Read highlights from December 2022 news stories and opinion pieces related to Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife, in this News & Noteworthy from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
December 29, 2022
It’s a holiday week so there are fewer news stories to share this week compared to a usual week, but here are a few stories to end our 2022 News & Noteworthy:
- The Bangor Daily News shared the “3 Maine environmental issues to watch in 2023” — what are your top three? Read this article to see what the BDN picked.
- At NRCM, we did a podcast highlighting our Top 10 Good Environmental News Stories of 2022. Listen to NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim and podcast host and Advocacy Communications Director Colin Durant share our list.
- Some good news for Central Maine: 260 acres of land in Pittston have been turned into a wilderness preserve. The land was donated to the Northeast Wilderness Trust from landowners who wanted it protected. Did you know that, “Only about four percent of land in Maine is conserved as ‘forever wild'”? Read more from Maine Public.
We will be back in 2023 with more news and highlights related to Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife. Have a happy and safe New Year!
December 23, 2022
Rulemaking for Maine’s first-in-the-nation Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging law began this month. Read about the first meeting, and hear from NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols in this Maine Monitor news story.
James Settele of the University of Maine Graduate School of Policy & International Affairs and retired U.S. Navy Captain Jamie Barnett co-wrote an op-ed in this week’s Bangor Daily News about how clean energy and national security are closely linked. Both were involved in a panel at UMaine earlier this year, cosponsored by NRCM. Watch the full video.
Fish passage on the St. Croix River got a boost this month, with nearly $15 million in federal funds. This will provide an additional 60,000 acres of habitat for alewives.
A new report shows that New England forests could boost carbon storage by nearly 500,000 tons if forest management practices were improved.
And finally this week, some exciting land conservation news this week: The Trust for Public Land bought 31,000 acres of land near the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which it hopes will become a southern entrance to the Monument.
December 16, 2022
Some more funding from the federal Infrastructure and Jobs Act is headed to Maine. This time it is a $7.5 million grant to help restore Atlantic salmon to the Penobscot River.
Wednesday, the Land Use Planning Commission approved a new zoning plan for the Moosehead Lake region after the original Plum Creek Concept Plan was ended by Weyerhauser, which bought Plum Creek. Read more about this new plan in this Maine Public story, which features NRCM Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm. Read our full news release about this plan here.
December 8, 2022
NRCM and other groups, led by Frenchman Bay United, continue to oppose a large aquaculture farm off Mount Desert Island. The Bangor Daily News had a poll question in an article earlier this week describing how this project and other “major” aquaculture projects are finding that they are running into roadblocks up and down Maine’s coast.
Molly Saunders is a potter from Wayne, Maine, who also won a 2022 Environmental Award from NRCM. She is featured in a fantastic new article in Orion magazine.
December 1, 2022
We will kick off this month’s News & Noteworthy with an article that quotes NRCM Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm, as she talks about the Moosehead planning proposal, which the Land Use Planning Commission has been working on, with input from Mainers and organizations like NRCM over the past couple of years.
Also in land conservation news, according to Maine Public, “A conservation group announced it has purchased more than 6,000 acres in Aroostook County, that will soon become a state wildlife management area.” Great news for Maine’s forests and wildlife!
NRCM Interim CEO and Senior Director of Advocacy Pete Didisheim recently spoke at Colby College in Waterville to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Pete spoke about progress made and work still to be done.
Judy Berk, a longtime NRCM staffer until her retirement a few years ago, and her husband, David Foley, were featured recently in The Working Waterfront to share their experiences with electric vehicles, heat pumps, solar arrays, and more. Judy and David definitely “walk the walk” and are a great example for all of us.
Some good news for Atlantic salmon, the Maine Department of Marine Resources reports that the number of salmon that made their way up the river and through the fish lift at Milford and dam in Orono is the second highest in the past 11 years. Read more in this Bangor Daily News story.
South Portland will soon require electric vehicle charging infrastructure in some of its new or reconstructed parking areas that include at least five parking spaces.
We started off this week with an article quoting an NRCM advocate, so we will end the same way. This time, NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols was a guest on Maine Public’s Maine Calling this week, talking about plastic pollution, recycling, and how we can all help to reduce environmental harm from plastics. Listen to the full episode.