GRAND FALLS TOWNSHIP

DEP commissioner rejects application for wind farm

Maine’s environmental commissioner has accepted a recommendation to reject an application to build a 14-turbine wind farm on Passadumkeag Mountain in Penobscot County.

The Department of Environmental Protection’s recommendation went to DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho. The DEP staff said the proposed windmills would mar the region’s scenery.

The developer, Quantum Utility Generation, an alternative energy company based in Houston, may appeal the department’s decision within 30 days to either the Board of Environmental Protection or to Superior Court.

ATLANTA

River envisioned as route for AT hikers to reach Gulf

A river with a history of ferry boats and Civil War battles may one day provide a new route for hikers who finish the Appalachian Trail to continue south until they reach the ocean, a national conservation group says.

Leaders envision the Chattahoochee River as a way to allow Appalachian Trail hikers to reach the Gulf of Mexico either on trails along its banks or in a canoe or kayak on the river.

The trail already stretches from Maine to north Georgia.

The Chattahoochee’s headwaters, in the north Georgia mountains, are only a few miles from the trail’s southernmost section.

“The idea is that someone looking for adventure could hike the Appalachian Trail, and then get off the trail and go to the headwaters of the Chattahoochee,” said Curt Soper, the Georgia-Alabama state director of the Trust for Public Land.

The nonprofit has worked for years to acquire land in the area and make it available to its partners, such as the National Park Service. The new route could become a reality within the next decade, Soper said.

The trust has already acquired and set aside 17,000 acres of land that touch 76 river miles from the Chattahoochee’s headwaters to Columbus, Ga., Soper said.