New England News Collaborative

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.

Unlike large hydropower dams, where there's often serious political and emotional resistance to removal, conservationists are finding many landowners of small dams are happy to have them removed.

The future for thousands of young people in Massachusetts is unclear after Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced Tuesday that the Trump administration would end the program known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA.

Low-income communities and communities of color are disproportionately affected by the consequences of climate change -- think New Orleans and Hurricane Katrina. These areas suffer from poor air quality, increasing temperatures, and extreme weather.

New England Wildflower Society's Bill Brumback, opening the freezer that acts as the "seed vault," in Framingham, Mass.
Jill Kaufman / NEPR

In New England, 22 percent of the region's native plants are considered rare. Some of them are on the federal list of endangered species. Biologists worldwide and locally have been saving crop seeds, and seeds from other plants important to the ecosystem. 

A play by Massachusetts to inject more renewable power into its electricity mix could reshape the entire region's energy landscape. Dozens of developers are competing to offer Massachusetts the best price for long-term contracts to supply clean energy to hundreds of thousands of homes. 

But many of the projects also face another challenge: convincing residents of Northern New England it's in their interest to host the Bay State's extension cord.

After years of encouraging solar development, Vermont seems to be attracting the attention of national solar companies.

NENC
DOUG BISHOP / GREATER BURLINGTON (VT) YMCA

For many Vermonters, swimming is learned early and central to summer fun. But for children who are new to the United States and still learning English, swimming can be a completely foreign concept.

Though they won’t have a budget by the time the regular legislative session comes to an end Wednesday night, Connecticut legislators have debated bills ranging from economic development to highway tolls. 

The federal government estimates that on any given night, 3,000 to 4,000 female veterans are homeless.

But that estimate is probably on the low side, according to Sara Scoco, who directs the Women’s Program of the western Massachusetts-based nonprofit group Soldier On.

“When people are doing homeless counts, they’re going to shelters, they’re seeing people on the street,” Scoco said. “A female veteran is not the person you see on the street holding a sign.”

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