Environment

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?

Wildlife biologist David Sausville of Vermont Fish and Wildlife holds a Canada goose before it gets inspected and banded. Every summer the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife asks the public to help round up resident Canada geese.
Jane Lindholm / VPR

Have you ever caught a wild goose? Well, every year Vermont Fish and Wildlife invites the public to do just that, helping them corral wild Canada geese in order to record and band the birds.

Charlie Hohn

The flow from the July 1st downpour had jumped two streambeds and overwhelmed two culverts, trisecting Thetford’s Five Corners Road into three unequal lengths, scouring out a pair of nearly forty-foot wide spillways into the woods. It had left skirts of debris fixed to tree trunks and draped from low limbs, some more than a foot above the ground.

Courtesy of Vermont Yankee

A company that specializes in the dismantling of nuclear reactors says it's signed a contract to take down Vermont Yankee in Vernon.

A chasm on Turnpike Road in Norwich is leftover from recent flash flooding that left widespread infrastucture damage.
Rebecca Sananes / VPR

The rain keeps coming and flash floods have caused a lot of infrastructure damage around Vermont, so much so that the state is applying for federal aid. Vermont Edition explains the extent of the damage and how towns, the state and the federal government will sort out the repairs.

Vermont Attorney General TJ Donovan, seen here speaking at the Statehouse in January 2017, joins this "Vermont Edition" to talk about the priorities he has set.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR file

In his six first months as Vermont attorney general, TJ Donovan has put a spotlight on the health insurance market and predatory college loans – policy issues that he says come down to consumer protection.

In the 1850s, a small but vibrant community grew up around a gold mining operation in the Plymouth-Bridgewater area. Called Plymouth Five Corners, it had a hotel, a school and a dance hall.
E.G. Davis / Plymouth Historical Society

This month on Brave Little State, we’re doing things a little differently. Instead of taking on one of your questions about Vermont, we’re taking on three — in a kind of local history lightning round.

A chasm on Turnpike Road in Norwich is leftover from recent flash flooding that left widespread infrastucture damage.
Rebecca Sananes / VPR

The state is requesting the Federal Emergency Management Agency to conduct a damage assessment after several Vermont counties were impacted in recent flash floods. Norwich was one of the hardest hit areas and continues to deal with the aftermath.

Large portions of the road on Willey Hill in Norwich were washed out by recent flash flooding.
Rebecca Sananes / VPR

Vermont officials are determining whether damage from this past weekend's flooding meets the threshold for federal assistance. Flash floods hit roads, homes and businesses, especially in Windsor, Orange and Rutland Counties in Vermont and in Grafton County, New Hampshire.

VPR/Steve Zind / VPR

After heavy rains the past few days, the northern halves of Vermont, New Hampshire, and part of northern New York are under a flash flood watch through tomorrow. A stretch of the Winooski River is under a flood warning as of Friday afternoon, and more rain is in the forecast.

This label is showing up more frequently alongside bins for recycling and trash.
Toby Talbot / AP

Vermont is now three years into its plan to get the whole state on board with universal recycling and composting.  But when you look at the number inside the triangle with arrows, do you know immediately what kind of plastic it is and how to recycle it? And are you occasionally still scrapping food scraps into the garbage?

Honey bees have been having a tough time lately. Pests and disease have plagued many hives, killing off the pollinators and forcing people looking to save the bees to get creative.

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