Natural Resources

Small Farms
5:26 pm
Tue February 18, 2014

Legislation Eases Agritourism Obstacles

If Governor McAuliffe agrees, small farmers could operate agritourism activities under less restrictive regulations … thanks to legislation that has now passed both houses of the General Assembly.  The new law would prohibit local governments from requiring special-use permits and imposing stringent noise regulations unless there’s a substantial impact on public welfare or safety. 

While small farmers embraced this bill, they did not get everything they wanted during the legislative session.

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Legal Challenge to EPA Plan
1:03 pm
Tue February 4, 2014

Fight Over Chesapeake Bay Clean-Up

Two major lobbyists – the American Farm Bureau Federation and the Fertilizer Institute -- have some new allies in their legal fight against a plan to clean up the Chesapeake Bay, and environmentalists here are furious. 

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Fighting One Invasive Species With Another
12:54 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

Saving Hemlocks from Extinction

A tiny, invasive bug is bringing down hemlock trees from Appalachia to southern Canada. And scientists fear another treasured native tree may be going the way of the American chestnut, forever changing forest ecosystems.

Researchers at Virginia Tech are hoping to beat the invaders at their own game. They’re using a new invasive species to keep an old one in check, and save the American hemlock tree.

 

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VT's Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center
4:41 pm
Tue January 7, 2014

Growing Mussels

Credit Virginia Tech

Forty years on, the Endangered Species Act continues to demonstrate its effects on a species native to this area; the fresh water mussel. 

You might say these shellfish do the heavy lifting when it comes to keeping waterways healthy. More strains of these living water filters grow in this region, than anywhere else in the world. 

The small buildings at Virginia Tech’s Freshwater Mollusk Conservation Center in Blacksburg seem more like a fishing village than a high tech research facility.

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Keeping Waterways Healthy
2:06 pm
Mon December 30, 2013

Stabilizing Threatened Species

December 2013 marked the 40th Birthday of the US Endangered Species Act …and in the decades since, many people have been working to get threatened species off the endangered list.

Scientists at Virginia Tech are making progress with a key species that helps keep area waterways alive and healthy.

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