Environment/Conservation

Editorial: When money talks . . .

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March 20
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Even here in Rappahannock County we recognize the truth in the notion that “we all live downstream.” Which makes the Farm Bureau’s ongoing war against the EPA’s ”pollution diet” all the more disquieting.
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Letter: In gratitude to Bob Dennis

I could never be as eloquent as your editorial was regarding Bob Dennis, but would like to add a few memories about how he helped me and my family connect with the wonder that is Rappahannock. We were introduced to Bob and Barb by his aunt, Hope Dennis Anderson, a neighbor and friend in...
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Coast to coast, water supplies stressed

When it comes to water, one thing flows to another and seemingly disconnected issues – a chemical spill here, a drought there – may be more connected than we realize. John Messeder writes from south-central Pennsylvania.
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CSWCD director recognized

Sperryville resident and Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District director Monira Rifaat was recognized at the Virginia Association of Conservation Districts’ annual meeting last month.
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Gone/green

Europe is converting coal-burning power plants to burn wood pellets, leading to the cutting of U.S. east coast hardwood forests, an unintended consequence of what was supposed to be a good green idea.
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Cliff Miller, farm profiled by Bay Journal

Cliff Miller III on his farm.

Sperryville farmer Cliff Miller III is the subject of an in-depth profile worth checking out on the Bay Journal website last week.
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Conservation District recognizes landowners

From left: Rappahannock County supervisor Chris Parrish, CSWCD director and Bay-Friendly Farm Award winner Monira Rifaat, Conservationist of the Year award recipients Richard and Jeannie McNear and supervisor Mike Biniek.

Among the winners at the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District’s (CSWCD) annual Conservation Awards dinner in Culpeper last month were three Rappahannock County farmers: Richard and Jeannie McNear, Monira Rifaat, and Bruce and Susan Jones.
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Photo: Getting the treatment

Courtesy photo

The Rappahannock County High School environmental science class recently visited the Sperryville wastewater treatment plant.
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Editorial: Of cows and humans

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Nov. 7, 2013

Rappahannock County is not alone when it comes to litterbugs. It turns out, according to recent news reports, that rural areas of even notoriously tidy Switzerland are awash in roadside litter. But unlike some Rappahannockers, the Swiss do not blame others; instead they advocate taking personal responsibility for the problem.
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Photo: Lay of the land

Photo by Larry “Bud” Meyer

The Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP) drew a crowd to the Theatre in Washington Oct. 27.
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Future conservationists get their feet wet 

By
Oct. 3, 2013
Excitement was highest around the demonstration table where dipping nets were emptied and macroinvertebrates examined in detail.

On the banks of the Thornton River in Sperryville last Thursday (Sept. 26), more than 200 young people were brought together by Rappahannock Friends and Lovers of Our Watershed (RappFLOW) for hands-on learning about water resources and watersheds in Rappahannock County.
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SCBI autumn festival cancelled

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Oct. 2, 2013

Due to the federal government shutdown, the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's annual autumn festival scheduled for this weekend (Oct. 5-6) has been cancelled.
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The care — and feeding — of your pond 

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Sept. 26, 2013
This 22-inch channel catfish was caught by the author in his Washington farm pond, two years after stocking it with 100 three- to five-inch catfish from the Fish Wagon. Courtesy photo.

As part of an Arkansas-based fish hatchery’s two-week Virginia road trip, the Fish Wagon — a semi truck loaded with more than 20,000 live fish — posts up in the Rappahannock Farmer’s Coop parking lot for an hour every month year-round, and local pond owners line up to replenish their fish populations.
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News briefs for Sept. 26

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Sept. 26, 2013
Shannon Eastham, M.D.

Shannon Eastham receives her doctorate; the Voting Registrar hosts a voter appreciation event at the 211 Quicke Mart; and Virginia's Upper Hazel River TMDL watershed has several updated programs that provide significant new incentives to livestock producers in the watershed.
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In Virginia, fracking should remain fictional

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Sept. 26, 2013
In Virginia, fracking should remain fictional

We’re entering the best month of the year. It’s a month to enjoy our agricultural and recreational treasures. But soon enough the U.S. Forest Service will decide whether to allow or ban fracking in the George Washington National Forest.
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The Rapp for Aug. 8

A basket of materials used at the artisan's market. Courtesy photo.

Church listings take a summer break, the annual Farm Tour is looking for talented artisans, old truck tailgates get a new lease on life, register to vote online and how to receive payment for farm easements in this week's Rapp column.
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The Rapp for July 25

Detail of a painting by John S. Corraro that’s part of the Piedmont Virginian Artist Showcase this fall at River District Arts.

Our monthly Fourth (Estate) Friday returns, a Wellness Festival is planned by Jackie Meuse and the Little Washington Spa, sign-ups for the Farm Tour begin, the Piedmont Virginian Showcase comes to River District Arts and the USDA offers another way to mitigate the damage from Sandy in this week's Rapp column.
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Landowners vs. sportsmen: bad policy

Last summer, Beau Beasley asked the Virginia Game Commission, the governing body for the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), to clarify where anglers can safely fish in Virginia without fear of being sued. The answer's not so simple.
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Miller wins Rappahannock Basin award

Presenting a plaque and sign for the 2012 Grand Winner of the Rappahannock River Basin Award are (from left) Rick Weeks, Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation’s stormwater management division director; Mount Vernon Farm owner Cliff Miller; Evelyn Kerr and Monira Rifaat, Rappahannock County directors of the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District. Courtesy photo.

