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Environment

President Barack Obama, accompanied by Alaska Gov. Bill Walker, steps off Air Force One after arriving at Elmendorf Air Force Base, Monday, Aug. 31, 2015, in Anchorage, Alaska. President Barack Obama opens a historic three-day trip to Alaska aimed at showing solidarity with a state often overlooked by Washington, while using its glorious but changing landscape as an urgent call to action on climate change. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

In Alaska, Obama urges climate action

Monday, August 31, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Submerged countries, abandoned cities and floods of refugees await the world barring urgent action on climate change, President Barack Obama warned Monday, painting a doomsday scenario as he opened a historic visit to Alaska. In a bid to further his environmental legacy, Obama brought the power of the presidential pulpit to Anchorage and called on other nations …

Obama changes Mt. McKinley’s name to Denali on eve of trip

Sunday, August 30, 2015

WASHINGTON — The Obama administration will change the name of North America’s tallest mountain peak from Mount McKinley to Denali, the White House said Sunday, a major symbolic gesture to Alaska Natives on the eve of President Barack Obama’s historic visit to Alaska. By renaming the peak Denali, an Athabascan word meaning “the …

Effects of climate change seen most dramatically in Alaska

Sunday, August 30, 2015

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Global warming is carving measurable changes into Alaska, and President Barack Obama is about to see it. Obama leaves Monday for a three-day visit to the 49th state in which he will speak at a State Department climate change conference and become the first president to visit the Alaska Arctic. …

Bird Sightings

Friday, August 14, 2015

The Audubon Society has reported a variety of recent bird sightings in western Massachusetts. A little blue heron was found at Wild Acres Park in Pittsfield. A lesser yellowlegs and a pectoral sandpiper were on Silver Lake in …

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg arranges Sept. 10 hearing in Greenfield for more gas pipeline testimony

Thursday, August 13, 2015

State Senate President Stanley Rosenberg has arranged for another hearing on the proposed Tennessee Gas Pipeline project for Sept. 10 at Greenfield Community College. Rosenberg earlier arranged for the state Department of Public Utilities to conduct a public hearing in Greenfield during June on the pipeline project and …

Deerfield residents voice concerns about gas pipeline’s impact on water supply, homes, quarry and rail yard

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

DEERFIELD — Residents voiced their concerns Wednesday night about the proposed Northeast Energy Direct gas pipeline, and safety of the town’s drinking water and the proximity of the project to homes, a quarry, an active rail yard and power lines topped the list. The public hearing was held …

Environmental news briefs

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

IN THE NEWS Volunteers needed for Source to Sea Cleanup The Connecticut River Watershed Council’s 19th annual Source to Sea Cleanup will be held Sept. 25 and 26. People may participate by reporting a trash site in need of cleaning, joining a cleanup group, or organizing and registering …

Western Massachusetts offers abundance of trails for novice and experienced hikers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

If you have a love for the outdoors and a yearning to connect with the natural world, western Massachusetts offers outstanding opportunities for walking and hiking for both novice hikers and experienced trekkers. The beauty of living in …

Resources for hikers

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Information on hiking in western Massachusetts is available from these organizations: ∎ Pioneer Valley Hiking Club — www.pioneervalleyhikingclub.org ∎ Appalachian Mountain Club — www.amcberkshire.org ∎ Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation — www.mass.gov/eea/agencies/dcr For a comprehensive listing of trails to hike and walk in western Massachusetts, complete with …

Thomas Leue of Ashfield perfects Yellow Heat burner for waste vegetable oil

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

ASHFIELD — When Thomas Leue of Ashfield took an offer in the early 1970s to travel to Point Barrow, Alaska, the country’s northernmost point, to take a job as a lab technician on a biology research project, he …

Pipeline opponents concerned about bill in state Legislature seeking easement on part of Otis State Forest

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Massachusetts House bill to carve 15 acres of state forest land in Berkshire County for a 13-mile Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. project is raising eyebrows — and voices — among opponents of the company’s larger Northeast Energy Direct pipeline that would cut across Plainfield in Hampshire County …

UMass assessment suggests varying impact of pipeline construction on natural resources

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

The Northeast Energy Direct project proposed by the Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. in some cases may benefit certain species but could cause significant harm to others. Scott Jackson, associate professor of wetlands and wildlife conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, has developed a Natural Resource Assessment report, …

Eastern snakes fall to fungal malady

Sunday, August 9, 2015

NEW HAVEN, Vt. — Hidden on hillsides in a remote part of western Vermont, a small number of venomous timber rattlesnakes slither among the rocks, but their isolation can’t protect them from a mysterious fungus spreading across the …