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Searching 2023-2024 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

The Vermont Statutes Online have been updated to include the actions of the 2023 session of the General Assembly.

NOTE: The Vermont Statutes Online is an unofficial copy of the Vermont Statutes Annotated that is provided as a convenience.

Title 10 : Conservation and Development

Chapter 123 : Protection of Endangered Species

(Cite as: 10 V.S.A. § 5401)
  • § 5401. Definitions

    As used in this chapter:

    (1) “Accepted silvicultural practices” means the accepted silvicultural practices defined by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation, including the Acceptable Management Practices for Maintaining Water Quality on Logging Jobs in Vermont adopted by the Commissioner of Forests, Parks and Recreation.

    (2) “Agency” means the Agency of Natural Resources.

    (3) “Conserve,” “conserving,” and “conservation” mean to use and the use of all methods and procedures for maintaining or increasing:

    (A) the number of individuals within a population of a species;

    (B) the number of populations of a species; and

    (C) populations of wildlife or wild plants to the optimum carrying capacity of the habitat.

    (4) “Critical habitat” for a threatened species or endangered species means:

    (A) a delineated location within the geographical area occupied by the species that:

    (i) has the physical or biological features that are identifiable, concentrated, and decisive to the survival of a population of the species; and

    (ii) is necessary for the conservation or recovery of the species; and

    (iii) may require special management considerations or protection; or

    (B) a delineated location outside the geographical area occupied by a species at the time it is listed under section 5402 of this title that:

    (i)(I) was historically occupied by a species; or

    (II) contains habitat that is hydrologically connected or directly adjacent to occupied habitat; and

    (ii) contains habitat that is identifiable, concentrated, and decisive to the continued survival of a population of the species; and

    (iii) is necessary for the conservation or recovery of the species.

    (5) “Destroy or adversely impact” means, with respect to critical habitat, a direct or indirect activity that negatively affects the value of critical habitat for the survival, conservation, or recovery of a listed threatened or endangered species.

    (6) “Endangered species” means a species listed as endangered under this chapter or under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    (7) “Endangered Species Act” and “federal Endangered Species Act” means the Endangered Species Act of 1973, Public Law 93-205, as amended.

    (8) “Farming” shall have the same meaning as used in subdivision 6001(22) of this title.

    (9) “Forestry operations” means activities related to the management of forests, including a timber harvest; pruning; planting; reforestation; pest, disease, and invasive species control; wildlife habitat management; and fertilization. “Forestry operations” include the primary processing of forest products of commercial value on a parcel where the timber harvest occurs.

    (10) “Habitat” means the physical and biological environment in which a particular species of plant or animal lives.

    (11) “Harming,” as used in the definition of “take” or “taking” under subdivision (14) of this section, means:

    (A) an act that kills or injures a threatened or endangered species; or

    (B) the destruction or imperilment of habitat that kills or injures a threatened or endangered species by significantly impairing continued survival or essential behavioral patterns, including reproduction, feeding, or sheltering.

    (12) “Methods” and “procedures” means all activities associated with natural resources management, including scientific research, census, law enforcement, habitat acquisition and maintenance, propagation, live trapping, and transplanting. The terms also include the periodic or continuous protection of species or populations, where appropriate, and the regulated taking of individuals of the species or population in extraordinary cases where population pressures within a habitat cannot be otherwise relieved.

    (13) “Optimum carrying capacity” for a species means a population level of that species that, in that habitat, can sustainably coexist with healthy populations of all wildlife and wild plant species normally present.

    (14) “Plant” means any member of the plant kingdom, including seeds, roots, and other parts thereof. As used in this chapter, plants shall include fungi.

    (15) “Possession” means holding, controlling, exporting, importing, processing, selling, offering to sell, delivering, carrying, transporting, or shipping by any means a member of a species.

    (16) “Secretary” means the Secretary of Natural Resources.

    (17) “Species” means wildlife or wild plants and any subspecies or other group of wildlife or wild plants of the same species, the members of which may interbreed when mature.

    (18) “Take” or “taking”:

    (A) With respect to wildlife designated a threatened or endangered species, means:

    (i) pursuing, shooting, hunting, killing, capturing, trapping, harming, snaring, or netting wildlife;

    (ii) an act that creates a risk of injury to wildlife, whether or not the injury occurs, including harassing, wounding, or placing, setting, drawing, or using any net or other device used to take animals; or

    (iii) attempting to engage in or assisting another to engage in an act set forth under subdivision (i) or (ii) of this subdivision (18)(A).

    (B) With respect to a wild plant designated a threatened or endangered species, means uprooting, transplanting, gathering seeds or fruit, cutting, injuring, harming, or killing or any attempt to do the same or assisting another who is doing or is attempting to do the same.

    (19) “Threatened species” means a species listed as a threatened species under this chapter or determined to be a “threatened species” under the federal Endangered Species Act.

    (20) “Wildlife” means any member of a nondomesticated species of the animal kingdom, whether reared in captivity or not, including any mammal, fish, bird, amphibian, reptile, mollusk, crustacean, arthropod, or other invertebrate and also including any part, product, egg, offspring, dead body, or part of the dead body of any such wildlife. (Added 1981, No. 188 (Adj. Sess.), § 2; amended 1985, No. 192 (Adj. Sess.), § 1; 1987, No. 76, § 18; 2015, No. 145 (Adj. Sess.), § 19.)