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Wildlife advocates say new Maine trapping plan is a bad deal for threatened Canada lynx

13 lynx have been caught in traps the past month; activists say more oversight is needed to protect federally listed cats

lynx, Lynx lynx, by Erwin & Peggy Bauer, no date, 11437, 101.7.01

A lynx on the prowl in the forest. Photo courtesy USFWS.

Staff Report

FRISCO — A new trapping plan approved by state and federal officials in Maine doesn’t do enough to protect endangered lynx, according to wildlife advocates. Instead of relying on reports from trappers in the field, activists said they want to see more active enforcement and inspections of trapping operations.

The plan, part of the state’s predator control program, was approved less than a month into the state’s trapping season, during which 13 lynx have already been reported captured. All the cats were released alive, but two required veterinary treatment for injured toes. A previous study of radio-collared lynx in Maine showed that after being caught by trappers, only three of six lynx survived a month. Continue reading

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Alternate vision for ski industry manifests in Maine

A new future for skiing is dawning at Mt. Abram. Photo courtesy Mountain Rider’s Alliance/Mt. Abram.

Sustainability, and people before profit, will be the guiding principles for a partnership between the Mountain Rider’s Alliance and Mt. Abram

By Bob Berwyn

SUMMIT COUNTY — The Mountain Rider’s Alliance is one step closer to manifesting its long-term vision for an alternate model for ski resort ownership and operation.

This week, the organization announced an agreement to partner with the Mt. Abram ski area in Maine to try out a new ownership and management model aimed at boosting regional visitation, increasing awareness of sustainability issues, and focusing on the core values of skiing.

MRA is currently raising funds for the deal through crowd-sourcing and social media with the Support the Future of Skiing campaign at indiegogo.com.

When the details are finalized, potentially next spring, the ski area will sell membership shares to the public, loosely based on a co-op business model. The membership shares  will offer a variety of benefits and privileges. Members will hold elections and be represented in a dialog with ski area management. Continue reading

Feds taking input on proposed offshore wind farm

Proposed facility off the coast of Maine could show feasibility of floating turbines

Offshore wind turbines near Copenhagen, Denmark. Photo courtesy Leonard G via Wikipedia and the Creative Commons.

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — Offshore wind power is already a significant part of the energy portfolio in countries like Denmark, Holland and Germany, and the U.S., with extensive areas of coastline, has the potential to become a major producer of offshore wind energy.

Developing the resource isn’t without challenges, as some communities have objected to the visual impacts of wind turbines near shorelines, and there are also concerns over impacts to wildlife, primarily birds. Infrastructure is another issue, as the offshore facilities require transmission lines to bring the power to shore.

On the positive side, offshore turbines could be sited near coastal urban areas with dense populations, where the energy is needed the most. But for now, many of those questions are still hypothetical, as offshore windpower is still in its infancy in this country.

That may start to change, however, as the Department of Interior starts to scrutinize a proposed project that could demonstrate floating offshore wind technology on the Outer Continental Shelf  of the coast of Maine. Continue reading

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