Snowmobiling could be hard hit by climate change

first_imgSnowmobilers at Cole’s Pond Cook Shack (Photo: Bear Cieri)Vermont Business Magazine Declining snowfall in Vermont, a likely byproduct of a warming climate, is sure to negatively affect the state’s $600 million snowmobile industry. New research provides a sobering look at just how much. A significant part of Vermont’s snowmobiling appeal lies in the state’s interlocking network of trails, which allow snowmobilers to cover large geographic areas, said Robert Manning, a natural resources professor at the University of Vermont and lead author of the study, which is based on an online survey of 1,450 members of VAST, the Vermont Association of Snow Travelers, in November and December of 2015.The survey results were presented at a meeting of the Northeast Recreation Research Symposium in Annapolis, Maryland on April 4.  “If connections between trails are lost, even if there’s sufficient snow cover in pockets of the state, participation rates could decline sharply,” he said.Once the percentage of Vermont trails that are open drops below about 65 percent, snowmobilers will begin to stay home, according to the survey. With about half the trails open, participation would drop 25 percent. With 10 percent open, the participation rate would decline by 75 percent.Another troubling fact to emerge: 70 percent of snowmobilers surveyed said they began their snowmobile rides from their homes, a convenience that relies on good snow cover. 31.2 percent reported that having to drive to snowmobile trails would detract “a great deal” from the experience.Days of snow cover were also a significant detractor; with fewer than 75 days of cover, participation rates began to decline. With 25 days, rates would decline by 50 percent.Snow decline in Vermont is likely, given past history and projected temperature increasesDeclining snowfall in Vermont at the normal elevations of most snowmobile trails has already occurred and is likely to continue in coming years.During the 1960s, the average snow depth for winter (December to February) was six inches, according the statistics compiled by the National Weather Service  at the Burlington International Airport, but has been closer to four inches during the last decade, the lower limit for snowmobiling.  Over the past two decades (from 1995 to 2014), Vermont has experienced the highest winter temperatures observed in the historical record, according to the National Climate Assessment Summary for Vermont.  Vermont’s temperatures are projected to rise by another 2 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit by 2050, according to the Vermont Climate Assessment(link is external), making further diminution of average snow depth likely. “The repercussions of climate change on Vermont’s snowmobile industry could be significant,” said Manning. “Even modest declines in participation could affect the VAST budget and, potentially, the organizations’ ability to maintain trails.”Regular grooming of trails was one of the most significant factors survey respondents cited as defining a quality snowmobiling experience. “Given the importance of the snowmobile industry as an economic driver, in Vermont and elsewhere,” Manning said, “this one more reason why we need to do all we can to address the challenge of climate change.”last_img read more

McCrary emerges as third running back option in victory over Indiana State

first_imgMcCrary emerges as third running back option in victory over Indiana StateJunior Kobe McCrary scored two touchdowns and gained 176 yards on 17 carries in Saturday’s win.Alex Tuthill-PreusJunior running back Kobe McCrary runs the ball against Indiana State on Saturday, Sept. 10, 2016 at TCF Bank Stadium. Mike HendricksonSeptember 10, 2016Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintKobe McCrary was out to prove something in his second career game.The junior running back — who transferred to Minnesota from Butler Community College during the offseason — wanted to show the world he was more than a 1-yard running back and not just the third option behind redshirt sophomore Rodney Smith and an injured sophomore Shannon Brooks.He accomplished his goal Saturday against Indiana State, running for 176 yards on 17 carries with two touchdowns in a 58-28 Minnesota win at TCF Bank Stadium.“I just came [to Minnesota] and felt like I can bring some depth,” McCrary said. “All three of us [are] a three-headed monster, that’s the way I figured.”McCrary showed what he was capable of during the second half, when he rushed for 108 yards on only six carries.McCrary had runs of 43 yards and 50 yards on one drive — the latter giving him his second touchdown of the day. McCrary almost ran into an Indiana State lineman at the beginning of his 50-yard run, but then stepped to the side, dodged a diving linebacker and kept running straight to the end zone.“I just saw a lot of pushing,” McCrary said. “The offensive line blocked very well today, so I just made one cut and I saw a crease, so I just hit it.”Redshirt senior quarterback Mitch Leidner said McCrary reminds him of former Gophers running back David Cobb.Cobb, who played with Leidner from in 2013 and 2014, finished with the seventh most rushing yards in Minnesota history. “Everything he does is so similar to Cobb,” Leidner said. “We know he’s an explosive player; a really smooth runner and he can make guys miss. He’s similar to David Cobb where they are not going to truck you and run you over like crazy all over the place. For how big he is, he’s going to make people miss.”McCrary said that he’s watched Cobb before and models his game after him.“[Head coach Tracy Claeys and running backs coach Pat Poore] know I can catch the ball out of the backfield,” he said. “I feel like I try to expand my game a lot, watching Rodney [as well].”Smith was the main running back during the game against Oregon State, rushing for 125 yards and scoring two touchdowns. Brooks is currently injured, but is expected to come back after the bye week to play against Colorado State.With McCrary’s emergence, the Gophers now have three running backs who have shown they are capable of big games.Claeys said McCrary’s role in practice will be expanded this week.“It’s hard to get an opportunity the first game when you’re playing with Rodney in there,” Claeys said. “It’s a good problem to have what we’re going to have; the [three] people we’ll have at tailback.”McCrary transferred to Minnesota knowing he would be the third option behind Brooks and Smith, but said he knew he could provide some depth to the group of running backs.Claeys said that’s what’s great about McCrary: He loves competition.“When you get a bunch of competition at certain positions that’s when you get a lot better,” he said. “He’s created that competition and so I expect the play of our tailbacks will get a lot better here as we move on.”last_img read more

