Thursday, May 20, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, May 20, 2010

Forest cover in decline across N.E. | Times Argus Online
After more than 150 years of natural regrowth, forest cover is declining across all six New England states, threatening the region's landscape and chipping away at a natural buffer against global warming, according to a study released Tuesday by Harvard University's laboratory for ecological research.

The study by Harvard Forest found that New England forests, having grown back after a spate of land clearings by European settlers, have come under increasing pressure from a new wave of commercial development, industrial use and invasive species.
Utilities OK wind power from N.H. | Times Argus Online
Slow to approve its own wind energy projects, the state of Vermont is reaching out to projects in neighboring states to buy wind energy from them.

The state Public Service Board has approved contracts under which Vermont's two largest utilities will buy power generated by Granite Reliable Wind's 33 wind towers in northern New Hampshire.
Current Use defenders gather to support bill | Times Argus Online
During the final weeks of the 2010 legislative session, Gov. James Douglas railed against eight alleged tax increases contained in lawmakers' budget package. A proposal to reform the Current Use program contained three of them.

As Douglas ponders whether to veto the bill, representatives for farms, forests and municipal government gathered Wednesday to champion what they say are needed reforms to a program credited with preserving more than 2.1 million acres of forest and farmland.
Vermont college to hold sustainability conference |
Sustainability is the topic of a daylong symposium at Vermont Technical College in Randolph that will feature experts in energy efficiency, insulation and renewable energy for historic buildings.

The event, which costs $35 to attend, is being hosted by Preservation Trust of Vermont, the Center for Sustainable Practices at Vermont Technical College, Efficiency Vermont, the Clean Energy Development Fund, and the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation.
Vermont Edition | Superfund Sites
From the Elizabeth Mine in Strafford to the Pine Street Canal in Burlington, Vermont is home to 13 Superfund sites. That means the federal government has identified those locations as abandoned hazardous waste sites. We take a closer look at Vermont's sites, examine what created them and find out how much cleanup work has been done.