YCQM: August 25, 2013 - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

YCQM: August 25, 2013

Posted: Updated:
BURLINGTON, Vt. -

GOOD MORNING EVERYONE. OUR GUEST IS MICHAEL SNYDER. THANKS SO MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

>> LET'S TALK ABOUT THE STATE FORESTS IN VERMONT AND THE THINGS. WE HAVE A COUPLE KNOCKING ON THE DOORS AND ASH BORE AND ASIAN BEETLE IN PARTICULAR. WHAT ARE THEY DOING TO PREVENT THEM IF NOT ALREADY.

>> THESE ARE REALLY SIGNIFICANT IN THE MONTHS FOR US. AS FAR AS WE KNOW, WE DO NOT HAVE EITHER THE EMERALD ASH BORE OR THE BEAT WILL. WE HAVE A SYSTEMATIC SYSTEM OF MONITORING. THESE FOLKS HAVE SEEN THESE PURPLE TRAPS HANGING IN TREES. THAT IS PART OF THE SYSTEM TO GET THESE BUGS AND THE TRAINED VOLUNTEERS, FIRST DETECTORS, TO HELP WHAT THEY ARE. WE HAVE MONITORS THROUGHOUT THE STATE AND WE HAVE NOT DETECTED THEM DESPITE THEIR PRESENCE IN MOST STATES AND PLACES SURROUNDING US. THEY ARE KNOCKING ON THE DOOR. THEY HAVE DIRE IMPLICATIONS FOR OUR FORESTS. WE WANT TO BE DO EVERYTHING WE CAN TO SLOW THEIR ARRIVAL AND MINIMIZE THEM. WE'RE TRYING TO BUY TIME TO DEVELOP CONTROLS. THESE ARE NON-NATIVE INSECTS. ONCE ESTABLISHED THEY CAN WREAK HAVOC. EXACTLY. WE'RE HOPING TO KEEP THEM IT ON A AS LONG AS WE CAN THEY PROBABLY WILL ARRIVE BUT WE WANT TO PUT MANAGEMENT SCHEMES TO HELP LANDOWNERS IN HOW TO RESPOND AND LET SCIENCE CATCH UP THAT WE COULD FIND BIOLOGICAL CONTROLS BEFORE THEY DO CAUSE TOO MUCH TROUBLE.

>> THEY HAVE DECIMATED FORESTS AND CHUNKS OF LAND. IF THEY DO ARRIVE HERE, WHAT CAN BE DONE AT THIS POINT, IF YOU KNOW, GOD FORBID THEY ARE KNOCKING AT THE DOOR. IT'S A MATTER OF INFORMATION EDUCATION. WE TRIED TO BE AS UP FRONT AND OUT AHEAD OF THIS AS WE CAN. GO TO OUR DEPARTMENT WEBSITE. WE HAVE PREPARED INFORMATION FOR LANDOWNERS, WHAT TO DO GIVEN THE SPECTER OF THE ARRIVAL OF THESE BUSS. SO WE HAVE COUNTY FORESTERS READY TO PROVIDE TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. WE DON'T WANT PEOPLE CUTTING ALL THEIR ASH TREES SO THEY DON'T GET KILLED. WE WANTED THESE IMPORTANT COMPONENTS OF THE FOREST. WE WANT PEOPLE TO DO THEIR NORMAL MANAGEMENT TIMES. WE STAND READY TO GIVE THE BEST ASSISTANCE POSSIBLE AND LATEST INFORMATION. WE'VE GOT VARIETY OF EMERGENCY RESPONSE PLANNING IN PLACE. INCLUDING THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF MOCK EXERCISES IN WHAT TO DO. WITH I WAKE UP AT NIGHT, WE FOUND ONE. HOW DO WE DEPLOY. WE HAVE A PREPAREDNESS PLAN. WE ARE TRAINING LOCAL CITIZENS AND WE STAND READY TO ASSIST FOLKS IN THAT EFFORT.

