Whether you know them for their delicious berries or as a painful obstacle in the woods, everyone probably has some relationship to raspberries and blackberries. These incredible plants are often referred to by foresters and ecologists collectively as Rubus, which is the genus they belong to.

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We stare at our children and envy their lightness of being, like snowflakes swept before the hard edge of winter’s breath. They are spared the cares that shadow their parents lives. Their Christmas orbits are drawn with the truest of lines; you are their center, and they yours.

As we crawl to the finish line of this year which has simultaneously been an 800-meter sprint, and a full-fledged marathon, we must remember the practice of gratitude, no matter how, where, or with whom we find ourselves this holiday season.

I often talk about encouraging “diversity” in our forests. The reaction of most people is that they want their forest to be diverse, but they might not know what that actually means or why it’s important.

Ambulances were first used by Catholic Monarchs during the Siege of Málaga in 1487. EMS progressed slowly during this time and it wasn’t until 300 years later that Baron Dominique Jean Larrey, a surgeon in Napoleon’s army, revolutionized battlefield medicine. He recognized the need for impro…

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As someone who loves forests, one of the hardest and strangest parts of my job is to figure out how to cut trees in a way that supports the healthy growth and development of these complex ecosystems.

A quote frequently used by my father is one that describes the culture of a place where he spent most of his 25 year military career. Serving as an F-16 pilot, and later as Adjutant General, he would often say, “The Vermont Guard is a family tradition.”

In an unprecedented year, perhaps it’s only natural that we have an unprecedented election—the first in our lifetimes to occur during a global pandemic, and one in which an astounding number of votes will be cast after being mailed to voters. While many of us are used to staying up late to l…

Commentary by Gov. Madeleine Kunin, Jen Kimmich (co-founder and CEO of the Alchemist Brewery), Deborah Markowitz (former Vermont Secretary of State and Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources), Melinda Moulton (CEO, Main Street Landing), Mary Powell (former CEO, Green Mountain Power), a…

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Many of us have had the experience of walking through the woods, when suddenly the raucous sounds and green-tinted light of a deciduous forest becomes dark and quiet. If this has happened to you, you have already had the unique experience of entering a hemlock forest.

Ask any first responder why they do this type of work and it’s likely you’ll get an answer that involves “serving the community.” Essex Rescue, with a mix of dedicated volunteers and full-time employees, was founded on that sense of service.

Whether you realize it or not, the lives of Vermonters are massively enriched by forests, both aesthetically (we are the Green Mountain State, after all, and the “green” on the mountains are forests), economically and culturally (through our working landscape and our forest-based recreation …

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University of Vermont students on Tuesday began their measured return to campus with more on their shoulders than the rigors of the classroom. They are being asked to do the right thing, to be responsible, to be safe so that their in-class learning can proceed and the university can resume a…

Burlington’s Mayor Miro Weinberger can be excused for questioning the thoroughness of the University of Vermont’s plans to guard against a Covid-19 outbreak when the school’s 12,000 students return to school this month.

Physical fitness for EMS providers is a critical component of job performance. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic exercise per week for adults. Additionally, major muscle groups should be st…

The coronavirus has upended the way we learn about candidates running for office. We’re limited in being able to talk to them directly. There are no crowds, which subtract from the energy. Most Vermonters are singularly focused on surviving; parsing through a candidate’s positions takes a se…

In the 1960s, the Canadian government inaugurated a monthly quota system for its dairy farmers and today those farmers say that if it weren’t for the supply management system the dairy industry in Canada would not exist.

When campaigning on the issues does not work for a candidate, step two is to discredit the opposition. That is the step Senate Pro Tem Tim Ashe has taken with Molly Gray, his most serious rival in the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor.

In 2008, Audubon Vermont and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation teamed up to create a program called “Foresters for the Birds.” The idea of this program was that, while there is a lot to love about Vermont’s forests – from the way they make our state so beautiful, clean …

In mid-July the state of Vermont issued the guidance our school boards were to follow as they cobbled together plans to start the 2020-2021 school year. The guidance was not prescriptive; like the flippers on a pin ball machine, it was meant to keep things centered, with no one going off kil…

Sophie Zdatny was named chancellor of the Vermont State College system on Monday. She has been in the role as in interim chancellor since April. She had been VSC’s general counsel and is regarded as someone who is a talented collaborator, a strong negotiator and someone committed to a sound …

Yellow birch (Betula alleghaniensis) is a striking tree: golden, metallic bark shines among the greys and browns of other trees. The cousin of our most-identifiable tree, the white or “paper” birch (Betula papyrifera), yellow birch has many of the same attributes: bark with little horizontal…

The nation’s hospitals [including Vermont’s] suffered grievously during the pandemic as its services were shut down, but the patients that fill their beds and line up for their scheduled visits apparently did not suffer, raising questions about whether the health care system we’ve built is n…

Vermont legislators are pushing a package of police reform measures intended to be passed by this Friday, the date being set for adjournment until August when legislators address the FY2021 budget.

