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Irene’s Anniversary and Vermont’s Resilience

Last week, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the catastrophic flooding that is devastating Louisiana is the eighth “once-every-500-year weather event” to strike the United States in the past 15 months.

As we approach the five-year anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene – the most recent 500-year storm to strike Vermont – it is an appropriate time to take stock of the progress that Vermont has made in preparing for similar storm events in the future. And, we need to be honest that more progress is critically needed.


Master Plan

VNRC Recommendations for Vermont’s New Energy Planning Framework

Working with legislators this session, VNRC, our partners, and activists succeeded in passing S.230 – now Act 174 – to continue the state’s efforts to help combat climate change and meet our renewable energy goals in ways that work better for communities. Specifically, Act 174 creates a new, enhanced planning framework that empowers regions and towns to submit a local energy plan that outlines steps to meet the state’s renewable energy goals and receive “substantial deference” in regulatory proceedings on energy projects before the Public Service Board.

Right now, the Department of Public Service is now seeking public input to help inform their recommendations for regional and local energy planning standards.



Four Environmental Groups Formally Oppose the Licensing of Swanton Dam as a Hydroelectric Facility

July 18th, 2016–Today, the Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC), The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Lake Champlain International (LCI) and Trout Unlimited (TU), formally lodged their objection to the licensing of the Swanton Dam as a hydroelectric facility, citing the dam’s significant impact on fisheries and water quality.


Dam panorama

VNRC Comments on Licensing of Swanton Dam as a Hydroelectric Facility

These comments were to the United States of America Federal Energy Regulatory Commissionon July 18th, 2016.

The Vermont Natural Resources Council, Lake Champlain International, Vermont Chapter of The Nature Conservancy and Vermont Council of Trout Unlimited herein file comments on the Application for a Preliminary Permit (Application) for the Lower Swanton Dam Hydroelectric Project (Project), as filed for in the above proceeding and noticed by the Commission on May 17, 2016.

Spring ferns & trees
Westminster, VT
Blake Gardner

10th Anniversary of the Vermont Forest Roundtable

10 years ago VNRC convened the first Forest Roundtable to bring people together who share a common interest in maintaining healthy forests that support wildlife and people through the many functions that they provide.  One of the first roundtable efforts was a report in 2007 on the status of forests and the increasing threat of forest fragmentation and parcelization. The report included priority recommendations for addressing these threats, including proactive tax policy, land use planning, landowner incentives, valuing ecosystem services, and maintaining a sustainable forest products economy.  Informed by the Roundtable, VNRC has worked to implement many of the Roundtable recommendations in partnership with many organizations and state and federal agencies.  Over the past 10 years, we have accomplished a lot, including:



Fifth Anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene

Headlines: Progress on Safeguarding our Waters, Forests Play Key Role in Climate Resilience, VNRC Creates Natural Resources Course for Local Leaders, A Price on Carbon Pollution, Save the Date: VNRC Annual Meeting, Events.

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July 2016

Headlines: Vermont Forest Roundtable 10th Anniversary, Net Metering Rule Would Slow Progress, VNRC Intervenes in Swanton Dam FERC License Request, VNRC Continues Legacy of Mollie Beattie, Poll: Vermonters Support Action to Address Global Warming, Stronger Rules Neede to Address Farm Pollution, Addressing Threats to Vermont’s Groundwater, Buckley Appointed to Downtown Board as Smart Growth Rep, VEIC Founder Receives Lifetime Achievement Award, Hartford and VEIC: Energy Planning and Implementation Initiative, Events, Support Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, Exxon Mobil Ramps up Support of Cabon Pollution Tax.

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June 2016

Headlines:  Gov Candidates Debate on Environmental Issues a Succes; First Annual Vermont Gives Day a Success; VNRC, VECAN Seeking AmeriCorps Member; Hooper Recognized by National Wildlife Federation; Energy Independent Vermont Webinar Series; Keeping Vermont Forest Strong; VNRC Monitors Proposed New Vista Project in Upper Valley; EPA Releases Lake Champlain Pollution Clean-up Plan; Rutland Solar Project Receives Accolades, National Interest; Stronger Water Quality Standards Needed on Farms; Vermont Leads Nation in Clean Energy Jobs; Conservation Funding Open to Forest Landowners in Connecticut River Watershed; Zero Energy Now Helps Homeowners Save Money.

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May 2016

Headlines: VNRC and Partners Launch FreeVtRivers.org to Highlight Benefits of Dam Removal; Vermont Gubernatorial Debate on Environmental Issues; Staying Connected Initiative Video; VNRC Weighs in on Hazardous Waste and Groundwater Protection Rules; VNRC Talks Smart Growth at Burlington Town Center Redevelopment Meeting; VNRC Sees Pros and Cons of State Dam Ownership; Trainings Continue to Help Landowners Conserve Forests; VNRC Meets with Jay Peak, State to Improve Water Quality at Resort; Opportunity to Weigh in on Farming Practices for Clean Water; Join the Vermont Climate Economy Partnership; Vermont Youth Lobby Day; Bike Service Now Available on Vermont Amtrak; Vermonters Now Storing Renewable Energy at Home; World Bank, IMF Call for Price on Carbon Pollution;

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VER Spring 2016

April 2016

Headlines: Spring VER; Groundwater Contamination in Vermont; Net Metering Update; Pricing Carbon Pollution; Oil Trains and Lake Champlain; VNRC and VHCB AmeriCorps member Ben Civiletti; VNRC Benefit Bake; Art Gibb Nominations; Wild & Scenic Recap; Dam News; AARP Downtown Revitalization Grant; Resilient Vermont Conference; Exxon Trial Presentation at Vermont Law School; Peabody Energy Goes Bankrupt.

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