ANR: Nature Notes from Julie Moore

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ANR: Nature Notes from Julie Moore

Sun, 06/23/2019 - 3:15am -- tim

Chris Smith (Partners for Fish & Wildlife Program at USFWS), Timo Bradley (owner/partner TimberHomes, LLC) and Secretary Moore. ANR photo.

by Julie Moore, Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources Last month, I had the opportunity to help volunteers and staff from the US Fish and Wildlife ServiceTimberHomes, and students from the nearby Community College of Vermont, plant more than 100 trees along the North Branch of the Winooski River in Montpelier. The project was spearheaded by the Friends of the Winooski River and will help to slow snowmelt and stormwater runoff as it flows over the land, in turn maintaining stable streambanks and reducing erosion. This protects the land and is critical to improving water quality in streams, rivers and lakes, as well as providing valuable habitat for wildlife and birds.

The day illustrated the power we have as Vermonters when we work together. The river banks were bare at the start of the morning. By lunch, they were covered in new saplings.
As the old adage goes, many hands make light work. We can better accomplish our objectives – stewarding and enhancing Vermont’s land, water and wildlife - more quickly and easily when we work together. The Agency works regularly with variety of partners to care for Vermont’s natural resources and it is a pleasure to share some examples of these important partnerships in the stories that follow.
It takes a village
Traveling the Trail Together
Towns, organizations, and the state work together to craft and care for world-class trail systems
If you live in Vermont, there's a good chance you hike, cycle, mountain bike, run, cross-country and back-country ski, snowmobile, paddle, or ride ATVs. Vermont's Recreation Trails Program (RTP) fuels these opportunities and supports Vermont's long-held tradition of outdoor recreation and active lifestyles.
Every year, the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation distributes approximately $1 million in RTP funds to towns and nonprofit organizations to help them build trails and improve existing trails all over Vermont.
One example is the recently completedBarnes Camp Boardwalk RTP project in Smugglers’ Notch.
Find a new favorite hike on an RTP-funded trail! Let these trail maps guide the way.
Haze or just fog? UVM's Hazecam helps you decide
This collaborative partnership between helps Vermonters monitor the air
The Department of Environmental Conservation’s Air Quality Divisionpartners with the University of Vermont and NESCAUM to maintain the Haze Cam in Burlington.
Haze happens when nitrates, sulfates, and other pollutants litter the air with fine particles. These particles obscure the sky.
While Burlington has some of the best air quality in the country, there are still some hazy days in the Queen City. Follow live air quality footage in Burlington and a variety of other rural and urban locations across the Northeast using Haze Cam. Viewers can also learn about air quality's impact on our health, and receive air quality forecasts.
See the Haze Cam for yourself.
The Comeback Fish
Local anglers team with the Fish and Wildlife Department to restore the state's walleye population
For many years, the Fish and Wildlife Department’s fish culture staff have been working closely with the Lake Champlain Walleye Association(LCWA), a dedicated group of anglers, to restore walleye populations in Lake Champlain and its tributaries. 
These efforts involve collecting eggs from the wild and raising them in fish culture stations and in cooperative ponds managed by the LCWA.  
Today, the Fish and Wildlife Department’s fish culture section and LCWA are seeing great success with the walleye restoration and angling opportunities in Lake Champlain.
Learn more about the walleye restoration in this short video.
Water Chestnut Removal in St. Albans
Vermont’s Department of Environmental Conservation and theLake Champlain Committee are partnering with ECO AmeriCorps this summer to remove invasive water chestnut from Black Creek Marsh in St. Albans.
This effort builds on the work ECO AmeriCorps members did in 2018, when they filled canoes to the brim with water chestnut from the marsh. 
European water chestnut is a difficult aquatic invasive to get rid of. Each plant has 15-20 rosettes of floating, fan-shaped leaves, and each rosette can produce up to 20 seeds. Although the plant itself is an annual, these seeds are capable of overwintering and can remain viable for up to 12 years. 
Volunteer efforts to remove water chestnut from the marsh are essential to controlling its spread, both within Black Creek and out into Lake Champlain itself. ECO AmeriCorps volunteers are excited to spend July 10th on the water making a difference.
In case you missed it
Ride into Summer
Vermont State Parks is excited to announce a partnership with Local Motion, Inc. to provide bike rentals at Burton Island State Park. The fleet of adult and kids bicycles will be available for half-day, full-day, and multi-day rentals. Bike rentals start at just $15 dollars.
Tips for Composting in Bear Country
Lately, there have been a lot of bear sightings, including one in South Burlington. You can help keep bears wild by doing your best to create an atmosphere that's not attractive to bears. How can you do this? Start with these three tips:
  • Remove bird feeders
  • Secure compost and garbage
  • Keep pet food inside
Use these and many more tips to keep bears (and other critters) out of your compost.
Campfire Cooking: recipes & classes offered at Vermont State Parks
Vermont State Parks Cooks is an exciting new program geared towards helping you enjoy cooking over your campfire at Vermont’s 55 beautiful state parks. All summer, we’ll be sharing creative recipes that can be prepared with minimal equipment, and which make use of the bounty of ingredients made and grown by the state’s farmers and food producers.
Are you ready for winter?
In Vermont, winter is always around the corner. If you heat your home with oil or kerosene, take advantage of the warmer temperatures this summer by making sure your above ground storage tank is in good working order. Fuel dealers may not be able to fill tanks that aren't safe, so it’s good to fix any issues - like leaks or rust - before winter hits. Find out what fuel dealers will look for during an inspection to make sure your tank will pass the test. 
Watch this short how-to inspection video.