Archives for Penobscot River

RadioActive 3/26/15

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Orono Council Committee Votes to Withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills

Key Discussion Points:

a) On March 16th, the Orono Town Council’s Community Development Committee, which contains all members of the council, voted unanimously to instruct the town manager to draw up an order to formally withdraw Orono from Penobscot Nation v Mills. This case concerns the
Penobscot Nation’s jurisdiction to monitor their sustenance fishing waters, a status without issue until August 8th, 2012, when then Attorney General Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.” The Penobscot Nation is now suing the state in Federal Curt

b) The state of Maine’s attorney, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, joined a consortium of 18 towns and corporations to the case, as intervenors for the state. These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities would not be effected if it were.

c) A movement opposing Orono’s involvement developed when town residents were surprised to discover Orono’s involvement. Inquires showed none of Orono’s town councilors knew of the town’s involvement either.

Today we listen to both councilors and the public at the Orono Town Council’s public meeting on March 16th.

We also hear reactions from Orono organizer and resident Cheryl Robertson.

*Note: On April 1st Orono formerly files to withdraw from Penobscot Nation v Mills.

Guests:

A) Orono Town Council members (Mark Haggerty,Geoffrey Gordon, Tom Perry, Tom Sptiz, Sam Kunz) and Orono Town Manager Sophie Wilson

B) public testimony : Claudia Lawd, Eric Maynard,Maria Girouard, Kathy Pollard, Nancy Prisk, John Banks

C) Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz

D)Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

RadioActive 3/12/15

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Penobscot Nation v Mills, with Chief Francis and Local Organizing to Withdraw Orono from the Case

Key Discussion Points:

a) Despite years of cooperation and co-management with the state, and explicit direction from past administrations that the Penobscot Nation does have jurisdiction when it comes to monitoring their sustenance fishing waters, in 2012, the state began action to disassociate the water flowing through the Penobscot Nation from tribal control. On August 8th, 2012, the Attorney General William Schneider wrote a letter to the Penobscot Nation declaring that “the State of Maine has exclusive regulatory jurisdiction over activities taking place on the River.”
b) In response, the Penobscot Nation is suing the Attorney General’s Office (now occupied by Janet Mills) in federal court, in Penobscot Nation v Mills, et al. The attorney representing the state, Matt Manahan from law firm Pierce Atwood, has gone on the public relations offensive, and has additionally signed 18 towns and corporations to the case as intervenors for the state.
c) These 18 are waste water dischargers on the river, though the case is not about pollution discharges, and many of these entities are down stream from the Penobscot Nation. One of these towns is Orono. We hear from Orono resident Cheryl Robertson about efforts there to withdraw the town from the lawsuit.

The Orono Town Council will hold a public meeting on the issue at 5:30pm on Monday, March 16th.

Guests:
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation, penobscotnation.org
Cheryl Roberston, Orono resident

RadioActive 11/7/13

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Penobscot Nation Natural Resources director on the work to protect the health of the Penobscot River Watershed

Key Discussion Points:

a) Today we hear a talk by John Banks, a member of the Penobscot Nation and the Natural Resources Director for the tribe. He has been an active and tireless advocate for environmental sustainability and tribal rights.
b) In his talk, he outlines the Penobscot Nation’s work to protect the health of the Penobscot River Watershed from the impacts of paper mill dioxin, to the work of the Penobscot River Restoration Project to dismantle dams, allowing for the expansion of fish species into original habitats, to legal issues on state vs federal control over pollution permits, with explicit industry pressure, and now the tribes current court case to oppose the 2012 state Attorney General’s opinion that the Penobscot Reservation does not include any of the Penobscot River.

c) John Banks spoke at the University of Maine’s 10th annual Eco-Peace Sustainability Training and International Affiliates Conference on October 25th in Belfast. This years Conference was titled “Reclaiming the Commons : Water Ethics and Nature Rights in Maine”. We spoke with organizer Hugh Curran on RadioActive October 10th, 2013.

Guest:

A) John Banks, Natural Resources Director for the Penobscot Nation; Penobscot tribal member

RadioActive 6/14/12

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco
Issue: Environmental and Social Justice

Program Topic: Penobscot River Restoration Project, with John Banks of the Penobscot Nation: Great Works at Old Town going down.

Key Discussion Points:

a) On Monday, work began to remove the Great Works dam on the Penobscot River in Old Town. It is the first step in re-opening 1000 miles of the river to sea run fish, including alewives, herring, sturgeon and Atlantic salmon. In 2013, the Veazie Dam is scheduled to be removed. The Milford and Howland dams will install new fish lifts and by passes.

b) The Penobscot River Restoration Project has been called one of the largest fishing restoration projects in the history of the country, and now serves as a global model for cooperative conservation efforts. The project includes conservation groups, utilities, government entities, including the Penobscot Indian Nation.

c)The Penobscot Nation, which has been on the ground floor of this project, has offered instrumental perspective and leadership on the project, based on their unique relationship with the Penobscot River

Guests:

A) John Banks, tribal member, Director of the Department of Natural Resources for the Penobscot Nation, founder and member of the Penobscot River Restoration Project www.penobscotriver.org/

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