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

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

    Maine
    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

  • Maine Wood Products Assoc. gives awards to 2 furniture companies - 08/08/14

    Maine
    At an upcoming awards dinner, the Maine Wood Products Association will present its Pine Tree Award to Thos. Moser of Auburn, Maine and a new Pine Cone Award to W.A. Mitchell Fine Furniture of Farmington, both family-owned and operated furniture companies. Collin Miller, a regional wood products specialist for the Northern Forest Center that provides grants and other assistance to the wood products sector, said that these two companies have weathered some very challenging times by working smarter.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Gorham paper plant to reopen but with far fewer workers - 08/07/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Chris Jensen
    Gorham Paper and Tissue, the last paper plant in the North Country, will soon be operating again – but with far fewer workers...
    New Hampshire Public Radio

  • A paper mill goes quiet, and the community it built gropes for a way forward - 08/02/14

    Maine
    By: Jess Bidgood
    Pass a playground and follow a dusty road, and there, on the other side of a chain-link fence, is the wreckage of the paper mill that was born before this town was.
    The New York Times


     

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Tourism

  • Does northern Maine's economic future depend on a walk in the park? - 08/24/14

    Maine
    By: Tux Turkel
    This is the Katahdin Woods & Waters Recreation Area. It has been assembled by Roxanne Quimby, one of Maine’s most ardent conservationists, and her Eliotsville Plantation Inc., a private, Maine-based foundation. Day-to-day work now is being handled by her son, Lucas St. Clair. The Quimby family wants the area to become a 150,000-acre destination, split equally between a new national park and a national recreation area, embedded in the largest forested area remaining this side of the Mississippi.
    Portland Press Herald

  • GetYourGuide, a Tourism Start-Up, Raises $25 Million in Financing Round - 07/31/14

    Nation
    By: Michael J. De La Merced
    A start-up hoping to do for tourism what OpenTable has done for much of the big-city restaurant business – helping it gain popularity on mobile devices and the web – has just received a big vote of confidence from investors.
    The New York Times

  • Tourism survey finds most effective marketing is Word of Mouth - 07/30/14

    Vermont
    By: Steve Zind
    A first ever in-depth survey of visitors to Vermont sheds light on how they make their travel decisions. Visitors to Vermont welcome centers, state parks and local attractions filled out more than 8,500 questionnaires over a two year period.
    Vermont Public Radio

    Related Article

  • USDA grant to expand Maine tourism - 07/30/14

    Maine
    USDA State Director Virginia Manuel has announced $107,956 to provide workforce development and business training services to tourism businesses across the Maine Woods Region.
    Aroostook Republican and News

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Environment / Agriculture

  • 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

    Vermont
    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

  • N.H. loon count increases slightly from last year - 08/10/14

    New Hampshire
    The annual count of loons on New Hampshire's lakes shows a slight increase over last year, but experts caution the census only provides a glimpse into the true population.
    New Hampshire Public Radio

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Renewable Energy / Energy Efficiency

  • 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 RFP@puc.nh.gov.

  • Kuster visits Notre Dame senior housing project - 08/13/14

    New Hampshire
    By: Sarah Kinney
    As a part of her North Country tourism and energy tour, Congresswoman Annie Kuster visited the ongoing project at Notre Dame Senior Housing. The former Notre Dame High School at 411 School Street in Berlin is a part of the Northern Forest Center's Model Neighborhood project. The building will have four wood pellet boilers for heat. Two are already installed.
    The Berlin Daily Sun

  • NY wants to help you buy a high efficiency wood furnace - 08/04/14

    New York
    By: David Sommerstein
    Winter's still somewhat far off. But North Country residents who burn wood to heat their homes are already stacking cords for seasoning. Governor Cuomo announced a $27 million initiative to encourage more people to trade in their old wood furnace and buy a new highly efficient one.
    North Country Public Radio

     

  • Massachusetts Legislature passes wood heat legislation - 08/04/14

    Region
    Advocates for renewable thermal energy are celebrating today as Massachusetts is poised to become one of a few select states in the country to sign into law comprehensive legislation to promote the use of clean, renewable fuels and technologies to heat and cool buildings. On the last day of the Massachusetts legislature’s formal session of 2014, the landmark legislation was passed to be enacted by both the House and Senate, and now awaits Governor Patrick’s signature.
    Massachusetts Forest Alliance

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Infrastructure

  • 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

    Vermont
    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

    Vermont
    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

     

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

    Vermont
    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

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Health

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

    Maine
    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

    Vermont
    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

    Maine
    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

    Maine
    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

  • Penobscot County comissioners divided on whether national park would help faltering Katahdin region - 08/19/14

    Maine
    By: Nick McCrea
    Penobscot County’s commissioners are divided on a proposal to establish a 150,000-acre national park and recreation area in the Katahdin region.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Snowmobile muddle force rewrite of Essex Chain Lakes plan - 08/11/14

    New York
    By: Brian Mann
    State officials are going back to the drawing board as they develop a plan for public use of the Essex Chain Lakes near Newcomb.
    North Country Public Radio

  • Appalachian Mountain Club to measure economic impact of conservation in the Maine woods - 08/07/14

    Maine
    By: Darren Fishell
    Here’s a strange economic question: How much money does grow on trees? After starting its Maine Woods Initiative 11 years ago, the Appalachian Mountain Club is taking a closer look at the calculation for parts of the 100,000 acres it owns stretching from Greenville to the border of Baxter State Park.
    Bangor Daily News

  • Can we end the North Country's investment drought? - 07/24/14

    New York
    By: Brian Mann
    To get a sense for the challenge that North Country entrepreneurs face, NCPR met with Mara Smith in Lake Placid, New York. She’s holding in her hand what she hopes will be a brand new business that will bring jobs to the village.
    North Country Public Radio

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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

    Region
    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.

    Maine
    Due: DEADLINE HAS PASSED
    New Hampshire

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

    Due: DEADLINE HAS PASSED
    New York

    due: mailed AND emailed by June 30, 2014
    For information: Kyle Wilber 518-473-3355 nbrc@dos.ny.gov

     

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Network & Partner News

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Events

  • 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

  • Statewide events to celebrate 150th annviersary of Thoreau's 'The Maine Woods' - 07/21/14

    Maine
    By: Aislinn Sarnacki
    This year marks the 150th anniversary of Henry David Thoreau’s famous book “The Maine Woods,” and in celebration of this milestone, events and programs will be held throughout the state in the weeks to come. The 8th Annual Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail Festival will run July 24-27, in Greenville.
    Bangor Daily News

  • 68th International Convention of Forest Products Society - 07/18/14

    What: Convention is a joint effort between the Forest Products Society and the World Conference on Timber Engineering, combining the unique knowledge and experiences of hundreds of professionals from across the globe to explore the state of forest products research and innovations in the field.
    When: August 10-13
    Where: Quebec City Convention Centre
    To register visit forestprod.org

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