Full Snow Moon Gathering & Eastern Woodlands Social Dance

Rights of Nature for the Long River

Take Action for Smart Solar TODAY, Tuesday, February 6

Those of us who care about forests and agriculture need to send an email to the legislature TODAY!

BACKGROUND

There are two bills that would remove the so-called “solar exemption”  from state law. This exemption practically prohibits towns from regulating industrial solar, 

If the law is changed, towns could protect forests, agriculture, and water systems and regulate solar in reasonable ways, without being threatened by expensive law suits. These bills are:

• S.1319 An Act regarding municipal zoning powers
• H.2082 An Act regarding municipal zoning powers

In Nov. these bills received a lot of support from many of us. HOWEVER, they have not yet been voted favorably out of committee. This is necessary to allow the full legislature to vote. 

ACTION:
• Email the Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government. 
• Ask them to vote S1319 and H2082 favorably out of committee.
• When: NOW – before Feb 7!!

INSTRUCTIONS
Email to: 
Senate Chair Oliveira—-   Jacob.Oliveira@masenate.gov
House Chair Fiola—-   Carole.Fiola@mahouse.gov
Senate Vice Chair Kennedy—-   edward.kennedy@masenate.gov
House Vice Chair Sabadosa—-   lindsay.sabadosa@mahouse.gov

You should also cc Jo Comerford and Mindy Domb (if she is your Rep.) on any email you send.

Text:
I support the reasonable regulation of solar and the protection of our forests, agriculture and water systems. Please vote bills S1319 and H2082, Acts regarding municipal zoning powers  favorably out of committee . Municipalities need to be freed from the outdated “solar exemption” so they can reasonably regulate industrial solar. Recent 2023 reports confirm that the Commonwealth needs a vibrant ecosystem as part of its climate action. 

Thank you,
Name
City/Town
Email

Subsidies for Solar – Comment period open til 2/2/24

Mass. DOER (Dept. of Energy Resources) has opened a public comment period regarding the solar subsidy program, SMART and is requesting responses to questions on this document.

Because we know that most large-scale solar developments in forests, on agricultural land, or threatening the environment receive a SMART subsidy, our voices need to be heard if we hope to change the SMART regs . A large response rate might make them pay attention. If nothing else, our recommendations will be documented. 

Thank you to Michael DeChiara for offering these guidelines and attachments to help make this simpler for us to respond.  The following are attached.

  1. Selected questions and possible responses (talking points). Choose what makes sense to you. You can add other thoughts they don’t ask about for question #14.
  2. Michael’s responses, in case this is helpful
  3. Sections of the SMART regs that he thinks are most relevant to comment on
  4. Blank Word file with the questions that DOER’s consultants are asking 

The deadline for submitting written comments on the questions for the SMART review is Friday, February 2, 2024 by 5pm.

Instructions to submit:

Send your edited document via email to:   

Climate Oriented Forest Management Guidelines

The Healey-Driscoll Administration released the report of the Climate Forestry Committee on Jan. 4, 2024 — Recommendations for Climate Oriented Forest Management Guidelines — and related materials.

Here is the link: https://www.mass.gov/info-details/forests-as-climate-solutions#overview-

Here is their “invitation” to respond:

“We invite public comment on this report to inform the state’s implementation of the recommendations. To provide written comment on this report, please do so via the following form: share comments. Comments submitted by January 24th at 5pm will facilitate consideration. If you are limited by length or wish to share attachments, please send materials to guidelines@mass.gov.”

A message from Save Massachusetts Forests

Speak for the trees!

Support H.4150 – An Act relative to forest protection, Wednesday November 29th at Noon – at the Statehouse and online on Teams. Pre-register at https://forms.office.com/g/K2mDYC4eEH to speak by Monday November 27th at noon. There is a time limit of 3 minutes per person for both in-person and virtual oral testimony.

Written testimony may also be submitted to the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources by email to: JointCommittee.Environment@malegislature.gov. Please include “Support for H.4150 Testimony” in the subject line of the email and address your comments to:  House Chair Rep. Daniel Cahill and Senate Chair Sen. Rebecca Rausch 

H.4150 would give all Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) state-owned lands and watersheds permanent protection as reserves, similar to National Park protection. Please see our fact sheet for this bill — attached and here:

Written comments can also be sent to the same committee in support of:

H.904 – An act relative to increased protection of wildlife management areas – which would  mandate that 30% of all state-owned lands under the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) be given permanent reserve status.

And H.894 An Act relative to forest management and practices guidelines that would create a truly transparent and robust public discussion about management (or not) on our DCR forests and watersheds, and MassWildlife lands. 

