March 21, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Going Solo: Women in the Woods, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Alexandra Conover Bennett, Jennifer Dumont, and Aislinn Sarnacki will discuss their outdoor experiences and what it’s like to embark on remote adventures, alone. At Greenville Town Office, March 28, 6 p.m. Hosted by Moosehead Trails.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Four-Season Gardening, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Learn from the UMaine Cooperative Extension how to enjoy our gardens all year round. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 27, 12 pm.
Help wanted: Organizing Director
Announcement - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Maine Conservation Voters/Maine Conservation Alliance, two statewide, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations, are seeking a shared full-time Organizing Director to build and manage grassroots organizing and field programs.
How to Participate in the Maine Bird Atlas, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Rich MacDonald will talk about the history of the Maine Bird Atlas and how you can participate. At Blue Hill Library, March 26, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Growing More Crops in Less Space, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Will Bonsai is director of the Scattered Project. He is best known for his work in preserving crop diversity. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, March 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation Ski-A-Thon, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. In addition to being an excellent fundraiser, the Ski-A-Thon is a ton of fun. Fundraising goal: $380,000.
Stand up for Federal Bird Conservation Funding
Action Alert - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The proposed federal budget would gut major programs and protections for birds and their habitats. One-third of migratory bird species have already lost significant populations as threats to wildlife increase. Tell your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to make protecting migratory birds a priority in the federal budget. ~ American Bird Conservancy
Earth Hour, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Join millions of people around the world—along with businesses, cities, and landmarks—who will turn off lights in celebration of Earth Hour. March 24, from 8:30 - 9:30 am local time.
Lessons from Avian Haven, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Laura Suomi-Lecker will discuss Avian Haven in Freedom, which was established in 1999 as a bird rehabilitation center dedicated to the return of injured and orphaned wild birds of all species to their natural environment. In 2017, they admitted over 2,500 birds from all over the state with varying degrees of injuries or illnesses. At Blue Hill Library, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Solar Energy for ME, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, discuss expanding solar energy in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Resist Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State
Action Alert - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Trump just fired Rex Tillerson, one of the few people left in his cabinet who was willing to speak out against Vladimir Putin. But even more egregious is that Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk, to replace Tillerson.
Protect Maine from EPA budget cuts
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

There have been more than 90 of harmful amendments proposed that undermine federal safeguards to everything we rely on the EPA to protect: our air, water, climate, and wildlife.
Ask Congress to Oppose Anti-wolf Riders
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Congress will likely vote in the next two weeks on a 2018 spending bill for the Department of Interior. Because that legislation is likely to be broadly supported, anti-wolf legislators are using it as a vehicle to try to pass their otherwise unpopular attacks on wildlife. Email your senator or representative and ask that they persuade Leadership to strip these "riders" prior to the bill being voted on. ~ Endangered Species Coalition
Powering Change: Saving Our Environment—and Saving Money, Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Panelists: Sophie Janeway, Climate and Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Gary Friedmann, President, A Climate to Thrive; and Martha Dickinson, Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee. At Moore Community Centre, Ellsworth, March 19, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
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News Items
Conference to tackle ‘future of land conservation in Maine’
Mainebiz - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, is using the 35th anniversary of its annual Maine Land Conservation Conference this week to explore a different format and dig into some themes in more depth. MCHT President Tim Glidden said he expects nearly 400 of the state's land conservation leaders to gather on Thursday at the Samoset Resort in Rockport as part of a two-day conference designed to explore the future of land conservation in Maine.
LePage Blasts Committee Over Written Request For Timber Harvesting Information
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee sent a letter last week seeking answers to 26 questions about the sale of wood harvested from public lands and asking for some very specific information on sales to some mills. The governor sent a blistering letter in response to the committee denying any improprieties, and appeared before the committee personally to denounce some of its members.
LePage veto survives House, killing Bar Harbor port authority bill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have given Bar Harbor voters permission to form a port authority. The House’s 81-63 vote on Tuesday in support of LD 1400 lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override LePage’s veto. As they have consistently done during the 128th Legislature, House Republicans stood by the Republican governor.
All-Electric Bus Takes A Spin Around Portland
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

