Earth Day Issue
April, 2014 
Congratulations to Ron Kelly for his winning photo submission:
Ash Tree and Snowshoes
In This Issue
ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz
From the Secretary's Desk: It Is By Standing Together That We Will Protect Lake Champlain 
- By Secretaries Deb Markowitz, Brian Searles, Chuck Ross, and Lawrence Miller

This Earth Day, we can take pride that Vermonters are working together - farmers, loggers, businesses, citizens, and local, state and federal officials in every corner of the state - to ensure that we protect and restore Lake Champlain and all of the state's waters.  Not only is this necessary to continue our tradition of protecting our environment and quality of life, but it is essential if we are to continue to enjoy swimming, fishing, boating, and viewing wildlife on our beautiful lake, as well as using it for drinking.  Those of us who have been charged with overseeing the agencies of state government know that we can clean up the lake and also have a vibrant working landscape of forests and farms, a modern, reliable transportation system, and a thriving, prosperous economy.  Indeed, Vermont's future prosperity depends on our success.   Read more...

Earth Day Heroes:
Why is Protecting the Environment Important to You?  
- ANR Staff Share Their Inspiration

Since 1972, people all over the world have been celebrating Earth Day. At the ANR, we're celebrating too! Every staff member at the Agency of Natural Resources works to uphold the same organizational mission: to protect, sustain and enhance Vermont's natural resources for the benefit of this and future generations. At the same time, each of us individually have had experiences and learned lessons that have led us to the work that we do. Many people with varied beliefs and ideas, all working toward a shared goal -that is the landscape of environmental protection and management at the ANR - and across Vermont. In honor of Earth Day, we wanted to share some of the reasons that we are inspired to care for the environment:

"I like living creatures: fish and frogs and turtles and people. The beauty, complexity and interconnected harmonies of natural systems delight me and fill me with awe. I don't think that I am unique in this way; I think that anyone who pauses to reflect on nature can feel this connection. And yet, in our busy lives we often forget about those things that sustain us and give our lives meaning. The work I do to protect the environment has two primary motivations: first, to do what I can to improve the relationship between people and the natural world; and second, to act here and now in this messy intersection of science, economics, politics and competing values so that we can do the least harm and the most good for fish, frogs, turtles and people." - Eric Palmer, F&W Administration
"Protecting the environment is important to me, because I want my children to live on a healthy planet and appreciate the Earth as a shared resource.  It's a tall order - but I believe in what I come to work every day to do, and I am uplifted and empowered by the passionate people around me." - Jenna Calvi, Environmental Analyst, Stormwater Program, DEC 
"Because a good planet is hard to find." - Chris Olson, Addison County Forester, FPR
"The earth is a living organism; treat it like family." - Sheila Remick Lilley - Financial Administrator, ANR
"The environment sustains us and all life. I work to protect it for selfish and un-selfish reasons alike, including a belief that nature has intrinsic value." - Josh Kelly, Environmental Analyst, Waste Management & Prevention, DEC
"What a wonderful world. Why squander it?" - Jodi Shippee, Vermont Natural Heritage Inventory, F&W

Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation, Forestry Division:
Ash Tree Awareness Week Celebrates an Original Vermonter -
By Caitlin Cusack, Forest Pests First Detector
A healthy ash tree in Rutland City


If you take a walk in Montpelier's Hubbard Park you will likely come upon a tree with a purple ribbon and tag prompting you to consider, "What is this ash tree worth to you?" 


During the week of April 27 to May 3, Vermonters will be considering this question as we celebrate the valuable contributions made by our ash trees, which go by the Latin name "Fraxinus." The goal of the initiative is to educate people about the threat posed to all species of ash native to Vermont by an exotic pest, the emerald ash borer. Read more . . . . 

Dept. of Fish & Wildlife:
Marten Population Continues to Expand in Vermont
American Marten
The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department believes there is an expanding population of American marten in Vermont.  Marten are small carnivores in the weasel family.  They are smaller than a housecat and are closely related to the more common and slightly larger fisher.
Though marten were extinct in Vermont by the early 1900s, evidence collected over the past two decades indicates that two small populations of marten have become established in the state.  The frequency of recent sightings leads biologists to believe that the populations are expanding. Read more . . . .
Dept. of Environmental Conservation:
Canute Dalmasse Award Presented To DEC River's Program Manager Mike Kline
Congratulations Mike Kline, 2014 Canute Dalmasse Award Winner
Each year since 2007, the ANR leadership team chooses one outstanding staff member to honor with the Canute Dalmasse award. Canute Dalmasse is a former ANR employee, and the award criteria were developed to reflect qualities and characteristics that Canute valued, including dedication to natural resource and public health protection, dedication to co-workers and to the people of Vermont. This year, the Canute Dalmasse award was given to Mike Kline, Rivers Program Manager for the Dept. of Environmental Conservation. Nominated by his staff, Kline's 25-year career has been characterized by dedication to science-based river management strategies and to the people he serves.
Under Kline's leadership, the rivers program has become a national model for state government. I was lucky enough to catch up with him recently for an interview. Read more . . . . 
Dept. of Forests, Parks & Recreation, State Parks Division:
Venture Vermont 2014 Has Begun!
Venture Vermont 2014 is here!
It's on! Are you ready for the challenge? The Venture Vermont Outdoor Challenge is back and more challenging than ever! 

