Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
Hi 72° | Lo 34°


In this photo taken Monday, May 18, 2015, farmer Gino Celli  checks salt from irrigation water that has dried on the land he farms near Stockton, Calif.  Celli, who farms 1,500 acres of land and manages another 7,000 acres, has senior water rights and draws his irrigation water from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta.  Farmers in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta who have California's oldest water rights are proposing to voluntarily cut their use by 25 percent to avoid the possibility of even harsher restrictions by the state later this summer as the record drought continues.(AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)

Calif. farmers with old rights face water cuts

Thursday, May 21, 2015

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California farmers who hold rights to water that date back as far as the Gold Rush are bracing for their first state-ordered conservation in decades, as a record drought prompts some of the deepest cuts yet in the country’s most productive agricultural state. After telling cities and towns to slash water use by 25 percent and cutting deliveries to some farmers and others, state officials said Wednesday that they would start mandatory cuts this week to the state’s oldest rights holders, who are historically spared from water restrictions. Regulators said the first orders Friday will affect those holding century-old water rights in …

Ruptured pipe spreads oil, fouls Calif. beaches

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

GOLETA, Calif. — An oil spill from a ruptured onshore pipeline that fouled beaches and threatened wildlife along a scenic stretch of the California coast spread across 9 miles of ocean Wednesday and officials said up to 105,000 gallons may have leaked out. Up to a fifth of that amount — 21,000 gallons …

Storm system pushes east after drenching Plains

Sunday, May 17, 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY — A powerful storm system stretched from Texas to Minnesota on Sunday, bringing heavy rains, flash flooding and the possibility of more severe weather. Scattered severe storms were expected to develop Sunday afternoon and evening in eastern Minnesota, western Wisconsin and parts of Missouri, Illinois and Arkansas. Rain-soaked Texas saw flash …

Your Photos: Bears at Smith Academy

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Earth Talk: China building a green wall to stave off encroaching desert

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Dear EarthTalk: What is the Great Green Wall of China? — Jacob Williston, Tempe, Arizona Unlike the Great Wall of China, a 5,000-mile fortification dating back to the 7th century BC that separates northern China from the Mongolian …

Valley Views: Blue heron and Red-winged Blackbird

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Blue heron and Red-Winged Blackbird Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge, Bark Haul Road, Longmeadow Photograph and text by Margaret “Pedge” Daniels, Longmeadow This great blue heron thought he’d found a sweet spot to fish at Fannie Stebbins Wildlife Refuge …

Canada to cut emissions by 30 percent by 2030

Saturday, May 16, 2015

TORONTO — Canada announced Friday it plans to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 amid international efforts to create a new framework for addressing climate change. Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservative government said it formally submitted its target to the United …

State approves summer electric rates for Eversource, with average customer saving $22 per month

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The state has approved Eversource electric rates for the summer months. On July 1, the basic service supply price for all residential Eversource customers in western Massachusetts will drop by about 31 percent, from 14.228 cents for the cold-weather months to 9.767 cents per kilowatt-hour. Customers using 500 …

Rep. John Scibak says state money to repair Lake Warner dam in Hadley likely to return

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

HADLEY — Faced with a $125,000 setback last year, the dam at Lake Warner — also known as North Hadley Pond — will likely be repaired with restored state money, according to state Rep. John Scibak. On Saturday, …

Concern raised over possible spread of Southern pine beetle to pitch-pine forests in Montague Plains

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

It’s a long way from the home it has known for decades, but the Southern pine beetle has made it as far north as Connecticut, leaving experts to wonder whether it will spread to pitch-pine forests like Lake …

‘No smoking gun’ in UMass natural resources assessment of proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline route

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A detailed report on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline route through western Massachusetts points to its impact on protected open space dedicated to agriculture and conservation, and especially on Franklin County’s primary habitat for rare species habitat, wetlands wildlife habitat and communities of biodiversity. If there is anything …

State Sen. Benjamin Downing files legislation to promote clean energy

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A state Senate bill encouraging utilities to adopt policies that incorporate energy storage systems to make more efficient use of solar, wind and other renewable sources is one of several initiatives by Sen. Benjamin Downing of Pittsfield to reshape the state’s energy future and keep its position as …

Environmental news in brief

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

IN THE NEWS Apple steps up efforts to go green in China Apple says it’s boosting efforts to go green in China by partnering with conservationists to promote sustainable forestry for paper production. CEO Tim Cook also said in a statement Sunday that he will try to get …