The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is accepting public comments on a new Accessibility Transition Plan that addresses the 2010 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards for recreational boating facilities on its more than 200 Fishing Access Area properties.
The department’s fishing access areas allow the public to enjoy boating, fishing, hunting, and trapping on over 130 Vermont waterbodies free of charge. Over the past two decades, the department has upgraded features like parking areas, docks and fishing platforms to meet the standards outlined in the ADA as part of other infrastructure projects.
The new Accessibility Transition Plan—drafted by department staff and reviewed by diverse stakeholders -- aims for a more deliberate approach to future upgrades.
The plan summarizes ADA standards for recreational boating facilities, evaluates the current status of accessible facilities at fishing access areas and identifies opportunities for improvement. Currently, over 22 percent of the department’s fishing access areas contain an ADA compliant facility. The plan aims to increase that number to nearly 50 percent by 2028. The plan is available to review on the department’s web page: https://vtfishandwildlife.com/access-areas-accessibility-plan
“Fishing is for everyone, and our Fishing Access Areas should be accessible to everyone,” said Lands and Facilities Administrator Mike Wichrowski. “We want to hear from Vermonters to make sure our plan lines up with what everyone who wants to get out on the water needs in order to do that, without ability or disability standing in the way.”
Public comments can be emailed to ANR.FWADAPlan@vermont.gov with the subject line “fishing access area plan.” The comment period is from May 15 to June 30, 2023.