Fraser Paper Fined for Clearcutting Violations
Fraser Paper has been fined $1,000 for violating clearcutting provisions of Maine's Forest Practices Act. The company, the first to be fined under the low standards set up by the Act, occurred off Pinkham Road in T11 R7.
Separation distances between three of the clearcuts were inadequate for Category I clearcuts. Fraser, claiming that they had not violated the Act, nonetheless paid a $1000 fine. It is not known how much more than this amount Fraser obtained from the illegally obtained timber.
Baileyville Clean Chip Plant
The new $12 million Fulghum Fibres Inc. clean-chip plant is now on line, producing wood chips for the Georgia-Pacific pulp and paper mill. In the past, G-P used whole-tree chips that included dirt and debris, thus lowering the quality of the paper produced.
Ralph Feck (in a Bangor Daily News interview), G-P plant manager, offered a clothes-washing analogy to describe the clean-chip process. "You have nice whites, and you pour a little [chlorine] bleach in because you want the shirt to be white," he said.
Fulghum Fibres will provide up to 3,000 tons of chips G-P needs each day. In the new process, trees ranging from 8 to 60 feet long are transported by truck to the wood yard and unloaded by 60-foot-high log cranes. On an average day the two cranes can unload about 150 trucks.
Native Forest Network Protests Eastern Paper/ Lincoln Pulp & Paper
On the morning of Monday June 15, activists from the Native Forest Network (NFN) and numerous other Northeast forest organizations including Earth First! converged on the headquarters of Lincoln Pulp and Paper, also known as Eastern Fine Paper in Amherst, MA to continue to demand that their mill in Lincoln, Maine change over to a chlorine free paper bleaching technology. Over two dozen activists hung banners, and rallied at the entrance to the building. Throughout the town stop signs had been altered to read "STOP DIOXIN."
Dioxin dumping into the air and into rivers has caused increased occurrences of cancers and other illnesses in the vicinity of paper mills which use chlorine to bleach paper. Furthermore, members of the indigenous Penobscot Nation who live downstream from Lincoln Pulp and Paper, have also experienced the degradation of the environment due to the discharges from the mill. Totally chlorine-free (TCF) technologies are readily available which do not lead to the formation of dioxin, yet mills such as LP & P are making the irresponsible decision to continue using chlorine.
National Private Property Rights Groups Sponsor Vermont Conference
National organizers from the private property rights and "Wise Use" movement will headed a two-day conference in St. Johnsbury on June 25-27, hosted locally by Associated Industries of Vermont. Chuck Cushman, of the American Land Rights Association and Ron Arnold, currently of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise, was a featured speaker along with private property rights activists and forest products industry representatives from all four Northern Forest states. This conference seems to be the latest installment of an intensified region-wide organizing effort by national and formerly Western-oriented private property rights, "wise use" groups and various anti-government regulation interests. For more information please contact Jim Northup @ 802-223-2328 <email@example.com>
Free "Explore the Northern Forest" Calendar Available Now
A unique effort organized by the Northern Forest Alliance has produced a summer traveler's dream: The 1998 "Explore the Northern Forest" Calendar. Virtually everything you might want to see or do in northern New England and New York this summer is listed on this poster sized calendar, which conveniently folds to be tucked into your travel pack or mailed to family and friends.
The Northern Forest Alliance, a coalition of 40 conservation, recreation and forestry groups from New York to Maine, has joined forces with tourism and recreation businesses, local chambers of commerce and community organizations to produce and sponsor a calendar that gives the "what, where, when" for hundreds of events [that showcase the natural beauty, cultural heritage and dynamic communities of the Northern Forest.] The calendar highlights more than 75 events in Maine.
The Northern Forest Alliance itself will be sponsoring thirteen events in the four states. These events will combine outdoor outings to special places in the Northern Forest with public forums designed to inform and encourage dialogue about issues affecting the future of the forest.
To receive your free copy of the "Explore the Northern Forest" Calendar, call toll-free: 1-877-NFOREST (1-877-636-7378).
