February, 2014 

Black-Capped Chickadee

Photo Credit: Santa Andujar

In This Issue
ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz
From the Secretary's Desk: Into the Heart of Winter

I read recently that winter is America's least favorite time of the year. In our small corner of the world, however, I don't believe that to be the case. Winter recreation is the cornerstone of Vermont's economy, and it isn't just tourists who love to get out and play in the snow. Here in the north country, we know that winter is meant to be celebrated!
Community Success Story:
Concerned Mom, Community Bring Universal Recycling to the Northfield School District
Compost training at the elementary school
This is the story of how a small group of people made a very big difference in their community. It starts with a mom, and a question. What happened next can serve as an inspiration for us all.

Read more . . . .
Back-Country Skiing on State Lands: Stay Fit, Have Fun, Explore
Photo Credit: Catamount Trail Association
Last week, a quirky fact popped up in the headlines and made the rounds on social media. It seems that the state of Vermont produces more winter Olympians than any other. That's not as surprising as it might first seem, given the love affair we Vermonters have with winter recreation and snow-sports. One of those that has grown tremendously in popularity in recent years in back-country, or off-piste, skiing.  
Wildlife (reposted from the Fish & Wildlife blog):
Snowy Owls Descend on Vermont from the Arctic

Photo Credit: Anne Majusiak

Snow owls have been spotted in locations throughout Vermont as they descend from the Canadian Arctic in what scientists are calling a rare event. They have been most frequently noticed in the flatter, wide open areas of the Champlain Valley.
Report on Vermont's Forest Economy Released
The Northeast State Foresters Association (NEFA) and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (VT FPR) have released a report detailing The Economic Importance of Vermont's Forest-Based Economy. The report highlights the various sectors of Vermont's economy that depend on wood, forests, and trees.
Gifts of Nature Photo Contest Winners Announced!
Winner: Praying Mantis, by Holly Parker
We wanted to find out how Vermonters see the natural world, and you did not disappoint. We received 90 submissions to our 'Gifts of Nature' photo contest during the month of January, many of them both visually stunning and intensely personal. Congratulations to Holly Parker, who was chosen by our panel of judges as the first place winner for her photo, 'Praying Mantis,' pictured here. We also chose two second place winners, six third place winners and nine runners up. Visit our winners album on our Facebook page here, or click here to view all 90 submissions. Stay tuned to our Instagram account (@vtanr) or our Facebook page ( ) for details on the March contest. 
Fun Facts:
Vermont's Animals Have Skills...Winter Adaptation Skills That Is
Like many northerners, Vermonters are experts when it comes to conserving winter-time heat. Plastic sheeting, weather stripping, even hay bales stacked against barns and houses - we've done it all. Just like its human residents, Vermont's wildlife know a thing or two about keeping warm and staying out of harm's way when the temperatures plummet. Over time, they've developed an impressive selection of adaptations that allow them to survive, and even thrive, when the land is frozen and blanketed with snow.
Did You Hear?
Short Notes and News Worth Mentioning
Record Red Pine Identified at Brighton State Park: Last spring during a trail walk, Neil Monteith, a forester with the Vermont Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation, discovered a large red pine tree at Brighton State park. After measuring the height, circumference and diameter of the tree, it was revealed that the tree surpassed the current record for the largest red pine tree in Vermont! The record-setting red pine is in good health and measures 103 feet tall, with a circumference of 96 inches.
Fish & Wildlife Receives Grant to Expand Let's Go Fishing Program: Have you heard of the Let's Go Fishing program? Developed by Vermont Fish & Wildlife staff, Let's Go Fishing is an educational program that introduces families and kids to the techniques and ethics of fishing, as well as the ecology and conservation of lakes, rivers and streams. The hands-on program recently received a $3000 grant made available by the Vermont chapter of the Fraternal order of Eagles' Jimmy Durante Children's Fund. We are grateful to the Eagles for their donation! The funds will encourage a new generation of Vermonters to get outdoors and connect with nature, while enjoying the joys of fishing.
Vermont Agency of Natural Resources | 802-828-1294 |
[email protected] |
1 National Life Drive
Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3901

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