The Maine Woods

A Publication of the Forest Ecology Network

 Volume Five     Number Two                           Late Fall 2001

FEN Awards Scholarships

Five applicants were awarded scholarship funds in FEN's first annual essay and photo contests. "The Health of the Earth" photo contest award went to Melinda Beaudoin of Sidney, Maine, while "The Future of Maine's Environment" essay contest award was split between John Ritzo of Kingfield, Maine, Constantin Chikando of Cheverly, Maryland, Chelsea Plourde of Poland, Maine and Emily Berry of Corinth, Maine. Below are excerpts from the winning essays.


 Tiger Swallowtail butterflies - one of the two winning photographs by Melinda Beaudoin.

John Ritzo - Kennebec River Essay - "Hydroelectric dams have a negative effect on a river's biomass and diversity..The hydroelectricity generated from Harris Station (on the Kennebec River) goes directly to the people of Florida who are sitting in their homes using energy-hungry air conditioners. Why should Maine defile and exploit the river and interlocked ecosystems, when the electricity does not stay local and benefit the people of Maine. The Florida Power and Light company does not own the Kennebec River, so why should they have control over the water flow to suit and match the high electric consumption hours in Florida."

Constantin Chikando - The Diminishing Woodlands - "Over the past few years the threats to Maine's environment have increased, from pollution of natural resources to industrialization. The destruction of the wildlife and serene landscape is slowly but surely taking its toll on the residents. Take the Allagash wilderness in northern Maine, as an example. Each year, hundreds of canoeists and campers flock to the Allagash wilderness' waterways, seeking the solitude of the North Woods and a wilderness experience to help them escape from a paved, developed, stress-filled world outside. The waterway, however, is but a fragile strip of land; despite its designation as wilderness, the outside world has begun to encroach on one of the Northeast's last remaining natural treasuresLoggers will become their own breed of endangered species if we do not do something now to preserve our forests for both ecological and economic purposes.though there are many other threats troubling Maine's environment, resolving the clearcutting debate would probably be a good place to start to resolve the problems."

Emily Berry - Human Impact - "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. This law seems to apply to everything except the human species' impact on the environment. The response to our actions appears to be multiplied negatively several times. The consequences of our conduct can be felt all over the worldHumans have impacted much more than we realize. The rainforests are being reduced at an unbelievably rapid pace, a buildup of carbon dioxide and methane in the atmosphere has caused a global warming trend, holes in our ozone layer grow larger everyday, and even in Maine acid rain pours down from our skies."
   Chelsea Plourde - Poison in Maine's Rivers and Lakes - "The editorial was about Maine's lakes becoming more and more polluted with mercury and other chemicals. It really interested me because I live on a small Maine lake, Lower Range Pond. I began to wonder if this lake may be polluted too."
 "You have truly inspired me to work on more ecology projects." - a quote from Chelsea Plourde of Poland, Maine, one of the essay contest winners.

Click here for the announcement of the 2002 scholarship contest.

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