Deer harvest up from last year

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copyright the Chronicle November 30, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

The head deer biologist for the Vermont Department of Fish and Wildlife speculated Tuesday that the harvest from the 2016 rifle season may be up by as much as 15 percent from the 2015 season.

In an interview two days after the 16-day rifle season ended Sunday, deer biologist Nick Fortin said he expects to see the increase range from between 10 and 15 percent.

While the actual increase won’t be known until all the reporting stations around the state have checked in, Mr. Fortin credited a mild winter for this year’s improved harvest.

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Lost hunter tells his story

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copyright the Chronicle November 23, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

 

HOLLAND — A seasoned Brattleboro deer hunter who kept thinking positive survived four nights in the big woods here that extend across the border.

John Chapman, 72, was found early Sunday afternoon in Norton after an extensive search that began when he failed Wednesday to return to a friend’s camp on Holland Pond.

When U.S. Border Patrol Agent Matt Bovay located the missing hunter — in what a State Police press release characterized as “a very remote area of Norton” — Mr. Chapman said he was surprised to learn that he was the subject of an intensive search, involving rescue dogs, wilderness response teams, game wardens, the State Police Search and Rescue unit, and Border Patrol agents.

“I didn’t know I had created such a commotion,” he said, speaking in an interview Tuesday as he praised everyone who participated in the search. “I owe a great debt of gratitude.”

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Moose kill down from 2015

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copyright the Chronicle October 26, 2016

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by Paul Lefebvre

The success rate among moose hunters for the 2016 archery and rifle season, which ended Thursday, October 20, is lagging slightly behind the 2015 rate.

According to a press release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, preliminary reports suggest an overall success rate of 45 percent, down from the 47 percent of last year.

It’s pretty close to what we expected,” said the department’s moose biologist, Cedric Alexander. He said the rate was especially low in some of the wildlife management units in the southern part of the state.

Although reports on the 2016 season will not be final until January 2017, Mr. Alexander noted that hunters could only shoot bulls in most of the units.

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Montreal man starts hemp farm in Holland

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copyright the Chronicle October 5, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

HOLLAND — A former construction worker from Montreal with dual American-Canadian citizenship is hardly the kind of farmer one would expect to find here cultivating a crop still deemed to be illegal by the federal government, in a field only a little more than a stone’s throw away from the border.

But Morgan Laurent is among a handful of farmers in Vermont who want to break new ground with the plant they are growing and turn industrial hemp into a legitimate crop.

Standing among row after row of bushy green plants that smell like, and dangerously resemble, the illicit weed marijuana, Mr. Laurent is growing industrial hemp in the spirit of a visionary. Rather than grow a crop used to make rope or paper, he is growing a plant that produces medicinal oils and are used to make people feel better, without getting them high.

“I’m not doing anything wrong,” he says, after pointing out one of his premier specimens with buds thick and sticky enough to earn the moniker “Juicy fruit.”

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Foresters talk stewardship at Craftsbury Outdoor Center

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copyright the Chronicle September 28, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre.

CRAFTSBURY — To see the forest and not the trees could have dire consequences for the landowner who wants to be a good steward of the land and pass the fruits of his or her labor onto future generations.

That was one of the take-aways from a conversation among foresters, landowners and citizens here last week at the Craftsbury Outdoor Center.

The discussion was the latest in a Summer Forestry Series focusing on land that constitutes the watershed of the Black River. As one of the organizers of the series, Orleans County Forester Jared Nunery said in an interview this week that the series has explored bedrock, soil types, and what he called the nuts and bolts of the watershed’s ecological system. Tuesday’s talk added human beings to the mix.

Henry Cold, a landowner, warned his listeners that while society has passed laws to protect land uses, it still lacks a land ethic. He said that landowners’ privileges have not been matched with landowners’ obligations when it comes to recognizing the forest as a community in which human beings are only members.

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Morgan appeals PSB approval of Seymour Lake Solar project

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copyright the Chronicle September 14, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

MORGAN — Selectmen here are accusing the Public Service Board (PSB) of failing to give the town a fair shake in granting a Certificate of Public Good (CPG) to the developer of a 500-Kilowatt solar project.

