Northern Forest News Digest

The Center’s Northern Forest News Digest is a FREE weekly compendium of news about the Northern Forest and about national and international issues that affect the region. The Center’s staff scans more than 35 news sources—from local weekly newspapers to statewide dailies to the web—to deliver information about the forest industry, tourism, the environment, renewable energy, education, grant funding and events to keep you informed.

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Forestry & Industry

  • Vermont receives $2.3M from USDA aimed at creating jobs - 09/12/14

    In Vermont, 13 organizations will share money from the U.S. Agriculture Department aimed at creating jobs in rural Vermont. Deputy Agriculture Secretary announced the $2.3 million in grants and loans during a visit to Burlington. The money will help farmers and small-business-owners with buying equipment, gaining access to capital and developing markets for their products.
    Vermont Business Magazine

  • Sappi says Skowhegan tax reduction isn't enough - 09/10/14

    By: Doug Harlow
    Sappi Fine Paper North America executives say they don’t think the tax valuation set Monday for the company’s Skowhegan paper mill is a fair assessment and say the mill still is overvalued by the town.
    Portland Press Herald

  • Hemlock pest expands territory in Knox County - 08/28/14

    By: The Associated Press
    Maine officials say the hemlock woolly adelgid appears to be expanding its territory in Knox County.
    Portland Press Herald

  • LePage says state helping GNP find partner, but his patience with nonpayment 'is running thin' - 08/21/14

    By: Nick Sambides Jr.
    The local paper mill won’t restart unless its owner finds a financial partner, and that likely won’t happen until at least the November election, if ever, Gov. Paul LePage told millworkers on Thursday.
    Bangor Daily News

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  • Greenville ATV access issue will go to voters in November - 09/10/14

    By: Mike Lange
    More than 40 people packed Greenville’s municipal meeting room on Sept. 3 to voice their opinion on expanding ATV access in the community.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Maine businesses preparing for leaf-peeping season - 09/07/14

    By: The Associated Press
    Maine Businesses are preparing for a rush of tourists hoping to see the state’s colorful foliage this fall.
    Portland Press Herald

  • Summer 2014: A tale of two tourist seasons - 09/03/14

    By: Stephen Betts
    The summer tourist season thus far has been a story of contrasts — a slow start followed by a blazing-hot second half...In communities more dependent on tourism for their economies, the difference between summer and winter seasons are far more extreme.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Eastern Maine Community College received $50,000 Quimby Family Foundation to develop Millinocket-based associates degree program in outdoor recreation and tourism - 09/01/14

    The Quimby Family Foundation has awarded $50,000 to Eastern Maine Community College to help develop a two-year associate in applied science degree in outdoor recreation and tourism. EMCC plans to base the program in Millinocket.

See more Tourism articles

Environment / Agriculture

  • Canada leads world in forest decline, report says - 09/04/14

    By: William Marsden
    The world’s virgin forests are being lost at an increasing rate and the largest portion of the degradation is in Canada, according to a new report.

  • Adirondacks may become a conduit for tar-sands oil - 08/26/14

    New York
    By: Phil Brown
    Four environmental organizations are sponsoring a forum in Plattsburgh this week on the dangers of transporting Bakken crude oil on trains through the Champlain Valley, but trains may someday be moving another hazardous fuel through the region: oil from the Canadian tar sands.
    Adirondack Almanack

  • In St. Albans Bay, Blue-Green Algae Problems in Full View - 08/25/14

    By: Taylor Dobbs
    This year, it is. St. Albans Bay has been green for weeks, covered by one of the biggest blue-green algae blooms there in years.
    Vermont Public Radio

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Renewable Energy / Energy Efficiency

  • Scientific Endorsement of Biomass's Carbon Benefits - 09/17/14

    By: Bob Cleaves
    Last month, the Journal of Forestry published a scientific, peer-reviewed study by nine respected scientists and forestry experts confirming the virtues of biomass—not just as an energy source, but also as an important element for forestry health and atmospheric carbon management.
    Biomass Magazine

  • Good things in store for pellets - 09/01/14

    By: Bill Bell
    When asked this winter about ongoing incentive funding for pellet boiler installations, Efficiency Maine CEO Mike Stoddard challenged, “If the program is a success, ongoing funding will be there.”
    Biomass Magazine