Sterling Residents Urged To Become Firewise At Workshop

first_imgMcNeilus: “It was dry from the time the snow melted until probably Memorial weekend and/or Fourth of July and then we started getting a rainy pattern. That started giving the public a little sense of reprieve and a little sigh of relief after the last two years. In general, people are very concerned about the potential of wildfires on the Kenai Peninsula given the fire history that has been present around the Peninsula, more respectively the last two fires, the Card St and the Funny River fires.” McNeilus: “During this workshop we’re going to have Saturday September 17th at 10 o’clock we will also have a booth set up that is going to be an open house and there is going to be representatives from all the agencies involved in implementing the Sterling fuel break and they will be there to provide questions to the public regarding the fuel break and its implementation plans here in the future.” FacebookTwitterEmailPrintFriendly分享The Kenai National Wildlife Refuge will host a community Firewise Workshop in Sterling later this month, teaching residents how to prepare well before wildfires occur. Fire Prevention and Mitigation Specialist Linden McNeilus says the refuge, the Division of Forestry, the Department of Fish & Game, and Central Emergency Services will also describe how the government is helping…center_img The workshop will be held at the Sterling Community Center and is open to the public. McNeilus says they’re focusing on Sterling since the most recent threats have centered on that region… The workshop will be held 10am on Saturday, September 17, in the Sterling Community Center. Officials will teach the basics of firewise structure protection including creating defensible space and provide information on preparing a pre-planned evacuation checklist and following a “Personal Wildfire Action Plan.last_img read more

