We’d like to share some highlights from this month’s news stories and opinion pieces related to the environment, including Maine’s air, land, water, and wildlife, in this month’s News & Noteworthy from the Natural Resources Council of Maine.
October 28, 2021
Today, in a Portland Press Herald op-ed, NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann shares the reasons why the Natural Resources Council of Maine is so strongly urging Mainers to Vote Yes on 1 to stop the CMP corridor in next week’s election. Learn more about NRCM’s opposition to this project, and get some voter resources, too, on our website.
Another op-ed in the Bangor Daily News, this one by Brad Hager, a professor of earth sciences at MIT, explains that new research that shows that hydrodams (like the ones that would send energy via the CMP corridor through Maine’s forests to Massachusetts) are not as clean as previously thought.
John Bohorquez wrote about how important Maine’s North Woods are — not just to Maine, but globally. He writes that the part of Maine’s forests that the CMP corridor would cross is “as vital as the Amazon rainforest or the Australian Outback.” Read John’s full op-ed in the Portland Press Herald.
Another project NRCM has been working on for years is the restoration of the Kennebec River. Right now, it is imperative that four dams between Waterville and Skowhegan, owned by Brookfield Renewables, be removed in order to save the Atlantic salmon. Learn about the restoration of the river that has happened south of Waterville since the removal of Edwards Dam in Augusta in 1999 in yesterday’s Kennebec Journal.
Earlier this week, NRCM hosted our annual Conservation Leadership Awards at which we honor environmental heroes from around Maine. Read more about this year’s award recipients from the Bangor Daily News, and then watch the full recording of event on our website.
October 21, 2021
Have you picked up the October issue of Down East magazine? If so, you likely have already read the article about what’s next for the Moosehead region. If you missed it, you can read the full story here, including a quote from NRCM Forest & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm.
We hear a lot these days about the need to increase the bee population, and this Bangor Daily News story lets us know that in Maine, a key species is in trouble and may soon be on the endangered species list.
Unless you don’t have a television, radio, mailbox, or smart phone, you know that the controversial CMP corridor’s future is Question 1 on the November ballot. What you might not know is that this week, there was a public hearing with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection about the project’s license. Learn more.
The chief engineer at Thomaston’s wastewater treatment plant has helped that plant fight pollution of a different kind — climate-changing pollution — with the installation of a solar farm that will power the plant as well as the town’s fire station, town office, public works, and streetlights. Thank you, John Fancy!
Speaking of solar, a new community solar project in Bethel is now online, with 23 Maine institutional and commercial customers like L.L. Bean, Colby College, Maine’s Community College System, City of Portland, and more. See the full list and learn more about this project.
We will end this week’s News & Noteworthy with two stories about today’s announcement that NRCM and other conservation groups asked a federal judge to issue a preliminary injunction to immediately stop or curtail operations at four dams on the lower Kennebec River to protect endangered Atlantic salmon during critical fall and spring migration periods. The first story is from the Associated Press; the second is from the Portland Press Herald.
October 14, 2021
The big news of the week is that yesterday Wolfden Resources withdrew its petition for a mine at Pickett Mountain near Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument.
Ed Beem shares his thoughts about Question 1, the CMP corridor referendum, in this week’s Portland Phoenix, aptly titled, “Question 1 Hogwash and Greenwash.”
John Wuesthoff shares his thoughts about Question 1 and explains retroactive laws in this week’s Portland Press Herald.
The eastern spruce budworm is back. Did you know that they are native to Maine and naturally have an “outbreak cycle” every 30 to 60 years? Learn more about these pests that are destructive to Maine’s forests in this Bangor Daily News story.
We want to improve Maine’s recycling rates, but there is a problem. The data that we have is very incomplete. Read more from The Maine Monitor.
Some good news about sustainability though — Maine restaurants may soon be able to offer reusable take-out food containers to their customers.
This week’s incredible weather has many of us wanting to get outdoors even more than usual. How can we make getting outside part of our daily habits and routine? Here are five ideas to help!
October 7, 2021
Let’s start today’s News & Noteworthy off with some potentially great news from the Bangor Daily News. It is likely that Maine’s Land Use Planning Commission will reject Wolfden Resources’ petition to rezone land near Baxter State Park and the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument for a dangerous zoning proposal. You can read more in the Portland Press Herald and listen to a Maine Public news story by Fred Bever.
Maine Congresswoman Chellie Pingree wrote an op-ed in the Portland Press Herald this week in support of President Biden’s Build Back Better budget, which has important clean energy funding and other benefits to Maine in it.
We’ve told you about a new electric police car in Bangor and a new electric school bus on Mount Desert Island, and now more Maine towns are adding electric vehicles to their fleets.
Good news that a passenger rail study is moving ahead, to see whether or not rail service can be extended beyond Portland to Lewiston/Auburn.
Some bad news this week for those of us who love to go leaf peeping around the state this time of year. Climate change is making this fun fall adventure more difficult. Read more in this Associated Press story.
Let’s end this week’s news on a high note: NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols recently appeared on CNBC to talk about Maine’s new Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) for Packaging law. Watch the video. Then learn more about this law on our website.