>> WE'LL PUT THAT UP ON OUR WEBSITE, AS WELL. ALSO, YOU FOLKS HAVE A MAJOR EFFORT UNDERWAY RIGHT NOW TO ALERT THE PUBLIC ABOUT FIREWOOD AND THE IMPORTANCE OF MAKING SURE THAT FIREWOOD COMES FROM VERMONT SO THESE BUGS ARE NOT TRANSPORTED. TELL US ABOUT THAT.

>> IT'S KEY. WE HAVE FOUND, INDEED, IN OTHER STATES AND PROVINCES, THESE INSECTS, THEY ARE LIMITED IN HOW FAR THEY CAN GO. THEY GO INTO WOOD PRODUCTS. THEY HITCH A RIDE LITERALLY AT 60-70 MILES AN HOUR. WE HAVE VERY AGGRESSIVE AWARENESS CAMPAIGN TO HELP PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, DON'T MOVE FIREWOOD. BUY FIREWOOD LOCALLY. THERE IS NOT A GOOD REASON FOR DOING THAT ANYWAY. IT MINIMIZES INSECTS MAKING THEIR WAY TO VER IN FRONT AND BECOMING ESTABLISHED. WITH 52 STATE PARKS AROUND THE STATE AND FOLKS LIKE TO COME AND BRING AN A LOAD OF FIRE WOOD. IF YOU ARE COMING IN IF YOU ARE BRINGING FIREWOOD, WE'RE GOING TO TAKE IT FROM YOU AT A STATE PARK. WE'LL GIVE YOU SUSTAINABLY STUFF GROWN IN VERMONT. WE TAKE YOUR FIREWOOD AND TEAR IT APART. IT'S ONE OF THE WAYS WE'RE KEEPING AN EYE OUT FOR THE INSECTS THAT HITCH A RIDE. WE WOULD THEN BE ABLE TO RESPOND. IT'S AN AWARENESS CAMPAIGN. WE'RE TRYING TO GET THE WORD OUT. IT REALLY HAS SHOWN THIS IS HOW THESE THINGS MOVE AND THEY CAN BE A PROBLEM.

>> IT CAN BE A PROBLEM BECAUSE FOREST INDUSTRY SUCH A HUGE ECONOMIC DRIVER IN THE STAY THE OF VERMONT.

>> VERY TRUE. THERE IS FOREST HEALTH AND ECOLOGY OF FOREST THAT IS CONNECTED TO THE HABITATS AND BIODIVERSITY AND THE SCENIC BACKDROP AND NATURAL INFRASTRUCTURE. IT'S IMPORTANT FOR LOTS OF REASONS. WE HAVEN'T EVEN MENTIONED THE ROLE IN OUR ECONOMY. ITS SIGNIFICANT PART OF THE STATE'S ECONOMY. FOREST RELATED ENTERPRISE AND ASSOCIATED INDUSTRIES ON THE ORDER OF A BILLION DOLLARS ECONOMIC ACTIVITY. THIS IS A BIG PART OF VERMONT'S ECONOMIC SYSTEM. IT'S THE BEDROCK OF RURAL ECONOMIES. FOR ALL THOSE ROSE, ECOLOGICAL AND CULTURAL ROLE AND THEN THIS ECONOMIC PIECE. WE NEED TO HAVE THREE-QUARTERS OF THE STATE COVERED IN FOREST. IT'S LARGER IN GOOD SHAPE. THESE INSECTS A WE MENTIONED AND SOME OTHER THREATS OF JUST MORE DEMANDS ON OUR FORESTS, A CHANGING WORLD. WE WANT TO HOLD THIS ALTOGETHER. A LOT OF GOOD COMES FROM FORESTS. ONE OF THE WAYS WE KEEP FORESTS FORESTS IN VERMONT IS BY WORKER WITH CLOSE, CAREFUL INTELLIGENT CONNECTION TO THE LAND AS A TRADITION THERE. IT HAS MADE US WHO WE ARE. WE NEED TO HOLD THAT ALL TOGETHER. THE FOREST ECONOMY IS A MECHANISM FOR ALLOWING ALL THAT GOOD TO HAPPEN.

