Agency Disses Public Input — Issues Weak Rule Regulating Wake Boats 

Yesterday, after a half year of silence following the conclusion of the Agency of Natural Resources’ (ANR) final public comment period, the Agency announced its Final Proposed Filing to manage wake boats on lakes. This rule includes the inadequate 500-foot minimum distance from shore rule for the operation of wake boats and wake sports. Of the 759 public comments sent to the ANR during the comment period, more than 82% — including some ANR retirees — sought a stronger 1,000-foot distance from shore or a statewide ban on all wake boats.  While the rule-making process requires the state to solicit public input, it apparently does not require the Agency to consider this in its decision making. 

Above view of wake boat with wake surfer demonstrating the wake generated by the boat’s Mack truck-sized engines.

While Responsible Wakes for Vermont Lakes is heartened by the ANR’s decision to enact any new Use of Public Waters Rules, we hoped that the Agency would have recognized the wisdom and common sense of making it stronger. We and the public certainly gave them compelling scientific and anecdotal reasons for doing so.  

Clearly, Responsible Wakes’ work is not done. We will take a close, hard look at the new rule to determine what might be done in the next, and final, step as the Agency’s “Final Proposal” is forwarded to the Legislative Committee on Administrative Rules (LCAR). LCAR now has 45 days to reach a decision regarding whether the ANR has followed the statutory rule-making requirements.

Stay tuned — and please consider sharing your thoughts on the proposed rule with local news media outlets. Please also feel free to share these with us ( 


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