Vermont lawmakers passed only 89 new statutes this year, and dozens of them took effect with the start of the new fiscal year last Monday.
Among the new laws, Act 200 replaced the state’s criminal penalties for possessing marijuana with civil fines. Another gave local and state officials the authority to inspect home-based breeders of dogs, cats and wolf-hybrids. A third instructed employers to “consider in good faith” requests for flexible work schedules.
The State of Vermont also made it illegal to feed bears.
Legislators did go a little overboard again this year but that one strikes me as one of those are you Nuts? rules. After all, is anyone reading this actually out there in the dooryard singing “here beary, beary, beary” and whistling?
“You’ll starve!” Liz Arden said.
I know!!! I AM™ soooooooooo worried.
I want to know if the law targets only gay bears or if it is every man who might be furrier than me.
Forrest Hammond, the state wildlife biologist, reports that bears are looking for food at bird feeders, bee hives, chicken coops, cookie jars, and the like all across Vermont.
So maybe “feeding” the bears means leaving a bird feeder out or letting them eat the chickens in your coop.
Next year, Act 1999 will make it illegal to feed burglars by leaving your jewelry on the bureau. And to feed car thieves by leaving the keys…
Legislating common sense?
Next thing you know, they’ll repeal our right to arm bears.
I have no particular affection for bears; however, I would not have them starve while I and my neighbors wallowed in nutritional opulence. Certainly they are a more dangerous species than the neighborhood cats and occasional opossum who wander by my manor; but they are similarly victims of an encroaching human civilization.
So, depending on the risk of being observed and put in jail, I might succumb to the human virtue of sneaking them food from time to time. I mean, what harm could a glass of milk and a few Oreos at bedtime do?
However, caution would be the watchword–and for good reason: A year ago, my neighbor Mrs Tran attempted to hand feed a feral raccoon which had taken up residence in her garage loft, and she ended up enduring six weeks of rabies treatment.
I can imagine that a bear would require more intense therapy.
Feeding the bears reminds me of:
The Park Service, also part of the Department of Agriculture, asks us to please not feed the animals, because the animals may grow dependent and not learn to take care of themselves.
The food stamp program, part of the Department of Agriculture, is pleased to be distributing the greatest amount of food stamps ever.
Ironic, ain’t it??……………