Environment/Conservation

Governor endorses Dominion pipeline

Flickr user rickz (www.flickr.com/photos/rickz/); licensed via Creative Commons

Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe this week endorsed the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, an up to $5 billion, 550-mile proposal to build a natural gas pipeline through West Virginia to North Carolina.
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Bill Walton joins NPCF board

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Harris Hollow resident Bill Walton is one of the newest members of the Northern Piedmont Community Foundation’s board of directors, continuing his trend of positively impacting Rappahannock.
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Five ways, and funding, for forest owners to attract quail

Bobwhite quail populations have plummeted in recent years due to loss of appropriate habitat. Now, forest landowners who want to create good habitat have a new source of funds to support them.
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Photos: Flowing funds to teens

Photo by Richard Gill

Pipeline resources

By
July 8
Flickr user rickz (www.flickr.com/photos/rickz/); licensed via Creative Commons

A resource guide for information and opinion on natural gas pipelines.
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Letter: RCCA joins the Krebser Fund

After months of study, legal inquiry and deliberation, the Rappahannock County Conservation Alliance Board (RCCA), has decided to close its doors and combine with the Krebser Fund for Rappahannock County Conservation. Many county residents and supporters may have wondered, “What has happened to RCCA?” Our most noticeable absence from community life in the last...
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Approved: uncertain budget, drier golf course

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Facing a full agenda and a not-so-full courthouse, the Rappahannock County Board of Supervisors met Monday (June 2) for about two hours in the afternoon and less than an hour in the evening, during which the board passed its $21.99 million budget, among other matters.
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Time to RSVP to Mother Earth’s invitation

It’s time to remember our manners and RSVP to nature’s invitation — letting it know we’ll be showing up to help undo our own damage, writes Liza Field.
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Gas pipeline could pass through Rappahannock

Courtesy of Spectra Energy

A 427-mile natural-gas pipeline from Pennsylvania to North Carolina proposed by Spectra Energy would pass through eastern Rappahannock County, according to a map released this week by the Houston-based pipeline and distribution-system company.
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Fracking: Too close to home

Debut Rappahannock novelist Larry “Bud” Meyer speaks May 9 at the library.

Larry "Bud" Meyer, RAAC's featured speaker at the library this Friday at 8, notes that news of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is starting to come awfully close to home.
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Help available for septic fixes

Residents in several areas of the district are eligible for reimbursement of half the expense of maintaining, repairing or replacing on-lot septic systems.
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Photo: WCDS’ enviro-team

Courtesy photo

Photo: Blue Team clean-up

Photo by E. Raymond Boc

Shocking developments at Avon Hall pond

By
April 24
VDGIF biologists Mike Isel (back) and John Odenkirk surge low levels of electricty into the Avon Hall pond, netting the stunned fish that float to the surface.

Fifteen years ago, the dock leading into the middle of Avon Hall pond in Washington was lined with children dangling fingers into the water in hopes of snagging one of the thousands of sunfish just beneath the surface. Now, the town and select local environmental organizations are working to revive the pond.
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Editorial: Earth Day reflections

By
April 24
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From a distance, they looked like gigantic Easter eggs. Oval and colored bright orange, these “eggs” dotted the shoulders of a short section of South Poes Road, at intervals of every 100 feet or so. But as the distance decreased, their true identity became clear: Trash bags!
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Better policies will grow better stream-side buffers

Wooded buffers along stream banks are a most effective way to reduce polluted agricultural runoff. Robert Whitescarver, a retired NRCS district conservationist, says if we want to grow more of them, we need to reform conservation policy. Whitescarver writes from the Shenandoah Valley in Virginia, where he consults on conservation issues.
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Editorial: When money talks . . .

By
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

By
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

By
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 

By
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

By
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

By
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

By
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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