Environment/Conservation

What’s recyclable in Rappahannock?

By
4
April 16
Tom Morris via Wikimedia Commons

A wrap-up of what you can now recycle at Rappahannock County recycling centers at Amissville and Flatwood.
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The Rapp for April 9

The cast of YCTIWY rehearses at RAAC Theatre, including (seated, from left) Sam Clifton, Mimi Forbes and Howard Coon, and (standing, from left) Bob Hurley, Andy Platt, Mike Mahoney, Brendan Martyn, Lakota Coon, Gary Grossman, Stephanie Mastri, Patty Hardee, Dontez Harris and Carolina Leonard.

Another big weekend in Rappahannock • Working Woods Walk coming up at Montpelier • Virginia's climatologist speaks in Warrenton • RAAC Theatre's May comedy • Give Local Piedmont gears up • Appreciating the Book Barn • Belle Meade trail ride this weekend
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Letter: Beautification, development and conversation

Rappahannock is a beautiful and unique, special place. Letter-writer Stanley Reynolds reminds us to get involved, and to work together to keep it that way.
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Shifting the lens

By Tom Horton We’re all familiar with the problem-solving technique of simply shifting the lens. Viewing the same thing differently. Glass “half full” instead of “half empty” is an example. When it comes to the Chesapeake Bay watershed, the “glass” I want to talk about, that technique may work better for those who never...
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Letter: Climate change: denial, anger . . . acceptance

“I care so deeply about climate change, but I don’t know what I personally can do about it. I feel helpless, stalled and disconnected.” There were the words of someone who recently came to me for help. As a longtime spiritual coach, I’ve learned that certain ways of interacting with Nature can assist people...
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Help for septic system maintenance

For assistance with the maintenance, repair or replacement of septic systems, Virginia and the Culpeper Soil and Water Conservation District offer a grant-based cost-share program for significant portions of Rappahannock, Culpeper and Madison counties. Homeowners in the eligible watershed areas of the upper Hazel River watershed are eligible for the assistance, which includes reimbursement...
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Virginia deer harvest down 22 percent

Special deer hunts at Virginia State Parks this year.

Wildlife biologists with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), after compiling the preliminary figures for the 2014-15 fall/winter hunting season, reported significant declines in deer and turkey harvests this year.
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6,500-plus acres protected in the Northern Piedmont in 2014

Courtesy PEC

More than 6,500 acres in The Piedmont Environmental Council’s nine-county service region were permanently protected by conservation easements in 2014, including 116 new acres of conservation easement-protected land in Rappahannock County.
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Letter: Protect deer, or protect our forests, farms and gardens?

In the Feb. 12 edition of the Rappahannock News, Richard Brady makes a case that Rappahannock County should not participate in the “Earn A Buck” (EAB) program of the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries (VDGIF), which manages the deer population in Virginia. In this program a hunter, after taking an antlered deer, must...
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Stop taking ’cides

By
Feb. 19
MRSA, by NIAID via Wikimedia Commons

Vaccines or none, human resistance is going haywire. So it appears from health headlines. Writer Liza Field has a few antibiotic-free ideas.
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Conservation easement bill passes first Senate test

FB Virginia State Capitol Richmond FB

The Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources has approved a bill that would establish an authority to mediate between land conservation owners and easement holders.
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Editorial: At one with the earth, at last

via reshmillpreserve.com

Conservation easements and wildlife habitat, subjects of recent Rappahannock News stories, are not the only ways to preserve the county’s open spaces. Here’s another: conservation burial!
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Benevolence, Hawaiian-style

Rev. Jennings W. Hobson III, somewhat out of uniform — like all the guests at last weekend’s Hawaii-themed Benevolent Fund Dinner — addresses the crowd at what was by most accounts an extraordinarily successful annual fundraising event.

Restored habitat brings fields of dreams to Sperryville

Fletcher cut back his cattle operation, then converted this section of marginal pastureland to quail habitat. The wooded riparian buffer strip provides woody escape cover between this field and the field border and crop ground on the other side. This is how you arrange quail cover.

It is a fact that the underlying cause of the plight of the bobwhite is habitat loss and habitat fragmentation. A recent Sperryville example proves the “if you build it, they will come” philosophy can work to help recover this once-familiar Prince of Gamebirds to sustainable population levels.
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Letter: Look after energy, economy and environment, please

An open letter to Sen. Mark Obenshain (R-26th) and Del. Michael Webert (R-18th): The Unitarian/Universalists of the Blue Ridge (UUBRidge) congregation located in Sperryville wishes our state to expand the use of solar and wind energy sources instead of fossil fuel. We wish to promote alternative energy to replace fossil fuel wherever possible. Thus,...
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Editorial: Where there’s smoke …

By
Jan. 22
Fireplace by Francisco Belard via Wikimedia Commons

Where there’s smoke, there’s not only fire but also concern: Visible smoke from your chimney means your fire isn’t burning as efficiently or cleanly as it could, and air quality — and thus your health — are at stake.
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Letter: No pain, no gain

I heartily support raising the gas tax. As pointed out in last week’s editorial, the state of our transportation infrastructure is abysmal and we are doing nothing about it. While no one enjoys paying taxes, I think most people are willing to share the burden of cost for services provided them. The gas tax...
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Letter: A request for our man in Richmond

An open letter to Del. Michael Webert (R-18th): As residents of Rappahannock County, we urge you to do all you can to ensure the protection of our lands and landscapes; supporting the Virginia Land Preservation Tax Credit is one meaningful and effective way. With the human presence increasingly felt and seen throughout the world,...
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Editorial: Land preservation under attack

The actual evening view, as captured at Cheri and Martin Woodard’s Long View Farm, site of this year’s Evening View.

