Friday, April 20, 2012

Smoke-free Zones Proposed for Some Park Areas and Other Proposed Rule Changes for This Year

Every year or so, we review park Rules & Regulations and make changes as needed. Part of the process is soliciting feedback from you on proposed changes. We would like to share with you the proposed changes for this year, and let you know how you can comment and give us feedback.

The main rule change for this year is a proposal to designate smoke-free zones at playgrounds and some busy day use areas in the parks. This is in direct response from requests from park visitors, and known health concerns.Smoking would still be permitted elsewhere in the parks, except for these specifically designated areas.

Another proposed change is to increase the fees for Burton Island waterfront lean-to's from $25/per night to $35/per night. Dock fees would go up 25 cents per foot, and a $2.00 ferry rate for day users would be established. Because Burton Island is,well, an island, it is more expensive to operate than our mainland parks, and we hope these increases will offset some of the rising operating costs.

Other proposed pricing changes include rental fees for Kingsland Bay event facilities, which will now include per person day use fees and rubbish removal. We are also establishing fees for the newly rennovated Elmore Beach House and the Kill Kare Hotel (a.k.a. Rocky Point House) buildings. Camping at Green River Reservoir will be $5/per person/per night with a $15 minimum. Prime sites at Green River will be $6/per person/per night with an $18 minimum.

Otherwise, the rest of the changes are just removing unused rules and correcting language.

We invite your comments. You can send them via email to craig.whipple@state.vt.us; or via snail mail to Craig Whipple, Director of State Parks, 103 South Main Street, 10 South, Waterbury, VT  05671.

You are also invited to attend a public hearing to discuss these rules that will be held Friday, June 1st, 5:30 PM, at the Agency of Natural Resources District Office at 111 West Street, Essex Junction, VT  05452.

Thank you for your support of the parks and we look forward to seeing you out there soon!
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22 comments:

Emmy The Emu said...

Cough, cough, hack, "Thank you so much!" Hack, cough, cough!

K. Lynch said...

1. I would love to attend the meeting on the 1st, but we will be camping at Carmi on that date!

2. Designated smoking areas: Good idea. As a former smoker, I would NOT like for this rule to extend to the individual sites, however, I think it is a good rule for common areas, to include the bathrooms (inside and out). People tend to congregate under the awnings in the rain while waiting for other people. Beaches too.

3. Burton Island: I do not use it but just spoke with someone who does. He feels like the lean-to fee is a lot all at once. The dock fee is reasonable enough and he was curious about the total cost of the ferry. It was his understanding that the fee was $4/one way PLUS an additional fee for bicycles. Are you looking at $2 on top of that?
No fee increase for tent sites?

Thanks for the info. Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Definitely no smoking at day use areas especially beaches.

Anonymous said...

The smoke-free zones are a decent start, but I'd prefer either completely smoke-free parks or a single designated area where smoking is permitted, far, far away from beaches, bathrooms, picnic tables, etc.

Anonymous said...

Vermont is a healthy place to live, work and play. Keeping our State Parks soke free is just one more way we can stay that way.

Anonymous said...

As a smoker I always make sure to stay away from other people at the beaches when I smoke I would not want to take my kids out of the water to go smoke. We cant take all of people rights away.

Anonymous said...

The smoke free zones is absolutely the right thing to do. It's another reason why we all love Vermont and their state parks.

Miles said...

Designating smoking-free zones would be an great thing to change, the last thing we need is the youth breathing second hand smoke from strangers. However, paying to experience nature and camping at places like Green River Reservoir always sat a little wrong with me. But I guess it is the price we have to pay for some of the cleanest parks in the nation!

 altonzane said...

That's good to know about a smoke free zones. I also agree with Miles about paying situation.

Rubbish Removal

Dave (Randolph Center) said...

