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LaPlatte River Natural Area Deserves Class I Protection

From Jon Groveman, policy and water programs director at Vermont Natural Resources Council

ANR has set a public hearing on VNRC’s Class I petition for the LaPlatte for 5:30p.m. on August 30, 2017 at the Shelburne Town Offices.
We urge the public to come out and support this petition.


Statement from Johanna Miller, VNRC energy & climate program director, on the Technical Advisory Group of the Vermont Climate Action Commission:

“The Executive Order makes crystal clear that the Commission is charged with convening the Technical Advisory Group. The Commission hasn’t even met yet. The Scott Administration naming chairs, without a Commission conversation about the charge of the TAG, as well as the credible experts that should comprise it, no less chair it, calls into question the independence, transparency and, ultimately, the integrity of the Commission. It’s disappointing and disturbing. We asked for this Commission, and we want it to succeed. Without a fresh start – revisiting this preemptive decision at the first Commission meeting – I fear it’s destined for failure. We’re not interested in political games. We’re interested in good process and real progress. I hope we can get there. Time will tell.”

Thank you to our 2017 interns, Sam & Laura!

Each summer, VNRC staff are excited to welcome legal interns to our office. While at VNRC, legal interns work on a variety of fronts – from conducting research on key initiatives, to drafting memos, to revamping our toolkits and resources. As our 2017 interns get ready to head back to school, we wanted to take a moment to thank them for their work and give our members a peek at what they’ve been up to – and where they might go next!


Jamey Fidel on Vermont Edition: Vermont’s Forest Health

VNRC’s Forest and Wildlife Program Director, Jamey Fidel, spoke on VPR’s Vermont Edition on July 24, 2017 about some of the challenges facing Vermont’s forests. The program explored declines in the forest product markets, changing demographics, and the increasing fragmentation of Vermont’s forests. Jamey spoke about efforts underway to address fragmentation, including H.233, a bill that would update Act 250 to ensure that large subdivisions minimize the effects of fragmentation. Jamey also spoke about the role of municipal planning and working with communities to maintain intact forests and wildlife habitat. If you are interested in learning about the diverse tools that are available to help at the local level please check out VNRC’s Community Strategies for Vermont’s Forests and Wildlife: A Guide for Local Action.

VNRC’s Johanna Miller to serve on Governor Scott’s Climate Change Commission

Today, Governor Phil Scott will sign an Executive Order creating the Climate Action Commission. With a focus on affordability and the economy, the Commission will identify steps Vermont must take to achieve our renewable energy and greenhouse gas pollution reduction goals.

VNRC is excited to announce that Johanna Miller, VNRC’s Energy & Climate Program Director, will serve on the Commission.


Removing Deadbeat Dams – Restoring our Rivers & our Communities

Join VNRC, Connecticut River Conservancy, and Connecticut River Joint Commissions for a presentation about current and future dam removal projects in Vermont and New Hampshire, information about who is doing them and why, and what benefits we all get from these river restoration activities. All members of the public are invited to attend. More information here: http://bit.ly/DDWWinfo

Start Date: August 21 @ 2:00 pm
End Date: August 21 @ 3:00 pm

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Norwich: Everyone’s Economic Opportunity in Climate Action

Join VNRC and VBSR at the Porter Community Room at the Montshire Museum in Norwich, VT for a panel discussion about the economic benefits of climate action. RSVP + SUBMIT A QUESTION for the panelists here: http://bit.ly/NorwichRSVP

Panelists will include: Rep. Sarah Copeland-Hanzas, Rep. Jim Masland, Dan Hoxsworth – Capstone Community Action Director, and Mark Curran – Black River Produce CEO

Can’t make this? Similar events will be happening in Brattleboro, Barre, Manchester, Burlington, and Middlebury. You’ll find the event on VNRC’s Facebook page after it’s been announced. Follow the conversation at#ActOnClimateVT

Start Date: August 24 @ 6:00 pm
End Date: August 24 @ 8:00 pm

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ACTION: LaPlatte Wetland – Public Meeting

The LaPlatte River Marsh Wetland is one of Vermont’s highest quality wetlands and deserves the highest level of protection under Vermont law. That’s why VNRC is advocating for the wetland to be reclassified from Class II to Class I to ensure no development could take place within the wetland’s boundaries. But we need your help to make it happen. Join VNRC on Wednesday, August 30, 2017 at 5:30 p.m. at the Shelburne Town Offices for a public meeting and voice your support for the LaPlatte River Marsh Wetland. 

