June, 2014 
Congratulations to Alaina Sarvak for her winning image:
Vermont Sunset
In This Issue
ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz
From the Secretary's Desk: EPA's New Carbon Rules are a Breath of Fresh Air for Vermont
 

The United States is finally poised to take an important step to curb carbon pollution that is contributing to climate disruption across the globe after decades of denial, hand-wringing, foot-dragging and lawsuits. EPA's newly announced regulations will prevent our country's largest carbon polluters - coal burning power plants - from polluting our air with impunity.  

 

This is no small thing. Coal burning power plants account for a third of the carbon pollution emitted by the United States. Read more...

Dept. of Environmental Conservation:
  
Vermont Shorelands Protection Act Goes Into Effect July 1st  
- By Susan Warren, Watershed Division
 

This spring the Vermont Legislature passed the Vermont Shoreland Protection Act (H.526), which applies to activities within 250 feet of a lake's mean water level, for all lakes greater than 10-acres in size. The Act, effective July 1st, 2014, establishes a new state regulation that guides shoreland development and will be administered by the Lakes and Ponds Shoreland Permit Program.  Read more...

Dept. of Fish & Wildlife:
  
Vermonters Connection with the Land - 150 Years of Endangered Species Restoration
- By Kim Royar, Special Assistant to the Commissioner
Kim Royar, Special Assistant to the  Commissioner, VT Fish & Wildlife

 

As we celebrate the success of the Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) currently in its 40th year, we are taking stock of the role it has played in the restoration of many fish, wildlife, and plant species across the nation that were on the brink of extinction. At the same time, we should recall that a handful of Vermonters recognized the value and importance of conserving fish and wildlife species and their habitats even before the ESA was conceived.

 

The conservation ethic that took root in early Vermont and spread to the rest of the country, remains a vital part of our state's culture and shared heritage. But it is also important to remember that it grew not out of care, but out of exploitation. 

Read more . . .

Dept. of Forests, Parks and Recreation:
  
Vermont State Parks Offer Random Acts of Camping Giveaways to Day Use Visitors
 - By Jenny Montagne, State Parks
 
To share the joy of camping with Vermonters, Vermont State Parks will be launching a new promotion designed to encourage day-users to try camping. The Random Acts of Camping program rewards lucky visitors to day-use parks with two free nights of their choice of tent, lean-to, RV, or cabin camping at a Vermont State Park. One winner will be chosen every weekend from June 21 - August 3, weather permitting.   Read more . . . .
Climate Cabinet:
  
Vermont Releases Draft Plan to Promote Zero-Emission Vehicles
Have you ever seen a zero-emission vehicle? You may be seeing a lot more of them over the next ten years. Following an announcement in May of an eight-state action plan to promote zero-emission vehicles, Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin released the Climate Cabinet's draft Vermont Zero-Emission Vehicle (ZEV) Action Plan for review and public comment in June. The Plan outlines state-specific actions and strategies to grow the ZEV market in Vermont, with the ultimate goal of adding 3.3 million new ZEVs (collectively) to the roads by 2025.  Read more . . . .
ANR:
  
June Photo Contest Winners Announced!
Photo Credits (clockwise from bottom right): Alaina Sarvak, Boriqua Rebel, Holly Parker, Anne Majusiak, Anne Majusiak, Maura Mancini













 
 
There were so many beautiful photos this month, it was extremely difficult to narrow it down. Subject matter ranged from moose to spiders, wildflowers to water scenes, livestock to landscapes. Our winning image, "Vermont Sunset" comes from a newcomer to the ANR photo contests, Alaina Sarvak (@asarvak12 on Instagram). The dreamy quality of the image, the focus on water, afternoon lighting, silhouetted  branches in the foreground, and the lovely, vegetated shoreline depicted helped this photo to cinch the win this month, only edging out the second place photo after a second-round of voting was required to break a first-ever tie for first place. 

Other winners are as follows:

Second Place: Holly Parker (@hollybear74) for her image 'Bristol Pond'.
Third Place: Anne Majusiak (@amajanne) for her image 'Fern Unfurled'.
Honorable Mention: Boriqua Rebel (@rebelphoto) for her image 'Red-winged Blackbird'.
Honorable Mention: Anne Majusiak for her image 'Jack-in-the-Pulpit'.
Honorable Mention: Maura Mancini (@maurakm78) for her image 
'West Branch River, Stowe'.

