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Environmental expo to be held Saturday on climate change and emergency preparation
04-04-2024 5:00 PM

PETERSHAM – The town of Petersham and North Hatfield-based Conservation Works are co-hosting the Petersham Environmental Expo this Saturday, April 6, from noon-4 p.m. at Petersham Town Hall, 1 South Main St. According to the organization’s web site,...

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Study of contaminated soil will cost Athol nearly $90,000
03-03-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – A small hole has caused a nearly $90,000 problem at the Millers River Environmental Center (MREC) in Athol. The problem was discovered when a 1,000-gallon underground oil tank was removed from the property at 100 Main St. last summer. An...


Proposal for electric vehicles for Athol departments will need revisions
02-26-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – A proposal from the town’s Public Works Department to purchase two all-electric vehicles (EVs) was met with some skepticism at last week’s Capital Program Committee meeting as it begins a review of FY25 capital expenditure requests from...


Royalston receives Green Communities Grant for weatherization projects
02-02-2024 5:00 PM

By GREG VINE

ROYALSTON — The town has received a Green Communities Grant of nearly $169,000 to pay for weatherization projects at five town-owned buildings.The awarding of the competitive grant was announced in a letter to Selectboard Chair Deb D’Amico sent by...


Climate Forestry Committee releases report with state forest management recommendations
01-09-2024 4:01 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs (EEA) has released the long-awaited Climate Forestry Committee’s report, which contains a slew of recommendations for forest management practices in Massachusetts with a key focus on climate...


Western Massachusetts loggers, environmental activists await state forest management policy
01-03-2024 4:03 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

As the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs passes its self-imposed deadline for a new forest management policy after a logging moratorium, people on all sides of the issue are concerned about the future of the state’s forests.The...


Clean energy lobby says it’s ‘get serious’ time; state not on track to meet 2030 goals
12-22-2023 5:00 PM

By Chris Lisinski

BOSTON — Massachusetts will fail to hit a major emissions reduction requirement in 2030 unless Beacon Hill passes significant legislation to accelerate progress, leaders of a top advocacy group warned Wednesday.As plans begin to take shape for the...


Most intense decarbonization period nearing: 2025 – 2030
12-04-2023 3:33 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

On the route to decarbonization, the state is so far on target with its goals, the Healey administration says, but there is more work to be done with the most intense period of rapid decarbonization quickly approaching.Gov. Maura Healey’s...


Bill seeks to relax forest management practices
11-30-2023 5:02 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

BOSTON — Multiple Franklin County and North Quabbin residents testified Wednesday in favor of a bill that aims to change forest management and conservation efforts in the state.H.4150, “An act relative to forest protection” filed by state Rep. Carmine...


Climate chief calls for changes
11-13-2023 5:00 PM

By STELLA TANNENBAUM

Massachusetts’ efforts to meet its net zero goals and measure up to neighboring states may mean an overhaul of energy efficiency program Mass Save, according to Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer’s recent report.The state’s Clean Energy and Climate Plan...


New Salem school awaits water test results
11-05-2023 9:57 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

NEW SALEM – The vice president of the engineering firm contracted to install a water filtration system at Swift River School said an eight-hour test went flawlessly last week and the company now awaits test results to determine water quality.Pete...


Rebecca Todd named Connecticut River Conservancy’s new executive director
10-18-2023 5:01 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

GREENFIELD — Years ago, Rebecca Todd and her roommate decided to cap off their first year at Dartmouth College by paddling home on the Connecticut River — from Hanover, New Hampshire to Walpole, New Hampshire.“I wouldn’t say that was the start of my...


Cooperative expands on work to restore, manage native migratory fishes
10-10-2023 5:00 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

TURNERS FALLS — Federal, state and nonprofit partners launched the new Connecticut River Migratory Fish Restoration Cooperative on Thursday to expand on work to restore and manage native migratory fishes and their habitats in New England’s largest...


Mohawk Trail State Forest harbors ‘hidden wonders’ in Trees of Peace grove
10-08-2023 6:01 PM

By BELLA LEVAVI

CHARLEMONT — With campsites at the Mohawk Trail State Forest closed due to water system and infrastructure repairs, park rangers have been enjoying the glory of this state gem with more solitude than in previous years.“I have been getting people to...


The State of Solar: Experts at forum discuss challenges of increasing solar in marginalized communities, weigh in on community-owned solar
09-25-2023 3:55 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

Editor’s note: This is the third of four articles from the Western Massachusetts Solar Forum series taking place in September.AMHERST — At Joe Czajkowski Farm in Hadley, not only does the broccoli field produce fresh vegetables, but rows of solar...


State research project aims to study bear population size, distribution
09-24-2023 4:02 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

Experts say that if you encounter a bear it is important to immediately make yourself look big, talk very calmly and slowly back away.But after that, if you saw the carnivoran mammal in Massachusetts, you can go to bit.ly/3raabc8 to report the...


Local advocates press Healey to fund Municipal Reforestation Program
09-07-2023 10:03 AM

By MARY BYRNE

Franklin County advocates were among the 21 groups and 258 people to sign a letter sent to the Healey administration on Tuesday, encouraging passage of a bill that would provide funding for a Municipal Reforestation Program. The letter asks that the...


Athol reviews replacement of vehicles with electric models
09-01-2023 2:58 PM

By GREG VINE

ATHOL – A proposed replacement of the town’s vehicles with electric models is estimated to generate a quarter of a million dollars over three decades.Athol’s Decarbonization Task Force was given an assessment of converting the town’s internal...


Sportsman’s Corner: The role of hunters in 2023
08-31-2023 3:35 PM

By Mike RocheEarlier this week an email from MassWildlife Director Mark Tisa shared with me a thoughtful article from the Boone and Crockett Club which put into focus some realities of today relating to conservation. For my entire life, this writer...


Report: Massachusetts has ample solar power potential
07-10-2023 3:28 PM

By MICHAEL P. NORTON

BOSTON — Massachusetts has more than enough solar energy potential to support the decarbonization requirements enshrined in state laws, according to a report officials released Thursday.The Department of Energy Resources report found the state’s land...


Mass. gets high marks for EV adoption, despite sluggish rollout
07-03-2023 2:01 PM

By CHRIS LISINSKI

BOSTON — A national research group continues to see Massachusetts as ahead of the curve and improving when it comes to electric vehicle adoption, even though the Bay State has a long way to go to meet its own rollout goals.The American Council for an...

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