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

  • GPT paper machines down since Monday - 07/09/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Barbara Tetreault
    All four paper machines at the Gorham Paper and Tissue mill have been down since Monday as the facility continues to struggle. USW Local 75 head Eddy Deblois said the machines are running on a day-to-day basis as orders allow.
    Berlin Daily Sun

  • Investment in Thermogen Industries' wood pellet plant withdraw - 07/01/14

    By: Whit RIchardson
    A local investment company has withdrawn its $20 million anticipated investment in Thermogen Industries, the startup planning to build a wood pellet plant at the site of the former Great Northern Paper mill in Millinocket.
    Portland Press Herald

  • 'Tired of being pushed around,' Millinocket sets property-tax deadline for Great Northern Paper - 06/30/14

    By: Nick Sambides, Jr.
    Town leaders said Monday that Great Northern Paper Co. has until 2 p.m. Thursday to pay its $1.18 million net personal property tax bill or they will re-apply a lien to the company’s papermaking equipment.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Millinocket expects Great Northern Paper property tax payment by end of week - 06/24/14

    By: Nick Sambides Jr.
    The auctioneer handling last week’s sale of Great Northern Paper Co. equipment will likely pay Great Northern Paper’s overdue $2.24 million property tax bill by the end of the week, officials said Tuesday.
    Bangor Daily News


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  • Okemo to install heated bubble chairlift - 07/16/14

    Skiers and snowboarders visiting Okemo Mountain Resort this winter will be viewing the snowy landscape through the bright orange tint of a retractable, transparent dome when they ride in the comfort of a new, high-speed, six-pack bubble chairlift with heated seats – the first of its kind in North America.

  • Thoreau's essays on Maine travel well - 07/12/14

    By: Diane Bair and Pamela Wright
    “It is all mossy and moosey,” Henry David Thoreau (1817-62) wrote in “The Maine Woods,” a collection of three essays detailing the author’s travels in the backwoods of northern Maine. This year marks the 150th anniversary of the book’s publication in 1864.
    Boston Globe

  • White Mountain Community College launches outdoor recreation management certificate - 07/01/14

    White Mountains Community College, Appalachian Mountain Club and partners in the outdoor recreation industry are happy to announce an outdoor recreation management certificate to equip college students with the field work and course content for those to turn their passion for the outdoors into a career.
    Learn more at: White Mountains Community College

  • The Maine Woods: A rare opportunity for immersion in nature - 07/01/14

    By: Mike WIlson
    It’s a fair question to ask: Why would a group of relative strangers set off on a 250-mile, 16-day canoe trip through the heart of the Maine Woods eight days after “ice out” and right at the start of the infamous black fly season?
    Northern Forest Center

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Environment / Agriculture

  • New to explore in the Adirondacks: the Essex Chain Lakes - 07/15/14

    New York
    By: Brian Mann
    This is the final week for public comment on the new management plan for the Essex Chain Lakes in the central Adirondacks. Our Adirondack bureau chief Brian Mann made the trip last week and has our story.
    North Country Public Radio

  • Some green groups turn to courts in Adirondack fight - 07/14/14

    New York
    By: Brian Mann
    Four environmental groups say they plan to sue in state court to stop a mining project proposed for the Jay Mountain Wilderness in the Adirondacks.
    North Country Public Radio

  • What Vermont property owners need to know about the new Shoreland Protection Act - 07/01/14

    By: Mitch Wertlieb & Melody Bodette
    A new law takes effect today that requires a permit for new development within 250 feet of lakes, and the shoreland protection act was opposed by some of the state’s lake associations. Deb Markowitz, Secretary of the Agency of Natural Resources, said while there was some opposition, other lake associations were in favor of the act.
    Vermont Public Radio

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Renewable Energy / Energy Efficiency

  • Farmington church expected to save $8,000 annually by heating with pellets - 07/13/14

    Leaders of the Old South Congregational Church in Farmington expect to save about $8,000 a year with the conversion from conventional oil burners to high-efficiency wood pellet boilers to heat the 13,000-square foot church.
    Franklin Sun Journal

  • Energy issues matter to Vermonters, two polls show - 07/02/14

    By: John Herrick
    The vast majority of Vermonters want to use less fossil fuel for their energy needs, but the cost to reduce one’s carbon footprint is a challenge, according to a survey the Energy Action Network released last week.

  • Houses passes Welch legislation advancing energy efficiency in schools - 06/26/14

    The U.S. House of Representatives passed Congressman Peter Welch’s bipartisan legislation to encourage schools administrators to make cost-saving energy efficiency upgrades. The Streamlining Energy Efficiency for Schools Act, modeled after Vermont’s school-based energy efficiency efforts, is the second Welch-authored energy efficiency bill to pass the House this year.

  • Orono company hopes to grow pellet heating - 06/23/14

    By: John Krinjak
    An Orono company is hoping to grow the wood pellet fuel industry in Maine with an innovative business model. Heating Company PelletCo is hoping Mainers warm up to the idea of wood pellet heating–by installing boilers for free.
    Related Video

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  • Vermont Gas begins work on pipeline - 06/24/14

    By: Taylor Dobbs
    Vermont Gas Systems has cleared all the necessary regulatory hurdles to move forward with staging for the construction of its controversial natural gas pipeline.
    Vermont Public Radio

  • ReEnergy helps municipalities by burning storm debris at biomass plant - 06/11/14

    New York
    By: Ted Booker
    Giving municipalities a lift without charge, this week ReEnergy began grinding and collecting storm debris that will be used to fuel its biomass facility at Fort Drum.
    Watertown Daily Times


  • Biomass generation pitched for Vermont Yankee Site - 06/06/14

    As the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant moves closer to shutting down at year’s end, a new proposal could bring a different kind of power generation to the site. The Select Board in Vernon recently heard from a company about the possibility of building a biomass energy plant at the Vermont Yankee site.
    Times Argus