Delectable, no-work, native persimmon has gotten a bum rap

first_img“The (American) persimmon tree has received more criticism, both adverse and favorable, than almost any known species,” stated a U. S. Department of Agriculture Farmers’ Bulletin of 1915.The bad press goes as far back as the early 17th century, when Capt. John Smith, of Jamestown fame, wrote that if a persimmon “is not ripe it will draw a man’s mouth awrie with much torment.”In modern terms, I compare eating an unripe persimmon to having the business end of a vacuum cleaner in your mouth — and the sensation lingers even after spitting out the fruit.In this undated photo, Fruits of American persimmon bend down branches with their weight, all with little or no need for pruning or pest control, in New Paltz, N.Y. (Lee Reich via AP)Ah, but eating a ripe persimmon is as pleasurable a gustatory experience as eating an unripe one is horrible. Capt. Smith went on to call a ripe persimmon “as delicious as an apricot.” When ready to eat, an American persimmon is very soft, too soft for a market fruit but fine for backyards, where fruits need travel no further than arm’s length.When ripe, the flesh is something like a dried apricot that has been soaked in water, dipped in honey and given a dash of spice. Persimmon is in the genus Diospyros, which translates to “food of the gods.”CHOOSE AN APPROPRIATE VARIETYAmerican persimmon is a native tree that grows wild throughout the eastern U.S. from Connecticut to Florida, and east to Kansas. The trees can grow large, but are only medium-size — 25 feet or so — toward the northern limits of their range or if pruned for that purpose.Many wild American persimmons never develop good flavor, so the first key to enjoying American persimmons is to plant a named variety known to bear tasty fruits. The second key is to plant a variety that will ripen within your growing season. Although the first variety, Early Golden, was named in 1880, relatively few varieties are available. Near persimmon’s northern limit, choose varieties such as Szukis, Mohler, Dooley and Yates, all of which have delicious flavor and ripen relatively early.One more wrinkle in selecting a persimmon variety: pollination. Persimmon trees generally bear either male or female flowers, and most wild and cultivated female trees need pollen from a separate male tree to bear fruit. However, some female varieties accommodate gardeners by bearing occasional male branches — a characteristic prevalent in Early Golden and its offspring. And some other females do not need pollination at all to set fruit, which is then seedless. Varieties that can bear fruit in isolation include Meader, Szukis, Early Golden, Florence and Garretson.ALL THIS, AND BEAUTY, WITH NO WORKFor all their flavor, persimmons are low-maintenance trees, requiring essentially no pruning or spraying. They are also not particularly finicky as to site. They tolerate a wide range of soils as long as the leaves can bask in abundant sunshine.Through much of the year, persimmon is an asset to the landscape. The leaves look as fresh in August as they did in spring, and have a naturally drooping habit that gives the trees a relaxed look. In autumn, the slightly bluish leaves turn a golden yellow, with the branches further livened by the persimmon-orange fruits.Even after leaves have dropped to the ground, fruits of some varieties — Szukis, for example — cling to the branches, festooning the leafless trees like Christmas ornaments. I eat some persimmons as they ripen; others I let hang on the branches to be plucked throughout autumn.https://www.leereich.com/blogWelcome to my Farmdenlast_img read more

Queen Elizabeth II riffs on wisdom, family’s busy year

first_img Britain’s Prince William, left, Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, second left, Meghan Duchess of Sussex and Prince Harry, right, arrive to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein) Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meet members of the crowd after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II arrives to attend the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein) 1 of 11 SANDRINGHAM, England | Queen Elizabeth II wove personal reflections into the latest edition of her annual Christmas message, saying she hoped her long life brought a measure of wisdom and noting her grandchildren’s contributions to Britain’s royal family.The 92-year-old queen, the world’s longest-reigning living monarch, also included the customary tribute to military personnel and wishes for world peace in the message, which was pre-recorded at Buckingham Palace and televised Tuesday.“Some cultures believe a long life brings wisdom,” Elizabeth said in the recording. “I’d like to think so. Perhaps part of that wisdom is to recognize some of life’s baffling paradoxes, such as the way human beings have a huge propensity for good and yet a capacity for evil.” Britain’s Kate, Duchess of Cambridge smiles as she meets members of the crowd after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein) Britain’s Prince William, and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge wave to the crowd after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein) Britain’s Prince Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)center_img Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets members of the crowd after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) In this image released on Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth poses for a photograph after she recorded her annual Christmas Day message, in the White Drawing Room of Buckingham Palace, London. (John Stillwell/Pool via AP) Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP PhotoFrank Augstein) Britain’s Meghan, Duchess of Sussex meets members of the crowd after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein) On a lighter note, the queen listed the House of Windsor’s 2018 milestones with the same unabashed pride of someone writing their yearly Christmas letter for friends and far-flung relatives.“It’s been a busy year for my family, with two weddings and two babies, and another child expected soon. It helps to keep a grandmother well occupied,” Elizabeth said, not forgetting to mention her own firstborn,“We have had other celebrations too, including the 70th birthday of The Prince of Wales,” otherwise known as heir to the throne Prince Charles.The annual message was broadcast to many of the 53 Commonwealth countries. Elizabeth recalled that her father, King George VI, welcomed eight former British colonies at the first meeting of Commonwealth leaders in 1948.“Even with the most deeply held differences, treating the other person with respect and as a fellow human being is always a good first step towards greater understanding,” she said.The queen mentioned her father, from whom she inherited the throne when he died in 1952, again while expressing gratitude for soldiers and sailors past and present. During World War I, two decades before his own unexpected ascension to the throne, he served with the Royal Navy and saw friends killed in battle, Elizabeth said.“At Christmas, we become keenly aware of loved ones who have died, whatever the circumstances. But, of course, we would not grieve if we did not love.Earlier in the day, Elizabeth and her family received cheers from a Christmas crowd when they arrived for a church service in the English countryside. A chauffeured limousine delivered the queen, while her descendants and their spouses walked from a nearby estate of the monarch’s.Prince Charles led the way, followed by his sons: Prince William and his wife, Catherine, and Prince Harry and his pregnant wife, Meghan. Harry and the former American actress known as Meghan Markle married in May and are expecting their first child in the spring.The couple walked arm in arm next to William and Catherine. Many in the crowd wished them “Merry Christmas” as they strolled to the church in the English countryside on a cold, wintry morning.After the 45-minute service, people gave them flowers as they headed back for a traditional Christmas lunch.The queen’s husband, Prince Philip, who is 97 and largely retired from public life, did not attend the service. Charles’ wife Camilla, who is recovering from flu, also missed church.William and Catherine’s three children — Prince George, 5, Princess Charlotte, 3, and 8-month-old Prince Louis, also stayed home.Britain’s royals usually exchange small gifts on Christmas Eve, a practice popularized by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The queen typically frowns on extravagant gifts, and many of the presents are novelty items.When the queen was younger, Christmas meant a brisk family walk through the woods on Christmas or an excursion on horseback.Elizabeth delivered her first Christmas Day message when she took the throne in 1952. The seasonal addresses aired on the radio until she made the transition to television in 1957.They have been broadcast during every year of her reign save one. In 1969, the queen decided her family had received enough exposure from giving a TV crew unusual access for a documentary.That year, she issued the message in writing.Katz reported from London. Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II leaves after attending the Christmas day service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham in Norfolk, England, Tuesday, Dec. 25, 2018. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)last_img read more