As the 2015 session of the Virginia General Assembly convenes next week, on Jan. 14, some legislators are apparently considering cuts to land conservation programs as a way to alleviate the commonwealth’s projected budget shortfall.
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Letter: Dark skies, bright spirits

Dark skies star cluster photo by Filip Lolić via Wikimedia Commons

Have you noticed more lights at night around our county? I have. From where I sit on a farm in the F.T. Valley, the number of field and garage beacons illumined in the valley at night has increased, or so it seems.
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Editorial: Notes on the state of Rappahannock’s future

Spring is well underway along the Thornton River Trail in Shenandoah National Park.

As global temperatures rise, there’s no “Planet B” to escape the changes that are projected to occur, and Rappahannock will not escape the dramatic changes that likely will occur, according to “Virginia Climate Fever,” a new book about how climate change would affect Virginia.
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Table it

By
Jan. 1
By Ben Franske via Wikimedia Commons

With holidays bringing people with disparate views together for meals, columnist Liza Field sees food as the great connector — person to person, people to planet.
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Conservationists of the Year

picSoilWater-11

The Rapp column for Dec. 11

Old Rag Master Naturalists inspect the terrain on a geology field trip at Stony Man lookout in Shenandoah National Park.

Holiday concerts, local arts grants, a Constitutional advocate at Gray Ghost, a run/walk fundraiser for the “Shop with a Deputy” program, holiday-related art workshops and more in this week’s The Rapp.
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The Rapp for Nov. 20

On a late fall-early winter hike in Shenandoah National Park.

A sing-along and a music concert to benefit the Food Pantry, RLEP’s annual gathering, seasonal changes at Shenandoah National Park and Amissville winery festivities are in this week’s The Rapp column.
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Clean water awards to Lessards, Willises

Bay Friendly Farm Award recipients Rick and Dorothy Lessard are flanked by CSWCD board chair Lynn Graves (left) and Rappahannock directors Evelyn Kerr and Monira Rifaat (right).

Rappahannock farm owners Rick and Dorothy Lessard and Stephen and Annette Willis received awards for conservation stewardship at the annual Clean Water Farm Awards dinner in Culpeper Nov. 6.
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Editorial: That time of year

By
Nov. 13, 2014
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

This year’s spectacular fall foliage brought great beauty, but also great noise pollution, as leaf blowers are taken up to manage the fallen leaves.
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Wild Ideas: In the news: good guide, bad bug

By
Nov. 13, 2014
Despite its beauty, the Asian spotted lanterfly, sighted in Pennsylvania this fall, could follow in the footsteps of the brown marmorated stink bug.

News recently arrived in Pam Owen’s email inbox of a new shrub and vine identification guide from the Virginia Department of Forestry and a report of yet another threatening bug invading Pennsylvania.
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Leaving a happier planet

By
Nov. 6, 2014
By Roger Piantadosi/Rappahannock News

Money does grow on trees — along with health and high spirits. Don’t lose yours as autumn dwindles.
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Editorial: We want to believe

By
Nov. 6, 2014
By Bas Lammers via Wikimedia Commons

Screeches and screams reportedly heard rolling across the hills and vales of Rappahannock were not wails of disappointment from residents whose favored candidates did not win on Tuesday. But could it really have been, as someone said, a mountain lion?
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Wild Ideas: This autumn’s gold-medal foliage

By
Nov. 6, 2014
In the fall, sassafras leaves can stay green or turn yellow or red, depending on the amount of light that hits the leaves.

With wind and rain now rapidly stripping the leaves from deciduous trees, time is running out to enjoy this autumn's spectacular fall color. Pam Owen explores how and why leaves change color this time of year.
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Letter: Bullets: Get the lead out

With hunters getting ready to hit Rappahannock’s fields and forests in pursuit of deer, I wanted to encourage everyone to consider replacing their lead bullets with copper ones. Getting the lead out of gasoline and paint are universally considered milestone achievements with clear, demonstrable benefits for human health and the environment. Yet we have...
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This little light of ours

By
Oct. 23, 2014
Photo by Kaye Kohler

As the autumn daylight wanes, nature and the human body ordinarily adjust themselves for winter. But increasingly, we’re setting the world aglow 24/7 with all-night lighting. Liza Field takes a look at research illuminating a few of the fiscal, environmental and healthcare costs of that new light bill.
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When a farm turns factory, what’s a town to do?

A Pennsylvania law designed to protect farms from nuisance complaints has also allowed concentrated animal feeding operations — factory farms — to escape local land use controls, writes Tim Rowland.
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Photos: Life on the hill

By
Oct. 9, 2014
Photo by Roger Piantadosi

Unwise pipeline calls for people power

The proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline across Virginia is unwise. It endangers national forests and private properties, writes Robert Whitescarver, and illustrates the power of corporations, and the need for reform.
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These neighbors are a different kind of wild

Photo by Christopher Bruno via Wikimedia Commons

Most people hate coyotes, but not Jim Minick. He loves them, their wildness most of all. And, like it or not, they’re not going anywhere — despite everyone’s best efforts.
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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

RN_080714_A001WF

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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