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ANR Unveils New Report on Forest Fragmentation

Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation Commissioner Michael Snyder recently released a new report to the legislature that highlights the troubling fragmentation of Vermont’s forests and makes recommendations for how to protect their integrity.  Also recently, sixty diverse organizations and individuals representing conservation, forestry, and recreation interests delivered a sign-on letter to lawmakers in support of Vermont’s forests. Click below for more information.

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Art Gibb

VNRC Seeking Nominations for Gibb Award

The Vermont Natural Resources Council is now accepting nominations for the 2015 Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership.

Every year, VNRC honors the legacy of the late Arthur Gibb (pictured at right) for his commitment to safeguarding Vermont’s values and unique landscape, along with his leadership, vision and dedication to building consensus. This year VNRC seeks to honor an individual whose leadership at the state level has brought about positive and lasting change in the way communities across Vermont integrate growth and conservation. Individuals who have demonstrated similar leadership at the local level will be honored in alternating years. Click “read more” below to get more information, including a nomination form.

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Clean Water Day at State House a Big Success

Nearly 200 activists from across the state, many of whom are members of interest groups representing thousands of Vermonters, joined together recently at the State House in support of clean water in Vermont.

At a press conference on March 17, the diverse groups shared their on-the-ground clean water stories and expressed broad support for clean water.

The organizations gathered during Clean Water Day, an event held to demonstrate Vermonters’ support for strong action to clean up polluted waters across the state.

(In picture at left: From left to right are Gov. Peter Shumlin and Vermont Conservation Voters Political Director Lauren Hierl. In the back are David Eastman of Trout Unlimited and his daughter Anika Eastman. Franklin dairy farmer Tim Magnant is on the far right.)

Canfield-Fisher Natural Area

VNRC, Jay Peak Resort, and Vermont DEC Reach Agreement to Clean Up Impaired Mountain Streams

The Vermont Superior Court Environmental Division recently issued an order approving a settlement agreement between the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), Jay Peak Resort, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation (Department). This innovative agreement will continue to improve water quality and protect streams adjacent to the fast-growing, four-season ski resort in northern Vermont.

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jamey fidel for web

Legislature Facing Important Decisions on Current Use Program

Among the many issues being debated in Montpelier that could have a lasting impact on Vermont’s environment and economy are possible changes to the Current Use program. In a commentary piece that ran in the Rutland Herald, Barre Montpelier Times Argus, Burlington Free Press and other outlets. VNRC’s Forest and Wildlife Program Director recently outlined VNRC’s view on the Current Use discussions now underway in the Legislature. 


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Shored Up Film Screening and Panel Discussion

NORTHFIELD, Vt. – Norwich University will host documentary filmmaker Ben Kalina and screen his 2014 Sundance Film Festival winning documentary on climate change and coastal communities, “Shored Up: When Human Nature and the Force of Nature Collide,” on Monday, April 20 at 7 p.m.

A panel discussion on community resiliency with Kalina, a Norwich engineering professor, and a state of Vermont employee involved in Tropical Storm Irene response among others will follow. Both events are free and open to the public and will be held in Cabot 85.

“Shored Up” asks tough questions about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land in the face of disappearing beaches and coastlines.

According to Variety, Kalina took inspiration from John McPhee’s book “The Control of Nature” and originally set out to make a film about the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to replace sand along our eroding shorelines.

That was before Hurricane Sandy struck. Using footage from the devastating storm and its aftermath, Kalina constructed an intentionally understated but sturdy film.

Writing in Variety, Geoff Berkshire describes it as a “sobering examination of the threat rising sea levels pose to coastal cities and the economic factors that encourage doubters to keep their heads firmly buried in fast-disappearing sand.”

