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Vermont Natural Resources Council’s e-news for October, 2012

VNRC

The Vermont Natural Resources Council has sent out their e-news for October, 2012.

Kinda like the Energizer bunny, VNRC just keeps on running! Having wrapped up our big 50th anniversary celebration in late September, we continue to organize and coordinate more events in the coming weeks – from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival next week to a series of statewide energy forums and a big energy conference December 1. On top of all that, we are turning our attention to important policy areas that will be part of the upcoming legislative session. As always, be in touch any time at jbrown@vnrc.org  We value your feedback!

Click here to read October’s VNRC e-news.

Vermont News

Comprehensive Energy Forums on Tap

State leaders are looking for input on Vermont’s 2011 Comprehensive Energy Plan, which sets a goal that the state meet 90 percent of its energy needs in 2050 from renewable energy resources.
VNRC, at the request of the Department of Public Service, is organizing four forums which are set for this fall – the first one this evening in Colchester – to assure that Vermonters are aware of the plan and ask for their input and partnership in implementing it.
Please join VNRC, the state’s regional planning commissions and members of Vermont’s Climate Cabinet — Department of Public Service Commissioner Liz Miller and Agency of Natural Resource Secretary Deb Markowitz — at one of these upcoming forums all of which run from 6-9 p.m.
Here are the dates and locations:
  • October 25, Colchester High School Cafeteria
  • November 1, Rutland Free Library 
  • November 5, Windsor High School Auditorium 
  • November 15, National Life, Montpelier

For more information, visit vecan.net or contact Johanna Miller, VNRC Energy Program Director & VECAN Coordinator at 802-223-2328 ext. 112 or jmiller@vnrc.org.

 

Vermont Working Lands Effort Moves Ahead

Efforts to enhance support for Vermont’s farm and forest economy continue as a result of the so-called “working lands” legislation passed last year.

The state recently appointed members to the Working Lands Enterprise Board, a group which will create and execute a fast-paced timeline to support investment in Vermont’s working landscape. That board will direct the funds for strategic investments and be provided with administrative support by the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets.
The board is also charged with establishing an application process for and awarding of grants and loans; entering into performance contracts to provide investments and services; identifying workforce needs and programs, establishing strategic infrastructure and investment priorities; and pursuing additional resources for grants and loans.
You can read more about the Vermont Working Lands program here.

Upcoming Events

First Energy Generation Siting Session Oct. 31

The Department of Public Service (DPS) is holding the first information session of the recently formed Governor’s Energy Generation Siting Policy Commission. The meeting will cover an overview of current Vermont energy project siting and other permit processes.
When: October 31, 2012 from 12 pm – 3 pm
Where: Statehouse, Room 11 in Montpelier
If you can’t make the meeting, tune in on Twitter! VNRC will be live-tweeting the event. Follow us at @VNRCorg, #energysiting for a live feed. For more information about the commission and a schedule of additional meetings, click here.
(VNRC and a coalition of other environmental and conservation organizations requested that the Shumlin Administration create such a commission. We applaud the Governor’s action in setting up the panel.)

 

Leasing Land to a Farmer: Nov. 3 & 10

Are you a private landowner, part of a community organization or a farmer interested in making land available to farmers for agricultural production? Land for Public Good and partner organizations are hosting two panel presentations that will dig into the nuance of landowner-farmer lease agreements, as well as legal, tax, financial and other considerations. The presentations includes light fare and will be held:
Saturday, November 3 at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon, NH. Register here.
Saturday, November 10 at the RAFFLE office in Rultand. Register here.

 

Entergy Out of Vermont March and Rally Nov 17

A rally is set for November 17 in Montpelier to urge the shutdown of Vermont Yankee.
Join the Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance, the Citizen’s Awareness Network, VNRC and hundreds of other organizations and Vermonters who support Yankee’s decommissioning on Saturday November 17 for a march and rally to support the shutdown of Vermont Yankee.
When: November 17
Times are as follows: 12:30 pm gather at City Hall; 1 pm march through Montpelier; 1:30 rally at the State House.
For more information, contact Debra Stoleroff at Vermont Yankee Decommissioning Alliance at debra@vtlink.net

VECAN Conference Dec 1: Energy Goals are Focus

Mark your calendars for the fifth annual Vermont Community Energy and Climate Action Conference! Designed to inspire, strengthen and grow the statewide network of town energy committees and other energy-ambitious Vermonters, don’t miss this opportunity to join municipal officials, technical experts, state and regional planners and others interested in saving energy, reducing waste and developing renewable energy solutions to tackle climate change.
When: Saturday, December 1 
Where: the Lake Morey Inn, Fairlee 
Registration: $25 for the all day event, includes lunch.
This year’s energizing theme Getting to 90 Percent Renewable by 2050 and Your Role in It features 14 workshops, a range of roundtable discussions on hot topics, a keynote speaker — Chris Martenson, internationally known futurist and author of the book “The Crash Course.” To register, click here.
(Please note, there will be no Environmental Action Conference happening in Randolph this year. Sorry!)

National News

Do the Math Tour Launches Nov 7

Author and activist Bill McKibben and 350.org will be hitting the road this fall on a Do the Math Tour in cities across the United States in an effort to develop a huge movement of divestiture from fossil fuel companies.
McKibben introduced the tour Oct. 13 at UVM during something of a dress rehearsal event.
There, before a crowd of supporters, he said:
“The fossil fuel industry has behaved so recklessly that they should lose their social license — their veneer of respectability. You want to take away our planet and our future? We’re going to take away your money and your good name.”
Do the Math will be urging schools, churches, and government to divest from the fossil fuel industry. Each stop on the two-month tour, which begins Nov. 7 in Seattle, will be  “a unique and interactive experience, unlike any talk you’ve been to before,” according to organizers.
To learn more, click here.

 

Report: Suggestions for Climate-Threatened Forests

A new report focusing on the forests of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada by the U.S. Forest Service suggests that with the accumulating evidence of climate change and its potential effects, forest stewardship efforts would benefit from integrating climate mitigation and adaptation options in conservation and management plans.
The report, “Changing Climate, Changing Forests: The Impacts of Climate Change on Forests of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada,” notes that “a synthesis of recent research from the northeastern United States and eastern Canada shows that the climate of the region has become warmer and wetter over the past 100 years and that there are more extreme precipitation events. Greater change is projected in the future.” The report offers recommendations: prevent the loss of forests; enhance carbon storage in managed forests; replace fossil fuels with biomass energy that is sustainable and used efficiently; increase protected areas; preserve stepping stones, corridors, and refuges; and reduce other stresses like acid rain and habitat fragmentation.
You can download the report here.

 

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