  • RFP for Renewable Energy Projects - 08/26/14

    The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission announced its 2014 Request for Proposals (RFP) for Renewable Energy Projects. Funding is available for electrical and thermal renewable energy projects in the non-residential sector in New Hampshire. Proposals are due 4:30 on Sept. 19, 2014. Find out more at the PUC website. Questions can be submitted to

  • Paris school getting wood pellet heating system - 08/19/14

    By: Leslie Dixon
    Oxford Hills Middle School is preparing for a wood pellet heating system, Superintendent Rick Colpitts told the SAD 17 board of directors Monday night.
    Sun Journal

See more Renewable Energy/Energy Efficiency articles


  • EIA: U.S. added 108.8 MW of bioenergy capacity in June - 08/26/14

    By: Erin Voegele
    The U.S. Energy Information Administration has published the August issue of its Electric Power Monthly report, indicating that the U.S. added 108.8 MW of bioenergy capacity in June.
    Biomass Magazine

  • Berlin biomass plant fully operational, but at what cost to ratepayers? - 08/21/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Chris Jensen
    A new biomass plant in Berlin is finally producing electricity for Public Service of New Hampshire under a controversial 20-year contract that a report says will cost PSNH ratepayers $125 million more than if the electricity was purchased on the open market...
    New Hampshire Public Radio

  • Regulators approve Lake Champlain transmission line - 08/11/14

    Federal regulators have completed the environmental review of a proposed 330-mile transmission line to bring lower-cost Canadian hydroelectric power to New York City.
    Vermont Public Radio

  • Would biomass plant be a good fit at Vt. Yankee site? - 07/09/14

    By: Richie Davis
    With half a year to go before the Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is scheduled to cease operation, town planning and selectmen’s boards have discussed a preliminary proposal to build a biomass plant on the reactor site.
    The Recorder


See more Infrastructure articles


  • Lyme disease: A big problem caused by a tiny tick - 05/09/13

    By: Jackie Farwell
    McDonald was one of more than a record-high 1,100 Maine residents diagnosed last year with Lyme disease. Public health officials are warning that the risk for Lyme has increased now that ticks have emerged for the season. A mild winter in 2011 led to a bumper crop of ticks that appeared early in the 2012 season.

    “We’ve seen increases every year for the last four or five years,” said Dr. Stephen Sears, state epidemiologist. “There’s no reason to suspect that we won’t potentially see more cases because it appears that Lyme’s moving into parts of the state where it was not as common before.”

    Lyme first appeared in the southern part of Maine, and has consistently spread north and Down East. Lyme disease in humans now shows up in every county in the state thanks to hungry deer ticks that feed mostly during the summer months.
    Bangor Daily News article

  • Can the North Country make nursing homes work? - 05/03/13

    New York
    By: Chris Knight
    Many nursing homes around the state are seeing big financial losses, and the situation is the same, if not worse, here in the North Country.

    That's sparked a dialogue in the last few months among the region's long-term care leaders about ways they can partner, share services or even consolidate under one organization. Leaders of at least eight to 10 of the region's nursing homes have been involved in these talks.

    Some long-term care advocates believe North Country nursing homes are at a tipping point.
    North Country Public Radio article

  • Lyme Disease - 04/25/13

    By: Jane Lindholm and Sage Van Wing
    In 2002 there were 37 cases of Lyme disease in Vermont. In 2011 there were over 500. Experts aren’t sure why the numbers are rising so drastically, but they do agree that the disease is serious.

    If you know you’ve been bitten by a deer tick, and you develop a rash, you have likely been infected with Lyme disease. A short course of antibiotics, administered quickly after an infection, has proven effective at treating the disease at that stage. After that, though, there is some disagreement as to how the disease should be identified and treated.
    Vermont Public Radio article

See more Health articles

Education / Arts / Entertainment

  • Summer camp aims to create future environmental leaders in Maine's tribes - 07/13/14

    By: Nell Gluckman
    Barry Dana is worried about the next generation of environmental leaders within Maine’s Native American tribes. The former Penobscot Nation chief said Tuesday he and others began to recognize several years ago that the tribal members running some institutions were getting older and there was no one to replace them.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Adirondack peak East Dix is now named Grace Peak. Here's Why - 06/17/14

    New York
    By: Brian Mann
    One of the Adirondack Park's High Peaks has a new name. Last week, the US Board of Geographic Names approved a petition to rename East Dix, a summit that rises to 4,026 feet.
    North Country Public Radio