Any person may file comments in writing by referencing project #2016-699.P and sending them to: ANR.WSMDWetlands@vermont.gov

Learn more about the LaPlatte River Marsh Wetland here: http://bit.ly/2uSFnwo

Start Date: August 30 @ 5:30 pm
End Date: August 30 @ 7:00 pm

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Paddle protest on the Winooski for clean water

We’ve taken to the streets – now we’re taking to the streams! 

Join Lake Champlain InternationalVermont Natural Resources Council (VNRC) and the Sierra Club – Vermont Chapter directly on the water for a paddle protest of ongoing water pollution.

We will paddle the path of combined sewage overflows in Montpelier to highlight the downstream impacts of toxins, pharmaceuticals, pathogens and gutter waste. Bring your boat or board and join us!

Date & Time: Thursday, August 31st, 10:00 a.m. (10:30 am Press Conference)

Location: Montpelier, The Winooski (Exact location will be dependent on current water levels, so please check the Facebook page for the latest information)


Start Date: August 31 @ 10:00 am
End Date: August 31 @ 12:00 pm

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cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy

Join us at the Vermont Council on Rural Development’s cc:econ Catalysts of the Climate Economy Summit – a three-day national innovation summit in Burlington, Vermont to bring together entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders to gear up for the next stage of economic development and prosperity in a low-carbon future. The event aims to accelerate progress toward the significant economic opportunities associated with solving the unprecedented challenges presented by climate change.

Start Date: September 6 @ 8:00 am
End Date: September 8 @ 5:00 pm

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August 2017

Headlines: Taking an Interest & Getting Involved; VNRC’s Johanna Miller to Serve on Vermont Climate Action Commission; ACTION – Help Us Protect the LaPlatte River Natural Area; VNRC on VPR Discussing Vermont’s Forest Health; Exit4: Request for Concepts; VCV Update: Protecting Vermont Communities from Toxic Chemicals; Vermont News; Upcoming Events; National News

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July 2017

Headlines: Fond Farewells and Looking Forward; Staying Connected: Connecting People & Nature; VRC Calls on Governor Scott to Step Up on Climate; Exit 4 Milestone: Preservation Trust of Vermont Officially Takes Ownership; VCV Update: Reflecting on Vermont’s Legislative Session and Next Steps; Let Them Flow Wild and Free: #freeVTrivers; Seeking Community Energy & Climate Action Coordinator AmeriCorps Member; Vermont News; Upcoming Events; National News

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June 2017

Headlines: We did it – Exit 4 Land Conserved; Smart Growth Summit a Success; Court Rules in VNRC’s Favor in Morrisville Hydroelectric Project Appeal; VNRC and Northern Forest Center Receive Working Lands Grant; Business, Low income & Environment Groups Ask Gov. Scott for Strong Action on Climate Change; VNRC Staff Provide Important Training for Vermont Attorneys; Welcome to Amber Collett; Vermont News; Upcoming Events


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April 2017

Headlines: Big News at Exit 4; Clean Water Day; VNRC Files Petition to Designate LaPlatte River March a Class I Wetland; Annual Seward Weber Lecture, Related News on Old-Growth Forests; Submit Your Nominations for the Arthur Gibb Award for Individual Leadership; A Sad but Fond Farewell to Keil Corey; Lawmakers Announce Proposals for Tax Reform and Climate Action; Sears Appointed Smart Growth Rep on Vermont Downtown Development Board; Comprehensive Energy Planning Moves Forward; Vermont AG Donovan, Congressional Delegation Call Out Trump Climate Rollbacks; Vermont Leads Way to Keep Grid Dependable as Renewables Boom.

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March 2017

Headlines: Legislative update; Departing Staff and Seeking Communications Director; VNRC Questions Agency on Black Gum Swamp; VNRC Joins Sen Leahy to Call Out Cuts to EPA; New Vermont Energy Case Studies on Community Energy Dashboard; ecoNews Vermont; Clean Water Day; Youth Climate Lobby Day; LEAP Energy Fair; People’s Climate March.

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