Fact sheets for each bill can be found here:  https://www.savemassforests.com/ 

Another simple, easy and quick action you can take: Please show support for H.4150 and H.904 by signing-

Individual Sign-on Letter: 

Organization Sign-on Letter: 

Also, you can send a letter to your legislators asking them to co-sponsor these two bills.

Thank you for supporting our Massachusetts public forests.

Speak for the trees!

Support H.4150 – An Act relative to forest protection, Wednesday November 29th at Noon – at the Statehouse and online on Teams. Pre-register at  https://forms.office.com/g/K2mDYC4eEH to speak by Monday November 27th at noon. There is a time limit of 3 minutes per person for both in-person and virtual oral testimony.

Written testimony may also be submitted to the Joint Committee on Environment and Natural Resources by email to: JointCommittee.Environment@malegislature.gov Please include “Support for H.4150 Testimony” in the subject line of the email and address your comments to:  House Chair Rep. Daniel Cahill and Senate Chair Sen. Rebecca Rausch 

H.4150 would give all Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) state-owned lands and watersheds permanent protection as reserves, similar to National Park protection. Please see our fact sheet for this bill — attached and here:

https://www.savemassforests.com/

Written comments can also be sent to the same committee in support of:

H.904 – An act relative to increased protection of wildlife management areas – which would  mandate that 30% of all state-owned lands under the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (MassWildlife) be given permanent reserve status.

And H.894 An Act relative to forest management and practices guidelines that would create a truly transparent and robust public discussion about management (or not) on our DCR forests and watersheds, and MassWildlife lands. 

Fact sheets for each bill can be found here:  https://www.savemassforests.com/ 

Another simple, easy and quick action you can take: Please show support for H.4150 and H.904 by signing-

Individual Sign-on Letter: 

Organization Sign-on Letter: 

Also, you can send a letter to your legislators asking them to co-sponsor these two bills.

Thank you for supporting our Massachusetts public forests.

https://www.savemassforests.com/

Proposed expansion of Hanscom private jet service would have disastrous climate effects in Massachusetts! 

You are invited to a webinar about the proposed expansion of Hanscom private jet service and its disastrous climate effects in Massachusetts. 

Tuesday, November 28, 6:00 to 7:00 pm – Zoom link to follow.

This project will have statewide effects.

If the proposed expansion goes ahead, private jet emissions from Hanscom alone could cancel up to 70% of the climate benefits from all the solar PV ever installed in Massachusetts.

While our cities and towns are trying to drastically decrease our carbon footprint, Massport & Runway Realty are planning to expand theirs at Hanscom. This is chiefly for luxury trips to resort destinations for the privileged few, with enormous cumulative costs to the climate and the vulnerable many.

“The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) wants to build 27 new hangars for parking private jets at Hanscom Field…..private jets, as the Boston Globe pointed out, emit about ten times more carbon per mile traveled than commercial aviation, and on shorter hauls that number is even higher: Flightsfrom New York to Washington, D.C., on private jets are responsible for about 45 times the emissions per passenger of commercial planes flying the same route, and more than 1,100 times the emissions per passenger of train travel to those cities. In our wretchedly unequal society, the number of these flights is growing rapidly, up 11 percent last year. We have to … stop this kind of thing, not build it an extra half million square feet of hangar space.” – Bill McKibben

“An expansion like this is fundamentally at odds with our climate law of a 50 percent reduction by 2030 and getting to net zero by 2050,” Elizabeth Turnbull Henry, president of the Environmental League of Massachusetts.

Please join the webinar to learn about the proposed project and what you can do to stop it.

Please also join the over 11,000 people have signed an online petition   https://actionnetwork.org/petitions/spje/  urging the Governor to stop this indefensible expansion plan.

See Stop Private Jet Expansion at Hanscom or Anywhere   https://www.stopprivatejetexpansion.org/

Northfield 350th Presents “The People v. The Pipeline”: Testimony 

And Lessons Learned from The People Who Were There

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

October 23, 2023

Contact: Joan and Steve Stoia, Community Engagement

Northfield 350th Anniversary

Northfield350news@gmail.com

(Cell) 413-835-1269

Northfield 350th Presents “The People v. The Pipeline”: Testimony 

And Lessons Learned from The People Who Were There

NORTHFIELD   Anthropologist Margaret Mead once said “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  In keeping with her spirit, the Northfield Oral History Project of the 350th Anniversary program of 2023 will present a multi-media production called “The People vs. The Pipeline” on Sunday, November 12 at 105 Main Street in Northfield at 6:30 p.m. The event is free and there is plenty of onsite parking.