>> YOU MENTIONED THE ECONOMIC IMPORTANCE PARTICULARLY IN RURAL PARTS OF VERMONT. ONE OF THE HURDLES THAT A LOT OF THE FOLKS IN THE FACING RIGHT NOW IS THE FACT WE'VE SEEN SOME THINGS GO OUT ONE AFTER ANOTHER. HOW BIG OF A DEAL IS THIS?

>> IT'S A VERY BIG DEAL. WE HAVE TO SEE THIS SYSTEM AS A SYSTEM. THINK OF IT AS THE SUPPLY CHAIN FROM THE FOREST AND LANDOWNER. MOST OF THAT FOUR AND A HALF MILLION ACRES OF FOREST LAND IS OWNED BY INDIVIDUALS. IT'S NOT PUBLICLY OWNED BY INDIVIDUALS. IT'S VERY IMPORTANT. FROM THE LANDOWNER TO THE FORESTER THE LOGGER, THE TRUCKER, THE PRIMARY PROCESSES AND SECONDARY MANUFACTURERS, VIEW IT AS A SYSTEM THAT IS LINKED. SOME AREAS, YOU MENTIONED THE THINGS THAT IS A LINCHPIN. GLOBALIZATION OF LUMBER MARKETS. FAILURE OF THE NATIONAL HOUSING MARKET. WE ARE TIED INTO THOSE THINGS. SO FOR MANY REASONS AND SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGES IN THE HIGH COST OF DOING THIS WORK. WE'VE SEEN THIS EROSION OF OUR PRIMARY CAPACITY. IT'S A LINCHPIN IN THIS SYSTEM, IN THE SUPPLY CHAIN OF WOOD. IF WE LEAVE THAT THE WHOLE THING FALLS APART. IF WE DON'T HAVE THAT ROBUST LAND-BASED ECONOMY, THEN ALL THOSE OTHER BENEFITS OF FORESTS THAT WE'VE COME TO COUNT ON AND MAYBE EVEN TAKE FOR GRANTED THEY FALL AWAY. IT'S EXTREMELY IMPORTANT. WE'VE SEEN THE EROSION. THAT IS ONE OF THE THINGS WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS WE SYSTEMATIC IN HOW TO DO WE PROVIDE SUPPORT. REREDUCE THE BARRIERS AND INCREASE OPPORTUNITIES BECAUSE IT IS INCREDIBLY IMPORTANT TO HOLDING THE STUFF TOGETHER.

>> SO WHAT DO YOU DO?

>> IT DIDN'T HAPPEN OVERNIGHT AND IT'S NEVER GOING TO FIX IT OVERNIGHT. PEOPLE UNDERSTAND IT. LOCAL FOLKS VALUING IT AND UNDERSTANDING IT. IT'S LARGELY DUE TO OUR FARMS AND FORESTS AND THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE WORKED THE LAND. THAT IS FOUNDATIONAL TO OUR CULTURE AND ECONOMY. THAT IS GOOD. I WORK IN THE ADMINISTRATION AND WE'VE BEEN SUPPORTIVE OF THE WORKING LANDS INITIATIVE WITH SO MANY OTHERS. THIS IS AN IMPORTANT AND SMALL STEP TO MAKE INVESTMENTS IN LAND-BASED ENTERPRISES IN FARMS AND FORESTS. WE HAVE SEEN AN ENORMOUS ENTHUSIASM AROUND AGRICULTURE AND PEOPLE UNDERSTANDING THE IMPORTANCE OF IT. THAT IS WHAT THIS INITIATIVE IS TO BRING FOREST AND AG BASED ENTERPRISES AS A STRATEGIC INVESTMENT TO SUPPORT THEM. WE ALSO WANTING TO BEYOND THAT TO FIND WAYS, NEW MARKETS, MARKETING, CAPITALIZE GO AND CROSS PROMOTING VERMONT TOURISM. THIS IS AN EXCITING TIME FOR US TO REALLY GO AFTER THAT AND SEE. THIS IS FOUNDATIONAL. I WOULD LIKE TO SAY WHEN WE MAKE THINGS, WOOD PRODUCTS OR FOOD, IT MAKES US WHO WE ARE. THAT HAS BEEN A BIG PART OF OUR PATH.

