Act 250

Trail use on Victory Hill has been severely compromised by a request to the State of Vermont from the Town of Victory to “look into” the need for Act 250 Jurisdiction on the Victory Hill trails. This local initiative obliged the State Natural Resources Board to issue a controversial Jurisdictional Opinion  in 2019 which claims that Victory Hill Sector needs an Act 250 permit, because trail fees were collected (to fund trail work), and old logging trails were significantly “improved” and modified, The Act 250 permitting process would afix permanently to the land and govern all future trail improvements. Feeling punished by the town and state for hosting public recreation, the outraged landowner closed the trails to public biking in 2019, 2020 and spring 2021.

The Act 250 JO has already scuttled one opportunity for the surrounding 1200 acres of land to be conserved forever by a USDA-funded ALE Conservation Easement. The JO and the subsequent closure of the trails, by the landowner, have eliminated seasonal work opportunities, caused the cancellation of the CircumBurke Trail Challenge, the Eastern States Club Enduro race, and the Backcountry Cross, and prevented more than 3000 visitors from exploring Victory Hill, for each of the past three years.

To help Victory Hill Sector and support the responsible reform of the state regulatory regime for mountain bike trails, please write to Vermont’s Governor Phil Scott here and explain to him how you feel about the application of Act 250 to Victory Hill’s trails, the club and the host landowner; and how this situation impacts the recreational economy in Northeast Vermont.