February 2020 E-News
Thanks for taking time during this busy season to catch up with our latest news. We hope to see you soon at one of these upcoming events!
- 2020 Plan for Climate Action in Vermont — On January 14, VNRC presented a policy plan for climate action in 2020. We were joined by more than two dozen Vermont organizations representing business, youth, poverty alleviation, public health, environment, and other diverse interests. Find the platform here.
- Common Agenda Reception is Today! — Our partner organization Vermont Conservation Voters (VCV) will release the 2020 Environmental Common Agenda of legislative priorities this afternoon at 3:30-5pm in the Cedar Creek Room at the State House. The 2020 VCV Environmental Rising Star Awards ceremony will begin at 4pm. Click here to get a sneak peek at the Common Agenda.
- Working on a Better Act 250 — VNRC has been working with the Scott administration and the House Committee on Natural Resources, Fish, and Wildlife on a package of recommended changes to Act 250 that will improve the law for the environment, business, communities, and interested citizens. The proposal is now being adjusted to address concerns around the permitting and appeals process. Catch up with recent news from VNRC on Act 250, including multiple opinion pieces by our director, Brian Shupe.
- Comment on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) — Through February 28, share your input on TCI using this form. We’ve put together talking points and a sample comment letter that should make it easier to weigh in. Find those here. You can also attend an upcoming public meeting in Burlington or Manchester.
- Electric Transit Buses Unveiled — Last week Burlington got its first two e-buses! VNRC’s Sustainable Communities Program Director and coordinator of the Transportation for Vermonters coalition (T4VT) spoke at the press conference about the connections between land use and clean transportation. Find more info here.
- Notable Press on Climate Urgency — Find words from Johanna Miller, our Clean Energy & Climate Action Program Director, in a Seven Days cover story on climate despair and anxiety; in a piece about rising anger in response to Governor Scott’s inaction on climate; in VTDigger regarding the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), and in the Rutland Herald on Vermont’s slow progress reducing emissions.
- We’re Hiring an Ecological Restoration Coordinator — VNRC has an exciting opportunity for a motivated individual to oversee our dam removal program and provide technical support on a range of policies and programs related to land and water conservation and climate adaptation. Learn more at our website and apply by this Friday, February 7. Please share this job with anyone you think might be interested.
- All February: Switchback Gives Back — Every Thursday in February, Switchback Brewing Company in Burlington will donate a portion of taproom sales to VNRC. We hope you’ll drop by and support us!
- February 6, 6:30pm: Climate-Friendly Forests with Bill Keeton — We’re co-presenting a free lecture by UVM Professor of Forest Ecology Bill Keeton at the Ilsley Library in Middlebury. Keeton will discuss the role of forests in keeping carbon out of the atmosphere, how carbon markets work, and the possibilities for Vermont landowners to participate in these markets. Find details here.
- February 6 & 13, 6pm: Public meetings on TCI. Join Vermont state officials and regional planning commission staff at public information meetings in Burlington and Springfield to discuss the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). Come with questions and provide feedback on the draft proposal. More info here.
- February 11, 6pm: A 21st century public health crisis. Megan Malgeri (MD and UVM Professor of Family Medicine) and Chistine Vavotec (UVM biochemistry Professor and Fellow of the UVM Gund Institute on the Environment) will discuss climate change and health as part of the UVM Community Medical School series. Learn more.
- February 18, 6pm: Public records forum with VTDigger — VNRC is a proud sponsor of VTDigger‘s upcoming forum in Montpelier: “Why isn’t the state an open book?” A panel of journalists, government officials and experts will debate a new Vermont Supreme Court ruling that reaffirmed the public’s right to “inspect” documents for free and only be charged when a “copy” is requested. More info and RSVP here.
SMART GROWTH SPOTLIGHT
- Now Accepting Nominations for the 2020 Arthur Gibb Award — The Art Gibb Award honors an individual whose leadership has brought about positive and lasting change in the way communities across Vermont integrate smart growth and conservation. Applications are due on March 27. Find the nomination form and learn about past winners here.
