Prosperity
March, 2014 
Tiny Tracks - Photo Credit: Anne Majusiak
In This Issue
ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz
From the Secretary's Desk: A Healthy Environment Sustains A Healthy Economy

There was more good news this month for Vermont - with unemployment numbers reaching a low of 4% and the news that Vermonters are first in the nation for eating our vegetables and getting exercise. It's no surprise to us. At ANR we are deeply aware of the connection between healthy lifestyles, our pristine natural environment with easily accessible mountains, forests, lakes and streams, and a thriving local economy.
 
Dept. of Environmental Conservation:
  
Supporting the Vermont Brand - An Economic Argument for Clean Water Actions - By Kari Dolan, DEC Watershed Management Division
Beautiful Lake Champlain
 
Tourism is a big part of Vermont's economy. In 2011, nearly 14 million people visited the State, spending $1.7 billion which supported over 26,000 jobs. A contributing factor in making Vermont an important tourist destination is her natural environment. Attractive landscapes, a clean environment, and rural, agrarian communities have been part of the "Vermont brand" for generations, perhaps articulated first in this state-sanctioned promotional advertisement, published back in 1891:
Read more . . . .
 
Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation:
  
Healthy Working Landscapes Provide Economic Boon for Vermonters - By Steve Sinclair, FPR Forestry Division
Vermont's Working Forests Sustain Us
 
The economic importance of Vermont's working landscape has seen considerable attention of late. Vermont has a well-deserved reputation for its agricultural products, but with a state that is over seventy-five percent forested, goods and services provided through forest stewardship, management and conservation are equally important. From firewood to lumber, biomass to fine furniture, carbon sequestration to clean water, our forests have value. Forest-based manufacturing and forest-related recreation and tourism are significant economic drivers for Vermont, resulting in a substantial contribution to our state's economy. Throw in clean air and water, and we truly have  forest that "works for all".  Let's look at the numbers...
Dept. of Fish & Wildlife:
  
We All Benefit From Functional Ecosystems, Thriving Fish and Wildlife Populations
Photo Credit: Travis Hardgrove
 
Not a hunter or a fisherman? Do you consider yourself more 'indoorsy couch-surfer' than wildlife watching enthusiast? Think that local development project will be more likely to create value in your life than habitat conservation? Think again - the numbers suggest otherwise. According to the 2011 National Survey of Fishing, Hunting and Wildlife-Associated Recreation, hunting, fishing, and wildlife watching activities contribute over $700 million annually to Vermont's economy. In some of the most rural corners of the state, money brought in by out-of-state visitors supports and sustains small businesses and the local economy.  
30 Minutes in Nature for 30 Days:
  
Join Us for the ReWild Your Life Challenge in April
Photo Credit: Shannon Morrison
 
3o minutes outdoors, without electronic interruption (except for a camera to photo-document your experience), for 30 days straight...that is the premise of the ReWild Your Life challenge, developed by the not-for-profit We Are Wildness and running through the month of April. We love this idea! Spending time outdoors offers huge benefits for those who partake. For instance, research has shown that spending time in nature is associated with decreased levels of mental illness, especially depression and anxiety, and increased self esteem. Spending time in nature is also linked to positive effects on physical health. 
ANR:
  
February Photo Contest Winners Announced!
Some of our winning entries
 
Winners have been chosen for the February ANR photo contest, themed "Winter". Anne Majusiak's winning entry Tiny Footprints is featured as the header for our newsletter. Pictured here are some of the other winning entries. Clockwise from top left: Alas del Cuervo by Santa Andujar (Second Place Winner), Lake Champlain by @adkjoe (Second Place Winner), River Ice, Shelburne Vermont by Holly Parker (Third Place Winner), Staghorn Sumac by Santa Andujar (Honorable Mention) and Untitled Tree by Travis Hardgrove (Honorable Mention). To see all of our winning entries visit our February Photo Contest Winner's Album on our Facebook page  here, or click here to view all 145 entries. We received so many beautiful and obviously personal images, it made our job of choosing winners really tough. Congratulations to all of our winners!

Next month's photo contest will run in conjunction with the ReWild Your Life challenge (see article above). Visit us on Facebook or Instagram for full contest details (by April 1st). 
Fun Facts:
  
97 Migratory Birds Arriving in March and April
A Winter Wren Perched Among the Foliage
 
It's that time of year again, when Vermont's summer residents arrive and swell the populations  - not just of our towns and villages - but also of our fields and forests. Here's a list of 97 "birds of summer" that you can expect to see again in March and April:
Did You Hear?
  
News Worth Mentioning
 
Now Is The Time To Purchase 2014 State Park Passes: A pass to any and all state parks is only $25 for an individual! (Individual Pass) Family passes - up to eight people in a vehicle - are $80 (Vehicle Pass). Want more flexibility than an individual pass at a lower price than a family pass? Try a punch card ($20) good for 10 visits to any Vermont State Park. State Park Season Passes make great gifts and can be ordered online at 
 
VTrecycles is on the Twittersphere: The Dept. of Environmental Conservation - Solid Waste Program has just kicked off its own Twitter account "VTrecycles"! Follow @VTrecycles on Twitter or catch the latest postings from the Solid Waste homepage for tips, event announcements, and the latest on implementation of the Universal Recycling law. Share your local waste reduction, prevention and diversion stories with us and have the chance for the DEC program to highlight your events and accomplishments through our Twitter feed!
 
Vermontivate! A Game Changer for Community-Based Climate Action: Who is best equipped to handle complex, intimidating challenges like climate change? According to the founders of Vermontivate, the answer is gamers. Vermontivate is an online game that relies on real-life community based climate actions to progress in the virtual world. Anyone can sign up, and communities both compete against each other and learn from the innovations of others to solve the big questions - like how do you get everyday people to change their habits, or how do you get communities to implement systemic changes? The official kick-off of the third season was Friday, but it's not too late to play. Check out http://vermontivate.com to learn more or to join the game. 
Check Us Out On Social Media!
Stay connected with us for announcements, sustainability tips, hunting and fishing news, gorgeous landscape and wildlife photos from our staff in the field, public meeting and comment notices and more:
 
Facebook: Like us at www.facebook.com/VTANR

Twitter: Look for our handle @VTANR

Instagram: For photo contests and gorgeous field shots from our staff, follow us on Instagram at @VTANR

Vermont Agency of Natural Resources | 802-828-1294 |
anr.info@state.vt.us | http://www.anr.state.vt.us
1 National Life Drive
Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3901

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