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Time to Pass Common Sense Dam Safety Legislation in Vermont

Co-Authored by Heather Furman and Brian Shupe,

State Director of The Nature Conservancy and Executive Director of Vermont Natural Resources Council

Last week, against the backdrop of nearly 200,000 Californians being evacuated due to the potential catastrophic failure of Oroville Dam, Vermont lawmakers heard testimony from various stakeholders about the need to pass H.92, a bill which would require the registration and inspection of all Vermont dams. Yes, in a state with at least 1,000 dams, many of which are vestiges from the industrial era, we don’t know where all the dams are located, who owns them or if and when they might to fail.


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Protecting Vermonters from Toxic Chemical Exposure

By Brian Shupe

The discovery of contamination of private drinking water supplies with the toxic chemical PFOA in Bennington is not only a wake-up call for Vermont but, unfortunately, is a symptom of a growing global crisis that poses a serious threat to human health and the quality of our air, water and soil.


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VNRC, Partners, Host Webinar on Climate Action Without DC

It’s clear that a new federal administration – one that disdains science and intends to roll back our nation’s commitment to climate action – puts the onus on state’s and municipalities to act. That is why VNRC and our partners organized a recent webinar to give Vermonters an opportunity to hear about the best ways to take local climate action from Senator Bernie Sanders, Addison County Senator Chris Bray and some of the state’s leading climate action organizations. Nearly 1,000 Vermonters tuned in throughout the webinar.


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VNRC, TNC and US Fish & Wildlife to Prioritize Dams for Removal in the Lake Champlain Basin

The Nature Conservancy & Vermont Natural Resources Council Awarded $225,000 to Prioritize Dams for Removal in the Lake Champlain Basin

Montpelier, Feb 8, 2017— The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has awarded The Nature Conservancy and Vermont Natural Resources Council $225,000 over three years to prioritize dams for removal in the Lake Champlain Basin.

Vermont has over twelve hundred dams, hundreds of which are relics from the early industrial era. Many have not been maintained and no longer serve a useful purpose. These dams do, however, block fish passage, increase water temperatures and pose safety hazards. Dams decrease the stability of rivers by disrupting the movement of sediment, undermine water quality and threaten downstream property if they fail.


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VNRC Statement on Governor Scott’s Budget Address


January 24, 2017

Contact: Brian Shupe, Vermont Natural Resources Council Executive Director, (802) 223-2328 x120

Vermont Natural Resources Council Statement on Governor Scott’s Budget Address

Montpelier, VT – The Vermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) is pleased that Governor Scott recognized the importance of investing in clean water, and acknowledged the hard work State Treasurer Pearce put into identifying potential funding sources for cleaning up the state’s waters in the Clean Water Report required by Act 64 of 2015. However, we are disappointed and concerned that unlike Treasurer Pearce, Governor Scott did not identify long-term stable revenue sources needed to protect our waters — and the economic value that clean water provides as part of the Vermont brand and our tourist economy. In addition, while the short-term funding proposed by Governor Scott is an important step, it does not appear to be sufficient to implement Act 64 and meet our legal obligations over the next two years.


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Seward Weber Lecture: The Importance of Old-Growth Forests

The Seward Weber lecture has been rescheduled to March 16th, starting at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Church, 130 Main Street, in Montpelier.


Start Date: March 16 @ 7:00 pm
End Date: March 16 @ 8:30 pm

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Forests & Wildlife

December 2016

Headlines: VNRC Welcomes New Member to the Team, VECAN Conference Recap and Resources, Vermont Utilities to Reduce Fossil Fuel Use, Increase Energy Innovation, Addressing Small Box Sprawl, VNRC Joins Climate Economy Gorup, Federal Ethanol Mandate Destroys Wildlife Habitat, Impacts Climate, Vermont College Joins Carbon Neutrality Effort, Leriche: Housing Solutions Not So Simple, VNRC Board Member’s Maple Goes Interstellar.

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Canfield-Fisher Natural Area

November 2016

Headlines: VCV Recaps Vermont Elections, What it Means for the Environment; Charting Vermont’s Energy Future at the Regional Level; Required Agricultural Practices Adopted; Working Group Expands Toxic Pollution Safeguards; Wetland Rules to be Updated; VECAN Conference.

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Late fall foliage

October 2016

Headlines: VNRC, VTTU Fight to Ensure Morrisville Hydro Project Protects Water Quality, Fish Habitat and Recreation, VNRC, PTV Support Efforts to Block Proposed NewVista Development, Burlington Town Center Redevelopment Supports Smart Growth, Button Up Vermont Day November 12th, VCV Releases Endorsements, Interactive Scorecard, Act 174 Public Comments, South Burlington Landfill to Go Solar, Defunct Dams Still Damage Rivers, Staying Connected Initiative Receives Bi-National Support, Nations Reach Landmark Deal to Reduce Powerful Greenhouse Gas, Canada Announces Plans for a National Carbon Pollution Tax, Conservation Done the Vermont Way!, Racing Extinction at Vermont International Film Festival, Save the Date: VECAN Annual Conference on December 3rd.

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Elisabeth thumb 2

September 2016

Headlines: VNRC Active in Working Group to Maintain Forests, VNRC AmeriCorps Members Pass the Baton, Kulas Recognized with Arthur Gibb Award, Thanks to our Summer Help, VCV to Release Lawmaker Scorecard, Dam Removal in Randolph, VNRC Weighs in on Slate of Water Quality Issues, New Poll Finds Growing Support for National Carbon Pollution Tax, VNRC Supports Smart Growth Mall Redevelopment and Calls for Improvements, In 20 Short Years, We’ve Wiped Out 10 Percent of the Earth’s Wilderness, VNRC Annual Meeting, Events.

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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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