“The People vs. The Pipeline” is the story of the diverse strategies employed and the actions that took place between 2014 and 2016, as told by the participants in their own words, that ultimately helped stop the Northeast Direct (NED) fracked gas pipeline proposed for the region by the Kinder Morgan Company of Houston, Texas.  Originating in the Pennsylvania gas fields, the pipeline was intended to traverse New York State, part of New Hampshire and numbers of small Massachusetts towns in Franklin County and beyond.  Compressor stations to push the fracked gas were to be sited along the way to Eastern Massachusetts; one of those compressor stations was planned for Northfield. 

The production features the voices of local citizens, elected officials and tribal representatives, and efforts by local and state government–even our former Attorney General—sharing research on demand for gas, on Indigenous ceremonial stone structures and sacred sites in the path of the construction and scientific data on the deleterious effects of toxic “blow downs” from compressor stations on public health, especially that of children and seniors.  Oral testimonies are interspersed with photographs and video of some of the public hearings, demonstrations, protests, public multi-day walks and other activities undertaken to highlight the coming threat to communities along the path and false claims about the need for the gas.  Music will be provided by Carrie and Michael Kline, consultants to the Northfield Oral History Project, musicians and founders of “Talking Across the Lines.”  Document compilation and editing was completed by Cate Woolner, Stephen Stoia and Joan Stoia with production assistance by Robbie Leppzer, Bernardston-Northfield Community Media (BNCTV) and Greenfield Community Television (GCTV).  The all-volunteer cast includes: Court Dorsey, William Spademan, Steve Stoia, Mary Johnson, Steven Botkin, Joan Levy and Cate Woolner, with Shirley Keech as former Attorney General, now governor, Maura Healey.  Artwork was provided by  Laura Kaye.  The audience will be able to identify the bad guys; they’re the ones wearing the black hats.

Using actual testimonies from the people who were there, music and a little bit of humor, the story of the pipeline brings the 350th Anniversary toward its close with the telling of a major contemporary event that confronted Northfield and its neighbors within the past decade.  The production is funded by a matching grant from the Grassroots Fund of New England.  Support for the Northfield Oral History Project was provided by an allocation obtained by Senator Jo Comerford’s Office.  The organizers hope that the lessons learned will be of use to other small communities facing similar challenges in the future.  

The Northfield 350th Anniversary continues with a holiday family marionette performance of “Cinderella” and the Magic Wings Butterfly traveling exhibit on December 16, a concert by Da Camera Singers on December 2, and a final town-wide luminaria on December 31, 2023.  For more information contact Joan and Steve Stoia, 413-835-1269, Northfield350news@gmail.com or visit www.northfield350.org.  Photo: DPU Hearing, Greenfield Middle School.

-end-

Warheads to Windmills

This is a call to support S.1488/H.738A Resolve providing for an investigation and study by a special commission relative to the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, filed by Senator Jo Comerford and Representative Lindsay Sabadosa. 

The Resolve creates a non-partisan Citizens Commission that would explore ways to protect the residents of the Commonwealth by making recommendations to the Legislature on how to assist the transition from nuclear weapons-related jobs and activities, and towards jobs and economic opportunities that directly address the climate emergency.

Please write to your MA State Representative and Senator today, asking them to urge the chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, Senator Timilty and Representative González, to vote S.1488 (the nuclear weapons and climate commission bill) favorably out of committee. This would allow the commission to begin its complex and much-needed work.

The Climate Bank bill

The Climate Bank bill sponsored by Senator Paul Mark and Representative Joan Meschino (S.675/H.3774) is included in a hearing announced by the Financial Services Committee.  We ask that you send an email message to the Committee in support of this bill (this is a priority bill supported by CAN).  

Address your e-mail message to the Co-chairs of the Financial Services Committee, and copy your state legislators.  Below is a suggested message. 

paul.feeney@masenate.gov

James.Murphy@mahouse.gov

Dear Senator Feeney and Representative Murphy:   Massachusetts needs long term funding to support work on climate change.  A climate bank, as proposed in S.675/H.3774, An Act Creating a Climate Bank in Massachusetts, is an innovative financing mechanism, that will provide funding and technical support for “climate and clean energy innovations,” by attracting private capital for projects that help reduce geenhouse gas emissions.  Climate banks adapt their focus areas over time as they monitor the market and identify areas where more funding is needed.

Please support a favorable vote on S.675/H.3774.  

Thank you,

NAME

TOWN 

_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

You may also call the the Financial Service Committee, and ask for support of the bill, which is included in an October 24th hearing. Bill name/numbers above. (617) 722-1222 or (617) 722-2220 S.675/H.3774·        Provides long-term funding·        Brings private capital to fund green-house gas reduction projects·        Evauates and adjusts funding programs over time as markets change

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