A Valley News Publication

Vermont Law School releases “top 10 environmental watch list”

The annual list highlights “critical law and policy issues they believe will escalate in the coming year.” This year, it includes the following articles:

1. Houston, This is Harvey: Hurricanes are Hazardous
2. Fuel Efficiency Standards Trumped?
3. States Filling the Void on Climate Change
4. Pulling the Teeth Out of the Endangered Species Act
5. Nuclear War: The War Our Planet Won’t Survive
6. The President’s Monumental Mistakes
7. Trump’s Wall: Adios to Environmental Law?
8. Energy Infrastructure Siting Authority
9. Solar Trade Tariffs
10. Permitting Natural Gas Pipelines: Must FERC Take Climate Change Into Account?

Check ’em all out at watchlist.vermontlaw.edu.

Students walk across campus at Vermont Law School in South Royalton, Vt., on Sept. 27, 2013. (Valley News – Geoff Hansen) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com.

Cute and creepy crawlies are comin’ for your leaves

Hide yer trees, hide yer leaves.

A close up view of native forest tent caterpillars, which are responsible for defoliating thousands of acres of trees in Vermont from year to year. (Photo courtesy Vermont Fish & Wildlife)

From Vermont Fish & Wildlife today:

Forest tent caterpillars have hatched, according to forest health specialists from the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation. The insect is expected to cause widespread defoliation this summer, mostly in forests across northeastern and central Vermont.


Forest tent caterpillars are native to North America, and prefer eating the leaves of sugar maple and ash trees over other tree species. The tree damage caused by the insect can significantly reduce tree growth and impact maple tapping operations for Vermont sugarmakers, which contribute $140 million annually to the state’s economy.


In 2016, forest tent caterpillars defoliated 25,000 acres of forestland in the state. Most trees survive defoliation, even if they are defoliated several years in a row, but a significant outbreak can turnaround that trend.

Vermont Fish & Wildlife has some guidelines for protecting trees here.