>> IS SUBSIDIZING ON THE TABLE AT ALL? IT MUST BE IMPOSSIBLE TO COMPETE WITH NEIGHBORS TO THE NORTH AND CANADIAN CANADA. THEY ARE NOT HERE IN THE STATE OF VERMONT AND WE'RE SO CLOSE. HOW DO YOU COMPETE?

>> ITS REALLY VEXING ISSUE. NEARLY HATCH OF ALL THE HARVESTED LOGS ARE BEING EXPORTED OUT OF THE COUNTRY PRINCIPALLY TO CANADA. WE'RE TO THE GOING TO COMPETE ON CERTAIN FRONTS. SO WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS NJTD AND IDENTIFYING WHAT IS OUR COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGES AND WHAT CAN YOU DO AND FOCUS ON THAT AND TAKE OUR ADVANTAGES THERE.

>> LET'S SWITCH GEARS TO TALK ABOUT PARKS AND OTHER THINGS. OBVIOUSLY A PRETTY WET SPRING, PRETTY WET START TO SUMMER. ATTENDANCE MUST BE DOWN AT PARKS?

>> IT WAS. SO WE'RE COMPARING TO LAST YEAR. IT WAS A 20 YEAR RECORD. WE HAD 920,000 VISITORS TO VERMONT STATE PARKS. THAT WAS FINISHING. THAT WAS FANTASTIC. WE WERE ABOUT 25% BEHIND LAST YEAR. LAST YEAR WAS A RECORD YEAR. WITH IMPROVING WEATHER PEOPLE RESPONDING TO OUR MESSAGE ABOUT WHAT IS AVAILABLE OUT THERE. WE'VE NOW WORKED OUR WAY BACK 10% ABOVE LAST YEAR. THE MESSAGE IN WHAT WE OFFER IN THE PARKS SEEMS TO REST NATE WITH PEOPLE. WE STILL HAVE TIME LEFT BEFORE LABOR DAY TO RECORD AND REMIND FOLKS WE HAVE A GREAT OPPORTUNITY AFTER LABOR DAY HALF OF OUR PARKS ARE OPEN PAST LABOR DAY OFFERING OPPORTUNITIES TO THE OUTDOORS. TO THE FOLIAGE YOU CAN SEE AND FIRE TOWERS YOU CAN CLIMB. AG EVENTS THROUGHOUT THE FALL. WE HAVE OPPORTUNITIES TO GET ON THE WATERS AND RIVERS. THAT IS GREAT WAY TO SEE FOLIAGE. WE HAVE A HECK OF SEASON AHEAD. WE'RE CONFIDENT THAT WE'LL COME BACK TO NORMAL. IT'S BEEN QUITE A RIDE SO FAR.

>> SOME PARKS AFTER IRENE WERE PRETTY HARD. HOW IS THE RECOVERY EFFORT THERE?

>> REALLY WELL, VERY HARD WORKING STAFF THAT IS ORGANIZED AND DEDICATED. WE UNDERSTAND THE INFRASTRUCTURE OF THE PARKS IS WHAT MAKES THEM ARE. IT'S ALL ABOUT THE EXPERIENCE OF THE VISITORS FROM OUTSIDERS ALIKE. WE REALLY GET ON THAT. IT WAS A CHALLENGE ECONOMICALLY, BUT WE FOCUSED ON MAKING THIS RECOVERY. WE WERE LUCKY. OUR PARKS, IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE. WE DID HAVE ISSUES, WE HAVE LINGERING PROBLEMS WE ARE ADDRESSING. THE MOST PART DIRECT NEEDS HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED. I'M VERY PROUD OF THE FOLKS AND THE WAY THEY RESPONDED.

>> COMMISSIONER, THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. WE APPRECIATE YOUR TIME. WE ARE BACK IN JUST A MOMENT. Hey honey, can you pull up the recipe for me? I need to see the next step. That shouldn't be a problem. Charter has powerful Internet speeds. It's one reason why customers are happier than ever. For one low price they also get brilliant HD, more reliable phones, and the most advanced fiber rich network in our history. That's an incredible value. No wonder why Charter customer satisfaction is at an all time high. Ya, no problem. Switch to Charter and see why thousands choose us everyday.