Joining Kalina on Monday’s panel are:

· Kate White, PhD, of the US Army Corp of Engineers Climate Preparedness and Resilience Community of Practice, Institute for Water Resources

· Tara Kulkarni, PhD, assistant professor of civil engineering, Norwich University

· Ben Rose, recovery and mitigation section chief, Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, Vermont Dept. of Public Safety

· Michael Crowley, senior program officer for the US Program, Institute for Sustainable Communities

· Ben Kalina, producer and director, “Shored Up”

Find more details:

Start Date: April 20, 2015 7:00 pm
End Date: April 20, 2015 8:30 pm

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Earth Day Celebration

Join VNRC for Earth Day at Hunger Mountain Coop


Start Date: April 22, 2015 10:00 am
End Date: April 22, 2015 5:00 pm

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Vermont Carbon Risk Forum

Because Vermont’s pension funds are at risk!

To avoid catastrophic climate change, most fossil fuels must remain unburned. Global consensus is emerging for aggressive climate legislation that will restrict fossil fuels, resulting in stranded assets – fossil fuel reserves that are no longer able to earn an economic return as a result of changes in the market and regulatory economy.

Our Carbon Risk Forum brings a panel of experts on public investments to share and learn about climate risk and carbon liabilities. This panel is part of an active campaign organized by 350 Vermont and our allies to divest Vermont’s three pensions from fossil fuels. For our wallets, and our climate.



Beth Sawin, Climate Interactive

Bill McKibben, co-founder

Eric Becker, CIO of Clean Yield Asset Management

Matt Patsky, CEO of Trillium Asset Management


Tuesday, April 28


Unitarian Church of Montpelier


See you there!


Sponsored by:

The Unitarian Church of Montpelier


Progressive Bob the Green Guy Skinny Pancake

Start Date: April 28, 2015 6:30 pm
End Date: April 28, 2015 8:00 pm

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Personal Divestment Seminar

The divestment movement is growing, and your investments matter! Divesting from fossil fuels is a way for individuals to fight climate change and protect their investments. Personal divestment can be easy, even if you’re risk-averse. Plus, personally divesting from fossil fuels offers the chance to reinvest in a new, just, green economy.

If you’re curious about how you can divest your own portfolio from fossil fuels, come listen to Dan Quinlan of, Karin Chamberlain of Clean Yield, Harris Roen of The Roen Report, Jake Ide of Vermont Community Loan Fund, and Tom Francis from Fossil Free Indexes, LLC speak. Q&A and refreshments will follow.

For more information: 

Saturday, May 2nd

3:30-5pm panel

5-6pm reception with refreshments

Main Street Landing


Start Date: May 2, 2015 3:30 pm
End Date: May 2, 2015 5:00 pm

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Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 3.49.22 PM

August 2014 E-News

Fall (yes, it’s on its way) is one of our favorite times of year, for lots of reasons. Fall is a time when we celebrate VNRC, our members, and some of Vermont’s environmental leaders at our Annual Meeting. This year, it’s set for September 18 at the Old Lantern Barn in Charlotte. Please join us!

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July 2014 E-News

It’s been a really busy summer at VNRC! We’ve had staff changes, plenty of policy work, exciting family expansions, and we’re now getting ready for several fall events including our annual meeting. (Pictured at left are VNRC’s Johanna Miller and Jamey Fidel at last year’s annual meeting.) Please, read on for more details about all of this and more . . .

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June 2014 E-News

This summer, VNRC is walking the walk – literally! Last Thursday, we received the Way to Go! Carbon Cup award for the small business with the highest number of participants who signed up to walk, car share, telecommute, bike, or ride public transportation during a single week in spring. The annual challenge is a great way to help us think about how we can lower our commuting impact, so we cut down on fuel use and air pollution and – for those of us who can walk or bike to work – get some exercise.

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May 2014 E-News – Special Legislative Wrap Up

Lawmakers wrapped up their work for 2014 last weekend, and overall, the news is good! From VNRC’s perspective, legislators made several very important gains on the environmental, smart growth, and energy fronts. They put in place new protections for shorelands, provisions to promote better development outside Vermont’s downtowns, and they gave a boost to solar power.

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April 2014 E-News

With legislative adjournment about three weeks away, several important conservation-related bills are moving into the home stretch. VNRC staff is tracking and testifying regularly now on a range of bills – most of which represent – for now – at least moderate gains for Vermont’s natural resources and communities.

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