Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today that he will appoint his Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs Louis Porter to replace Fish and Wildlife Commissioner Patrick Berry when Berry leaves his post in May.
Berry, who has been the head of Fish & Wildlife for the length of the Shumlin administration, is leaving to work for the Vermont Community Foundation as Vice President for Philanthropy near his East Middlebury home.
"It has been the greatest honor of my career to serve as Commissioner of the Department," Berry said. "I am humbled by the commitment of the staff and their tireless efforts to protect and conserve Vermont’s fish, wildlife, and plant resources."
Vermont Community Foundation President & CEO Stuart Comstock-Gay said, “We are very excited to have Patrick joining our team. He is an individual who believes deeply in Vermont – in its communities, its people, its history, and its spirit. He has a passion for the power of philanthropy to do great things. He’s a really good fit for our work.”
Natural Resources Secretary Deb Markowitz said the Department will miss Berry's leadership, but that she is looking forward to the addition of Porter to the Agency of Natural Resources leadership team.
Porter has been Secretary of Civil and Military Affairs since December of 2012, after working for the Conservation Law Foundation advocating for improved water quality in Lake Champlain, and as State House bureau chief for the Times-Argus and Rutland Herald.
“Louis Porter’s devotion to Vermont’s tradition of hunting and fishing, and to making sure there is continued access to land and water for those that follow that tradition, will serve the Department well,” Gov. Shumlin said. “His experience working with the Legislature and in state government, as well as his background in biology and commercial fishing, prepare him for this important role.”
Porter, who has a bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of Washington and was a commercial fishing deckhand in Alaska, said he is excited by the chance to work to protect the animals, fish, plants and their habitats.
“The Department works very hard to protect and improve our land and our wildlife," Porter said. “I can think of nothing more important than making sure that hunters, anglers and others continue to have the opportunity to experience all that the Vermont outdoors has to offer, and I am honored to join the department in that mission.”
Contact: Susan Allen