Thanks to everyone who submitted your truly amazing images. Click here to view the rest of the winning photos, and here to see all 91 entries. 

The July photo contest is on!  Visit the webpage  for full contest details and rules, and don't forget to tag your images #vtanr! Here at the ANR, we can't wait to see what amazing photos you have to share for July!
Fun Facts:
  
9 Tips to Keep You Safe at the Swimming Hole this Summer
Lincoln Gap
Summer is here, and with temperatures rising, many Vermonters will be seeking out the sweet relief of a cooling dip at their local swimming hole. While there are many managed beaches and swimming areas throughout Vermont (including at many of Vermont's state parks), others will invariably look to the respite of hidden falls, quiet ponds, river shallows and potholes. 
 
While swimming holes offer wonderful recreational opportunities, swimming at an unmanaged location comes with risks. Good decision-making, and a little bit of planning, can often avert a tragedy. Here are nine tips for everyone swimming in natural bodies of water this summer: Read more . . . .
Did You Hear?
  
News Worth Mentioning
  
Fish & Wildlife and VTrans Partner to Save Snakes:
 The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Department (F&W) has partnered with the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation (FPR) and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to provide habitat for a rare snake species near a truck weigh station on Interstate 91 in Guilford.
 
Doug Blodgett, snake biologist for Fish & Wildlife, has been working with VTrans to create habitat for North American racers, a rare, black, non-venomous snake that is found in only a few towns in the southeast corner of the state. Racers are a threatened species in Vermont and they are listed as a Species of Greatest Conservation Need in Vermont's Wildlife Action Plan.
 
The racers were discovered near the site where an old truck weigh station was scheduled to be rebuilt and expanded. As part of the permitting process, VTrans agreed to use some scrap material and equipment from the project to improve habitat for the threatened snakes. VTrans used rocks and boulders from the project to build places for the racers to hibernate in the winter, basking areas for them to warm up their body temperature, and grassy travel corridors for them to move and feed. The travel corridor was created on the adjacent Roaring Brook Wildlife Management Area, which is owned by the F&W Dept. and is managed as wildlife habitat. And it wasn't only the snakes who benefited - by leaving material onsite for the snakes rather than transporting it away, VTrans was able to save tens of thousands of dollars on the cost of the project.
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Follow these Summer Blog Series at http://www.vtstateparks.blogspot.com: 
Trail Running Blog: This summer, three avid runners who just happen to work for the Agency of Natural Resources, will be blogging about the best trails for running in Vermont State Parks. Rebecca Phelps, Steve Snook and Jay Hollingsworth will be sharing photos, routes, and tips to help you try trail running for the first time or to enhance your current running programs. 
Microhikes & Microbrews: Follow Erin and Eric Meenan as they pair short hikes in Vermont State Parks with visits to nearby Vermont breweries. So far, they've blogged about their trip to Little River State Park and Trapp Lager Brewery, and hiking at Kingsland Bay State Park with a visit to the Drop-In Brewery. They'll blog about their adventures throughout the summer, so stay tuned.
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Vermont Fish & Wildlife offers Wildlife Management for Educators continuing education course and credits: The Vermont Fish & Wildlife Dept. is offering a course that allows educators to go to summer camp again, participate in hands-on learning opportunities related to wildlife management, and earn 3 graduate-level credits through the University of Vermont.
 
The one-week course, held July 13-18, is for teachers of all disciplines and grade levels. Educators interested in integrating environmental topics into their curriculum can learn about Vermont's wildlife and fisheries from professional biologists, foresters and educators. Click here to download a brochure, or contact Alison.Thomas@state.vt.us for registration details.
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New Program Available to Help Vermont Homeowners Finance Failed Wastewater or Drinking Water System: A new program is available to help Vermont homeowners with the cost of repairing or replacing failed residential wastewater and drinking water systems. The program assists Vermonters with limited financial resources to cope with increasingly expensive failed systems. The program provides low-cost financing to those who have already been rejected by traditional financing in the commercial marketplace, and includes eligibility guidelines. The standard term of the loan is 15 years, but there is an option to extend to 20 where affordability is an issue. The interest rate is 3%. 
 
The On-Site Loan Program is funded and administered by the Agency of Natural Resources, Department of Environmental Conservation, with loan underwriting and servicing provided by the Opportunities Credit Union in Winooski. To learn more about the program details, or to apply, visit the webpage or contact Bryan Redmond at 802-585-4900 or Bryan.Redmond@state.vt.us

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

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