Along with the annual onslaught of April showers comes the emergence of Vermont's native amphibians and reptiles. Many come out in search of the vernal pools where they breed.
In Cornwall, the conservation commission has noticed the town has no record of vernal pools, and the commission is asking residents to help change that by reporting any of these seasonal ecosystems on their property. In an article on the town website, the conservation commission states:
Vermont is poised to pass a GMO labeling bill before the end of the session. The labeling issue is framed as a right to know what's in our food. But that's not the only thing people talk about when they argue about GMOs. There's also a controversy about whether GMOs might be bad for our health, or whether enough research has even been done on the health effects. And there's an argument over whether GMOs lead to an overuse of herbicides, which in turn may create species of super-weeds. Or whether GMOs help farmers use fewer insecticides and till the soil less often.
When a group of scientists led by UVM’s Paul Bierman started studying a sample of ice taken from the very bottom of Greenland’s ice sheet, they expected to find a mix of ice and dirt or rock. But what they discovered surprised them. It revealed a landscape very unlike what everyone had envisioned, and changes our understanding of what’s been happening to Greenland’s ice over the last several million years.
Pollution from storm water runoff is a challenge that has long-faced the state of Vermont. Waterways like Lake Champlain can be damaged by storm water that has picked up chemicals and other harmful material.
There are a few measures homeowners can take to reduce their storm water runoff. Building a rain barrel is one.
At the Shelburne Town Offices, about a dozen families are learning to build rain barrels. The barrels will collect excess storm water- that’s water that normally runs off through gutters and into storm drains.
Although it may have been evident in your neck of the woods for some time, this week the Green Mountain Club officially announced the start of mud season and urged hikers to stay off muddy trails "unless they still have extensive snow or ice cover," and until the trails dry out.
According to the club's press release, "high elevation soils take until Memorial Day to dry out, especially on north slopes and evergreen shaded trails."
House lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that aims to expedite the clean-up of Vermont waterways. But the bill that passed the floor Thursday doesn’t include any funding for the effort. And even its chief proponent says it won’t address the pollution crisis unfolding in places like Lake Champlain.
The area is a gem in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service portfolio, and now it’s received a new distinction: the Mississquoi Delta, Bay and Wetlands have been named a “Wetland of International Importance.”
Ken Sturm is the refuge manager at the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge. He spoke with Vermont Edition about the new designation.
Last January, Gov. Peter Shumlin praised a proposal from a prominent developer to construct the state’s first privately funded, public rest area.
But the project off Interstate 89 in Randolph would impact some of the region’s prime farm land. And opposition from both state regulators and environmentalists is threatening to derail his massive development plan.