Wins for Nature

On March 23 Brattleboro's annual budget for fighting climate change went from $10,000 to $100,000. Brattleboro is home to about 11,000 people. Once a year the town holds a meeting where 155 elected representatives can overrule anything the select board does. The select board is the equivalent of a city council. Brattleboro doesn't have a mayor.

Dummerston, Vermont, approximate population 2,000, borders Brattleboro. At its annual meeting anyone who lives in the town and is registered to vote can vote to overrule anything the select board does. At the annual meeting on March 5, townspeople voted to double the town's annual investment in farmland protection, to $5,000. That money is used to secure state and federal grants. The town permanently protected two farms in recent years, the 169 acre Bunker farm and the 61 acre Moore farm.

The USA is losing about 6,000 acres of open space every day.

Thanks to the work of environmental activists, on March 21 the state of Massachusetts announced it will invest $1.5 million to protect 1,300 acres of open space in the Valley.

Kestrel Land Trust and the state will buy 765 acres to preserve a scenic, recreational and biological connection between the Mt. Holyoke Range in Amherst and nearby towns, and the Connecticut river.

The North County Land Trust and Mt. Grace Land Trust will use their share of the money to save 570 acres in the Valley town of Templeton, Massachusetts.

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