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Environment

Barley helped ancient humans inhabit ‘Roof of the World’

Monday, November 24, 2014

How did human settlements manage to reach high altitudes in the Tibetan Plateau, a region known as the “Roof of the World”? An international team of researchers has a simple answer: barley. The findings, published in the journal Science, reveal a key factor that helped human settlements overcome such harsh, unforgiving environments. Archaeologists have found traces of intermittent human presence high on the Tibetan Plateau from 20,000 years ago, including …

Threat of flooding hangs over Buffalo

Sunday, November 23, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — First came the big storm, then the big dig. Now comes the big melt. Residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo should move valuables up from the basement, pack a bag and prepare for the possibility of evacuation as up to 7 feet of melting snow posed the threat of flooding, …

Quabbin Photo Group offers presention from international exhibit Monday

Friday, November 21, 2014

BELCHERTOWN — The featured program of the Quabbin Photo Group’s November meeting is a visual and audio selection of 500 images from the 2014 Massachusetts Camera Naturalists (CAMNATS) International Nature Exhibition. The meeting, which is open to the public, takes place Monday at 7 p.m. at the Belchertown Senior Center, 60 State St. …

Earth Matters: The future of agriculture; we must all be ecologists

Friday, November 21, 2014

In the autumn, as our neighbors fill their grain bins with barley, and their cellars with potatoes, I am always amazed at their productivity. What a long, interesting journey we and our food plants have taken. Yet farms …

Bird Sightings: Birds recently spotted in western Massachusetts

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. An eared grebe was found on Lake Quaboag in Brookfield. A snowy owl, seen one evening in Longmeadow, may be the same one that …

Valley Views: Deerfield Valley seen from atop the Eaglebrook School’s ski slope

Friday, November 21, 2014

Eaglebrook Autumn View Deerfield Valley, Deerfield Photograph and text by Bob Solosko, Easthampton While hiking up Mount Pocumtuck in Deerfield on the last day in October, I made this image of the Deerfield Valley from the top of …

Heading Outdoors

Friday, November 21, 2014

■  Gas Pipeline Walk — 1.5-mile walk with Franklin Land Trust naturalist Joshua Morgan on land in Ashfield that stands in the path of the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline Saturday, 1:30 to 3 p.m. Meet at the intersection of Baptist Corner Road and North Bear River Road in …

Vermont Yankee to begin layoffs in January

Friday, November 21, 2014

VERNON, Vt. — The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant has officially notified the state of Vermont that it will be laying off 165 employees starting in January. That there would be layoffs has been common knowledge since Entergy’s announcement in August 2013 that it would ceas operations at the …

More snow brings Buffalo total to 7 feet

Thursday, November 20, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Roofs began to creak and collapse and homeowners struggled to clear waist-high drifts atop their houses Thursday as another storm brought the Buffalo area’s three-day snowfall total to an epic 7 feet or more. Gov. …

Buffalo snow onslaught not over

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Homeowners opened their front doors to find themselves sealed in by sheer walls of white. Shovelers turned walkways into head-high canyons. A woman gave birth in a firehouse after the snow prevented her from reaching …

Comments accepted through Tuesday on decommissioning, dismantling of Vermont Yankee nuclear plant

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Two studies on the future of the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Plant site are under review by the Vermont Public Service Department, which is accepting public comment through Tuesday. The Vermont Yankee Site Assessment Study, issued last month by plant owner Entergy, describes its plans for …

Forest owner raises concerns about potential alternate route to Tennesee Gas Pipeline

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

As Massachusetts environmental officials negotiate with Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. about alternatives to its main proposed route across Massachusetts, one private forest owner has raised concerns that a new alignment to avoid state-owned conservation land could jeopardize his own protected timber land. The recently announced “Article 97 Avoidance …

Environmental news in brief

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

EPA chief says not all greenhouse gas cuts from power plants WASHINGTON — The ambitious reductions to greenhouse gases that President Barack Obama pledged in China last week will not lead to deeper emissions cuts at power plants, according to Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy. At a …