Environment

Amy Kolb Noyes / VPR

For the past few years, there has been a showdown over conflicting uses of central Vermont’s Berlin Pond. Now, state and local officials are working on finding a compromise.

Screenshot by Sam Gale Rosen / Interactive map from VCGI

Maps have come a long way. We've gone from "here be dragons" on parchment scrolls to an age of satellites, plane-mounted lasers, and democratization - everyone can now be his or her own cartographer. We're diving deep into the latest on what maps are, what they might become, and what we can learn from them.

A few years ago I sat in the Federal Court House in Burlington and watched the full might of the US Auto Industry on display. Vermont had joined a number of other northeast states and California in requiring higher gas mileage in cars. Auto companies had then chosen to sue three states; California, New York and Vermont. The discovery requests alone had kept several staff in the state’s environmental agency busy for months.

Courtesy UVM Extension

Invasive plant and animal species exist all around us, but some are more damaging than others. A revamped tool from UVM Extension leverages citizen science to better track where invasive species are now, and which ones are approaching our region.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Courtesy

The Vermont Fish and Wildlife Department is warning people to mitigate the possibility of having a bad encounter with a bear. The department is already gearing up for what they expect to be record human-bear interactions this year.

In New England, all states except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire have bottle bills. Those are recycling programs built around a system of deposits and refunds, aimed at reducing litter and protecting the environment. But when it comes to old aluminum, it’s not just environmentalists who want to see more recycling -- there’s a real business case to be made for it, too.

Steve Zind / VPR

An effort to preserve 22.5 acres of land just off the Randolph exit of Interstate 89 has just under a month to finish raising $1 million. 

The Public Service Board is siding with the owners of the Georgia Mountain Community Wind project over continued testing of the sound levels near the wind turbines.

Exile on Ontario St / Flickr

Severe flooding has hit 173 municipalities around Quebec. More than 4,000 homes were flooded, and about 3,000 people were forced out of their homes. And more rain is expected this weekend.

Spider web on a piece of barbed wire.
Natcha29 / iStockphoto.com

Scientists are trying to unlock some of the secrets of spider silk by sequencing the genetic code of the spiders themselves. One new study is led by the University of Vermont and the University of Pennsylvania.

Robert Layman / The Rutland Herald

In south-central Vermont, especially around Rutland, a severe windstorm swept through last Friday, knocking down trees and leaving many without electricity.

Steven Ellingson / iStock

Tick season is upon us. If you've been outside recently, you may well have already had some close encounters with the blood-suckers. And some tick-watchers are predicting that this could be the worst season in years. We're talking with experts about the spread of ticks and the diseases they carry, including Lyme, and some other nasty newcomers. 

My latest strategy for achieving greater political peace of mind is to think Cassini. Not Oleg Cassini, the famous fashion designer, but Cassini the space probe, launched in 1997 to explore the planet Saturn.

Taylor Dobbs / VPR

This month on Brave Little State, a subterranean question about wastewater treatment in Vermont.

Toby Talbot / AP file

The Public Service Board held a series of meetings this week on its proposed sound standards for wind turbines.

A table displays rhino horns seized by Thai Customs officials at a press conference at the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, Thailand on March 14.
Associated Press (Sakchai Lalit)

On Wednesday, the University of Vermont Police Services announced that a rhinoceros horn had been stolen from the UVM campus. The demand for rhino horns has led to a global black market and a string of crimes – from museum thefts to the gruesome killings of threatened rhinos. In March, a rhino was even slaughtered inside of a zoo in Paris.

Rainbow steelhead trout leaps out of the water.
Vermont Fish & Wildlife, Courtesy

Once a year, for about 10 days from mid-April through early May, nature offers a free show that provides viewers the chance to "oooh" and "aaah." It's the steelhead rainbow trout run, when the fish hurtle up the falls to get upstream to spawn.

Sarah Priestap / Valley News

Is it ever against the law for something to be ugly? If you don't like a building going up next to your house, do you have any power to stop it?

 We're talking about what rights individuals, communities and regions have to control the appearance of a changing landscape - and who gets to decide what passes muster.

University of Vermont, courtesy

The University of Vermont is offering a reward for information about the theft of a rhinoceros horn from the university campus.

A bunch of periwinkles
Jane Lindholm / VPR

It's not often you get to eat gourmet food for college credit. One lucky class at the University of Vermont was recently treated to such a meal, but with a twist – the dishes featured invasive species.

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