. Why does the progressive left insist upon making Vermont just like California? I see that experiment as having failed the test many years ago. I can remember when that fight started in the early “70s to save the spotted owl and now, because of the dead wood and debris on the forest floor, the state (and now neighboring Nevada) is burning up because all of those dead, old growth forest trees are providing fuel for the forest and brush fires.
    Back in the late 60’s I can remember seeing the New Jersey skiers’ cars with a “Don’t Jersey Vermont” bumper sticker on them. Now we need some enterprising individual to come up with a “Don’t California Vermont” sticker. They will make $$$.
    …and another thing, if you actually think that you will get to do what you would like with your private woodlot, think again. Just wait until H.606 kicks in and 30% of your private property by 2030 will be conserved, and 50% of Vermont’s private property will be conserved by 2050. You actually think that you will have a say, don’t you?

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