Environment

This week nearly half a million pieces of bait about the size of a quarter will be dropped from low-flying airplanes in more than 100 communities in the northern half of Vermont.

Up until now the outdoor recreation businesses in Vermont have not had a statewide advocacy group. Governor Phil Scott signed an executive order creating a collaborative to support the industry.
John Atkinson / Vermont Mountain Bike Association

Recreation businesses involving activities such as skiing, hiking, mountain biking and boating bring a lot of money into Vermont. But until now there hasn't been an organized effort to bring all of those businesses together and possibly provide some organized state support.

Walt Cottrell  lives in Newbury and he delays haying on his property to try to protect bobolinks and other birds that nest in the high grass. Cottrell says the bobolinks disappeared from his property about ten years ago.
Howard Weiss-Tisman / VPR

Vermont farmers are taking part in a regionwide effort to put off haying, when possible, to give grassland birds a better chance of surviving.

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

The state is proposing a new rule for Great Hosmer Pond, in Craftsbury and Albany, and the draft language takes the unprecedented step of limiting the hours when rowing sculls and racing shells can be on the water to make room for other uses, including high speed motorboating.

Frequent bouts of rain and cooler weather than normal this summer have been annoying for recreation, but seriously problematic for Vermont farmers.

A new study shows that even a small amount of development around a lake can put the body of water at risk of salinization.
Wilson Ring / Associated Press

Here in the north country, we spread a lot of salt on our roadways to melt the ice that causes hazardous winter driving conditions. But that salt has to go somewhere.  Flora Krivak-Tetley, a PhD student in Biology at Dartmouth College, is part of a group of researchers with the Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network that has been taking a look at how salt is affecting waterbodies from Maine to the Midwest.

Courtesy: Vt. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

A flowering plant thought to be extinct in Vermont has been rediscovered.

Winged loosestrife is a native plant related to the non-native invasive purple loosestrife.

Ted Levin

Sitting on my desk at home is a small vial of alcohol containing three pickled, blacklegged tick nymphs, each no bigger than the period at the end of a typed sentence… three tiny alarming arachnids.

The company that contaminated about 270 private wells in Bennington has dropped its pending lawsuits against the state over Vermont's safe drinking water standard for PFOA.

Aaron Brooke-deBock

A researcher at Middlebury College says the tick population has doubled, and in Rutland county the mosquito count is up by 30 percent. But down in southern Vermont there's an historic infestation of fungus gnats.

Middlebury College researchers have found that areas below 1,000 feet of elevation have 10 to 15 times the amount of ticks then at higher elevations.
SteveEllington / iStock

For such a wee little thing, the tick has sure garnered a lot of our attention. That's because it can carry Lyme disease and that's something none of us wants to experience.

Gov. Phil Scott announced Tuesday that the state has reached a settlement with the company Saint-Gobain over the water contamination in Bennington.

A Hardwick log yard in 2004.
AP Photo/Toby Talbot

We hear a lot about Vermont's agricultural economy, but what about our working forests? Trees  cover more than 75 percent of Vermont. In past years the state's forest products industry has supported loggers, truckers and mills but its in decline and jobs and markets have been disappearing.

Stokes with his record-breaking fish.
Courtesy: Vt. Dept. of Fish and Wildlife

One of Vermont's most accomplished anglers is 11-year-old Chase Stokes of Ferrisburgh, who recently entered the record books for a carp he caught in Otter Creek.

As Kevin Sullivan slowly rumbles his pickup truck across his 60 acres of property near the Connecticut-Massachusetts border, he leans in and asks a question: What’s farmland?

The gloved hand of a biologist holds a little brown bat in Vermont.
Jane Lindholm / VPR File

Stand outside at night and you might glimpse the swift, darting profile of a bat flying overhead. That sight wasn't rare in the past, but bats in this region have had it rough for years due to white-nose syndrome, and biologists are still working to understand and protect these tiny flying mammals.

Catamount Solar is installing an 8.7 kilowatt system in a homeowner's yard in East Montpelier. Kestrel Marcel of Catamount Solar is connecting the optimizers, which are a converter technology that helps maximize the energy harvested from the panels.
Kathleen Masterson / VPR

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

Alyssa Bennett, a small mammal biologist with the Vermont Fish And Wildlife Department, shows the difference in size between the Little Brown Bat and the Big Brown Bat.
Kent McFarland, courtesy / Vermont Center For Ecostudies

A bat will eat about half its weight in insects on a summer night, and it can live more than 30 years. That's a lot of insects! But unfortunately, the disease called white-nose syndrome has taken a huge toll on Vermont's bat population.

A new type of energy-efficient construction is drawing attention in the U.S. It’s called “passive housing” -- residences built to achieve ultra-low energy use. It’s so efficient that developers can eliminate central heating systems altogether.

Men panning for gold in an 1887 photograph from the Plymouth Historical Society.
E. G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society, courtesy

You've probably heard about the California gold rush of 1849 — but did you know that Vermont had its own mini-gold rush beginning around that same time?

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