first_imgA coalition of business leaders is doing everything it can to create jobs in Vermont. A new website, www.vermontcpr.org(link is external), has arrived on the scene to support revision of Vermont’s permitting process in order to pump life into the Vermont economy. The website urges legislative initiatives to make meaningful changes to the Act 250 process this legislative session.Sponsored by the Coalition for Permit Reform (CPR), the goal of the new site is to mobilize individuals to encourage the legislature to enact reform that creates a more consistent, more predictable and more timely permit process, while preserving Vermont’s existing environmental protections.In his inaugural address Governor Douglas stated, “We have two great economic advantages– our natural environment and Vermonters themselves… However, the choice we face today is not between jobs and the environment. It is a choice between both or neither.” The www.vermontcpr.org(link is external) site delves deeper into choices that are ripe now: problems with the current permit process, innovative and sensible solutions, tips for contacting legislators, the text of several reform bills; and a legislative update page and an alert page to follow proposed bills as they move through the House and Senate.Chuck Nichols, Vermont Chamber Senior Vice President and a founding member of the Coalition, noted, “The Coalition developed the site to cut through the rhetoric: as a simple resource for Vermonters, providing accurate information regarding various permit proposals currently in the legislature.”The Vermont Coalition for Permit Reform is a broad-based coalition of statewide and local organizations that are dedicated to enacting common sense reform to Vermont’s environmental permitting process.Nichols observes that the legislature does not operate in a vacuum. “By developing www.vermontcpr.org(link is external), we encourage Vermonters to educate themselves; get involved in the issues. This is a call to action to preserve the environment we all value while ensuring that Vermont remains a viable choice for the quality of life we seek this year, next year, and for our children.”last_img read more


first_imgHere’s what each piece of the Great American Outdoors Act would do: In other news: Illustrator Amber Share had a goal of drawing all the national parks, but says she wanted to find a way to do it with a twist. As she was browsing online one day, Amber says she began reading one-star reviews of the national parks, and the idea to draw park posters based on their bad reviews “just came to me.” We’re so happy it did, because the results are hilarious. Tennessee man who hiked the AT 18 times claims spot in hall of fame From a Grand Canyon park poster declaring it, “A hole. A very, very large hole,” to a closer-to-home review of Great Smoky Mountain National Park that says there’s, “Nothing special to do” there, Share’s art makes us giggle and reminds us that some people can make lemons out of just about anything. See all of her one-star poster designs on her Instagram feed @subparparks.  Since 1964, The Land and Water Conservation Fund has paid $900 million a year to protect national parks, areas around rivers and lakes, national forests, and national wildlife refuges; and to provide matching grants for state and local parks and recreation projects. The funds come from revenues of offshore oil and gas extraction. While the money is available every year, it’s not guaranteed, and Congress often diverts the funds for other uses. The Great American Outdoors Act would guarantee funding for the LWCF. In addition to the 39,000+ miles that Doyle has hiked on the AT, he is also a founding member of the Appalachian Trail Institute, which teaches hopeful thru-hikers the strategies they need to be successful on long-distance trails. On May 2, Doyle will claim his well-deserved spot in the Appalachian Trail Museum’s Appalachian Trail Hall of Fame. Senate introduces bill to fund public lands WVDNR uses electrofishing technique to study walleye population According to a news release, DNR biologists recently used the method to study New River walleye, which thrive in the Elk, Gauley and New rivers and can be found in the Cheat, Jennings Randolph, Summersville, Stonecoal, Tygart and Stephens lakes. “It doesn’t hurt the fish,” says assistant chief of fish management for the DNR, Mark Scott. “It just immobilizes them.”  Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act Artist draws national park posters based on one-star reviews and it’s epic The Land and Water Conservation Fund After decades of neglect, the Restore Our Parks and Public Lands Act would provide nearly $20 million to tackle deferred maintenance projects in the national parks, national forests, on BLM lands and more. Currently, the national parks have $11.9 billion in deferred maintenance, which severely impacts the parks and the public’s ability to enjoy them. Featured Image: Family beside camp, campfire, tent under night starry sky from Getty Images Thru-hiking the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail just once is a feat of endurance that few can accomplish, but hiking the trail 18 times? That bragging right is exclusive to Warren Doyle, a Mountain City, Tennessee man who has hiked the Appalachian Trail 18 times, including nine thru-hikes, the Patriot-News reports.  West Virginia anglers may be interested to learn that the West Virginia Division of Natural Resources uses electrofishing to manage the walleye population in the New River. Electrofishing is a common method of sampling fish populations to see how they’re doing in their habitat. Two electrodes are used to send electric currents through the water, which attracts fish and makes them easier to catch and study. So where does all of this stand now? Last week, President Trump tweeted that he hoped Congress would send him a bill that fully and permanently funded the LWCF and restore the national parks. “When I sign it in to law,” Trump tweeted, “it will be HISTORIC for our beautiful public lands.” We could all use some good news, no? Well, here’s something to smile about. Last Monday, the Senate introduced a public lands funding bill called the Great American Outdoors Act that would provide $900 million to permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Act and give $1.9 billion to the Restore Our Parks Act to tackle deferred maintenance projects. The bill also includes $600 million to address maintenance projects in National Forests, BLM lands, the Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Bureau of Indian Education.last_img read more


first_img April 1, 2004 Associate Editor Regular News Children’s legal services tag clears hurdles Jan Pudlow Associate Editor After assurances that 100 percent of revenues will go toward providing legal representation for disabled, abused, and neglected children, both the House Subcommittee on Highway Safety and the House Transportation Committee unanimously approved a specialty tag called “Kids Deserve Justice.”“It will be 100 percent. Can’t get any better than that,” said Rep. Mark Mahon, R-Jacksonville, who sponsored the tag that would be administered by The Florida Bar Foundation.In the elevator on the way to the subcommittee meeting room on March 11, Mahon said someone saw his poster-sized mock-up of the proposed tag of a boy and girl sitting on the scales of justice, groaned, and said, “Oh, no, not another license plate.”But, Mahon, an attorney, told the subcommittee: “I hope this is one you will find in your hearts to support.”Rep. Mitch Needelman, R-Palm Bay, wanted more specifics on the breakdown of market costs, administration costs, and how much of the proceeds will actually be spent on legal representation of children.As for administrative costs, Steve Metz, The Florida Bar’s legislative counsel, said: “The beauty of this setup is that we already have the infrastructure in place through the longstanding Florida Bar Foundation.”Metz said the target group to buy the specialty plate is Florida’s 70,000 lawyers, and because The Florida Bar Foundation already has such a recognized “brand name,” the market survey predicts between $1.5 and $2 million in sales a year.Rep. Stan Jordan, R-Jacksonville, told Mahon with a grin: “I appreciate the great contribution lawyers are making. If they collect the money (for the tags) and it buys legal services, it’s kind of like putting a pay toilet in your home. It will go from legal proceeds to legal expenditures. But it’s still great.”Joking aside, Rep. Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, an attorney, said, “Really, you are giving kids a voice who haven’t had a voice. The money is going to go to pay costs associated with these kids having some sort of representation, trying to get access to justice. I think it’s a great tag and I ask if I can co-sponsor this bill.” Kids deserve justicelast_img read more