I'm not judging anyone's lifestyle choices, but given the high cost of health care for a patient with lung cancer, and the fact that usually that burden is paid through government funds (medicade/medicare) during their retired years, I think that smoking should be banned from all state and federal properties, including state parks. And barring that possibility, I would definitely agree with any place at a park where people gather being designated a smoking free zone!
Thank you from the bottom of my lungs!!!

Julia Grover said...

I agree about any area where there are children,no one should smoke ! But on a camp site you pay for-and most of us are Vermont tax payers who keep the parks running in this State of diversity where you can carry a gun at your side,go nude and marry the partner of your choice -Why mess with VERMONT ? Aren't we all VERMONT STRONG ?

VT State Parks said...

Julia, the no smoking policy would only be at playgrounds and beaches. No change at any campsites or other areas in the park.

Anonymous said...

Thanks !
I have been forced to move my chair or picnic table because other people choose to evercise their right.
I have the right to a clean, safe, smoke free environment,and I pay for that privalege.
There are plenty of places for smokers to go

Anonymous said...

Yes! Smoke free zone would be so great! I don't think smokers realize how far their smoke travels. We had to move when we were at Waterbury Center this weekend because someone downwind from us was lighting up.

Anonymous said...

I strongly disagree with the smoking ban, even if it is certain areas. I understand that there is a health concern, but second hand smoke is already banned indoors at the parks and a full on ban effects the rights of the smokers. There are other health concerns in parks that are not being addressed because there is a fundamental right of the individual. The smoke from camp fires is harmful when inhaled aswell, but I dont think that anyone would want to ban that. I dont understand why there can not be at least a smoking section on the beach for people who have already paid to enjoy the public space. I think that the individual has a right to act in an unpopular off putting way. There are ways to work around this issue so that others will be happy and smokers leave with thier rights intact.

Anonymous said...

BAN IT!!!

Anonymous said...

Ask the people that use the parks. Do a survey in the parks that you plan on doing this smoking ban.Why don't you ban booze also? All this comes down to is certin people that work in parks want to ban it for their personal agenda and say it is what all the public wanted!

Anonymous said...

I believe that public areas should have a smoking ban. This also should include paths to, from and around parking areas. Having two children who are allergic to cigarette smoke, sometimes just getting to the beach or the hiking paths is hard on them because we have to walk through the second hand smoke. Not only making unenjoyable to us, but a stressor for our family and causes us to increase the use of their preventative/emergency inhalers.

I'm sorry for the one who feels like we're taking away their "fundamental right of the individual", however, the park isn't for just you, it's for everyone. The definition of Fundamental is "central or primary rule or principal which something is based upon." Smoking is not fundamental, it's a choice. Personally, I would rather go to a park knowing that substance choices of others will not hinder the experience of those who choose not to part take in such things.

Anonymous said...

smoke free...yes please!

Anonymous said...

I rented a cabin for the first time ever! It was a real treat for us because money is tight. The beach was in front of the cabin (only cabin that allows a dog) and to my surprise, we got smoke in the face every day. I realize some smokers feel they are loosing their "rights." But we have the right to breathe smoke free air when we are paying money to enjoy the outdoors. Also - having said goodbye now to 2 family members dying of cancer, I would like my olds increased by not having to breathe anyones smoke. I agree with a couple others - ban smoking in the parks.

Anonymous said...

While we are at it we can ban drinking who wants to deal with obnoxious drunks, how about pets lots of people have pet allergies too. we can also ban unruly kids and their parents I don't want to pay to hear your little darling scream. How about the ones that think they look hot in a bathing suit and its really a whale in spandex, why not ban those too. Ya know what why not close the parks and let them be what they are really for, the nature that was there before all of us! If you have people together in an area you are all going to have to deal with crap you don't like so suck it up people and enjoy what you can because for all your gripes the person next to you may have just as many!!!

Anonymous said...

Smoking outside hurts no one but the smoker.
Seems to make the people that are not listened to
feel better if they can tell someone not to do
something.

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