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Some Berkshire Farms to Receive Aerial Crop Planting
By Jack Guerino, iBerkshires Staff
03:53AM / Tuesday, August 09, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Farms in Adams, Cheshire, Lanesborough, North Adams, Sheffield, West Stockbridge and Williamstown will be seeding a little differently this August.

Instead of establishing a cover crop by hand, a helicopter will plant winter rye grass seed from above.

The airborne cover-crop planting is being done through the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation program.

Farms through the state applied to the NRC's Environmental Quality Incentives Program to take advantage of financial and technical assistance for a conservation practice that allows farmers to take full advantage of a cover crop.   Chenail Brothers Dairy Farm's Wallace

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Mount Greylock Envirothon Team Succeeds in First Year
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:31PM / Saturday, August 06, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Recent Mount Greylock Regional School graduate Benni McComish says he long has been interested in environmental justice.

This year, he got into the science behind the issues.

McComish was one of eight Mount Greylock students who participated in the school's first Envirothon team.

Envirothon, a program of the National Conservation Foundation, is a nationwide environmental education competition that attracts 50,000 people from 4,000 public and private high schools each year.

It attracted McComish, who already was part of Mount Greylock's Youth Environmental Squad, because Envirothon offered a chance to do field research.

"I hadn't really been

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Williamstown Conservation Commission OKs Clark Solar Project
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:04AM / Wednesday, July 20, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Clark Art Institute has the go-ahead from the town to install a solar photovoltaic installation on its property.   The museum's partner, Framingham-based Ameresco, Inc., was before the Conservation Commission last week to explain the project and get its approval to proceed without a Notice of Intent, which would have triggered a much more rigorous review.   The commission unanimously agreed that the 400-kilowatt, ground-mounted installation will not negatively affect the resource area on the property, specifically an unnamed stream that empties into Christmas Brook.   Ameresco project manager Jack Honor told the Con Comm that

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Williamstown Rural Lands Adds 'QR' Codes at Trailheads
04:45PM / Saturday, July 16, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation is making it easier for hikers to access its trails on their own time with a system of downloadable maps and guides.

  WRLF has posted at the trailhead of three of its trails a QR (Quick Response) code that will enable a hiker with a smartphone who simply scans the QR code to download a trail map and a trail description, providing information about the length of the trail and its degree of difficulty, and describing the natural features to be encountered along the way.   All a hiker needs to do is to go to the "App Store" and enter "QR Code Reader" in the search box.   After clicking on the

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Williamstown Seeks Volunteers for Hiking Trail Maintenance
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
04:43AM / Friday, July 08, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Conservation Commission wants you.   The panel is looking for volunteers to attend a July 14 lesson on how to help maintain town-owned hiking trails.   At its June 23 meeting, hiking enthusiast and commission member Robert Hatton asked his colleagues to organize the session, scheduled for 6:30 at Town Hall in advance of the committee’s next regular meeting.   Hatton first announced his plan to generate a volunteer trail maintenance crew at a Board of Selectmen meeting on June 14.   A week later, he explained to his colleagues on the Conservation Commission why it is necessary to find new volunteer labor for continuing maintenance

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Guest Column: Bans on Plastic Bags Gaining Ground
By Rinaldo Del Gallo, Guest Columnist
09:24PM / Wednesday, June 22, 2016
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I am pleased to announce that at last night's town meeting (Monday, June 20), Adams banned single-use plastic bags. (Article 25). It was a remarkable unanimous vote by the members of the town meeting.
 
Recently, there have been a series of single-use plastic bag bans. There has been a ban in Lee, a ban in Lenox, and last night a ban in Adams. Lenox was done by the Board of Health. In Lee, the ban on single-use plastic bags was done by town meeting — where it won by a considerable margin. In a similar manner, Lee and Lenox banned the use of Styrofoam.
 
What is less commonly known is my role in these bans. The ban on Styrofoam and single-use plastic bags in Lee and

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Williamstown Rural Lands Offers Guided Hike Series
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Thursday, June 16, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Grab your water bottle, boots and boundless curiosity about the woods that surround you and join the Williamstown Rural Lands Foundation for a series of guided hikes this summer and fall.

The non-profit is offering a series of seven Saturday morning hikes that began on May 21 and continue this Saturday to help expose hikers of all abilities — or even no ability — to some of the trails it manages or helps manage in and around the Village Beautiful.

"Rural Lands owns land on which a number of trails sit," said Dustin Griffin, a member of the WRLF Board of Directors. "It monitors trails on other properties. And it wants to encourage

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Williamstown Planning Board Nears Agreement on Waubeeka Overlay
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
10:47PM / Thursday, April 28, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Planning Board on Thursday came close to approving a compromise amendment on the Waubeeka Overlay District proposal.

At the latest in a series of meetings that started in September, the panel narrowed its areas of disagreement to one: whether a potential resort at the South Williamstown golf course is limited by the square footage of its buildings or by the area of a building envelope.

The board agreed to meet again on Wednesday, May 4, at 5 p.m., in hopes of finalizing an amendment to a citizen's petition that is acceptable to the petitioner — the attorney for Waubeeka Golf Links owner Michael Deep — in time to introduce said amendment at

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Williamstown Selectmen Back Mohawk Trail Partnership
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
03:15AM / Wednesday, April 27, 2016
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The Board of Selectmen on Monday agreed to support a drive to create a 21-community economic development and conservation project stretching from the Pioneer Valley across North Berkshire.

Tom Matuszko and Bob O'Connor of the Mohawk Trail Woodlands Partnership Project told officials about the group's plan to seek enabling legislation in Boston to establish the partnership and open the door to federal grant money from the U.S. Forest Service.

Matuszko explained that since the woodland project began more than two years ago, its focus has changed to put more emphasis on economic development.

"When we started, we intended to have a primary focus on

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Kinder Morgan Suspends Northeast Energy Direct Pipeline Project
Staff Reports,
05:35PM / Wednesday, April 20, 2016
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — Kinder Morgan has suspended the Northeast Energy Direct pipeline project, which was planned to cut through the Berkshires.   The company released a statement Wednesday evening announcing the suspension of work on the $3.3 billion project.   "As a result of inadequate capacity commitments from prospective customers, Kinder Morgan Inc. and its subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Company, have suspended further work and expenditures on the Northeast Energy Direct Project," reads the statement from the company.    The project was announced in 2015 and the company said it had received a number of commitments from local gas distribution

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