Category: Be Informed

Community Conversation in March — Reconvening RF3

Dear friends of the Regenerative Farming, Forests and Food Systems Group (RF3) of Climate Action Now and other earth loving humans:

Let’s gather to envision the next chapter of our work together. Join us for a virtual community conversation on March 18, 2024 at 7pm.

Please complete a short survey, whether or not you can make it to the meeting.

Bring your ideas, passion, and skills as we usher in a new generation of leadership and feel free to forward this invitation to your networks.

We look forward to being with you. Lenore Bryck, on behalf of RF3 

Register here

Survey link

Valley Green Energy

From the Newsletter, June 25, 2023:

Residents of Amherst, Pelham and Northampton have been working together for years to bring Valley Green Energy, a group electricity buying program, to their city/town so that residents and businesses will have new choices and greater control over the cost and environmental impact of the electricity they use. You can learn more about this program at the Valley Green Energy website and by viewing this recording

Valley Green Energy needs regulatory approval from the state before the program is able to launch. One meaningful action residents can take to green our electricity is to write a comment to the Department of Public Utilities before June 30. Go here for details.

http://climateactionnowma.org/help-launch-valley-green-energy/

 Comments will accompany the application materials to DPU, so they are key for showing community support for the aggregation. See example comments here written by Local Energy Advocates.

Comments may be submitted to:

  • Carolyn Misch at cmisch@northamptonma.gov (for Northampton residents) 
  • Stephanie Ciccarello at ciccarellos@amherstma.gov (for Amherst residents) 
  • Bob Agoglia pelhamadministrator@comcast.net (for Pelham residents)

Be sure “ In Support of Valley Green Energy” appears in the subject line of the email. You can attach a pdf of your comments, or include them in the text of the email.

Rally & Hearing in Greenfield about Northfield Solar Project

NORTHFIELD 76 ACRE PRIME FARMLAND SOLAR SPECIAL PERMIT APPEAL 

Rally at 8:30 am, Hearing at 9:00 on Monday, November 28, 2022, in Greenfield at the Franklin County Court House, 425 Main St.

The court will hear arguments about a special permit for solar arrays in Northfield on Pine Meadow Road. The Northfield Planning Board granted the permit for three arrays on 76 acres. Here is an article from the Greenfield Recorder about the scope of the project.

The rally calls attention to the loss of farmland for the sake of solar development, as well as ratepayer funding for “dual use” solar. This project is right near the Connecticut River in the “Northfield Farms” area, considered some of the richest farmland in the world. It has been continuously used for farming for thousands of years. This proposal is being funded by the MA solar SMART program.

Please attend, bring signs, spread the word.

Protect MA forests in DCR comment period

The comment period for the 10-year review of Mass. state land designations ends September 28, 2022.

Click here to access a sign-on letter with this simple message, “We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves.” If there are specific DCR lands that you know and love, you can add comments to this online letter.

And view the video Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest (9/6/22) with Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods, climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw, and biologist Bill Stubblefield.

For more information, visit Save Massachusetts Forests and read on…

To write your own letter, comments may be submitted online at www.mass.gov/dcr/public-comment. The public can say directly to DCR the same things that were said during the hearing for the forest protection bills– H912 and H1002: all DCR land, including the watersheds, should become either “parks” or “reserves,” where land management is similar to our National Parks.

The current DCR plan, written in 2012,  is here: https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/qq/management-guidelines.pdf

The full sign-on message: “We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves. These Reserves would protect intact ecosystems, which are influenced primarily by natural processes, with only minimal human interference. Limited management activities would be allowed if proven to be necessary to protect public safety, endangered species, or the environment.”

In the video, Calling for Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands, Michael Kellett, Bill Moomaw and Bill Stubblefield provided background to help the public better understand the issues and how to frame comments to the DCR during this ten-year review of its landscape designations.

Carbon & Biodiversity Reserves on Our State Lands: Serving the Public Interest

Landscape designations re-imagined to capture carbon and preserve biodiversity

Register HERE for this online event to learn the issues and how to frame comments to the Mass. Department of Conservation and Recreation during the comment period that ends September 28, 2022.

This backgrounder comes from experts in their fields:

  • Michael Kellett, Executive Director of RESTORE: The North Woods,
  • Climate scientist Dr. Bill Moomaw,
  • Biologist Bill Stubblefield.

There will be time for Q & A after the presentations.

Register in advance for this meeting: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpf-iprzsiHtdF_gXhWKNvJjklvQupZOMb . If you register, you will get a recording sent to you when it is available. 

DCR’s listening sessions allow the public to weigh in on the first 10-year review of the Landscape Designations and Management Guidelines developed in 2012.

The current DCR plan  is here: (https://www.mass.gov/files/documents/2016/08/qq/management-guidelines.pdf ).
The public can now say the same things that were said to the legislature during the hearings for the forest protection bills  (H.912 and H.1002). Now the comments can go directly to DCR.  And we are saying the same things that we said when working on the bills: all DCR land, including the watersheds, become either “parks” or “reserves” where land management is similar to our National Parks. These measures would protect intact ecosystems from logging and most other active management — a level of protection that now exists for only 1% of the state’s land base..

To take action: Click HERE to sign a petition asking the DCR to create more permanent, protected reserves.

Here is the text of the petition:

 We, the undersigned, call for state-owned lands administered by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, including all woodlands, reserves, watersheds, and undeveloped parklands, to be designated and permanently protected as Carbon and Biodiversity Reserves.

These Reserves would protect intact ecosystems, which are influenced primarily by natural processes, with only minimal human interference. Limited management activities would be allowed if proven to be necessary to protect public safety, endangered species, or the environment.

cover image: DCR report Landscape Designations for DCR Parks & Forests:
Selection Criteria and Management Guidelines