An all-electric bus drove around downtown Portland at lunchtime Tuesday. The Greater Portland Metro Bus system and the Shuttlebus-Zoom bus system serving Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach are considering ordering a few with funding from a federal grant.
Opinion: The Trump budget is a threat to Maine’s environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts are a direct threat to Maine’s environmental resources, economy and the public health of our residents. The president proposed dramatic cuts to nearly every agency working to protect the environment, particularly funding for renewable energy and environmental science programs focused on climate change and air pollution research. Here in Maine, we would lose about $4 million per year from cuts to the multipurpose and brownfield grants alone. Other programs that benefit Maine such as the Environmental Education Grants Program, Wells National Estuary Program and the UMaine Sea Grant Program would be eliminated in the proposed budget. ~ Shri A. Verrill, habitat restoration manager, Downeast Salmon Federation, Surry; and Dr. Irit Altman, marine ecologist, Portland
Ski: Hadlock Loop in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Hadlock Loop is one of several cross-country skiing routes in Acadia National Park. Measuring 4.2 miles round trip from the Brown Mountain Parking Area, the route passes near the eastern shore of Upper Hadlock Pond, then climbs gradually and travels along the lower elevations of Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak and Penobscot Mountain. Along the way, the route crosses over three beautiful stone bridges, the last of which gives a great view of Hadlock Falls.
Maine receives $11.5 Million for Sportsmen & Conservation
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

U.S. Department of the Interior - Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $11,574,458 in funding to Maine to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds have been distributed to U.S. states and territories. Maine apportionments include $3,519,175 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $8,055,283 in Wildlife Restoration funds.
Regulators vote to launch investigation of CMP’s billing, metering systems
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it would launch a formal investigation into Central Maine Power’s billing and metering systems following customer complaints about skyrocketing bills and poor quality service. PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy and Commissioners R. Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis agreed to start a “technical forensic audit” to look expressly at metering and billing issues that have arisen over the past several months.
Coastal tour highlights risks of BP's plans to offshore drill Nova Scotia
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Today kicks off the start of a 3 day, hard hitting coastal tour on the risks of offshore drilling Nova Scotia. The Council of Canadians is coordinating this tour because Minister McKenna recently approved BP—the same company behind the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 8 years ago—to drill up to 7 exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia. They are planning to drilling up to twice the depth of the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, significantly increasing the risks of the project. Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist, energy analyst and author of "Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill," Antonia recently wrote: “As Nova Scotia residents and elected officials review both BP’s plans and the Canadian government’s ability to regulate them, it may be helpful to consider the view from your closest U.S. neighbours, who, barely one month ago, expressed virulent opposition to just such drilling in their own waters..."
Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. David Koorits of Kittery, Brian Threlkeld of Portland and Greg Bell of Gray completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter.
Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation
National Public Radio - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That's half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Meanwhile other wildlife-centered activities, like birdwatching, hiking and photography, are rapidly growing, as American society and attitudes towards wildlife change. The shift is being welcomed by some who morally oppose the sport, but it's also leading to a crisis. State wildlife agencies and the country's wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding.
Southern Maine bus services consider cleaning up their act with electric vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Greater Portland Metro and ShuttleBus-Zoom may come together to bring the first electric-powered buses to Maine. The two bus systems are considering whether to jointly apply for state and federal grants to replace up to a half-dozen aging diesel buses in their fleets with electric ones. Electric buses are more expensive to buy than diesel but run cheaper, cleaner and more quietly.
Foundation that tried to buy Saddleback is still meeting in case deal crumbles
Associated Press - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The foundation that once raised money to buy the idle Saddleback ski area is working to position itself in the event a deal with the current purchaser falls through. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation’s board said Monday that Wolfe Tone has replaced Peter Stein, who stepped down recently. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is not actively engaged in negotiations with the mountain’s owner. But the foundation continues to meet regularly.
Subsidized wood-to-energy firm fell far short on wood purchases, state says
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

One of two firms getting millions in taxpayer dollars to generate electricity from Maine wood purchased less than half of the wood it promised and fell short on other investment goals, according to a state report. Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission suggested in a report issued Friday that the three-member regulatory body reduce a subsidy payment to the company Stored Solar by 20 percent, to a little more than $1.2 million in taxpayer funds. That’s about $320,000 less than Stored Solar requested under a state bailout program for two companies that burn low-grade wood to generate electricity.
Madison farmer whose cow was fatally shot reopens snowmobile trail
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

A local farmer has agreed to reopen a portion of a snowmobile trail on his land that he closed last month after one of his pregnant Angus cows was shot and killed, he believes, from the trail. The cow killer has yet to be identified. Clayton Tibbetts apparently has relented.
Mitchell family donates $100,000 to Waterville riverwalk to honor deceased family members
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, his sister Barbara Mitchell Atkins, brother John Mitchell, and their families are donating $100,000 to help build a $1.5 million riverwalk at Head of Falls on the Kennebec River where the siblings lived in their youth. The city plans to name the future gazebo in the park for the Mitchells, who are donating the funds to honor George, Barbara and John’s siblings, the late Robert and Paul Mitchell, as well as their parents, George and Mary Mitchell.
Did Maine Rep Janice Cooper Attempt to Besmirch Maine Citizens at LD 1810 Public Hearing?
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, March 19, 2018 

