Environment

Toby Talbot / AP


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From left, Carl Powden of the Vermont Land Trust, Kate Sudhoff of the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation, and Bonnie and Don Bullard stand before a backdrop of Bean Mountain - part of the Bullard Lumber property in Eden.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

A lumber company’s property next to Green River Reservoir State Park is one of the latest parcels conserved through the Forest Legacy Program. This means the Lamoille County property will be protected for perpetuity and public access is guaranteed.

Gov. Phil Scott has suggested capturing and selling phosphorus before it gets to the state's waterways and lakes.
VPR File

In his budget address on Tuesday, Gov. Phil Scott suggested Vermont should turn lemons into lemonade by capturing the phosphorous flowing into our waterways - and selling it.

Would that work? We’re talking about whether the suggestion is feasible, how phosphorus could be separated out and what the economics of the idea might look like.

This catamount is on display at the Vermont History Museum in Montpelier.
Matthew Johnson / Vermont Historical Society

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says there is no evidence that the catamount is still roaming in the Northeast, and the federal agency has officially removed the large cat from the federal endangered species list.

The head of the group responsible for running New England’s power grid testified before the U.S. Senate this week. At issue was cold winter days and grid reliability.

A Craftsbury Outdoor Center rowing coach instructs a camper on Great Hosmer Pond from a motorized coaching launch.
Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

The Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation is abandoning a rulemaking effort for Great Hosmer Pond. Instead, the department is examining new ideas for managing competing uses on all of Vermont’s lakes and ponds.

Clean water. Good schools. Two excellent reasons to live in Vermont. But it’s easy to take them for granted.

A Great Black-Backed Gull calling among Herring Gulls at Grow Compost in Waterbury.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

Gulls are found on every continent on the planet. They're smart, resourceful, and graceful - but don't call them sea gulls! There are inland species, even some that live in the desert. Biologists Kent McFarland and Sara Zahendra of the Vermont Center For Ecostudies, are joined by birder, Bryan Pfeiffer at Grow Compost in Waterbury. Hundreds of gulls (and other birds) hang out amid this huge expanse of compost enjoying an endless feast.

See more photos and learn about gulls in Vermont at the links below:

After a wild temperature swing, along with rain and snow, downtown Johnson flooded on Saturday.
Courtesy Dan Noyes

Residents around the region are recovering after ice jams clogged some rivers and caused flooding over the weekend. The ice jams resulted from a wild temperature swing and mix of rain and snow.

The company that wants to buy and dismantle the shuttered Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has proposed a new financial assurance plan that the state is now reviewing.
Toby Talbot / AP/file

A deal to sell and dismantle the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant needs more money to make it work, and negotiations are underway this week to resolve the issue.

NorthStar Decommissioning Holdings wants to buy the now closed Vermont Yankee plant. The company has said it could decommission the plant as early as 2026 – far earlier than the timetable proposed by the current owner, the Entergy Corporation.

Rep. Peter Welch is joined outside by members of the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers on Monday in calling for a repeal of the federal ethanol mandate.
Bob Kinzel / VPR

Rep. Peter Welch is renewing his call to repeal a federal law that mandates that most gasoline contain 10 percent ethanol.

Welch says the ethanol mandate has been an environmental and economic disaster and is wreaking havoc on the small engines that Vermonters use for work and recreation.

Daniel-Johnson Dam
Outside/In / NHPR

From our friends at the podcast Outside/In, the story of how a massive, state-owned utility company came to be a symbol of the French-Canadian people.

Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

The company that reached a $20 million settlement with the state over PFOA contamination in one area of Bennington says it can't be linked to pollution in another, disputed, region of town.

Bone-chilling cold across the state will be back this weekend.
Nicholas Erwin / Flickr

The state is getting a very slight reprieve from the bitter cold snap we've been fighting, but we'll sink back into the intense deep freeze this weekend. We're talking about this dangerous spell of cold weather and how Vermonters are coping.

The recent cold spell has spurred oil-fired power plants throughout New England into action. But the operator of the regional electricity grid says pollution control regulations could throttle supplies from those sources.

Over the last decade, relatively low-polluting natural gas has been New England’s dominant fuel for electricity generation. But in winter, demand for gas can skyrocket from consumers who need it to heat their homes, and that can limit supplies for electricity generation.

Local salvage crews work with the U.S. Coast Guard in mid-December to remove a vessel wrecked during Hurricane Maria in Fajardo, Puerto Rico.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Lara Davis / U.S. Coast Guard

More than three months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, the island of around 3.3 million U.S. citizens is still struggling to recover. One Vermont songwriter is releasing a song to help raise awareness of, and funds for, the ongoing plight of residents of the island territory. 

Moose in Vermont and across New England are dwindling due to more deaths from parasites like winter ticks, which are also linked to poor calving rates and low survivorship among new calves.
George Bosworth / Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department

As Vermont's moose population continues to decline, state wildlife biologists say a warming climate is behind an explosion in winter ticks and "skyrocketing" levels of brain parasites, both of which are keeping moose mortality high and calving rates low.

Faced with a dwindling population and mounting threats, what does the future of moose management—and moose hunting—look like in Vermont?

Stephan Cantor, left, and Howie Cantor, right, of West Glover, Vt., stand here with Tara Rodriguez Besosa, center, director of the Puerto Rico Resilence Fund, and the fund's van that was purchased with donations since the hurricane.
Stephan Cantor, courtesy

Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, and though news of its impact on the island has receded from the front page, a long rebuilding effort continues — and a handful of Vermonters are helping out.

About half of New England’s households are on septic systems. That’s the highest proportion in the country. 

New Hampshire's Great Bay and the Piscataqua River estuary have been in bad shape for years – and the latest data doesn't show a lot of improvement.

But scientists say there's still hope for the watershed, and they're trying to home in on things people can control.

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