Environment

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Public Post
1:34 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

Who's Seen A Vernal Pool? Cornwall Calls For Inventory

A spotted salamander makes its annual migration through New Haven to mate.
Alden Pellett AP

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:

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Vermont Edition
12:00 pm
Wed April 23, 2014

What We Talk About When We Talk About GMOs

A protest on World Environment Day, Wednesday June 5, 2013, in Quezon, Philippines. A coalition called "Green Moms" advocates organic foods to show their opposition to a genetically modified rice variety known as "Golden Rice."
Bullit Marquez AP

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.

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Public Post
10:11 am
Wed April 23, 2014

New Green Ribbon Schools Announced

The U.S. Department of Education has announced its 2014 slate of Green Ribbon Schools and three honorees are Vermont public schools. Champlain Valley Union High School, Camels Hump Middle School and Lake Region Union High School were nominated for the recognition by the Vermont Agency of Education in February.

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Vermont Edition
1:57 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Greenland's Ice Yields New Information About Climate Shifts

Scientists were stunned to discover an ancient tundra landscape frozen under two miles of ice in Greenland. It’s been there for three million years--and may lead geologists to rethink how Greenland’s big ice works. UVM professor Paul Bierman led the team
Joshua Brown/University Of Vermont

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.

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VPR News
5:30 am
Mon April 21, 2014

Environmental Group Teaches Vermonters To Build D.I.Y. Rain Barrels

Roommates Lyndsey Eckler and Brittni Simmons build a rain barrel with help from Michael and Nathan Liskowacki.
Annie Russell

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.

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Vermont Edition
1:35 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

Spring Gardening Show

Looking north over the Putney School vegetable garden in 2010.
Putney Pics Flickr

Spring is finally here! Or... well...almost. But it is definitely time to start planning garden beds, preparing the soil, and dreaming of the gardening season ahead.

We'll talk with gardening expert Charlie Nardozzi about the lingering effects of the cold winter, the right time for pruning, new varieties of perennial flowers, and any questions you might have.

Join the conversation: post comments and questions below or write to vermontedition@vpr.net

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Public Post
9:17 am
Fri April 18, 2014

Stay Off The Trails, Mud Season Is Officially Here

It will be a few weeks before muddy trails, like this one in Wolcott, dry out.
Amy Kolb Noyes VPR

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."

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VPR News
5:51 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

Lawmakers Put Pressure On Shumlin To Clean Up Lakes

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.

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Vermont Edition
2:19 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge Receives New Designation

Franklin County, in northwestern Vermont, is home to an expansive wetland and river delta called the Mississquoi National Wildlife Refuge.

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.

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Environment
6:02 am
Mon April 14, 2014

Exit 4 Development Plan Runs Into Regulatory Hurdles

Traffic flows off Interstate 89 at Exit 4 in Randolph Tuesday. A developer detailed his proposal for a visitor's center and Vermont products showcase to the legislature's Joint Transportation Oversight Committee.
Toby Talbot Associated Press

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.

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