Monday, June 14, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, June 14, 2010

Vermont: Unfriendly for cyclists?: Times Argus Online
Vermont lags behind much of the country in its provisions for bicyclists, according to a recent, national ranking of states' bike friendliness.

The state slipped from 21st in 2009 to 34th in a report released last month by Washington-based League of American Bicyclists, largely due to other states' significant efforts to pass legislation protecting cyclists and enhance their infrastructure. While a few states climbed as much as 20 slots in the rankings, Vermont had the single largest decline.
Georgia wind project wins Vermont approval | The Burlington Free Press | Burlington, Vermont
Developers of a three- to five-turbine commercial-scale wind project in Georgia — the first of its kind in Chittenden County — today received a certificate of public good from the Vermont Public Service Board.

The board’s 94-page order states that the project’s potential to generate up to 12MW of power, and its relatively benign impact on natural resources, outweigh its critics’ claims that it will diminish the value of their viewshed and property values.
New technique to kill invasive plant - WCAX.COM
Japanese Knotweed has infested the banks of the Winooski River by the North Branch Park. Digging up the roots was not an option because it would lead to more stream bank erosion. So to kill the knotweed they're burning the stalk, leaving the root in place. The hope is that when the plant tries to heal it will use up too much energy and it will drain the reserves at the root and die. Japanese Knotweed chokes out other native plants and doesn't provide food for wildlife says Geoff Beyer with the Montpelier Parks Department.
4 Vt Companies Earn Federal Ag Grants -
Four Vermont agricultural producers have been chosen for federal USDA grants to help them pursue new marketing opportunities for their products.
USFS: brown pine needles found across in Northeast -
The U.S. Forest Service says a warm spring appears to be responsible for turning brown the needles of some pine trees across the Northeast.

The Forest Service says minor damage to white pine trees has been reported across New York, Vermont, Connecticut and New Hampshire and parts of western Massachusetts and Maine.
Williamstown approves major solar project - WCAX.COM
Local officials in a Vermont town have given their approval for a plan to build what would become the state's largest solar farm in an area just off Interstate 89.

The Williamstown select board gave a waiver for the proposal for a 2.1 megawatt solar farm in hopes it would expedite the application process of a Massachusetts company to install nearly 9,000 solar panels on 744 arrays.