How does it work? Think of it as a statewide, outside scavenger hunt:
  • Download a Venture Vermont score sheet
  • Choose the activities you'd like to do, each activity is worth points
  • Photograph yourself completing your activity
  • Once you reach 200 points, send us your score sheet and photos
  • You will receive a gold VIP medal that will get you into any and all Vermont State Parks day use areas for 2014 and 2015 FOR FREE!
Download a score sheet and start your adventure today! More:

Share the Road:
Vermont's Reptiles and Amphibians Are On The Move -
by Tom Rodgers, F&W
Spotted Salamander
You may have already heard the spring peepers or wood frogs calling in your backyard.  Or perhaps you've noticed salamanders crawling over rocks in a nearby stream.  The arrival of spring brings the return of reptiles and amphibians to the Vermont landscape.  Read more . . . .
Did You Hear?
News Worth Mentioning
Visit Your Local Library, Check Out State Parks: Coming to a library near you - Park Passes! Starting in May, every library in Vermont will have at least one Vermont State Parks pass that can be checked out for free! The pass is good for day entry for up to 8 people in one vehicle into any state park. So what are you waiting for? Check out the parks!
Please Don't P On Your Lawn!: A new law in Vermont that took effect Jan. 1, 2012 prohibits the application of phosphorus fertilizers except in certain circumstances. The use of nitrogen fertilizer where the nitrogen concentration consists of less than 15 percent slow-release nitrogen is also restricted (read the law here).
Phosphorus is a plant nutrient found in lawn fertilizer that feeds algal blooms in waterways. Create a beautiful lawn and keep "P" from polluting water by using P-free fertilizers and following these tips for a green lawn, not a green lake:
  • Take A Soil Test: For the best lawn you can possibly have, use a soil test to ensure exact nutrient needs, PH levels and organic content.
  • Fertilize: Only with phosphorus-free fertilizers. Most northeastern lawns and 75% of Chittenden County lawns tested by UVM had enough phosphorus (P) and only need nitrogen (N).
  • Water: If desired, in early morning when there is less than 1 inch per week of rain. Grass will survive droughts without watering by going dormant.
  • Plant Grass Seed: On existing lawns in the fall and spring to out-compete weeds and leave legumes such as common white clover, among the grass to add nitrogen, which will naturally fertilize your lawn.
  • Mow: to maintain a height of 3-4 inches and cut off no more than 1/3 of grass blade. Leave clippings on lawn to add nutrients and organic matter, but be sure to sweep the clippings off pavement.
  • Weeds: will be discouraged by following these healthy lawn tips! Just pull any that are left by hand.
Please visit to learn more.
The Monkton Road Wildlife Crossing - Ensuring the Survival of a Critical Amphibian Migration Corridor: As we write this, an ancient spring ritual is taking place throughout the Northern Hemisphere - the emergence of amphibians from from their winter habitat to their breeding pools. Sadly, one of the largest and most diverse amphibian populations in the northeastern United States must cross an increasingly busy road. Despite the dedicated efforts of volunteers, more than 50% of the animals migrating across this stretch of road are killed during the annual journey between their upland habitat, and vital wetlands where they reproduce. An unprecedented multi-partner, grassroots effort is underway to construct two wildlife crossing tunnels that could protect this threatened site and its significant population of amphibians.

The goals: (1) to build two wildlife crossings to funnel frogs, salamanders and other animals under Monkton Road in central Vermont; (2) to create a safe connection for critical wildlife habitat; (3) to ensure the survival of one of the largest known populations of the blue-spotted salamander, a species of regional significance, as well as a diverse group of other amphibian species; (4) to support science-based and grassroots conservation solutions; and (5) to participate in a project that will help improve the local and global prospects of amphibian conservation.
The group is about $25,000 shy of their $380,000 goal, and is accepting donations from the public. If you would like to help conserve this critical habitat, the Lewis Creek Association has been accepting donations on behalf of the project: Those wishing to donate should specify that donations go to "the Monkton Road Project". 
ANR Photo Contest Changes: Congratulations to Ron Kelly for his winning entry in the March #SaveOurAsh photo contest. Based on light participation and feedback from our contest participants, we are making some changes to the monthly ANR photo contest. We'll be taking a short hiatus from the contests this month while we develop a web page to host details for future photo contests, and revise the contest rules and guidelines. New contest details coming soon!
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Vermont Agency of Natural Resources | 802-828-1294 |
[email protected] |
1 National Life Drive
Davis 2
Montpelier, VT 05620-3901

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