Don’t slam dams
After reading Roger Wheeler’s OpEd in the Jan. 9 Bangor Daily News entitled “Dams killing Gulf of Maine fishery,” I find it necessary to comment.
His contention that silica is required for the healthy growth of marine life may be correct but the headline and statements that dams, particularly hydroelectric dams, are killing Gulf of Maine fisheries is completely baseless.
For starters, dams do not hold back silica from entering our waterways and oceans. Silica is the most abundant compound in the earth’s crust, making up some 60 percent of its composition. Silica can be found everywhere and is readily transported to our waterways by rainfall and runoff.
Additionally, Wheeler makes the point several times that silicate is dissolved in water, further stating that “number of diatoms have been reduced as more and more reservoir dams have been discharging silica-depleted water into ocean currents.” If silica is dissolved in water, as Wheeler expounds, then every drop of water that flows from dams will contain silica.
Wheeler seems to believe that hydro dams in particular are the culprit, because of their prevalence. Hydropower is environmentally friendly, employing natural reusable resources, and is a cost effective producer of energy, providing more than 40 percent of renewable energy in this country and 16 percent of total energy produced globally.
Credible information provided by current research and science conclude that rising gulf water temperatures are the major cause of the destruction and changes in our marine resources.
Reasons to investigate Trump
It makes some sense that the FBI might have investigated to see if President Donald Trump was working on behalf of Russia. All you have to do is review in your mind what Trump has done so far in his presidency:
Resist attempts to discover economic, financial and political links between the president, his administration and Russian officials and interests; create conflict and tension between members of NATO, the primary military deterrent to Russian aggression; praise Vladimir Putin while criticizing the leaders of democracies in Europe; destabilize the democracies of Europe by encouraging polarization; destabilize the U.S. by encouraging racial, immigration and political polarization; foster a U.S. administration that is overtly racial, pugnacious, isolationist and out of step with both the world’s need to address migration patterns in a humane way and the threats posed by climate change — thereby seriously eroding American credibility and international standing; fail to support Western reactions to assassinations by covert agents, Russian or Saudi; look for opportunities to undermine long-term U.S. foreign policies and sow uncertainty about American reliability and values in the Middle East and elsewhere; and create serious economic conflict between the U.S. and our trading partners.
Consider wildlife in LMF bond proposal
A $75 million bond package for the Land for Maine’s Future program and state-owned parks is being proposed.
Past LMF bonds have required that “hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on conservation and recreation lands acquired with bond proceeds, except to the extent of applicable state, local and federal laws and regulations.”
Though hunters, by some estimates, constitute about 13 percent of the state’s population, they have plenty of other options, including more than a half-million acres of reserved land, and a great deal of private land as well.
Trappers capture animals that are then held fast, often struggling and in pain, until the trapper arrives and shoots the animal or clubs it to death as suggested by the Trapper Education Manual (2005) published by the International Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. In most other contexts, this kind of cruelty would be animal abuse, but it’s perfectly legal in Maine.
We should ask why LMF money comes with strings attached that are not widely publicized or reported. Why allow hunting and trapping in a trust when there’s plenty of opportunities else
where? And if we are going to preserve a parcel of land, why doesn’t that include the animals that live on it?