We cannot speak too highly of the Berkshire Environmental Action Team (BEAT) and its head, Jane Winn. There is no escaping the positive presence and influence BEAT has and the high regard in which it is held in the Berkshires, thanks to the seemingly inexhaustible energy of its founder, Jane Winn, and BEAT’s protean involvement in every aspect of the environment from protecting vernal pools to combating new and hazardous natural gas pipelines and unremediated industrial pollution. All the people of the Berkshires look to BEAT to keep them informed and to defend their interests as guardians of the earth and Mother Nature. No other environmental organization in the Berkshires is more in the thick of things, more willing to take on the challenges and mount the battles we must engage in as a community to move in the direction of green renewable energy and to preserve our woodlands and wilderness. As a source of information and as a network hub, BEAT is unsurpassed. In fact, it is unique. The BEAT News connects the community with every local event relating to the environment, from meetings of government commissions and regulatory bodies, to woodland hiking and birdwatching opportunities. Jane Winn is probably more informed about the broad swath of environmental issues and concerns local, statewide, as well as national, than any single individual in the Berkshires. And she spreads her knowledge far and wide, by making it a point to personally attend as many public meetings as possible where her input can help determine the most effective response to the problem at hand; and to attend hearings and comment on critical issues before the key local, state, and Federal oversight agencies. What is also remarkable about BEAT is that it coalesces seamlessly with other environmental organizations in Western Massachusetts and elsewhere and works alongside those groups in a synergy that provides a united front of extraordinary effectiveness. It is no exaggeration to say that BEAT is an indispensable part of the Berkshires. If it didn’t exist, we would have to invent it.
I have been a support of BEAT since I moved here full time in 2011. As a long time environmentalist and one of the coordinators of 350Mass-Berkshires, I have admired their work and collaboration with other local and state wide organizations. Their weekly newsletter is very informative and inclusive of all Western Mass related environmental events. I especially admire their fight against new fossil fuel infrastructure within the Berkshires. especially the CT pipeline which could evolve into a test case for amending FERC
They are a true example of acting locally and thinking globally and I am proud to be a member as well as a partner organization
As one of the coordinators of 350Ma-Berkshires I appreciate the tireless work that BEAT does to enhance and protect the environment in Berkshire County. They are active members in our organization and attend dozens of town meetings all year long to provide technical assistance on issues related to environmental regulations. BEAT staff are extremely knowledgeable on local, state, and federal regulations that effect our environment and often provide fact based testimony at important meetings and hearings.
Also, their weekly newsletter provides a great deal of information, including articles, a calendar of upcoming events, public notices, and an environmental index. They enable people who are concerned about our local environment to learn what is going on in the county.
We have seen Berkshire Environmental Action Team tirelessly advocate for our earth, air and water in the face of such current threats as the Kinder Morgan proposed fracked gas pipeline.
They are an immensely important resource for all of us.
BEAT has built a strong network of environmental advocates with their great programs and very strong commitment to our environment. While their focus is local, their knowledge of nature and the environment is broad-based. I'm very pleased that our area has BEAT looking after the world around us and keeping people informed!
I cannot imagine any effective environmental action without BEAT
Their knowledge, environmental, legal, political process has been invaluable to our work opposing the unneeded destructive Connecticut Expansion tgp pipeline thru Sandisfield. Their unflagging help for our little group has been critical in helping us get as far as we have.
BEAT works tirelessly to protect the environment in Berkshire County. They attend dozens of town meetings all year long (select board, conservation commission, zoning, and other meetings) to provide technical assistance on issues related to environmental regulations, wetlands regulations, and so forth. I have been involved with the fight against the NED pipeline project this past year and I could not have done it without Jane Winn from BEAT. She attends every meeting and supports each town as needed. They are front and center in the fight against the fracked gas pipelines proposed to cross our county, including many natural and protected areas. They have worked hard to educate concerned citizens and to act as a resource for timely and accurate information on these major proposed projects. I can't imagine Berkshire County without BEAT!
My friend Tom Irelan invited me to a BEAT board member meeting in late July. I went and was happy to find a vibrant community of people who care about the environment! But the thing that impressed me most was that they discussed concrete actions that could (and should!) be taken to counter unsustainable behaviors in our community. I know many people who are upset about environmental degradation, but few have the resources or concrete ideas to take action against it. However, BEAT has concrete ideas and actively works to raise funds to take action in counteracting environmental degradation! Hooray for BEAT, thanks for your efforts to preserve our home planet for future generations.
I will never forget the moment in time this past winter when I decided that "someone out there" knew what was going on with what was then called the Northeast Expansion Project (Tennessee Gas Co. pipeline). I was confused, angry and felt terribly diminished by the eventuality of my land being defiled once again. In the midst of my almost frantic research, I found Jane Winn and the Berkshire Environmental Action Team. I can not remember how the connection happened; I only know that the individual on the other end of the phone was empathic, calm in the midst of my storm, well informed about the subject matter, and very encouraging. Moreover, Jane picked up the phone on the first try and talked with me for nearly a half hour! Jane was able to demonstrate a high level of expertise about the pipeline and its various features and to explain the picture to me in a "user friendly" way. I learned from that first phone conversation that I was not alone in what has turned out to date, to be the biggest fight of my life. Since that day Jane and her husband have been my advisors and the "go to people" when I need clear and accurate information about updates. In an effort to provide the public with well researched information about the pipeline, Jane and Bruce have tirelessly served our communities both in Massachusetts and in neighboring New York State by conducting well structured speaking engagements tailored to the needs of the audience. Recently I had the opportunity to speak directly to our governor and certain members of his Office who had been assigned the task of periodically acquiring updates since the end of July. When I told the Governor and his staff that the Berkshire Environmental Action Team does "its homework" I meant it with 100% certainty. If we win this fight, it will largely be due to the consistent commitment and integrity of Jane and Bruce Winn. I thank them in advance.
As a member of the local community, I like to know what's going on with local environmental issues, ranging from the cleanup of the PCBs in the Housatonic River to the protection of wildlife throughways. BEAT keeps me informed, and they also assure me that, even though I travel a lot for work and don't have time for much volunteer work, somebody is on the job. (We do donate, though.) They work extremely well with the network of other nonprofits in our community and are great community builders.
Knowing that BEAT exists and out there doing the job every single day gives me great comfort.