Wetlands Emergency Process

All sorts of ’emergencies’ may occur. That’s just the way of the world. And, no matter what definition of emergency is being used, there will always be a need to judge if the particular facts of a situation fit the definition, e.g., is this situation actually an immediate threat to life? Often, the authority/responsibility to make that judgment is delegated to a specific governmental agency, division, body, or office holder. And deciding ‘whether or not an emergency exists’ is a separate/different matter from the authority/process of ‘deciding what may be done to abate the emergency’. In certain specific situations, the …

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Annual Town Meeting

UPDATE: The biggest ticket item, the new municipal building (which will include a new town hall, new library, new community space) needed a 2/3rds vote and passed with room to spare. My attempt to amend the $500 dollars for the land conservation fund up to $5,000, failed on a technicality. All other warrants were passed. May 19th, 7:30pm at RCS Richmond will come together to decide on its town warrant including $6M+ for the new municipal building and $500 for the land conservation fund. I think those priorities are backwards — but maybe that’s just me. Nonetheless, I would urge residents …

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Turtle Spotting and Reporting

‘Tis the season to watch for turtles like the wood turtle shown above. Wood turtles are a species of special concern in Massachusetts and it is super important to report if you’ve been lucky enough to spot one. You can now report observations of animals plants natural communities vernal pools in MassWildlife Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program’s new Heritage Hub! Heritage Hub replaces #MassWildlife’s old VPRS System with a new, user-friendly solution. Register for an account today!    

MACC’s Wetlands Photo Contest

May is Wetlands Month and MACC is sponsoring their annual Wetlands Photo Contest to celebrate.   During Wetlands Month, we take time to recognize the vital importance of wetlands to our Nation’s ecological, economic, and social health. Massachusetts has incredible wetlands in all regions of the state, from the Atlantic coast to the Connecticut River to the Berkshires to your own backyard! Here are some specifics about MACC’s contest: First Place winner will receive a $300 cash prize! Second Place winner will receive a $200 cash prize! Third Place winner will receive a $100 cash prize!   • Submit up …

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Road Advisory Committee Cinco de Mayo at 5:30pm

  Update…   Rescheduled to May 5th, 5:30pm Rare meeting of the Road Advisory Committee. The public are welcome attend & to comment. I’ve personally heard several complaints regarding the condition of Richmond’s gravel roads, I am concerned about their condition myself,  and I hope for a robust discussion. The last Road Advisory committee agenda posted on the town website is from January of 2020 — fifteen months ago. That agenda mentions,” Presentation of current problems and plans for correction”, but no minutes are posted so there is no easy way to discover anything about who attended or the details of …

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Rest in Peace, Bruce Garlow

Bruce Garlow, who served 20 years as Richmond’s Town Administrator and as our first Conservation Agent for 15 years, passed away this past Friday. He was 72 years old. Holly Stover chaired the ConCom during those years and Bruce and Holly fought very hard to conserve Richmond’s character. For example, one huge battle was won when they helped fight off the Altresco pipeline. Listen in below!       I spoke with Bruce only once, several weeks ago, so I did not know him well. But, I’ve read a lot about his contributions to Richmond during my research for this …

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“Restore the Earth!” That’s this year’s theme for Earth Day. Thinking back to the 1st Earth Day in 1970, many things were bleak. Our roadsides were full of litter. There was no EPA. No clean water act. No wetlands protection act. Corporations were spewing pollutants into our air and waters. Yet widespread optimism and activism in the following decade saw the rise of a vigorous, environmental movement that worked to counter the destructive forces of ignorance, developers and corporate malfeasance. In circa 1970 Richmond, it was already the 7th year for the ConCom and 100 acres of land had been …

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61 — Not just a number

In 1995, twin brothers, Millard and Frederic Pryor, gifted over 120 acres of forested land in West Stockbridge and Richmond to the Berkshire Natural Resources Council (BNRC). The Richmond Land Trust (RLT) and BNRC jointly own a conservation restriction on the property. Interestingly, as a young economics student, Frederic Pryor was captured by the soviets in East Germany, charged with espionage and held prisoner for several months. Eventually his release was gained as part of a prisoner swap involving U2 pilot Francis Gary Powers. The story of this was told in book form, later made into a Steven Spielberg film, …

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Who you gonna call? Con Com!! Agenda for 4/13

All persons and organizations about to work in a wetlands resource area need to have permission. Aren’t sure if it is a regulated area?? Just ask the Concom! They can help. For example, if you are looking at a stream from the seat of an excavator…you might pause for a second and not just start digging. What if it’s an emergency? Still call first, there is a defined emergency process that can get you started immediately! Emergencies are defined as only an immediate threat to life or health… Here’s the busy ConCom agenda for tomorrow and for Wednesday’s Board of …

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Lenox Mountain Redux

This morning Dan Scorpa and I accompanied several DCR staff and Tom Lautzenheiser from MassAudubon on a site visit up the steep western slopes of Lenox Mountain. It was a breezy and sunny spring day, perfect for a walk. Late May and into mid-June of last year, un-permitted activity by contractors working for DCR, damaged areas of the forest in the Scenic Mountain Act regulated areas on land belonging to two Richmond homeowners and to Audubon’s Pleasant Valley Wildlife Sanctuary. Dan and I were present for the site visit to observe on behalf of Richmond’s ConCom. DCR is working towards …

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