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Cecropia, Our Sylvan King
By Tor Hansen, Guest Column
07:15PM / Wednesday, June 20, 2018
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — So majestic is Hyalophora cecropia in appearance and biology that our sylvan king of the realm is a fitting title.   Just how this regal silk moth can engineer survival despite an inborn handicap is to its credit all the more remarkable. That such a resourceful creature can change form, starting with a tiny egg advancing to an enticing armored caterpillar, to a slumbering pupa inside a silken cocoon, emerging transformed into a wondrous moth is totally amazing.     Cecropia is an ancient moth, but its remote origin remains a mystery. So named by the father of binomial nomenclature, the taxonomist Carrolus

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State House Passes Act That Helps Preserve Family Farms
02:46PM / Monday, June 18, 2018
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BOSTON — State Rep. William "Smitty" Pignatelli joined state Rep. Kate Hogan of Stwo and colleagues in the House of Representatives to pass a bill that aims to preserve family farms across the commonwealth.

H.3915, An Act to establish estate tax valuation for farms, would change the method for assessment of the estate tax valuation for agricultural land. Pignatelli, of Lenox, worked with Hogan to include the agricultural estate tax reform bill as part of a larger environmental bond bill that seeks to address the commonwealth's climate change preparedness and response plans.

"The agricultural estate tax is possibly one of the most important pieces of legislation

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Spring Harbinger Butterflies Abound on Mount Greylock
By Tor Hansen, Community Submission
05:44PM / Saturday, April 28, 2018
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ADAMS, Mass. — Under azure blue skies our sun is warming the ground story all around the woodlands of Mount Greylock, and the native butterflies are responding. Drawn out of winterlong hibernation, resident species are actively flitting about, searching for mates, and sipping both ground moisture and sap from oak and beech trees.

As April warmth pervades the trailside glens, as winter's remnant snows remain and recede, one may find joy in witnessing these showy denizens basking in vernal warmth, and dashing and zooming hither and yon, in pursuit of conjugation or coupling so to procreate their progeny or offspring.  

  Here nature shows us

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State, Federal Officials to Showcase Housatonic River Projects
05:16PM / Tuesday, April 24, 2018
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LENOX, Mass. — State and federal environmental officials will host an open house on May 1 to showcase restoration projects funded as a part of the first three rounds of the Massachusetts Housatonic River Watershed Restoration Program.    The open house will also include a discussion of the anticipated fourth and final round of funding for restoration projects to compensate for natural resources that were injured or lost as a result of the release of hazardous materials from the General Electric facility in Pittsfield into the Massachusetts portion of the Housatonic River watershed.    The Massachusetts Subcouncil of the Housatonic River Natural Resource Trustees

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Mass Delegation Calls on Pruitt to Uphold Rest of the River Plan
Staff Reports,
01:16PM / Friday, February 09, 2018
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — The region's congressional delegation is pushing Environment Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt to uphold the EPA's 2016 order that contaminated material in the Housatonic River be "shipped off-site to existing licensed facilities for disposal."   U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Edward J. Markey and U.S. Rep. Richard Neal have sent a letter to Pruitt calling on him to ensure General Electric lives up to its commitments in the $613 million "Rest of the River" cleanup.    Keeping the contaminated soil and sediment in the county would save GE roughly $250 million.    GE, once a powerhouse in Pittsfield,

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Wildlife Habitation Grants Awarded to Berkshire Towns
04:18PM / Wednesday, January 03, 2018
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SHEFFIELD, Mass. — Nearly $200,000 in grants for wildlife habitat improvement projects are targeted for organizations in seven Berkshire and border towns.   All together, 18 municipalities, organizations, and private landowners across the state were awarded a total of $506,856 in grants from the MassWildlife Habitat Management Grant Program. The program was developed to establish partnerships between the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and private and municipal landowners to enhance habitat and increase recreational opportunities on properties across the state.    This year, funds provided through the grant program will benefit 20 wildlife habitat improvement

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State Asking For Input On Outdoor Recreation Plan
Staff Reports,
04:08PM / Thursday, October 05, 2017
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PITTSFIELD, Mass. — What type of outdoor recreation would you want to see created?   That's what the state is asking right now. The Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs is updating its Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan, which makes it eligible for about $2 million per year from the federal government.    The National Park Service's Land and Water Conservation Fund program has been ongoing since 1965 and has paid for a number of outdoor recreation projects in the county. Locally, the money has purchased land along the Appalachian Trail and at Onota Lake. North Adams received a quarter of a million dollars to build a park on River

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Grant Helps Spread the 'Bee Friendly Williamstown' Buzz
By Rebecca Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
02:30AM / Friday, September 29, 2017
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WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — The town has received a $9,120 grant from the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at University of Massachusetts at Lowell to further its efforts to become "Bee Friendly Williamstown."

Last May, Williamstown residents approved a non-binding resolution declaring the town a pollinator-friendly community. The resolution seeks to change residential and institutional landscaping practices by promoting ways to reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides that scientists believe are killing bee populations.

Building on that, the town has partnered with several local organizations - Caretaker Farm, the Clark Art Institute, Images Cinema, Sam and Elizabeth Smith,

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Senate Chair on Global Warming Takes Input on Energy Policy
By Andy McKeever, iBerkshires Staff
03:56AM / Tuesday, June 20, 2017
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State Sens. Adam Hinds and Marc Pacheco visit Seth Nash of Blue Q on Monday afternoon, before the hearing. Nash is one of the private-sector businesses to install a photovoltaic array to power his business.  PITTSFIELD, Mass. — State Sen. Marc Pacheco has chaired the Joint Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture and thought he had heard everything about the environment.   Until 11 years ago, when he saw Al Gore's documentary "An Inconvenient Truth."   "I saw the reality come to life on a movie screen," Pacheco said.   He signed up to become a "climate messenger" and went to a training in Nashville, Tenn.

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North Adams Event Tries to Link Local Vendors with Anchor Institutions
By Stephen Dravis, iBerkshires Staff
01:07AM / Friday, May 12, 2017
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NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — Last Friday's foul weather was just fine with Jeffrey Thomas.   "I've never hoped so hard for rain," Thomas said as the crowd filtered in to a Buyer/Supplier Meetup event he planned at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Arts' Club B10.   Thomas is the executive director of North Adams non-profit Lever, which seeks to foster entrepreneurship throughout the region.   On Friday, Lever hosted the first-ever event to try to form connections between small- and mid-sized businesses and the area's major "anchor" institutions, like Williams College, Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, Berkshire Medical Center,

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