Thursday, July 29, 2010

Vermont Environmental News, July 29, 2010

Vermont Resort Cuts Carbon Footprint with ‘Cow Power’ | Environmental Leader
The Equinox resort will eliminate about 212 metric tonnes of carbon-dioxide (CO2) emissions through its partnership with the Central Vermont Public Service’s “Cow Power” program, which promotes the development of renewable energy in Vermont generated from cow manure.

As the only large resort in Vermont to be a part of CVPS Cow Power program, both the Equinox’s 1811 House and Cottage will be powered by cow manure. The cows will be located at a local farm and the electricity will be imported by the resort as needed for electricity requirements.
Prime Ag Soils In Jeopardy? | UVM Extension New Farmer Project
conservation easements funded through various programs, such as Vermont Housing and Conservation Board’s (VHCB’s) Farmland Preservation Program, are some of Vermont’s only legal mechanisms for ensuring long-term affordability and accessibility of farmland for future generations of farmers. According to VHCB, “The purchase of development rights has contributed to renewed vitality in agriculture by enabling young farmers to purchase farms at an affordable price and by helping established farmers to reduce long-term debt, to invest in infrastructure, and to make operations more profitable and efficient.”
Group Seeks To Protect Disappearing Songbird |
A small Vermont environmental organization is leading an international effort to protect the habitat of the Bicknell's thrush, a disappearing songbird that breeds in the highlands of the Northeast and Canada and spends winters in the islands of the Caribbean.

The Vermont Center for Ecostudies brought together dozens of public and private scientists from the United States, Canada, the Dominican Republic and Haiti and developed a long-range plan to increase the number of Bicknell's thrush by 25 percent over the next 50 years.
Lessons from the Northeast Kingdom on Local Agriculture | THE COMMONS
While small-scale, local agriculture is becoming a growing part of the Vermont economy, federal agricultural policy still favors the big commodity farms. An article in the July 6 issue of The American Prospect, “Slowed Food Revolution,” by Heather Rogers, points out the uphill battle small farms face.

“Holistic and organic growers shoulder far higher production costs than their conventional counterparts when it comes to everything from laborers to land,” writes Rogers. “Without meaningful support from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, their longevity hangs in the balance.”
'Mobile farmers market' comes to Burlington | WCAX.COM
A hot summer afternoon, a roving truck playing music, it can only be selling one thing right?

"Sweet corn! Tomatoes! Green beans! Cucumbers! Vegetables for sale," shouts a voice from inside the truck.

Yes that's right, vegetables. Bins on the side of the truck overflow with freshly picked greens from the Digger's Mirth Collective Farm in the Burlington Intervale.
Essex Middle School Goes Solar | WPTZ Plattsburgh
There's a new addition on Essex Middle School's roof, and it's meant to cut down on costs while teaching kids about solar energy.

The school and its Edge Academy are among ten Vermont schools that received funding to install solar panels.

Peck Solar spent a week putting in the panels that will provide between 15 and 20 percent of the school's energy.