On March 18, at a public hearing on LD 1810, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development, Chris O'Neil, on behalf of the citizen-funded 501c3 nonprofit organization Friends of Maine's Mountains, gave testimony which called for "repealing the Wind Act ten years and countless disappointing results after it was hastily enacted." In response, state representative Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth) had only one question: “What are your funding sources?” Ms. Cooper's question was asked to perhaps create an impression that Mr. O'Neil was simply up there at the behest of the oil and gas industries. She was not interested in asking anything about the FMM testimony and no one else at the hearing was asked who gave them money. This is what happens when good citizens are scoffed at, ridiculed and besmirched by those who take the oath of office to represent them.
Norway moving forward to get LED streetlights
Sun Journal - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The Board of Selectmen has voted to have Town Manager Dennis Lajoie write to RealTerm Energy advising that officials want to move forward with switching to LED streetlights. RealTerm Energy specializes in LED conversions for municipalities. Among its projects are conversions in Wells, Biddeford, South Portland, Falmouth, Rockland and Mount Desert.
Opinion: Central Maine Power transmission line project raises red flags
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Central Maine Power is engaged in a major public relations effort to convince Maine people that its 145-mile transmission line project, which would cut a new 53-mile swath through Maine’s scenic North Woods to bring Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts through our state, is good for Maine people and Maine’s environment. New Hampshire regulators recently turned down a similar proposal because of the harm it would do. So the question is: why should Maine accept a line like the one New Hampshire just rejected? Gov. LePage has vowed to ram the project through Maine’s DEP. If we want to send renewable power across Maine to Boston, a far better alternative would be to build farms of offshore wind turbines. ~ Ernie Hilton, Starks selectman and former Maine Board of Environmental Protection chair, and Adam Lee, Lee Auto Malls owner
Letter: Trump budget cuts make food insecurity worse
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Food insecurity is an issue, especially for seniors, children under 18 years and adults with disabilities, who make up almost 66 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in this country, as well as for the 58 percent of working-age, non-disabled adult SNAP recipients who work while getting SNAP, earning wages below living costs. By cutting off access to affordable, nutritious food for an estimated 4 million in-need Americans who have been oppressed by our federal government, further restrictions on SNAP could ultimately kill them. The Trump administration is using SNAP budget slashes as a way of saving money for other careless spending. ~ Ashley Kulesza, Lewiston
Letter: Install monument signs
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When my husband and I moved to Medway in 2016 to become the owners of a small business in the tourism sector (Pinegrove Campground and Cottages), the timing was right: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument had recently been established. Since the monument’s designation, many of our customers have asked me about it and have been interested in exploring it themselves. What can we do to ensure these visitors have a positive experience? Let’s start with getting signs to the monument installed on Interstate 95 and on routes 11, 157 and 159. It’s so unfortunate to hear from customers who couldn’t find the monument and had to turn around when they didn’t know where to go. This doesn’t need to happen. ~ Kate Deshler, Medway
Letter: Local farmers care about neighbors
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When I buy food products from local farmers, I know how it is grown, raised and handled. I know the famers. We talk, and I learn. The product is consumed by the growers and their families and friends. Our local farmers don’t poison their families and neighbors. When I read the March 10 BDN article on food sovereignty, what I was reminded of was all the industrial meat and poultry recalls from supermarkets and food poisonings at fast food restaurants. Supermarket food comes from all over the world, processed by strangers who have no interest in our community. I don’t need government bureaucrats to tell me where to obtain my food, or how it ought to be produced. ~ Peter Nelson, Brooksville
Editorial: How much can Paul LaPage waste?
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

According to a new review by The Associated Press, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has hired outside legal representation that has cost at least $110,000 just since last fall, raising his total expenditures on frivolous lawsuits to more than half a million dollars over the past four years. LePage seems determined to squander not only the public trust, but the public piggybank, before he stumbles off into the sunset next year. What a waste.
Nor’easters give New England ski resorts late season powder blast
Associated Press - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Back-to-back nor’easters that have pounded New England have given ski resorts a late-season blast of their life’s blood, luring skiers and snowboarders to the slopes, and allowing smaller ski areas that rely on natural snow to stay open. From Vermont to Maine, skiers and riders were cheering the mounds of snow.
Live trapping is one way to deal with freeloading rodents
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

The current two-year tally at Nancy Donovan’s home is, Donovans: 95, Squirrels: 0. Nancy Donovan and her husband, Daniel, have been actively trapping and releasing the gray squirrels around their Presque Isle home since 2016 in an effort to keep the fluffy-tailed rodents from cleaning out their bird feeders. Nancy Donovan said, “We started keeping count to see how many of the little buggers we were going to get.” Turned out, an impressive amount. They caught 55 in 2016 and another 40 last year, all subsequently released a mile or two from their house.
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