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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 …

Roofs across NE sag under weight of snow

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

BOSTON — No building is safe from the incredible stress of the 8 feet of snow that has piled up on roofs across New England, and things are expected to get worse before they get better, experts said …

From the Gulf to New England, cold grips nation

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

DURHAM, N.C. — A powerful winter storm dumped snow from Nashville to Nantucket, and arctic-like temperatures gripped much of the U.S. and hundreds of thousands of people lost power in the South. While some shivered, others bundled up …

T’d off: Transit system woes irk Boston commuters

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BOSTON — Nearly 8 feet of snowfall this winter has paralyzed greater Boston’s transit system, infuriating commuters on and off the rails who may not see a return to normal for at least a month. Commuter, subway and …

Vermont Yankee decommissioning subject of Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting Thursday

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

BRATTLEBORO, Vt. — Decommissioning plans for the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant will be aired at a Nuclear Regulatory Commission meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday in the Quality Inn, 1380 Putney Road. The meeting will review the Post-Shutdown Decommissioning Activities Report for the 42-year-old power plant in Vernon that …

Cold snap brings snow to South

Monday, February 16, 2015

FRANKFORT, Ky. — Snow swirled sideways in Kentucky and the typically bustling state capital of Frankfort came to a frozen halt Monday as a storm walloped parts of the South, which unlike the Northeast, had been mostly spared …

More frigid weather to follow latest storm

Sunday, February 15, 2015

BOSTON — Another weekend, another major snowstorm: The latest system to sweep the Northeast brought another foot to Boston — on top of 6 feet that has fallen over the last month — and tested New Englanders who …

Area briefs

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Amherst CLIMATE CHANGE MUSIC: A community gathering featuring poetry and music that aims to inspire action on climate change will be held at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Jewish Community of Amherst, 742 Main St. The event will feature readings by poets John Berkowitz and Don Ogden, songs …

Alan Eccleston of Hadley comes up with idea for voluntary carbon tax which gains momentum

Friday, February 13, 2015

LEVERETT — It dawned on Alan Eccleston as he was silently worshipping at the Mount Toby Friends Quaker Meeting one day that if the government is not willing to tackle carbon-induced global warming, why can’t people impose a …

Earth Matters: Winter whaling on the Cape

Friday, February 13, 2015

There is much of nature to see in western Massachusetts, but some experiences require travel farther afield. Whales are among the creatures that I am least likely to encounter here, so I like to drive a few hours …

Valley Views: Fitzgerald Lake, Winter

Friday, February 13, 2015

Fitzgerald Lake, Winter Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area, North Farms Road, Florence Photograph and text by Larry Cadotette, Florence The Fitzgerald Lake Conservation Area in Florence contains forest, open meadows and wetland habitats. An easy New Year’s Day walk …