>>> UPPER 70s, BEAUTIFUL WEATHER OUT THERE. WITH A BETTER TIME TO HIT THE LAKE.

>> DOWN AT THE DOCKS, NEW SAILORS OFF ON THEIR MAIDEN VOYAGE. THEIR CAPTAIN, JOHN AND ARLENE THAT CAN SEE THE WATER TO ESCAPE THE RAT RACE. IT TAKES THIS NEW CREW ABOARD THE HELLS BELLS. FOR MOST IT'S THEIR FIRST TIME EVER BOARDING A SAILBOAT. THE MOTIONS, THE SMELLS AND SOUNDS, ALL NEW.

>> LIKE 14-YEAR-OLD ALEX WOLF ARE STUDENTS WITH THE VERMONT ASSOCIATION FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED.

>> IT'S REALLY AMAZING. YOU NEVER KNOW.

>> TAKING THE DAY TO EXPERIENCE WHAT A SAILBOAT IS LIKE.

>> THE ONLY WAY THOUGH CAN TRULY UNDERSTAND IS IF THEY EXPERIENCE ON IT THEMSELVES. TO GET THEIR HANDS ON THE SAIL, HOW GIANT THE WHEEL IS.

>> BEFORE THEY LAUNCH THEY GET TO KNOW THE BOAT.

>> THIS IS THE SAIL.

>> FILLING IN IMAGINATION WITH FIRSTHAND KNOWLEDGE AND THEN THEY SET SAIL. EVEN TAKING COMMAND OF THE VESSEL. FOR ALEC THIS IS SAILING.

>> JUST GRABBING IT IT'S A LIKE AN AIRPLANE THAT JUST DRIFTED.

>> FOR JACOB WHO IS COLORBLIND SAILING COMES IN BLACK AND WHITE.

>> BESIDES GETTING A FEEL FOR THE BOAT. SAILING HELPS THEM UNDERSTAND SOMETHING THEY CAN'T FATHOM FROM THE SHORES.

>> IT'S NOT WHAT I EXPECTED. IT'S A LOT BETTER.

>> THESE EXPERIENCES LEADING TO NEW DISCOVERIES.

>> I WANT TO GET MY OWN BOAT. IT MAKES YOU WANT TO GET YOUR OWN BOAT AND GET OUT ON THE LAKE.

>> FIRST TIME SAILOR THAT MAY HAVE FOUND A LIFETIME PASSION.

>> A POPULAR LOCAL LANDMARK THAT HAS BEEN CLOSED TO THE PUBLIC IS ABOUT TO OPEN AGAIN. KATY SIMPSON REPORTS.

>> IT WAS BUILT IN 1893 AND IT TONS OVER THE INTERSECTION OF ROUTE 15 ESSEX.

>> IT'S OVER A HUNDRED YEARS OLD. IT'S ONE OF TWO OF ITS KIND IN THE COUNTRY.

>> THE ETHAN ALLEN WATER TOWER HAS BEEN CLOSED SINCE 2009 DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS OVER THE NARROW WOODEN STAIRCASE. THERE IS AN EFFORT UNDERWAY TO RAISE $250,000 THROUGH GRANTS, PRIVATE DONATIONS AND $50,000 IN NATURAL FUNDS FROM THE TOWN NEEDED TO REHAB THE TOWER AND OPEN IT ONCE AGAIN TO THE PUBLIC.

>> IT'S BRINGING THE TOWER BACK BUT FOR YEARS, SCHOOL KIDS WERE ABLE TO COME AND WALK UP ON THE TOWER WHEN IT WAS SAFE. FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS, IT'S NOT SAFE. WE WOULD REALLY LIKE TO BRING IT BACK TO THE POINT PEOPLE COULD GO BACK AND ENJOY THE VIEW FROM THE TOP.

>> CURRENTLY IT'S JUST A PIGEONS THAT GET TO ENJOY THE VIEW.

>> IF YOU WANTED TO KNOW THE HISTORY OF THE TOWER, STOP BY.

>> THE BUILDING WITH THE MUSEUM WITH IT, THAT WAS PUMP HOUSE.

