Sam Evans-Brown

Environment and Education Reporter

 

Sam Evans-Brown has been working for  New Hampshire Public Radio since 2010, when he began as a freelancer. His work has won several local broadcast journalism awards, and he was a 2013 Steinbrenner Institute Environmental Media Fellow at Carnegie Mellon University. He studied Politics and Spanish at Bates College, and before reporting was variously employed as a Spanish teacher, farmer, bicycle mechanic, ski coach, research assistant, a wilderness trip leader and a technical supporter.

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Word of Mouth
1:09 pm
Thu March 6, 2014

Sick Of Snow? Use It To Track Some Winter Wildlife!

Logan Shannon

While it may be March, it’s still very much wintertime. If you’ve been cursing the snow and ice and desperately longing for spring, you’re not alone. But let’s look at the bright side - all that frozen water offers certain opportunities that just aren’t available in the spring. And I’m not talking about expensive and time consuming snow-sports, I’m talking about wildlife tracking. To give you an introduction to tracking, We  headed for the woods of Barrington, New Hampshire with Dan Gardoqui, one of the founders and directors of White Pine Programs, a nature connection non-profit in Southern Maine.

Animal Tracking

Environment
9:43 am
Thu March 6, 2014

Cities, State "Hopeful" For Settlement On Great Bay Question

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Rickpilot_2000

There is a hint of light at the end of a two-year-long legal battle over waste-water treatment plant upgrades on the Great Bay.

The towns of Portsmouth, Rochester and Dover have been arguing that regulators with the Department of Environmental Services and the EPA hadn’t proved that requiring millions of dollars of state-of-the-art wastewater plants would substantially improve water quality. But after a panel of independent scientists issued a sharp critique of the science used by the DES, a deal could be on the horizon.

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NH News
3:04 pm
Wed March 5, 2014

Occupy New Hampshire Argues Park Eviction Before State Supreme Court

Credit Donna Moxley / NHPR

Nearly two and a half years after the city of Manchester evicted Occupy New Hampshire from Veteran’s Park, the group’s case was heard before the state Supreme Court Wednesday. The case hinges on whether the group was exercising free speech when it set up its camp community, among other things.

Occupy New Hampshire caught the wave of protests that swept the nation in October of 2011. The protesters had a city permit to protest during the day in the park, but after only two nights of camping out police removed them, arresting five.

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NH News
2:00 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Exports From N.H. Grow Faster Than Any Other State In 2013

Exports grew at 22 percent in 2013, marking the second time in 4 years that New Hampshire has led the country in export growth. The International Trade Association of New Hampshire says that Granite state businesses are now sending $4.3 billion dollars worth of goods out of the country annually.

In general, manufacturing industries drive exports; “electrical manufacturing, electrical machinery, industrial machinery, medical devices, aerospace and defense, and IT” are New Hampshire’s strong suits, according to Kim Kasim, Program director at the NH ITA.  

Environment
6:16 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Shaheen and Portman Reintroduce Stalled Energy Efficiency Bill

Credit NHPR Staff

  Thursday Senator Jeanne Shaheen reintroduced a wide-ranging energy bill that would promote energy efficiency buildings and appliances. But Shaheen and her co-sponsor, Ohio Republican Rob Portman, had to make some compromises to get the long-stalled legislation moving again.

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NH News
2:31 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

N.H. Reaches Largest Settlement In State History For 'Do Not Call List' Violations

New Hampshire regulators and a national investment brokerage firm have reached one of the largest settlements in the history of the national Do Not Call list. Edward Jones and Co. will pay $750,000 dollars after making illegal solicitation calls.

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Environment
5:12 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Race To Conserve Belknap, Major Properties Heads Towards Finish

Arthur Richardson pushes toward the summit of Mount Major on a recent hike. He completed the climb twice this day
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

In the Southern Lakes Region of New Hampshire, a bid is underway to conserve about a thousand acres of forested valleys and peaks in the Belknap range.  The fundraising campaign to buy this land has focused on a popular and convenient hike, Mount Major, on the shores of Alton Bay. As the project heads toward the finish line, it illustrates the tension between preserving access while still protecting ecosystems.

Everyday, “Two or Three Times”

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NH News
5:35 am
Sun February 23, 2014

Snow Storms Gnaw Away At DOT Budget

Credit Derrick Coetzee / Flickr CC

  After a week jam-packed with winter-weather, the New Hampshire Department of Transportation says it’s eating its way through the snow removal budget for the year. The winter is only 65 percent finished, but the snow removal budget is already 80 percent gone.

