Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

Weather forecasters say the hot, sticky weather is going to linger this week in New England.
On Sunday, an official heat wave was declared, meaning there has been three days of temperatures of 90 or above. There's no relief in sight. Before it ends, Concord, New Hampshire, could see seven consecutive days of 90-degree weather for the first time in 16 years.
The National Weather Service says Boston also is in the middle of a heat wave.

Downeast Salmon Federation

Environmental advocates say that thousands of young alewives are dying in the Union River below the Ellsworth dam – maybe hundreds of thousands.

Brett Ciccotelli is a fisheries biologist with the Downeast Salmon Federation.

"It's not the first time, as people know in Ellsworth,” he said. “It's an ongoing tragedy there. But for the river and the ecology but also the fishery. I mean this is a Heritage fishery in Maine.”

BOSTON - New England is bracing for a heat spell that could last through the July 4 holiday and beyond.
The National Weather Service says heat and humidity will be building across the region starting on Friday and temperatures could top 90 degrees for several days in much of the region.
The Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency is urging residents to avoid long periods of exposure to the heat and protect against sun damage.

Authorities Shoot Otter That Bit Woman On Maine Beach

Jun 29, 2018
Stock image Pixabay / via Bangor Daily News

Police officers fatally shot an otter Wednesday after it bit a woman who was taking a video of the sleek critter seemingly “playing” with children on a Rockland beach.

Rockland police officers took the otter’s body to the Maine Center for Disease Control in Augusta on Thursday morning so it could be tested for rabies, according to Rockland Deputy Chief Chris Young.

The otter was a river otter, not a sea otter, according to Department of Marine Resources spokesman Jeff Nichols.

The Trust for Public Land

An unusual partnership between the Trust for Public Land, the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust and the U.S. Navy has led to the protection of more than 10,000 acres near the Appalachian Trail in Rangeley.

The area is popular for hiking, fishing, snowmobiling and hunting. It's also home to a wilderness training school run by the Navy, which provided much of the funding for the purchase of conservation easements.

Betsy Cook of the Trust for Public Land says the project will ensure that scenic views, wildlife habitat and public access are protected.

University of Maine photo

The invasive and destructive emerald ash borer has spread to Vermont's capital city and officials say people should prepare for most of Montpelier's ash trees dying.

Montpelier tree board chair John Snell says people have known for years that the insect was coming, since it was recently found in multiple surrounding states. Vermont Public Radio reports the city has put into effect a response plan to help deal with the tree-eating beetle.


The Nature Conservancy in Maine has become the latest conservation group to announce its participation in what's known as a carbon offset project to address climate change.

The project signals a long-term commitment to improve forest management with bigger trees on 125,000 acres along the St. John River. The trees essentially serve as storage for carbon.

State wildlife biologists use the harvesting of female deer to manage population numbers. A proposal that would allow Maine hunters to take more does this fall in southern Maine, while decreasing the number in the north, is up for public hearing Tuesday evening in Augusta.

Biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife propose increasing the number of "any deer" permits by 28 percent. Any Deer permits allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex.

Introspective Systems

Renewable energy sources like wind and solar are muscling their way into the country's energy mix. But they're still pretty unpredictable, creating significant management challenges and big swings in electricity prices. 

AUGUSTA, Maine - A proposal to allow Maine hunters to harvest more deer this fall is headed to a public hearing in Augusta.
Biologists with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife are recommending nearly 85,000 "any deer'' permits this year. Those permits allow hunters to harvest deer of either sex. The recommendation would be an increase of 28 percent from 2017.
The proposal is up for a public hearing on Tuesday night at 6 p.m. at the Augusta Armory. The state is also taking comments by mail until July 6.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

The blue boats owned by Acadian Seaplants, boats that carry fresh-cut rockweed out of Washington County's Cobscook Bay, are not as numerous as they were three years ago. 

Contact With Toxic Browntail Moth Cocoons Can Cause Blistery Rash, State Warns

Jun 22, 2018
Courtesy Maine Forest Service / via Bangor Daily News

Maine officials are warning residents to be very careful before removing the cocoons of the browntail moth, a toxic, invasive species that is spreading throughout the state.

“Do this with extreme caution,” a media release issued Thursday from the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, said of cocoon removal. “Cocoons are full of the hairs that can cause a rash or worse.”

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

For more than 40 years, development proposals in Maine's unorganized townships have been handled in a fairly straightforward way: new construction had to be located within one road mile of a similar existing development, such as a group of cabins for rent or a canoe rental shop.

PORTLAND, Maine - Conservation groups say they are optimistic that an agreement with Greenland will help endangered wild Atlantic salmon begin to recover.
The salmon are considered endangered in the Gulf of Maine by the U.S. government. The North Atlantic Salmon Conservation Organization held a meeting in Portland last week to try to broker a deal to keep more of the fish alive.

Officials are warning of poor air quality in parts of Maine and New Hampshire.

The National Weather Service issued a heat advisory and an air quality alert with temperatures projected to climb to 90 degrees with high humidity on Monday in southern Maine.

The air quality alert affects coastal Maine from Kittery to Acadia National Park, and is due to expire late Monday.

The weather service recommends that people limit prolonged or heavy outdoor exertion by taking breaks, seeking shade and keeping hydrated.