– by Christopher Burns, August 20, 2016, Bangor Daily News
(Cartoon: George Danby)
For the last decade, there has been a concerted push in the U.S. to replace petroleum-based fuel with plant-based biofuels in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the nation’s reliance on foreign oil.
The alternative fuel revolution has so far belonged to corn, but efforts to develop a wood-based biofuel, particularly jet fuel, from Maine’s abundant timberland got a boost last month when the U.S. Department of Defense announced a $3.3 million investment into ongoing research at the University of Maine. This infusion comes as part of federal measures to help Maine’s flagging economy after a spate of mill closures.
This new investment from the federal government can potentially give the university’s Forest Bioproducts Research Institute the support it needs to “scale up” the production of biofuel for demonstration purposes to test it for commercial use, according to Jake Ward, the university’s vice president of innovation and economic development.
– by Chris Zinda, January 12, 2016, Counterpunch
Goose Lake is 26 miles long and 9 miles wide, extending from south central Oregon and into northeastern California where the two meet with Nevada. The lake used to support an endemic form of redband trout that act like ocean going salmon, growing to giant proportions and migrating up the streams that feed it. Goose Lake has been dry in recent years and a run of these endangered fish hasn’t occurred since the early 1990s. Thankfully, they still exist in mountain streams.
The Warner Mountains form the east shore of Goose Lake, a narrow 70 mile long range in places over approaching 10,000’. Heavily forested, the range is the meeting place of three bioregions – the Great Basin, Sierran, and Cascadian – creating a unique mix of flora and fauna, many endemic. Its unique biology, geology and feel, an abundance of academics well know.
The archeological record indicates peoples have lived in the area for almost 15,000 years and the number of cultural sites and resources unparallelled in the United States – even compared to the southwest. Petroglyph panels 2 miles long and 40 feet high with figures taller than most men. Over the last few years, law enforcement has closed many of the large recently dry lake beds in the region because of looting.
Since contact, the area has been heavily logged and grazed – even irradiated from uranium production – but is recovering. With a population density averaging one person per mile, the potential for large scale wild lands protection for the many threatened and endangered species in this sea of blue sky, sage, antelope and juniper is among the best in the country.