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The Agrarian Trust works to break down the barriers preventing new farmers from accessing and securing land by creating Agrarian Commons. The Agrarian Commons holds land parcels in trust and gives the power back to the farmer, rather than the landowner. Somalian refugees in Maine have struggled with land security and tenancy in since 2014, forced to move and recreate their farm systems multiple times before BCM’s own Beth Boepple helped launch Little Jubba Agrarian Commons, making it possible for Muhidin Libah and his community to secure and control farmland.
Read about Muhidin and his community’s journey here.
Attention, and a lawsuit, has been brought to an application for a new landfill in Dalton, NH. Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) argues that the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (NHDES) has not updated their solid waste management plan since 2003 although laws require updates every six years to keep up with the evolution of practices, technology, and alternatives to land-filling. North Country Alliance for Balanced Change (NCABC), represented by BCM’s Attorney Amy Manzelli, supports CLF in their position that NHDES cannot determine the accuracy of new permits when plans have not been updated since 2003. Amy states; “the solid waste management plan, being 18 years old, cannot contain any up-to-date information about the preferences for source reduction, recycling, etc.” and that outdated plans “would have a dramatic and irrevocable impact on NCABC and other residents in the North Country for decades to come.”
Read the full article by the Caledonian Record here.
After the 1st Circuit Court of Appeals halted CMP’s Construction in segment 1 of the environmentally destructive 154 mile transmission corridor known as NECEC, CMP shifted work to a portion of the corridor route previously disturbed by transmission lines and clearing. CMP’s strategy appears to be to get as much work done as possible while their permits are in effect to gain “vested rights” all while Environmental groups and our clients represented by Beth Boepple, continue fighting to over-turn the permits on appeal. If successful, CMP could be ordered to remove what they’ve built and restore the clear cut areas. Another hurdle CMP faces is a voter referendum, which, if passed by the voters, will require legislative approval for any power line longer than 50 miles, including the NECEC.
Read more in the Portland Press Herald here.
Attorney Jason Reimers spoke at the 2021 New Hampshire Association of Natural Resource Scientists (NHANRS) Conference on January 29th. This is the second year that Jason has covered the topic of ethics at this conference.
Read more about the conference and the NHANRS here.
Recently, Amy Manzelli helped young couple, Jenn and Karl Comeau, in all aspects of taking over ownership of Stone Barn Butcher and Horizon Farm in Bennington, New Hampshire, now called Hilltop Bottom Farm. BCM has always been passionate about helping with generational transfers of farmland, transfers like these allow the younger generations to carry on age old skills and provide meat and produce to the local community. COVID-19 resulted in nationwide food shortages, shedding light on the importance of local agriculture. The previous owners had the option of selling their land for development, but wanted to keep their 51 acres in agriculture.
Read Jenn and Karl’s journey to farm ownership here.
Maine groups opposed to the New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project successfully halted construction of segment 1 of the proposed corridor. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals granted the stay while the environmental groups and our clients, Say No to NECEC, are pursuing appeals of the project’s permits before the state Environmental Board and in the federal courts. While the Presidential Permit from the U.S. Department of Energy was granted on Thursday, the stay keeps at bay for now, the destruction of the environment in segment 1.
Attorney Amy Manzelli represents the Town of Fitzwilliam in connection with Chinook Solar’s project to construct a 30-Megawatt solar project, the largest solar array in New Hampshire to date. The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee (SEC) has now granted a certificate for site and facility. The solar array is scheduled to be completed by the end of next year, and will supply enough energy to power over 7,000 homes.
Read more about the project here.
Despite a pending appeal and a court request to Stay, Central Maine Power’s (CMP) New England Clean Energy Connect (NECEC) project began marking trees this week to begin clearing a 53-mile long and 54-foot wide corridor through Maine’s northwestern forest. Beth Boepple, representing a Maine group opposing the project: Say No to NECEC, filed a supplement to the Stay Motion saying “the imminence of construction and immediate and irreparable harm are now alarmingly real – next week Tuesday come the bulldozers, and the trees will be gone.”
Read the full article here.
Every year BCM receives a Christmas tree from The Rocks’ Christmas Tree Farm through our membership with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests. This year, we donated our tree to the Trees for Troops program.
Read more about the program here.