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Two Things: New Staff, & the 2023 Environmental Common Agenda is Here

Two things: Announcing the release of the 2023 Environmental Common Agenda, a publication outlining the key legislative priorities for the environment, spearheaded by our partner, Vermont Conservation Voters. And, we’d like to introduce you to some of our newest staff members, Sarah Plaut and Sarah Bayer.

Stay informed, stay connected—two things.

Announcing the 2023 Environmental Common Agenda

We are proud to announce the release of this year’s Environmental Common Agenda, which outlines the key legislative priorities for the environment in 2023. VNRC is one of nearly 20 participating organizations involved in this publication, an annual project led by our partner, Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV).

The policy priorities identified in this year’s Environmental Common Agenda aim to help address some of the most critical challenges facing Vermont. By advancing these policies, lawmakers can put us on a path to a more resilient, just, and prosperous future. We must address the climate crisis by implementing the state’s Climate Action Plan as swiftly and equitably as possible. Policies identified in the plan will help Vermonters and local businesses have cleaner and more affordable alternatives to heat and power their buildings and get where they need to go. Further, the Plan identifies action steps to shape land use and development that stores carbon, enhances our climate resilience – and, critically, will help address the housing shortage using smart growth solutions. This year, we are also calling on lawmakers to continue our nation-leading efforts to reduce our families’ exposure to toxic chemicals, and continue to take steps to ensure a healthy and accessible democracy for all.

Read the Environmental Common Agenda HERE…

Introducing Sarah Plaut, Communications Intern & Sarah Bayer, VHCB AmeriCorps Community Energy Coordinator

We are lucky to begin 2023 with more capacity! Sarah Plaut, VNRC’s Communications Intern, has jumped right into the action by helping with the launch of our Instagram account (follow us @vt_naturalresources), including some new and exciting series celebrating what we love about Vermont—we’re enjoying her take on the creatures that make up the richness of our state’s biodiversity, especially. Sarah recently graduated from the University of Vermont with a degree in Geography, and a minor in political science. During her undergraduate years, she found a passion for environmental advocacy and communications work. Outside of the classroom, her main focuses included independent qualitative research, admissions marketing, Student Government, and peer writing tutoring. Sarah is also currently a candidate for UVM’s Masters in Public Administration program.

Sarah Bayer joined the VNRC team late last year as the Community Energy Coordinator through VHCB AmeriCorps. During her eight-month term at VNRC, Sarah will assist the Energy and Climate Program with supporting and expanding the Vermont Energy and Climate Action Network (VECAN), the statewide network of ~130 town energy committees. This is Sarah’s second year as an AmeriCorps member; she previously served as a Garden Educator in San Francisco, CA. During college, she worked for numerous environmental and social change organizations including RARE, Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG), Sea Grant Watershed Alliance, and her hometown’s Environmental Commission. Sarah graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Environmental Studies in May of 2021 and lives in Burlington.

Welcome, Sarah Plaut and Sarah Bayer!