Now more than ever, people are yearning for purpose and a place where they fit in and feel loved and needed. Whether you find yourself employed, unemployed, retired, on school break, caring for family, or somewhere in between, it is okay, and normal to feel at times as though you’re on the o…

If the average Vermonter were to have been asked a week ago whether a business had the right to fire an employee for being gay or transgender, most would have answered no, thinking the issue had been settled long ago. But until Monday, it was legal in more than half the states to fire worker…

Talk about a gift. Talk about an idea that should be emulated by others who have the means. Talk about a proposal that could make a life long difference to those involved, and to Vermont as a whole.

As the controversy swirls about how to reform the nation’s police forces, including Vermont’s, with a growing chorus favoring a cut in police budgets, it’s worth noting that on a per capita basis the United States employs about 35 percent fewer police officers than other nation’s worldwide.

As the weather gets warmer, Vermonters are comforted by the simple pleasures of summer, among them, fun with friends at Vermont country fairs and festivals. My own family has enjoyed fairs all over the state year after year. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has caused this summer’s fairs and festival…

It’s being called the “Covid-slide.” It began mid-March when the schools were shut down and teachers and their students were sent home and expected to keep the learning process alive and well remotely.

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COVID-19 has disrupted many aspects of daily life and has the potential to impact our civic duty of voting in upcoming elections. At a time when public health is at risk, the Vermont House of Representatives has been working with our Secretary of State to develop ways to ensure that our demo…

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A “keystone species” is a species, usually of wildlife, which has a disproportionate effect on its environment. In our region, the classic example of this is the beaver. Beavers dam and flood fields and forests, essentially creating, or “driving,” their own natural disturbance events. Beside…

I’ve always loved Vermont’s state motto: Freedom and Unity. We Vermonters take our freedom and independence seriously. It gives us the kind of true grit required to withstand snowstorms in October and May. But our independence has never been challenged like it is being challenged now. In the…

As sectors of the economy reopen and Vermonters are called back to work, the need for Vermont's childcare system to be operational again has become a top priority.

The political picture is a lot less clear than most people believe, and that applies to Vermont as well as it does nationally, the reason being that the havoc wreaked by Covid-19 is not fully understood and voters are, by nature, fickle. States are just now budgeting for the next year and wh…

College presidents are sitting on the edges of their financial seats fervently hoping the students already enrolled will return and that today’s high school seniors will commit to their schools in numbers sufficient to keep them solvent. In a state like Vermont, it’s a billion dollar-plus worry.

There is no hiding from Covid-19. This virus has no borders and travels at will, menacing people and businesses in every sector of society. The pandemic threatens agriculture and with it our food security, as farmers work to produce the food on our tables. Our farmers, producers and those ma…

It’s hard to believe it’s May. We’re nearing two straight months of COVID-19 disruptions, and for many of us, our calendars seem irrelevant as we adjust through continued social distancing measures. I know this is a stressful time for those who are out of work, our small business owners who …

Vermont State College Chancellor Jeb Spauding resigned his position Wednesday. Karen Scolforo, president of Castleton University, resigned Thursday. Northern Vermont University President Elaine Collins is a finalist for a job in her home state of Michigan. To call the exodus a challenge to t…

When my last column was sent to The Reporter at the end of March, the Vermont Legislature had been on Covid-19 recess for just over a week. In that week we learned we would be meeting via video-conferencing using Zoom as our method of communication, the IT department in the Statehouse instal…

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I call it engineered chaos with an essential outcome and a timeline that had to be completed before it begins. The outcome is to “flatten the curve” and provide a space for healing and recovery for the homeless, those who have no home to go to safely and are covid positive. They do not need …

Jeb Spaulding, chancellor of the Vermont State Colleges, needs to tender his resignation. Mr. Spaulding is not the leader the state college system needs to weather the crisis before it. At this point he is more of a liablity than an asset.

The protesters came, as expected. The affected communities rose up in anger, as expected. The people whose jobs would be affected, expressed their indignation, as expected. And the students, whose futures were made uncertain, let it be known they were none too happy, also expected.

It seems as if Vermont has struggled with tight budgets since the dawn of time. Every legislative session begins with the affordability sermon and every year we pat ourselves on the back for how flinty we are with a buck, knowing deep down we’ve not been tested, that we’ve not had to choose …

For most of the last month — it seems like years — there has been a single national narrative, which has been the COVID-19 pandemic and its almost biblical wave of destruction, both in loss of life and loss of economic health, of which we’re reminded each passing minute. As humans, we’re not…

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Whether you are a forest manager, landowner, or enjoyer of the outdoors, it can be intimidating to know your role in the management of our forests. While there are some examples of good stewardship, humans’ track record as land managers over the last few hundred years has been mostly poor, r…

Perhaps no system has experienced more fundamental disruption during the pandemic than health care. Hospitals have focused almost every shred of their capacity preparing for, or dealing with the coronavirus, and the cost to the system has been horrific. Revenue has dried up and costs have so…

Nothing is more dispiriting to a dairy farmer than dumping the day’s work into the manure pit, which is happening in Vermont and throughout the nation. The pandemic has had a cascading effect on dairy farmers, disrupting their supply channels and destroying the markets. They dump their milk …