Sperryville resident Cliff Miller, a fifth-generation farmer, was awarded the Rappahannock River Basin Award presented by the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District and Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation in May, for his work as a good steward of his land on Mount Vernon Farm.
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More green, calmer roads, fewer signs, planners hear

By
June 27, 2013

More ideas were floated on the county’s upcoming revision to the comprehensive plan at the Rappahannock County Planning Commission’s meeting Wednesday night (June 19) at the Flint Hill fire hall.
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Recycling options to expand

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June 6, 2013

Rappahannock County’s recycling options will be expanding shortly, as the board of supervisors approved a decision to continue and grow the county’s partnership with Updike Industries at its meeting Monday afternoon (June 3).
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From sky to farm to table

From sky to farm to table

Around Rappahannock County High School, rainy days will take on a whole new meaning. Earlier this month, RCHS’ Farm-to-Table program was awarded the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education Grant – $5,000 to put towards the construction of a rainwater catchment system
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The Rapp for May 9

Photo by E. Raymond Boc

"Caveboy" takes center stage at RAAC's Friday at the Library series, TRG offers an all-day Mother's Day menu, SVFD plans its next July 4 celebration, RDA hosts a studio stroll, pianist Audrey Andrist returns to the Theatre, Narmada hosts a fundraiser and wine-making class and the NPCF gets accredited in this week's Rapp.
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Nuclear authority generates controversy

By
April 18, 2013

Virginia is creating a new agency to support development of nuclear power – a move that has upset environmentalists and open-government advocates, because the entity won’t have to comply with the state’s Freedom of Information Act and other laws.
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NRCS solicits conservation innovation proposals

By
April 18, 2013

The USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has announced about $400,000 is available in 2013 for the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in Virginia.
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SBCI announces 2013 lecture series

By
March 14, 2013

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) has announced its lecture series for 2013. The lectures are held at 7 p.m. Wednesday nights beginning April 3 (and lasting through May 1) at the new SCBI campus (1500 Remount Rd., Front Royal).
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SCBI announces 2013 lecture series

New discoveries in the mountains of Laos, the effects of habitat and climate change on mammals, and the interrelationship of climate and forests are among the topics covered in this spring's free lecture series just announced by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) in Front Royal.
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In town: People Inc. out, plantings move forward

By
Feb. 14, 2013
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The Washington Town Council votes to officially accept community-action organization People Inc.’s offer to withdraw a special-use permit application at its monthly meeting, and hears a report on independent projects to keep the properties around Avon Hall green.
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2013 a good year to conserve farmland

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Thanks to financial incentives made possible by Congress, the commonwealth and local conservation groups, farmers have great opportunities to conserve farmland in 2013.
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Editorial: Forward on climate!

By
Feb. 14, 2013
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All politics are local, in the oft-repeated phrasing of a late Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives. But when it comes to environmental issues, everything is global. For we all live downstream, even here in Rappahannock County.
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Congregations going green

On a brisk day a few weeks ago, by the meandering banks of Langford Creek on the Chesapeake Bay’s Eastern Shore, a group of about 50 environmentalists and people of faith gathered to learn, be inspired by and support one another.
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Is uranium mine scaring people from Southside?

Del. Don Merricks, R-Pittsylvania

Delegate Don Merricks, a Republican from Pittsylvania County, said real estate agents are having trouble selling homes in Southside Virginia because prospective buyers are worried about legislative proposals to allow uranium mining there.
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County landowners protect 1,100-plus acres

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In 2012, six properties within the borders of Rappahannock County totaling more than 1,127 acres were protected by conservation easements, about double the acreage conserved the year before
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The Rapp for Jan. 10

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Volunteers needed for a benefit chili cook-off, plus CCLC's recent open house, the Benevolent Fund Celebrity Waiters dinner, jumping into the Atlantic for charity, bluegrass at the Theatre, replacing the bridge of Jericho Road, Envirothon teachers needed and the opening of 'Rappahannock Creates' in this week's Rapp.
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It’s 2013: Time to grow up?

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"In all your official acts, self interest shall be cast into oblivion . . . return to the way of the Great Law which is just and right." Columnist Liza Field takes her cue from the circa-1450 Constitution of the Iroquois Confederacy to look for ways to make a better 2013.
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Data says sources of water fairly stable here

By
Dec. 27, 2012
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The Rappahannock County Planning Commission heard a presentation from hydrogeologist Brad White at its monthly meeting Wednesday night (Dec. 19). The bottom line? The county’s water supply is in no danger of running dry.
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Campaign year spurs a pro-lifer’s lament

What’s it been like as a pro-lifer, during this year's big-money campaign? It’s been an experience of split-personality, I would say as a pro-life conservationist.
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Groves’ Belle Ridge is Bay-Friendly Award-winner

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Last week, the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District (CSWCD) presented its annual awards to area residents, including Belle Ridge farmers Larry and Kathy Grove.
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Letter: Remembering our rivers

Thank you for your editorial reminder of our important Rappahannock River watershed . More than 700 miles of streams crisscross our rural landscape; there are about 576 ponds, totaling around 540 acres, and about 712 acres of wetlands. Segments of some of our major streams are designated “303d impaired” by...
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Opinion: Putting the uranium cart before the horse

In 2007, Virginia Uranium LLC (VUI) began lobbying hard for the General Assembly’s standing moratorium on uranium mining and milling to be lifted. Piedmont Environmental Council (PEC) and their allies have fought them every step of the way.
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