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.
Headlines: VNRC Welcomes Summer Talent; Gov. Shumlin Signs VNRC Priority Bills; Hearings Set for Act 250 Case in Randolph; DPS Seeking Input on State’s Energy Future; AVCC Awards Five Local Conservation Project Grants; Upcoming Events; Pope Calls for Bold Climate Action; Streets Should Not Only be “Complete,” They Should be “Green.”
Headlines: VNRC, CLF Engage in Act 250 Over Proposed Randolph I-89 Interchange Development; In Talk, Global Water Activist Maude Barlow Lays out Big Challenges, But Also Ways Forward; VNRC, Others, Lay Groundwork for Pricing Carbon Pollution in Vermont; Shipments of Oil Along Lake Champlain’s New York Shore Pose Increasing Threat; Want to SupportWilldife? Buy a Habitat Stamp from the Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department; Vermont Gears up to Update the 20-Year Comprehensive Energy Plan; EPA Proposes New Water Rule to Clarify Federal Protections for Rivers and Streams.
Headlines: VNRC Seeks Nominations for Arthur Gibb Award; Vermont Legislature Moves Green Bills; FPR Unveils Report on Forest Fragmentation; Surveys Show People Want to Live Near Town; AVCC Seeking Grant Applications; Upcoming Events; Yale University Likely to Impose Campus Carbon Charge; Congressman Welch Continues Fight for Reform of Ethanol Policy.
Headlines: In Recent Op-Ed, VNRC’s Jamey Fidel Makes Case for Keeping Current Use Strong; VNRC Continues to Explore Policy to Put a Fair Price on Carbon Pollution; Vermont’s Professional Regulation Office Suggests Foresters Should be Licensed; Well-Established in Chittenden County, CarShare Vermont to Set up Shop in Montpelier; Have You Ever Wondered How to Pay for Solar? New Guide Outlines Financing Ideas; VNRC, Green Mountain Club, Vermont Chapter of Sierra Club to Host Talk on Forests; Express Yourself! VNRC, Partners to Hold Clean Water Day at State House March 17; Save the Date: April 11 is the 9th Annual LEAP Energy Fair in Waterbury; Pipeline Firm Sues S. Portland Maine after City Says “No Thanks” to Tar Sands Oil; Writer Says Smart Urban Development Can Blunt Climate Change
Headlines: VNRC, Jay Peak Resort, and Vermont DEC Reach Agreement to Clean up Streams; Clean Water Day a Success; Low Interest “Heat Saver” Loans, Watersheds United to Hold Meeting; Two Great Energy Fairs; President Obama Commits Greenhouse Gas Cuts.
Headlines: VNRC and Vermont Land Trust Go Solar, Buying Green Juice From Local Solar Array; Water Caucus, Convened by VNRC Last Year, Continues Strong Momentum; Meet VNRC/VPA 2015 Legislative Intern Andrew Marchev; Business, Farm, Green Groups Welcome Shumlin Agenda, Call on Lawmakers to Follow; Act 250 Change from Last Year Improving Design, Location of Development Projects; Proposed Moratorium on Current Use Prompts Opposition from VNRC, Others; Connecticut River Watershed Council Offers Series of Flood Information Videos; Soils? Trees? Terrain? Animals? Now, What’s on Your Land Can be On Your Phone; Summit on Creating Prosperity, Opportunity Confronting Climate Change Set for Feb 18; Save the Date: VNRC and Partners to Hold Clean Water Day at State House March 17; President Obama Highlights Climate Change in State of Union, Challengers Deniers
Headlines: At Statewide Conference, VNRC Staff Underscore Benefits of Science for Policy; Andrew Marchev Joins VNRC as Intern, Focusing on a Range of Projects; New Info in VNRC’s Community Planning Toolbox on Energy-Transportation Connection; Annual Energy and Climate Conference Spawns New Connections, More Inspiration; Vermonters Ready to Pony Up for Lake Champlain Progress, UVM Survey Says; In Op-Ed, Vermont Conservation Voters Turns the Heat up on Lake Cleanup; Fund Dedicates $240,000 to Building Resilience in Vermont’s Watersheds; New Harvesting Guidelines are Coming Out, and ANR Wants Your Input; In National Award, White House Recognizes Montpelier as a Climate Leader; Save Feb. 18 for “Creating Prosperity and Opportunity Confronting Climate Change”; Climate Talks End in Lima with Some Progress, but Greens say Deal is Still Too Weak
