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Environment

In this photo provided by the Nepalese army, a Nepalese army soldier searches for avalanche victims at Thorong La pass area in Nepal, Sunday, Oct. 19, 2014. Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week's snowstorms that killed 38 hikers, had to bring to safety new climbers who set out on the same mountain trails where the blizzards struck. (AP Photo/Nepalese Army)

Nepal closes trekking route with storm’s death toll at 38

Sunday, October 19, 2014

KATMANDU, Nepal — Nepalese officials closed a section of a popular Himalayan trekking route Sunday after rescuers, overwhelmed with last week’s snowstorms that killed at least 38 people, had to save new hikers who set out after the blizzards on the same deadly trails. The dead from the blizzards and avalanches that hit the upper section of the Annapurna trekking …

Hikers enjoy Salamander Trail at newly opened Mount Warner Reservation in Hadley

Saturday, October 18, 2014

HADLEY — Outdoor enthusiasts dodged falling leaves Saturday to take the inaugural hike on the newly opened Mount Warner Reservation. “Every time you walk a trail here, it’s different,” said Hadley resident Andrew Morris-Friedman. “It’s great to be aware of the rhythms of the seasons by walking the trail over and over again.” …

From costumes to art, Northampton ReUse Committee encourages repurposing waste

Saturday, October 18, 2014

NORTHAMPTON — Ellen Smith showed up at the Halloween costume swap at Smith Vocational and Agricultural High School Saturday morning to drop off the makings for a skunk and rooster. She and her 5-year-old twin sons Gabe and Rob left with superhero and race-car driver garb. “They were very excited,” she said. The …

Pipeline opponents sponsor ‘Not in Anyone’s Back Yard Sales’ fundraiser

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Cummington is among the Hilltowns that will join other communities in Massachusetts and New York this weekend in holding a “Not in Anyone’s Back Yard Sales” fundraiser to fight a proposed natural gas pipeline. Other participating towns in the region include Conway, Northfield, Orange, Athol and Royalston. While …

Are bans on plastic bags making a dent?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Dear EarthTalk: What’s the latest on efforts to ban plastic bags? How many U.S. locales have instituted some kind of ban, and have these initiatives made a dent in the amount of plastic litter? — Melinda Clarke, New …

Bird Sightings

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A Nelson’s sparrow was found in the Arcadia Meadows of Northampton. A white-fronted goose was seen with a large flock of Canada geese off …

Deerfield River Watershed Association celebrates 25th anniversary

Friday, October 17, 2014

Before the federal government got rolling on relicensing seven hydroelectric dams along the Deerfield River a quarter century ago, a group of state, regional and local groups got their oars into the water, collaborating on a process that …

NOAA: No polar vortex sequel

Thursday, October 16, 2014

WASHINGTON — If you thought last winter was a horror show, with cold blasts from the polar vortex and a lack of California rain, here’s some good news: No sequel is expected this year, federal forecasters say. Mike …

Rising cost of electricity fuels debate over need for Tennessee Gas Pipeline

Thursday, October 16, 2014

When National Grid announced recently that it will increase electricity prices this winter, that was enough to raise some eyebrows. Not only will its Massachusetts Electric customers have their bills jump by more than one-third beginning next month because of rising fuel costs to generate that power, but …

Kinder Morgan maintains choice ‘should be clear’ between Tennessee Gas Pipeline and competing proposal

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Tennessee Gas Pipeline or Brand X? Proponents of a pipeline that would pass through Plainfield and nine Franklin County towns have responded to a competing proposal that would instead bring natural gas to the region along the coast, telling its potential wholesale natural-gas customers the choice “should be …

VIDEO Mount Tom forest mayhem has an upside — greater biodiversity

Monday, October 13, 2014

EASTHAMPTON — Once overshadowed by swaths of soaring, leafy-green trees, the road into Mount Tom State Reservation from Route 141 now offers sweeping vistas after last week’s microburst wreaked havoc on the mountain landscape. Nearly a mile of …

Oil prices fall while cost of natural gas climbs

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HARTFORD — Pipeline bottlenecks that drove up natural gas home heating prices in New England last winter could cause trouble when the weather again turns cold, but oil prices that once climbed to record territory continue to fall. That unusual sequence of events — higher prices for natural …

Stewardship by Hadley family preserves 160 acres on Mount Warner

Friday, October 10, 2014

HADLEY — Carolyn Hayes has fond memories of visiting her family’s dairy farm on Mount Warner in North Hadley as a child in the 1940s. She rolled down hills, visited the cows and played in a stream on …