Greenie Get Your Gun
“Gun-toting” is not a phrase frequently used to modify “environmentalist,” but that could change if Vermont approves a measure to grant police powers to investigators with the state’s Agency of Natural Resources. The measure, currently being considered by the Vermont senate, would allow investigators to serve subpoenas and legal notices, access criminal records and law enforcement radio systems, apply for and enforce search warrants, carry firearms, and make arrests. The proposal’s backers say it would make environmental enforcement safer and protect investigators during conflicts with hostile landowners. Currently, environmental investigators are trained in criminal law and self-defense, and many carry collapsible batons. Chief Environmental Enforcement Officer Herbert Conly said the measure wasn’t about “changing how we conduct ourselves or approach the job at all,” but simply “one more tool in the toolbox to be increasing efficiency and enhancing officer safety.