Whitney Property in New York Opens to the Public for Recreation Use
Canoers and hikers were among the first members of the public to get a look at the newly acquired Whitney Estate property on Little Tupper Lake. The state opened the 15,000 acre area, which includes one of the Adirondack Park's most pristine and undeveloped lakes, under an interim management plan which will govern use of the area until the Adirondack Park Agency process is complete. The APA will determine what the long term uses and management plan will be for this newest addition to the Forest Preserve. For more information contact: Dave Gibson @ 518-377-1452. <firstname.lastname@example.org>
New Hampshire Land & Community Heritage Bill Signed by Governor Shaheen
In early May, the NH House and Senate concurred and passed SB 493, establishing a Commission on New Hampshire Land & Community Heritage. The passage of this bill, which was signed into law by Governor Shaheen on June 15, was spearheaded by the NH Land & Community Heritage Coalition in which the Northern Forest Alliance has been an active participant. In addition, the NH Charitable Foundation has approved the coalition's proposal for up to $30,000 in funding and in-kind support for the administration of the new commission. The Commission's primary objective will be to determine the feasibility of a new public-private partnership to conserve New Hampshire's priority natural, cultural, and historic resources. For more information please contact Brian Hart @ 603-225-3852 <email@example.com>
Survey of Remote Ponds in Maine
Maine Times is organizing a survey of Maine's remote ponds this summer. There are 177 ponds designated as 'remote' that are supposed to be protected by law against motorized access. This summer, a survey of the remote ponds will attempt to answer questions about vehicle traffic, garbage dumping, fishing, motorized boating, water quality, wilderness experience, etc.
You can volunteer to participate in the field survey. You will visit two or more ponds over the next few months and fill out the survey. It's a fun outing and you can help protect Maine's remote and scenic wilderness!
To sign up, contact Phyllis Austin at 941 Mere Point Road, Brunswick, ME 04011. Phone: 207-725-8878.
AP reported 5/27 timber corporation Louisiana-Pacific pleaded guilty to pollution violations and agreed to pay $37 million in penalties, including $5 million in the largest criminal fine in the 28-year history of the Clean Air Act. The additional $31 million in fines were for offenses such as doctoring reports, tampering with pollution monitoring equipment and lying to inspectors. The company was warned that further violations could bar the company from government contracts, including access to national forest timber.
Inaction Destroys Forests
Reuters reports this that the World Wide Fund for Nature's recent "Forest Scorecard 1998" says Europe's forests are being destroyed because governments reneged on their promises to protect them. "The complacency and inertia is astonishing," said WWF International's Director General Claude Martin.
Fifteen European nations pledged five years ago to improve conditions of their forests. WWF stressed that though numbers of trees has increased, the new growth is in monoculture timber plantations and that natural habitats continue to be destroyed. WWF European forest coordinator Per Rosenberg said improper management is destroying natural habitats and driving plants and animals to extinction.
MacBlo Halts Clayoquot Clearcutting
Falling to environmental pressure, British Columbia clearcut villain MacMillan Bloedel announced January 8 that it is shutting down its logging operations in Clayoquot Sound. The withdrawal of MacBlo signals the beginning of the end of significant logging in the controversial old growth temperate rainforest. MacBlo hopes to begin a drastically reduced, community-based forestry operation in '98.
Timber harvests in Clayoquot Sound have been tumbling since area groups blockaded logging sites, and international groups including Rainforest Action Network launched aggressive consumer campaigns to protect the region. Additionally, recent B.C. logging regulations adopted at environmentalists' urging limited MacBlo's access to Clayoquot's pristine valleys and ancient trees.
Vice-president Linda Coady acknowledged the company's business-as-usual clearcutting could no longer be part of the picture, stating in a letter to employees: "It isn't merely a question of adjusting or downsizing the operation but rather of creating a completely different kind of operation."
Judge Halts Kentucky Logging for "Greater Good"
Knight-Ridder reported 6/19 a federal judge ordered an immediate halt to all logging in Kentucky's Daniel Boone National Forest, saying logging will not be allowed until the Forest Service creates a plan to protect several species of endangered plants and animals on the forest. Judge Karl Forester wrote: "The court finds that the greater good is served by preserving the habitats of endangered and threatened species and thus preserving these species for generations to come." Regional conservation group Heartwood and local Kentucky Heartwood sued the Forest Service.
Sources: Bangor Daily News, GREENLines, Native Forest Network, Northern Forest Alliance, Rainforest Action Network.