  • Timing called excellent to move forward on heating district plan for Colebrook - 06/05/14

    New Hampshire
    By: John KoziolMotivated by the prospect of lower energy costs for customers, job creation, and the opportunity to keep money that would be spent on other fuels within the community - the town is enthusiastically exploring the potential of biomass district heating.
    Union Leader


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  • 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

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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

  • Carsey School presents mid-point research on Coos youth - 07/16/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Barbara Tetreault
    Midway through its ten year study of Coos County Youth, the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of N.H. provided a detailed look at its findings to date to local educators and health and human services providers Thursday at White Mountains Community College.
    Berlin Daily Sun

  • Commentary: A Utility Land Bank Amendment - 06/30/14

    New York
    By: Pete Nelson
    Everyone reading this commentary has witnessed the massive spread of real-time information to the point where it is ubiquitous – smart phone technology being the most obvious example. I sure would like the Adirondack region to be able to reap the full benefits of this evolution now, rather than be years behind other areas of the country.
    Adirondack Almanack

  • The character of the 21st: What unites a congressional district defined by distance and difference? - 06/22/14

    New York
    By: Daniel Flatley
    Hemmed in by borders, bodies of water and vast expanses of undeveloped land, New York’s 21st Congressional District is home to more than 720,000 people spread out across some 16,000 square miles.
    Watertown Daily Times

  • An oddity in the Maine economic recovery - 06/17/14

    By: John Haskell
    Binyamin Appelbaum at the New York Times has a new article arguing that measuring the recent economic recovery should focus on the number of employed rather than the unemployed. Regarding Maine, he notes the state’s economy has been rather unique during the recession.
    Bangor Daily News

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Funding / Grant Opportunities

  • 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


  • Adirondack Foundation announces new grant programs - 06/05/14

    New York
    Up to 45,00 available
    Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the world's first community foundation, Adirondack Foundation has launched a new fund that will increase grants to Adirondack communities. The Generous Acts Fund directs funding toward three programs: Small and Significant grants, Collaborations grants and Big Impact projects. Adirondack Foundation will award up to $45,000 through these programs this year.
    Adirondack Daily Enterprise

  • Forest management plans: a win-win - 06/03/14

    New York
    By: Caitlin Stewart
    Got Woods? If so, there may be a way for you to maximize your woodlot and maybe even your wallet. Funds are available through the Environmental Quality Incentive Program (EQIP) to help landowners with the development of a Forest Management Plan for their properties.
    The Adirondack Almanack

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Network & Partner News

  • New England Forestry Foundation publishes new report - 07/16/14

    New England Forestry Foundation is a nonprofit organization specializing in forest conservation, sustainable forest management, and forestry education throughout New England. They are celebrating our 70 year anniversary and recently released a special report, New England Forests: The Path to Sustainability. The report outlines the many societal and environmental benefits of forests and sustainable forest management.
    Visit their website
    to read and download the report

  • New Study: New Hampshire's Return on Investment in Land Conservation - 07/02/14

    New Hampshire
    The Trust for Public Land conducted an economic analysis of the return on New Hampshire's investment in land conservation through a variety of state programs that funded land acquisition statewide. Every $1 invested in land conservation returned $11 in natural goods and services to the New Hampshrie economy.
    Find the report here

  • Working Lands Enterprise Board announces $1.1 million in grants to 37 Vermont entrepreneurs and providers - 06/18/14

    The Working Lands Enterprise Board announces this year’s grant recipients - 37 projects for $1.1 million in grants reaching every county in Vermont. The Vermont Wood Manufacturers Association received $50,000 for innovation assistance to wood manufacturers. Vermont Housing and Conservation Board received $118,337 for business assistance for Vermont's food and forestry enterprises. Northeastern Vermont Development Association, was awarded $50,000 to catalyze the market for high-efficiency, fully automated wood pellet boilers in the Northeast Kingdom in partnership with the Northern Forest Center' Model Neighborhood Project.

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  • International Training Seminar Biomass Heating - 07/02/14

    What: 3 day training with information and know-how on biomass heating technology, economics and marketing. The seminar is focused on small to mid scale wood pellets and chips projects
    Where: Energy Academy Landstrasse 45 4020 Linz/Austria
    Register online here

  • NH State Energy Strategy - Local Public Meetings - 06/05/14

    New Hampshire
    Public stakeholder meetings were posted to review and communt on the draft New Hamshire state energy strategy. Each meeting begins at 6 pm. Citizens are asked to register in advance by emailing Walk-ins are welcome.
    June 10 - White Mountain Community College 2020 Riverside Dr. Berlin
    June 11 - Kilton Library 80 Main St. West Lebanon
    June 18 - Littleton Opera House 2 Union St. Littleton
    June 19 - Lakes Region Community College 379 Belmont Rd. Laconia
    June 24 - Department of Environmental Service 222 International Dr. Suite 175 Portsmouth
    June 25 - Nashua Community College 505 Amherst St., Nashua, NH 03063

  • White Pine management workshop at the demonstration forest in Williamsburg - 05/23/14

    What: Eastern white pine is one of Maine's most important tree species. Foresters/forestland managers, loggers, landscapers, arborists, landowners, including woodlot and camp owners, and anyone who would like to learn about the NRCS programs available to help implement forestry conservation practices may be interested in attending this free technical training.
    Where: Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District (PCSWCD) Williamsburg Demonstration Forest
    When: Saturday, May 31st from 9 am - noon
    Pre-registration is required for this free training. Please contact Joanna Tarazzi or Lynn Lubas by calling 564-2321 ext 3 or emailing
    Bangor Daily News

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