Headlines: VNRC, Partners Launch “Energy Independent Vermont” to Tax Pollution, Lower Other Levies; Dec. 6 Climate Conference: Post Carbon’s Richard Heinberg, Workshops, Networking and More; Looking “Down Ticket” in Election Results, VCV Sees Solid Signs of Support for Green Candidates; Leaks Plugged, Money Saved: Vermont’s Second Annual Button Up Day of Action a Big Success; Hey, Cyclists, Where do you Bike? VTrans Wants to Know, So They Can Smooth Your Ride; Electric Car Registrations on the Rise, and They’re Really Gaining Steam in Rural Vermont; Ferrisburgh Car Dealership Proposal Withdrawn, in Test of New Provisions of Act 250; Community Resilience Organizations Take Flight in Vermont Towns; Pilot to Launch Next Year; Floods, Game Cams, Shorelands and More: AVCC’s Annual Conservation Summit a Success; New US – China Global Warming Pollution Agreement Ramps up Pressure on Other Countries
Headlines: Wildlife Double Whammy: Fragmentation of Large Forest Blocks, Climate Change, Pose Threats; Vermont Conservation Voters Scores, Endorses, Lawmakers As Election Day Approaches; Vermonters Urged to Button Up Homes this Saturday to Save Energy, Cash and Climate Pollution; In the Woods: Mammal Tracks and Scat Guide Written by Vermont Forester is Now for Sale; AVCC Annual Meeting/Conservation Summit is this Saturday, November 1, in Montpelier; National Supermarket Chain Whole Foods Now Rating Produce for Environmental Impact
Headlines: VNRC’s Keil Corey Was One of the 400,000 People at the People’s Climate March; At Annual Meeting, VNRC Honors Andrea Morgante, Hears Optimism from DEC Commissioner; Important and Protective “Public Trust” Provision Part of New State Groundwater Rule; As the Cold Air Settles in, It’s a Great Time to Seal the Cracks, Button Up, and Save Some Bucks; At Lecture, Ponder the Question: Can Bird Conservation Help Conserve Vermont’s Forests?; Hitting the Big Five-O: Birthday Bash at Breadloaf this Weekend for the Federal Wilderness Act; Start the Popcorn: This Year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival is Drawing Near; With Vermont a Leader, a New Well-Being Measure is Spreading Through the States
Headlines: AmeriCorps Member Ben Civiletti to Join VNRC to work with Communities on Energy, Climate; VNRC’s Head Makes His Debut in Times Argus/Rutland Herald Sunday “Weekly Planet” Column; VNRC’s Voice and Tools in Vermont’s Fantastic Green Energy Times; PV, Priuses and More: In Vermont, Green Energy Numbers are Big Per Capita; A New Web-Based Tool Can Help You Be Sure Your Town is “Flood Ready”; Vermont Secretary of State Seeking Opinions: Should Foresters be Licensed in Vermont?; March for Climate September 21 in New York; Save the Date: Wild and Scenic Film Festival Set for October 23 in Burlington; Environmental Groups Call for Cumulative Impact Review of Tar Sands Pipelines
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 . . .
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.
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.
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.
Lawmakers are back at it after the Town Meeting break, spending lots of time on the floors of both the House and Senate, passing bills. With about six weeks left in the session, it’s fair to say that things are very busy under the Golden Dome.
Vermont lawmakers will return from the town meeting break this coming Tuesday, March 11 to resume their work, which will include debate on several important environmental and energy bills. Here is a rundown of VNRC’s legislative priorities, and where they are likely headed when the Legislature reconvenes.
