State: Certain Activity Allowed on Berlin Pond

Published 08/14 2014 05:54PM

Updated 08/14 2014 10:45PM

MONTPELIER, Vt. - After years of debate, the Agency of Natural Resources weighed in on an issue that's divided entire towns: Berlin Pond.

On Thursday ANR supported Montpelier's efforts to limit motorized vehicles on the pond, but refused to ban all activity outright as some residents wanted.

"We were pleased that they supported the city's position, but we were very disappointed they denied the citizen's petition,” Montpelier City Manager William Fraser said.

That means things like kayaking, canoeing, swimming, and fishing on the pond will be allowed.

The state says that won't threaten Montpelier's water supply, which flows from the pond.

"They have a state of the art system that can easily handle the types of contamination associated with kayaking or canoeing,” Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner David Mears said.

Ice shanties will also be allowed in the winter. The state said ice augers, ATVs, and snowmobiles are too dangerous to permit since they involve gas.

"Any significant amount of petroleum products could pose a risk to the system," Mears added.

There is still some concern around Berlin Pond though. Some say that because kayaking and canoeing will be allowed, there's still a risk of invasive species. The state says it's working on that.

The plan: increase invasive species education and signage around the pond. In addition, the state says Fish and Wildlife will resume its discussions with the town of Berlin aboutbuilding a launch point for kayaks and canoes. That point of entrance could also help control what enters the pond, according to officials.

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