On Monday, attorney Cindy Hill, representing the town, filed a motion with the Public Service Board (PSB) requesting it reconsider its decision.

“Morgan is not a town that’s going to roll over,” said Candy Moot, a resident of Morgan and an opponent of the project. “We’re going to fight this.”

The motion contends that board Chair James Volz did not follow through on his promise to grant a technical hearing in the case.

“The town feels that due process was denied,” Ms. Moot charged.

In an e-mail to the Chronicle Monday, Ms. Moot wrote that “the PSB issued a CPG without responding to or considering the comments raising substantive issues by the Town of Morgan, the Agency of Natural Resources, Division of Historic Preservation, Department of Public Service or Vermont Electric Co-op.”

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Fire destroys historic round barn in Irasburg

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copyright the Chronicle August 24, 2016

by Paul Lefebvre

IRASBURG — A fire Tuesday destroyed the round barn here on Robillard Flats that had become a cultural landmark for those who live or travel through Orleans County.

Originally built in 1908, the barn had been in the Robillard family since 1960. Two generations of dairy farmers had turned the land, as well as the barn, into a showpiece that attracted natives and tourists alike.

A fast burning fire that started early in the afternoon completely destroyed the wooden round barn and left the remaining metal barns, where the livestock were kept, scorched and crumpled.

It’s a disaster,” said Bernard Robillard, who bought the farm from his father, Guy.

It’s still uncertain what caused the fire.

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History as seen through the novels of Jeffrey Lent

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A novel by Jeffrey Lent

A novel by Jeffrey Lent

copyright the Chronicle September 2, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

History as seen in the novels of Jeffrey Lent: In the Fall (542 pages), published in 1999 by Atlantic Monthly Press, and A Slant of Light (357 pages) published in 2015 published by Bloomsbury.

To write out of time, or write imaginatively about a century that transpired 100 years ago, is a tricky proposition for any writer to undertake. Historical novels have evolved to become a genre of their own, but the best ones are arguably those that focus on a particular event. The one that comes readily to mind is the American Civil War novel Killer Angels, written by Michael Shaara. It’s a novel so good at recreating the pivotal three-day battle of Gettysburg that more than one reader has mistaken imaginary characters for real ones.

Much of the novel did revolve around…  To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Remembering the last log drive on the Connecticut

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Where else but a log drive would a team of horses be rafted down a river?  Photo from Bill Gove’s book Log Drives on the Connecticut River

Where else but a log drive would a team of horses be rafted down a river? Photo from Bill Gove’s book Log Drives on the Connecticut River

copyright the Chronicle August 12, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

The Northeast Kingdom has often been called the state’s last frontier, but where do we turn to find the bigger than life characters or the tall tales that go into making up a frontier? There are still people alive who remember individual heroics either in the mills or on the railroad tracks, but what is it about the Kingdom that fires a schoolboy’s imagination when he reads about its past?

When anyone mentions frontier, it’s usually the West that readily comes to mind. We know its famous characters from Wyatt Earp and Billy the Kid to the more legendary Stagger Lee or Frankie and Johnny. Cowboys and cattle, lawmen and…To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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Island Pond swamped with visitors for July 4

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copyright the Chronicle July 1, 2015

Pictured is one of the flag-twirling majorettes in Les Éclairs, a marching band from Quebec that provided a highly polished performance during the Fourth of July celebration Saturday in Island Pond. Photo by Paul Lefebvre

copyright the Chronicle July 8, 2015

by Paul Lefebvre

ISLAND POND — More than fireworks sizzled and popped in this small town at the weekend’s celebration of the Fourth of July

The size of the crowd that turned out over the three days of festivities prompted one observer to remark that he didn’t realize that so many people knew where Island Pond was.

Beginning with Friday night’s fireworks and extending into Saturday’s parade with a Canadian marching band accompanied by a fleet of floats, decorated to celebrate America’s two-hundred thirty-ninth birthday, Island Pond sparkled day and night.

The first wave of revelers appeared at the weekly Friday Night Live, an open air dance at the Pavilion Park, that includes… To read the rest of this article, and all the Chronicle‘s stories, subscribe:

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