Hunters Anglers Trappers Association of Vermont
Chairman Robby Mazza H.A.T. Fund Raiser Report
H.A.T. Fund Raiser Report
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the fine people who have made contributions to our H.A.T. organization from the very beginning; Bill Bissonette from Al’s French Fries, Burke O’Brien from BJ’s Guns and Sporting Goods, Kevin and Pat Camp from Camp Precast, Jim and Vince Datillio from Datillio’s Guns and Tackle, Jay and John Villanti from Villanti & Sons Printers, Gary Booska from Gary’s Trucking, Jim Billado from Billado Roofing, All Seasons Excavating and Mrs. B’s Gift Barn, who supported us from the start. I thank all of you for your generosity.
A big thanks to all of the individual members who have joined our organization and have offered their services in helping H.A.T. grow into the pro-active powerhouse that it needs to be. We need to protect our rights to hunt, fish, trap and enjoy the outdoors.
I also would like to thank all the Board Members of H.A.T., what a great group of people! From time to time we have hit some bumps in the road but they just dig in a little deeper and move on. I consider it an honor be a part of this special group.
H.A.T. has accomplished much in Montpelier this past year with Steve McLeod there every day, being H.A.T.’s man on the ground. Steve was instrumental in getting the reciprocal fishing license rights for Lake Champlain passed. He helped block passage of the railroad trespass bill, which would have prevented hunting and fishing along railroad right of ways. He coordinated H.A.T. and the Vermont Traditions Coalitions leadership role in fighting for Wayne Laroches’ appointment as the new Fish & Wildlife Commissioner. In addition, Steve, H.A.T. and related farm and forest product groups, worked hard to obtain $132,000 for the Department of Fish & Wildlife and Ruffed Grouse Society to spearhead timber harvesting on state lands so as to improve the deer herd and small game populations and he worked continuously to obtain better recognition from the Governor and Legislature regarding restoring our hunting, fishing and trapping heritage to a top priority in Vermont State financial and policy decisions (for more details, see other sections of this website). H.A.T. has also utilized Steve as the coordinator of our efforts with snowmobile groups, farm groups, forest product groups, and other kindred spirits to make sure traditional interests are well represented at land management, public access, watershed and hunting/fishing rights meetings in all corners of the state.
Steve has taken a cut-rate salary to help get this professional advocacy effort off the ground. We must establish professional representation for our sporting heritage permanently. A number of groups, organizations, businesses and individuals have donated to paying Steve’s salary and related expenses. However, we need to continue financial support and raise additional funds to support Steve’s efforts on an ongoing basis and to handle the increased administrative expense and time commitment that our rapidly growing membership and volunteer network requires. With today’s wealthy, heavily staffed animal rights and environmental groups working against sporting and traditional land use interests on a constant basis, volunteer advocacy can no longer be relied upon to protect our heritage and way of life. It is H.A.T.’s mission to make sure this professional support is financed and coordinated in a top quality manner.