Osaka victory tour stops at sumo match, and she liked it

first_imgU.S. Open women’s singles champion Naomi Osaka poses for photographers after a press conference prior to the Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament in Tokyo Monday, Sept. 17, 2018. Osaka defeated Serena Williams of the U.S. on Saturday, Sept. 8, to become the first Grand Slam singles champion from Japan. (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko) TOKYO (AP) — Naomi Osaka showed how deep her Japanese roots run: She went to watch Japan’s national sport of sumo and said she liked it. Osaka is in Tokyo this week to play in the Pan Pacific Open, just a week after she won the U.S. Open to become the first Japanese woman to win a Grand Slam singles title.Osaka was born in Japan to a Haitian father and Japanese mother. She has spent most of her life in the United States and lives in Florida, but is sure to represent Japan at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.“I thought it was really cool because they’re so flexible and they’re also very strong,” Osaka said Monday at the Pan Pacific Open. “During one match, he kept slapping the other guy. So I thought it was really fun to watch.”Osaka is seeded third in Tokyo and had a bye in the first round. She is the subject of intense interest by Japanese reporters.She fields questions in English but understands most questions posed to her in Japanese.Two years ago she lost in the final to Caroline Wozniacki, who is the top-seeded player this year.“I’ve played a lot more matches between then and now,” Osaka said. “And I think it even shows that I’m a little bit more mature now. So, I mean of course having experience helps.”She also added that “being more confident in yourself” also helps.Osaka is suddenly on track to become one of the highest earning female athletes on earth, taking advantage of roots in Asia, deep-pocketed Japanese companies, and a down-to-earth manner that makes her quickly likable.Last week, Osaka signed a three-year contract with Japanese carmaker Nissan — no financial details were offered — and she is reportedly close to landing a large deal with Adidas, perhaps in the range of $10 million.The U.S. Open title was worth $3.8 million in prize money.Osaka also has deals with Japanese sporting goods company Yonex, noodle maker Nissin Foods, Citizen Watch and Japanese satellite broadcaster Wowow.___More AP tennis: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-Tennis and https://twitter.com/AP_Sportslast_img read more

Agribusiness all-rounder’s gone places

first_imgBy Russell Bennett Anthony Delaney was just 14 when he was doing work experience with Elders as a trainee, and…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img