Environment and Outdoors

Environmental news

MONTPELIER, Vt. - Ski areas across northern New England are giddy at the prospect of a major Thanksgiving snowstorm.

The snow began to fall at Mount Snow in southern Vermont at midmorning Wednesday. Spokesman Dave Meeker calls it "awesome.''

This week's pre-Thanksgiving snowfall isn't just expected to be inconvenient for travelers - it could also be unseasonably heavy. Maine is forecast to get between 3 and 12 inches of snow from tomorrow morning until about 10 Thursday morning, says meteorologist Tom Hawley of the National Weather Service in Gray.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is advising residents who send Christmas trees and wreaths out of state to be aware of mailing regulations.

State horticulturist Ann Gibbs says many states closely monitor the shipment of plants to prevent the spread of plant diseases and invasive insects. The regulations can vary by state. Gibbs says plants should also be clearly labeled with the words "Grown in Maine" followed by the plants' county of origin and the name and address of the person sending it.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine's season for hunting of bobcats starts in one week.

The season for the wild cats runs Dec. 1 to Feb. 14. State Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife says bobcats are rare in northwestern Maine due to the long winters, but are common everywhere else in the state.

Hunters must possess a valid hunting license to take a bobcat. The state classifies the cats as "big game animals."

State officials warn that bobcats and lynx can be difficult to distinguish. Lynx are a species of special concern in Maine and cannot be hunted or trapped.

EAST MACHIAS, Maine — A Maine conservation organization says its effort to release more than 140,000 juvenile Atlantic salmon will help restore the fish's run to the East Machias River.

The Downeast Salmon Federation released the juvenile salmon into the river and many streams throughout the East Machias River watershed. The organization says the fish were raised at an East Machias hatchery. A scientist with the hatchery says the facility uses dark colored tanks to give the fish a "darker, more natural color" that allows them to blend in with their surroundings in the river.