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Environment

Hilltown Voices: Hilltown Land Trust to host oxen logging demonstration and sustainable forest expo

Friday, February 27, 2015

As concerns grow over fossil fuel consumption, there’s greater interest in alternative low-energy production systems. On March 7, the Hilltown Land Trust will offer an event to teach about low-impact sustainable forestry. It will include a walk through a hardwood upland forest and a demonstration by local forester Tom Jenkins and his oxen team. For hundreds of years, draft animals such as oxen, horses, and mules have been used in both farming and forestry. Modern-day draft animals can be used in small-scale forestry operations to benefit the health of the forest and contribute to a local wood economy. For many landowners today, generating income from their forest enables them to keep their land forested, instead …

Earth Matters: The changing face of environmental education

Friday, February 27, 2015

How do we equip ourselves and our children with the tools needed to sustain the Earth? This is a challenging time for the field of environmental education. It’s no longer enough for environmental centers to help people learn about the natural world and the ecological systems that support life. The potentially devastating consequences …

Local bird sightings

Friday, February 27, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A northern shrike continues to be seen in Windsor, and a Bohemian waxwing was also found. A rough-legged hawk continues in Lee, and five black vultures were seen in Sheffield. A clay-colored sparrow continues to come to a feeder …

Valley Views: Winter Full Moon

Friday, February 27, 2015

Two llamas on loose lassoed near Phoenix

Friday, February 27, 2015

PHOENIX — Two quick-footed llamas dashed in and out of traffic in a Phoenix-area retirement enclave before they were captured by authorities Thursday, causing a stir in the streets and on social media. A large, white llama and …

Advocates for solar development urge state task force to lift ‘net metering’ limits

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Proposed state laws on solar-electric generation would discourage home, small-scale commercial and community photovoltaic projects, legislators were told Wednesday. Nearly 24 advocates for keeping state policies that encourage as much solar development as possible pressed a legislative task force to lift “net metering” limits and boost the target …

Vermont attorney general joins petition field with NRC raising questions about financial health of Entergy Nuclear

Thursday, February 26, 2015

The attorney general of Vermont has endorsed a petition filed with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission raising concerns about the ability of Entergy Nuclear ability to pay for decommissioning the now-closed Vermont Yankee nuclear plant. It also seeks an investigation into Entergy’s fiscal health in relation to the Vernon …

South walloped by wintry weather

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow fell on the Deep South on Wednesday as another storm brought nasty weather to the region, walloping places that were hit hard just last week. Schools, daycares and offices closed ahead of the storm and governors once …

Cold takes toll on NE wildlife, too

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

GRAFTON — New England’s epic snowfalls haven’t just made life miserable for humans: animals are suffering, too. Veterinarians with Tufts University’s wildlife clinic say subzero temperatures and heavy snows have savaged birds and critters that struggle to survive …

Millions at risk from rapid sea rise in swampy Sundarbans

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

BALI ISLAND, India — The tiny hut sculpted out of mud at the edge of the sea is barely large enough for Bokul Mondol and his family to lie down. The water has taken everything else from them, …

Canada goose settles in at Sunderland garage

Monday, February 23, 2015

SUNDERLAND — A goose showed up on Sharon Wysk’s doorstep Sunday afternoon and stayed, apparently comfortable, healthy, and interested in going indoors. At 4 p.m., a Canada goose stood on one foot inside Wysk’s garage, waiting patiently on the concrete step to the interior door with one eye …

Valley Views: Junco with snowflake

Friday, February 20, 2015

Junco with Snowflake Newton Street, South Hadley Photograph and text by Anne E. Ely, South Hadley During the morning snowstorm Jan. 24, I set up my tripod and camera on my back porch in South Hadley hoping to …

National Grid joins Eversource Energy as developer of Access Northeast project to increase natural gas supply

Thursday, February 19, 2015

National Grid is joining the former Northeast Utilities in a $3 billion project to bring an additional 1 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day to the region for electricity generation. Eversource Energy — formerly Northeast Utilities — and Houston-based Spectra Energy on Wednesday helped announce that …