Monday, June 28, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, June 28, 2010

Vermont scientists paint detailed picture of bobolink migration | The Burlington Free Press
Bobolink No. 163146751 weighs about an ounce and fits in the palm of your hand, but in the air he’s Superman.

Conservation biologist Rosalind Renfrew nearly bounced in her seat as she read an e-mail last week confirming her computer analysis: As 163146751 flew back toward his Shelburne breeding ground in May, he covered the 1,100 miles between Venezuela and the Bahamas in a single day.
Vermont Law School | VLS to Use $250,000 Grant for Green Renovations in Clinics Building
Vermont Law School will use a $250,000 energy efficiency grant to help convert a historic building into a vibrant new center for legal advocacy. The grant was the largest of 14 grants totaling $1.7 million that the Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund gave out to colleges, hospitals and other non-profits on June 16.

VLS will use the grant to completely renovate 190 Chelsea Street, a two-story building overlooking the South Royalton town green. The building will be historically preserved and upgraded to high standards of energy efficiency using best green building practices.
The Vermont Community Foundation awards $253,850 to Vermont nonprofits |
The Vermont Community Foundation awarded $253,850 to 54 organizations at the beginning of June as part of the Foundation’s Community Fund grant program. The program awards grants to organizations that support Basic Human Needs (children, elderly and family services, housing, food and shelter, health); Successful Communities (civic engagement, diversity and equity, education); and Sustainable Communities (arts, humanities and cultural heritage, environment, economic development).
Hard cider company signs up for Cow Power renewable energy program | Rutland Herald Online
It raises the cost of doing business. But Bret Williams said there’s more to business than just the bottom line to consider.

As president of Green Mountain Beverage, the maker of Woodchuck Hard Cider, Williams made the commitment to buy 25 percent of his electricity through Cow Power — the manure-to-energy program run by the state’s largest electric utility.

For a 4 cents per kilowatt hour premium, Central Vermont Public Service Corp. offers its customers the option of receiving a portion of their electricity through Cow Power.

“There are things that do more and weigh more heavily on us than the bottom line and trying to do what’s right,” Williams said, “and if it helps the community and the environment, we’re all for it.”
Bartlett releases "Vision for Vermont's Energy Future" |
Susan Bartlett today released her Vision for Vermont’s Energy Future calling an energy plan as important as Vermont’s landmark Act 250 land-use legislation of the 1970s.

“I see this as a beginning, rather than a final plan,” Bartlett said. “As governor it will be a top priority to create a blue-ribbon panel to develop a 5, 10 and 20 year plan for Vermont.”

The plan focuses on the need to close Vermont Yankee and develop in-state sources of renewable power, as well as heating and transportation.
VT film documents hardships of migrant farmworkers |
About 1,500 migrant farmworkers, many of them from the Chiapas region of Mexico, work on Vermont's struggling dairy farms. Some say they work long hours and in constant fear of being nabbed by immigration officials.
Memphremagog land donation to be discussed | The Burlington Free Press
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will hold a public meeting Tuesday on the proposed gift of an estate on Lake Memphremagog to the federal government.

Montreal native Michael Dunn, a longtime Derby resident, died in 2007, leaving his 420-acre property to the government. The land sits on the Vermont-Quebec border and includes 210 acres of wetland, woodland, and riparian land, 220 acres of productive agricultural land, and 6,301 feet of frontage on the east shore of the lake.
Sunken tug raises concerns for Lake Champlain | The Burlington Free Press
For almost 50 years, a tugboat that once hauled barges between Vermont and New York on Lake Champlain has sat upright 160 feet underwater, hardly changed since the November night in 1963 when it ran aground on a reef and went down.

The paint on the William H. McAllister appears barely faded in recent video footage, and fire hoses remain coiled on the deckhouse walls. There’s also a chance the tug’s fuel tanks still could hold as much as 14,000 gallons of diesel fuel.
Invasive species reappears in Plattsburgh | WCAX.COM
An invasive species that popped up in New York's North Country last year is back again.

The leek moth, a native of Europe, was found in Plattsburgh last summer in its first appearance in the continental U.S.

The pest is attracted to leeks, onions and garlic, which are all bulb plants. The caterpillars tunnel into leaf tissue and destroy the bulb's ability to grow.