- Small Grants for Smart Growth — Do you have a smart growth project that could use some funding? Learn more about VNRC’s Small Grants for Smart Growth and apply today. Our latest Small Grant recipient is Old Spokes Home, a nonprofit bike shop working on forming a Transportation Equity Coalition in Burlington’s Old North End.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT…
- An evening with Carolyn Finney — We were honored to present a conversation on January 24 with renowned author Carolyn Finney about how we talk about the environment and the people who steward it. If you missed the talk, find our livestream here or catch Carolyn speaking with VNRC Board member Kesha Ram on Channel 17.
- Concept2 Rowing Challenge — Thank you to Concept2 and the intrepid rowers who raised over $4,000 for VNRC during the Concept2 Holiday Challenge! The Vermont-based maker of rowing products donated to five environmental orgs, VNRC among them, for each person who logged 100k or 200k meters on a Concept2 rowing product over the holidays.
Find more detail on select topics below. As always, we welcome your feedback and support. Thank you for all you do.
Executive Director, VNRC
2020 Plan for Climate Action in Vermont
On January 14, VNRC was among 30 Vermont organizations representing business, youth, poverty alleviation, public health, environment, and other diverse interests to present a policy plan for climate action in 2020. Find the plan here.
The four legislative priorities for this 30-member coalition are:
- Enacting a Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) that enables and requires state government to achieve climate emissions reductions. The legislation would hold the state accountable to developing and implementing a plan that will meet our commitment to the Paris Climate Accord by 2025 and achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Find a one-pager about GWSA here.
- Making a commitment to 100% renewable energy for electricity generation by 2030 to move our state infrastructure away from imported fossil fuels and strengthen our local economy
- Modernizing Vermont’s energy efficiency utilities, enabling them to focus on reducing climate pollution through innovative new technologies while reducing the cost burden by helping low- and moderate-income Vermonters access cleaner, healthier, and more affordable heating and transportation solutions
- Participating in a just, equitable implementation of the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional effort to reduce climate pollution by placing a cap on emissions from fossil fuel companies and using revenue raised to help participating states invest in cleaner transportation options
We need your help! Contact your legislators and urge them to enact these essential policies. Read the full 2020 Plan for Climate Action and learn how to get involved at www.actonclimatevt.org.
Comment on the Transportation & Climate Initiative (TCI)
In December, Vermont was among several states involved in the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), a regional program to establish a cap on global warming pollution from transportation fuels and invest in clean transportation options for Vermonters. Now, the TCI states are inviting feedback.
You can also offer comments in person. Join Vermont state officials and regional planning commission staff at upcoming public information meetings in Burlington and Springfield. More info here.
Now Hiring: Ecological Restoration Coordinator
VNRC has an exciting opportunity for a motivated individual to oversee VNRC’s dam removal program and provide technical support on a range of policies and programs related to land and water conservation and climate adaptation.
This is a new, full-time position that will replace a part-time Dam Removal Project Coordinator. It provides an excellent opportunity to shape the position so that it aligns with the particular skill sets of the person filling it.
Candidates should have a minimum of 2-4 years experience in biological science, ecology, hydrology, engineering, or related professional experience, and a college degree in a related field, although professional and life experience may substitute for formal education. Read more about the position here. Applications will be accepted through February 7.
Thursdays in February: Switchback Gives Back to VNRC
We’re thrilled to announce that VNRC is February’s recipient of Switchback Gives Back, a monthly program during which the employee-owned brewery donates a portion of taproom proceeds to a chosen nonprofit organization. Please stop by for a brew any Thursday this month and help support our work.
Thank you, Switchback, for valuing the well-being of our neighbors, the health of our wildlife, and the importance of clean water for good beer!
9 Bailey Ave.
Montpelier, VT 05642