The Vermont Statutes Online
Subchapter 001 : General Provisions(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 2603)
§ 2603. Powers and duties: Commissioner
(a) The Department shall be under the direction and supervision of a Commissioner appointed by the Secretary as provided in 3 V.S.A. § 2851. In addition to the duties and powers provided under this chapter, the Commissioner shall have the powers and duties specified in 3 V.S.A. § 2852 and such additional duties as may be assigned to the Commissioner by the Secretary under 3 V.S.A. § 2853. The Commissioner shall implement the policy and purposes specified in section 2601 of this title where appropriate and to the extent that resources of the Department permit.
(b) The Commissioner shall manage and plan for the use of publicly owned forests and park lands in order to implement the policy and purposes of this chapter, promote and protect the natural, productive and recreational values of such lands, and provide for multiple uses of the lands in the public interest. The Commissioner may sell forest products and other resources on public lands and shall administer the State park system and a community recreation program as is in the best interests of the State and is consistent with the purposes and policies of this chapter.
(c)(1) The Commissioner, subject to the direction and approval of the Secretary, shall adopt and publish rules in the name of the Agency for the use of State forests, or park lands, including reasonable fees or charges for the use of the lands, roads, camping sites, buildings, and other facilities and for the harvesting of timber or removal of minerals or other resources from such lands, notwithstanding 32 V.S.A. § 603.
(2) The Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation shall be permitted to temporarily (not to exceed one season per project) adjust fees and charges at any area for the purpose of bona fide scientific research.
(3) Notwithstanding subdivision (1) of this subsection, the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation shall be permitted to develop State park services, promotional programs, and vacation or special event packages and adjust rates and fees for those services and packages to promote the park system or increase campground occupancy.
(4) Fees charged under this section shall be reported in accordance with 32 V.S.A. § 605.
(d) The Commissioner or designee shall be the State fire warden and may act as, and in place of, the fire warden of any municipality as provided under subchapter 4 of this chapter.
(e) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to allow the Commissioner to grant oil and gas leases.
(f) Associations of amateur radio operators licensed as such by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission shall not be required to pay a fee or other charge as provided by subsection (c) of this section, as a condition of either a lease or a sublease of State property executed under this title, for access to mountaintop electronic sites designated as such in conformance with policy of the Secretary of Natural Resources, except that each such association shall by January 1 annually pay a $ 25.00 access fee and submit to the Commissioner at that time a list of the association's current membership.
(g) The Commissioner shall consult with and receive approval from the Commissioner of Buildings and General Services concerning proposed construction or renovation of individual projects involving capital improvements which are expected, either in phases or in total, to cost more than $200,000.00. The Department of Environmental Conservation shall manage all contracts for engineering services for capital improvements made by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation.
(h) All interest accrued from bonds deposited in the Agency Fund and forfeited bonds in the Agency Fund for the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation's timber management program may be transferred annually by the Commissioner, with the approval of the Commissioner of Finance and Management, to the Natural Resources Management Fund. (Added 1977, No. 253 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; amended 1981, No. 240 (Adj. Sess.), § 3, eff. April 28, 1982; 1991, No. 83; 1999, No. 49, § 157; 2001, No. 149 (Adj. Sess.), § 89, eff. June 27, 2002; 2009, No. 146 (Adj. Sess.), § B14; 2011, No. 63, § E.704.1; 2015, No. 23, § 99.)