>> BILL PARKINSON RUNS THE MUSEUM.

>> IT IS A BEAUTIFUL DOOR.

>> FOR YEARS HE CONDUCTED TOURS FOR SCHOOL GROUPS AND INDIVIDUALS. THE HIGHLIGHT HE SAYS WAS CLIMBING THE TOWER. 105 STEPS UP THE OBSERVATION DECK 80 FEET ABOVE THE GROUND. WE WERE ONLY ALLOWED IN THE TOWER AFTER IT WAS AT OUR OWN RISK WE AGREED TO.

>> IT WAS A WATER TOWER, ONE OF THE FIRST THINGS BUILT. THEY GET HEATED WATER.

>> THE TANK IS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE TOWER. AT ONE TIME IT HELD 50,000 GALLONS OF WATER, ENOUGH TO SUPPLY 8500 MEN AND 1800 HORSES.

>> IT TOOK A FULL YEAR AND DIG TWO WELLS. ONE IS 275 FEET DEEP AND THE OTHER IS 310 FEET DEEP.

>> IT'S THE VIEW FROM THE TOP THAT VISITORS TALK ABOUT THE MOST.

>> YOU SEE THE RIVER AND MOUNTAINS OF NEW YORK. KIDS HAD A GREAT TIME.

>> IT'S HOPE ENOUGH MONEY IS RAISED THAT MORE SCHOOL GROUPS AND VISITORS GET THE CHANCE TO CLIMB TO THE TOP OF THE FORT ETHAN ALLEN WALL TOWER.

>> BACK TOGETHER AGAIN. THIS MORNING, GINA CATCHES UP WITH GRACE POTTER TO TALK ABOUT THE UPCOMING MUSIC FESTIVAL AND WHAT IS NEXT IN HER CAREER.

>>> TALK ABOUT THE LINE-UP FOR THE 14-15th WEEKEND.

>> ONE OF MY FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT THIS YEAR WE BRING IN CRAFT ABOUT PEOPLE WHO KNOW AND WORK WITH. GOVERNMENT MULE, CHARLES BRADLEY, THESE ARE PEOPLE WE HAVE GREAT EXPERIENCES WITH. I CAN'T WAIT TO GET THEM ALTOGETHER.

>> TALK ABOUT THAT.

>> MY SISTER IS ONE OF THESE AMAZING ARTISTS THAT CREATES THAT KIND OF ENVIRONMENT. I CALLED HER AND WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT GRAND POINT WEIRD. IT'S A CONVERSATION ABOUT WHAT IS WEIRD IS WEIRD. THAT IS WHAT MAKES I WEIRD. OF COURSE, WEIRD IS GOOD BECAUSE I'VE BEEN WEIRD MY WHOLE LIFE TO BE IN A BAND. I WANTED THAT CONVERSATION TO SHORT.

>> IT'S WHERE IT STARTED?

>> WE WEREN'T BIG ENOUGH TO PLAY ON THE PATIO. THEY WERE LIKE WELL YOU CAN PUT IN HERE AND THEY CLOSED THE DOORS OFF. AFTER WE GREW AND MORE PEOPLE SHOWED UP WE GOT TO GRADUATE.

>> THAT MUST HAVE FELT AMAZING.

>> THIS WAS A BIG DEAL FOR US. AS HISTORY GOES ON, WALKING IN I STILL FEEL LIKE WHERE IS THE DEER.

>> TAKING TIME OFF?

>> I'M ALREADY WRITING AND HAVE IDEAS FOR SONGS AND COLLABORATIONS AND PROJECTS. IT'S HARD WHEN YOU ARE ON TOUR. I'VE GOT PHONE CALLS, GOT AN IDEA FOR THIS OR THAT. WHAT DO YOU THINK. I'M GOING TO FOLLOW UP ON A FEW OF THOSE AND TRY SOME NEW THINGS AND WORK ON THE NEW ALBUM SOON.

>> YOU ARE THE BEST.

>> WE THINK SO.

>> I LOVE HOW THEY CLICK. HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY EVERYBODY. WE'LL SEE YOU SOON. SO LONG.

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