It’s February, and that means VNRC’s in the thick of things up at the State House. Staff have been helping lawmakers understand the issues and have been tracking a dozen or so pieces of legislation. So far this year, legislators have taken some positive steps: they’re moving a bill to better protect Vermont’s lake shorelands, another measure to make it easier to install solar energy systems, and yet another encouraging the removal of abandoned dams in our rivers, something that will help river water quality. Lawmakers are also working on legislation that will promote well-planned development and reduce the amount of sprawling, strip development that chews up our land.
Now that the ice in our parking lot has finally been covered by a layer of fresh snow, we have much to be excited about at VNRC. Before we pile on our scarves, mittens, and hats and hit up the nearest sledding hill, we wish to thank those among you who donated money or became members in 2013.
January 2014 Legislative Update
This year, VNRC is urging legislators wrap up two pro-environment measures left over from last year, as well as pass some additional, but relatively targeted, changes to land use and clean energy policy. Here’s the rundown on VNRC’s primary legislative priorities for 2014.
Season’s greetings! This wreath mysteriously appeared on VNRC’s front door the other morning, reminding us all that the holiday season is upon us and adding a little more pep to everyone’s step. (Turns out our resident elf/Communications Director, Jake Brown, was responsible.)
Brrr! As the days grow shorter and chillier, what better thing to do than hunker down in front of the fire with a hot drink and some good reading? And what better reading is there than the latest issue of the Vermont Environmental Report?
Fall can be a busy time for Vermonters, and we at VNRC are no exception. In between planning events like the Wild and Scenic Film Festival at the end of this month and participating in the very first Button Up Vermont statewide day of action, we’ve barely had time to sneak outside and admire the blazing trees and clear blue skies. But even so, the season never ceases to take our breath away.
Have you sensed it? Temperatures are dropping, the air is rich with ripening apples and dried leaves, and foliage season is most definitely on the way. Here’s hoping for another spectacular autumn in Vermont!
The berries are bursting, the cicadas are humming, and we hope you’re taking full advantage of what remains in the summer season. There’s no better way to enjoy Vermont’s natural beauty than to spend time in the outdoors: go for a walk, make a bouquet of sunflowers, and savor the sunshine!
It’s summertime, and the livin’ is good! In case you haven’t heard, Governor Shumlin proclaimed July as Lakes Appreciation Month in Vermont. In addition to the usual fruit feasting, hiking, fishing, and swimming that we tend to indulge in this time of year, VNRC staff has also been busy at the office.
May 2013 – Legislative Wrap-Up
Vermont lawmakers have packed up and gone home for the summer and at least on the environmental and clean energy front, they leave behind just a few incremental, relatively narrow, accomplishments. There is significant unfinished business ahead for 2014, and we hope that the second year of the biennium will prove far more fruitful for the environment and clean energy. There is hard work ahead.
Ahh, spring. At long last the sun is shining, the crocuses are in bloom, and the wrens are bursting into song. We’ve been welcoming the new season by taking quiet moments to pause and reflect on who we are and what we do. This month we’re launching a series of VNRC staff profiles to appear here in the E-News. Read on for an introduction to Jake Brown, our Communications and Government Affairs Director. And learn all about VNRC’s latest survey, which you may receive in your inbox within the next several weeks (if you haven’t already). Care to give us feedback? Contact us for a link to the survey, or if you’d prefer, just send us a good old-fashioned email with your thoughts about VNRC. As always, thanks for what you do.
Happy spring! The sap is running, the robins are ready to sing, and the season is officially upon us. While most of us consider spring in Vermont as synonymous with mud season, a time when travel and recreation can be limited, it’s also an opportunity to reflect on what we love about our state and our environment.
March 2013 – Legislative Edition
Action will kick up again in the halls of the State House next week when lawmakers return from the town meeting break. We’re almost halfway through the legislative year, with crossover – the official date by which bills must pass from one chamber to the other – set for March 15.
