STARKSBORO — Land along 1.5 miles of Lewis Creek, which flows through Starksboro farmland owned by Peter Briggs, has been protected for clean water. Briggs worked with the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) and the Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to establish a “river corridor” area along the creek.  “Within this area, Lewis Creek is free to meander and flow naturally, without constraint, and no structures can be built along the banks,” explained VLT’s Bob Heiser. “Land within 50 feet of the water must also be kept naturally vegetated.” All of this helps keep the water cleaner...
BRISTOL — How can community members step up and care for the key parts of our local environment that we all share? That’s the question behind a community gathering to be hosted by Vermont Family Forests in Bristol on Saturday, Nov. 2.  In Caring for our Home Grounds: A Commons Conservation Congress for Vermont’s Center-West Ecoregion, participants will explore tangible actions citizens can undertake to care for air, water, and wildlife here at home.  “We’re in a time of climate crisis,” said Vermont Family Forests Executive Director David Brynn. “and our local forests, rivers, lakes, and...
A message by a commoner inspired by Charles Koch and Donald Trump: We the people hold the water, the air, and the wildlife. They are our natural commons. The responsibility for their care falls on us. When there is a failure to account for an ecological cost resulting from an associated action, the planet suffers. When human populations are low, externalized costs are not as consequential. There are a lot of us now and what each of us does to degrade the planet’s health and capacity for self-renewal matters. A whole lot! Self-serving, greedy people degrade the commons and apparently still...

BRIAN KEMP, A member of the Payment for Ecosystem Services Working Group, said farmers should get paid for the work they do to help the ecosystem, but he doesn’t think taxpayers should be the source of payment. Independent file photo/Emma Cotton
WATERBURY — A group of farmers, agricultural organizations and state and federal regulators last week began developing a plan for paying Vermont farmers to implement conservation projects on their land.  The case for this is simple:  Vermont has 1.2 million acres of agricultural land and must meet ambitious water quality goals set forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Clean Water Act. As Vermont dairy farmers face the fifth year of low milk prices — sometimes below the cost of production — some say those farmers should be paid for the conservation work and the environmental...

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Addison County Independent

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Middlebury, VT 05753

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