  • New executive director named at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum - 06/11/14

    By: Gabor Degre
    Jill Packard is the new executive director of the Maine Forest and Logging Museum in Bradley.
    Bangor Daily News

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Community/Economic Development

  • Economic development firm offering to help Millinocket 'not afraid to ask hard questions' - 09/17/14

    By: Nick Sambides Jr.
    A Virginia-based economic development firm that offered to work for free to help the town recover from its loss of industry has already started compiling statistics for town leaders, its president said Friday.
    Bangor Daily News

    Related Article

  • Owens announces $971K in Northern Border Regional Commission grants - 09/17/14

    New York
    Congressman Bill Owens announced today that five projects in New York’s 21st Congressional District will receive funds through the Northern Border Regional Commission (NBRC). “This funding supports a collection of worthy projects that contribute to the economic growth and stability of the region,” said Owens...$175,000 for the Northern Forest Center to install energy-efficient wood pellet heating systems in municipal buildings in Franklin, Essex and Clinton counties.
    Office of Congressman Bill Owens

    North Country Now

  • Five North Country projects win Northern Border grants - 09/17/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Jeff Feingold
    Five North Country economic and community development efforts will receive grants totaling almost $1 million from the Northern Border Regional Commission. The awards, which total $968,365, were announced by Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.
    New Hampshire Business Review

  • Maine Community Foundation CEO stepping down - 09/16/14

    George T. Shaw of Newcastle, chair of the Maine Community Foundation Board of Directors, has announced that Meredith H. Jones will step down at the end of 2015 after 16 years of service, including seven as president and CEO.
    Bangor Daily News

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Funding / Grant Opportunities

  • Rural Community Development Initiative funding available - 08/14/14

    A Notice of Funding Availability was released by the US Department of Agriculture through the Rural Housing Service. The Rural Community Development Initiative (RCDI) program provides technical assistance and training funds to qualified intermediary organizations to develop their capacity to undertake housing, community facilities, and community and economic development projects in eligible rural areas. Applications are due at 4 p.m. November 12, 2014.
    For more information

  • Deadline Approaching to Apply for USDA Conservation Programs - 08/13/14

    The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) would like to remind agricultural and forest producers that the sign-up deadline for assistance through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program and the Agricultural Management Assistance Program is approaching. The Fiscal Year 2015 application deadline for both of these programs is August 15, 2014.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Northern Border Regional Commission Applications Due - 06/18/14

    The Northern Border Regional Commission, created by Congress to offset challenging economies in the rural Northeast, plans to award about $4.5 million later this year across the 36-county region of northern New York, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine. Organizations in Carroll, Grafton, Coos and Sullivan Counties in New Hampshire are eligible to apply. The maximum grant request per project is $250,000.

    New Hampshire

    Due: June 23, 2014
    For information: Christopher Way at 271-2341

    New York

    due: mailed AND emailed by June 30, 2014
    For information: Kyle Wilber 518-473-3355


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Network & Partner News

See more Community & Nonprofit News


  • NH Biomass Boiler Operators Workshop - 09/13/14

    What: This workshop will focus specifically on how to improve performance of biomass boilers (wood pellet and chip) and lower maintenance costs. It will also feature discussion about state-of-the-art bulk wood pellet delivery, and handling, testing and beneficial use or disposal of wood ash.
    Where: Sullivan County Complex 103 County Farm Road Unity, NH
    When: October 22, 2014 from 8:00am to 1:00pm
    Regsiter here.

  • Six Wood Heating System Tours in NH - 09/01/14

    The New Hampshire Wood Energy Council will host six tours of a wide range of modern wood heating systems during the week of October 20. The tours are free and open to the public and will feature 16 different wood pellet, wood chip and logwood heating systems. All tours start at 1 pm. Register here and find the tour schedule here. The North Country Tous is on Tues. October 21st to Littleton Hospital, CAI Technologies and the White Mountain School.

  • Alternative Energy Expo in Portland - 08/14/14

    What: showcase a variety of alternative energy organizations providing information and demonstrations as well as speakers, workshops, panels, food trucks and more
    Where: 145 Presumpscot St. Portland, ME
    When: Friday, Sept. 12th all day with speakers starting at 3 pm

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