For the past year, VNRC has been immersed in litigation related to Entergy’s attempt to extend the operation of the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant well beyond its original design life. For the past several weeks, VNRC staff and consulting attorneys have been contending with the seemingly limitless legal resources at Entergy’s disposal.
With the PSB hearings underway, I am hoping you will consider making a special donation to help us continue this important fight. It is clear that Louisiana-based Entergy thinks it can out-muscle the state of Vermont, VNRC, and Vermonters who are concerned about the environmental impacts of the nuclear plant. Let’s not let that happen. Please give what you can today, through our secure website, by clicking here. It will be a contribution to the many hours of work that we do to protect Vermont’s natural resources.
VNRC would like to thank all of you who supported us in our year-end appeal. Our faithful members and supporters have always been a source of pride, inspiration, and energy for us. A significant portion of our annual revenues comes from memberships and individual donations. Working together we can continue to help assure Vermont moves into the 21st century with the strength and foresight that these challenging times require.
September 2012 – VNRC at 50
Ahh, summer. It’s here. And it feels good. The rich smell of lilacs, the song of the hermit thrush, and the big, puffy crowns of leafed-out sugar maples have all put mud season firmly in its place (namely, ancient history). We urge you to taste the summer, smell the summer, take it all in – and appreciate Vermont in this special season.
May 2012 – Legislative Wrap-up
March 2012 – Special Legislative Report
January 2012 – Special Legislative Report
Vermont lawmakers have wasted no time diving into the substance of legislation this year, and after last week’s optimistic speech from Gov. Shumlin hailing Vermont’s bounceback from Tropical Storm Irene and an improving economy, the Legislature has gotten off to a swift and largely upbeat start in 2012. From the crack of the opening gavel, VNRC was right in the thick of things and will, as usual, have a strong presence in the building until adjournment in the spring.
Happy holidays! All of us at VNRC wish you the best this season! The 2012 legislative year is just around the corner. Right after the New Year, lawmakers will be heading back to work in the second year of the legislative biennium. On Tuesday, Jan. 3, the session will formally open. That Thursday, Jan. 5, Gov. Shumlin will deliver his State of the State Address and a week later, on Thursday, Jan. 12, he will present his proposed budget to lawmakers.
The recent flooding has been devastating for many Vermonters. The effects of Tropical Storm Irene in particular underscore the critical nature of VNRC’s mission. As an organization that strives to protect and enhance the quality of Vermont’s waterways, downtowns, forests and open landscapes, we will be advocating strongly in the coming months that Vermont rebuild in a resilient way – a way that minimizes damage to our communities from future floods caused by storms like Irene.
As the summer starts to wind down, VNRC is gearing up for a busy fall. We are looking forward to inspiring and fun events as well as important public forums that will help shape a healthy future for Vermont. This edition of E-News takes us from the courtroom to the cafeteria and from the highway to our community garden. Mark your calendars for VNRC’s annual meeting, September 22 in Waitsfield!
Summer is in full swing and there is nothing better than playing for a full, long day in Vermont’s beautiful outdoors – a precious landscape that VNRC works hard to protect and enrich for summers to come. This edition of E-News highlights exciting action in state agencies, the update of Vermont’s environmental permitting structure, and upcoming events to mark on your calendars.
It has been a wet and wild start, but summer is here in Vermont! We hope you are enjoying the outdoors – whether that’s in the garden, on the trails, in the swimmining holes, or around town. This edition of E-News recognizes exciting changes at VNRC, progress on our work and upcoming events to mark on your calendars. Thank you to the thousands of VNRC members and activists who make our work possible! Your support and dedication mean a lot to us – and to Vermont.
The Vermont Natural Resources Council is excited to send you its first monthly E-newsletter! In this issue, we share recent VNRC priorities, legislative updates, upcomingeventsandenvironmental news from across Vermont. Thank you to thousands of VNRC members and activists who make our work possible! Your support and dedication mean a lot to us – and to Vermont.