“So $42 million dollar budget we’d spent $33 million dollars,” says DOT spokesman Bill Boynton, who notes that the legislature’s fiscal committee has already given the DOT a $2.25 million dollar transfer from the highway fund. “We’ll probably have to go back for more before we’re done this winter,” Boynton speculates.

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Environment
4:18 pm
Fri February 21, 2014

Wind Developer Puts Newfound Project "On Hold"

This Novemeber file photo was taken during a tour of the Iberdrola Wind Farm in Groton.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The developer of the proposed 23-turbine Wild Meadows wind farm has announced that it will put the project on hold. Iberdrola Renewables says it will focus its resources on resolving disputes around another wind farm in Groton.

“We don’t have a specific time table” said Paul Copelman, Iberdrola Spokesman, explaining that the application that is currently pending will have to be resubmitted.  

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Environment
5:59 pm
Thu February 20, 2014

Groups Agree: Time To Decide What To Do With PSNH Plants

The New Hampshire House appears poised to send the question of whether the state's largest utility should sell its power plants to regulators.

In 2012, lawmakers tried to force PSNH to sell its power plants outright, but that effort stalled in the New Hampshire house. So this time around they’ve written a bill that asks the Public Utilities Commission to rule on whether that sale would eventually lower electric rates.

That bill got near unanimous support during a committee hearing Thursday, including from PSNH itself.

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NH News
11:56 am
Thu February 20, 2014

Ski Industry Group Says Mountains Brought $1.1 Billion In 2012-13

Skier visits, both Cross-Country and Downhill, are on the rise according to SkiNH. But the most dramatic trend has been the increase in summer visitors over the past eight years, due to expanded summer offerings, like ziplines.
Credit SkiNH

A new report from a ski industry trade group estimates that last year the ski industry contributed $1.1 billion dollars to the New Hampshire economy.  

That number, which Ski New Hampshire calculates every few years, is the highest yet recorded by the group. The economic impact study was conducted by a pair of Plymouth State University professors, and commissioned by Ski NH.

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NH News
5:29 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Latest Northern Pass Burial Bill Would Send Revenue To Highway Fund

A cross-section of an HVDC power cable - the type that a connection to Canada would feature if burial were required - which an electrical worker brought to the hearing as a prop
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

The latest legislative proposal that would require power lines be buried had its first hearing Wednesday.

Republican Senator Jeb Bradley has put forward a bill that would require so-called elective electric transmission lines – ones not needed to avoid blackouts – be buried along state owned roads and rail corridors. The bill would lease the right to bury a power line or pipeline, and send all of the revenue to the highway fund.

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Environment
5:23 pm
Wed February 19, 2014

Energy Developers Critical, Environmentalists Hopeful On SEC Reform

Credit Flikr Creative Commons / Claudio Schwarz

New Hampshire’s energy community turned out at a Senate hearing on Wednesday to react to a senate bill proposing changes to the Site Evaluation Committee, which approves power plants. The proposed changes include shrinking the SEC to five members, including two public representatives, hiring dedicated support staff, and requiring projects have a net public benefit.

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Environment
5:16 am
Tue February 18, 2014

New Woodstove Rules Could Clear The Air, Push Up Prices

EPA certified wood stoves today have to emit fewer than 7 grams of particulate per hour, like this one, already are below 2.
Credit Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  A new EPA Clean Air standard for wood stoves is set to take effect next year.

It has been 25 years since the EPA wrote the first woodstove regulations. Since the rules were last refreshed, the health hazards from the unburned particles in wood smoke have been researched and quantified. But with the new rules now pending, manufacturers are saying that prices for new stoves will rise, and worry that will result in more people sticking with dirty old stoves.

Cheap, But Dirty

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NH News
11:13 pm
Tue February 11, 2014

Reforms To Energy Siting Rules Begin To Take Shape

Credit Michael Kappel / Flickr CC

One of the biggest questions of this legislative session is how New Hampshire lawmakers will tweak the rules for how the state approves Energy Projects, in a body called the Site Evaluation Committee?

Critics of the Northern Pass and wind farms have converged on this issue as one area where they might get something through the statehouse, and they’ve even found common ground with some project developers, who think the SEC process is unwieldy.  

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