March 18, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, March 18, 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
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.
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.
What’s a woodlot and what do I do if I have one? Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, will talk about the most common considerations for landowners with 2 to 200 acres. At Belfast Library, March 19, 6 pm.
Baxter State Park Visiting Artist
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Visiting Artists are asked to hold one evening program and one open studio with the public during their stay, and within one year to provide the Park with professional quality images, prints, or documents representative of their style and resulting from their experience. Dates: August 11-24, 2018. Applications due by April 20.
Help wanted: Baxter State Park Director
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority seeks an active, experienced individual to serve as the Director.
Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Theme: Women In Fly Fishing featuring panel discussions with prominent women in the fly fishing industry. At Gould Academy, Bethel, March 17, adults $5; kids under 16 free.
Winter Family Fun Day, March 17 CANCELLED
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Ice fishing demo, wildlife exhibit, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, build a bird house, enjoy a bonfire-scavenger hunt, door prizes, & more. At Lily Bay State Park, March 17, 10 am - 3 pm.
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News Items
“Shocked” “Stunned” - Outcry Grows Over Gov's “Assault” on Environment
Other - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Public News Service - Groups backing protection of Maine's natural resources are reeling from Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to roll back 36 environmental rules and regulations and open 10 million acres of northern forestland to development. His announcement, coming shortly after a roundtable where advocates encouraged him not to weaken the state's environmental protections, "shocked and stunned" conservationists.
Opinion: Baxter still a wildlife sanctuary
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

A new bill introduced in the state Legislature threatens the independence of Baxter State Park. LD 55, “An Act To Restore Hunting Rights in the Katahdin Lake Region,” would reverse an agreement reached five years ago when the Katahdin Lake lands were added to the park as sanctuary. Baxter State Park supporters should oppose this bill.
Down East residents to LePage: Keep laws, but fix the process
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Down East residents sent a clear message to Gov. Paul LePage on Monday: Keep environmental protections in place, and do not water them down by adopting federal standards, but ease the cumbersome permitting process that often hampers development and growth.
Lawsuit claims dams harm endangered salmon
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Conservation groups filed a lawsuit in federal court Monday against the owners of several dams on the Kennebec and Androscoggin rivers, claiming the companies were violating the Endangered Species Act by failing to protect Atlantic salmon. The lawsuits, filed in federal courts by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay and Environment Maine, claim that endangered Atlantic salmon are being harmed or killed in the turbines of seven dams on the two rivers. Additionally, the lawsuits contend the dams impede salmon migration and alter habitat needed by the once-abundant fish. The result is salmon populations at “perilously low levels."
Opinion: Maine's economic answer isn't in the rear-view mirror
Forecaster - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Gubernatorial candidate Paul LePage expressed his desire for agriculture, forestry and fishing once again to become key drivers of the Maine economy. It’s hard to see how the ag sector is going to pave the way to prosperity. We are distant from large markets, and the fuel needed to transport products is getting more expensive. As for the forestry, 15 years ago the paper industry employed 14,000 Mainers. Today, the number is roughly half of that. Fishing? Fuel costs, limitations on catch, and quotas suggest that few of our young people will be needed as deckhands. Nor is seafood processing in growth mode. Bottom line: it’s hard to see how our natural resource industries can form the basis for a sound, future-focused economy. So what can work here? An Innovation District to attract clusters of synergistic companies and entrepreneurs who want to work, create and live in an urban, collaborative environment.
Lincoln mill owner decries FERC probe
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Without any form of due process or an explanation of the accusation’s economic scope, a federal agency has issued a public notice accusing Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC of defrauding the public, mill co-owner Keith Van Scotter said Monday. A Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Staff Notice of Alleged Violations released last week on FERC’s website claims that "Lincoln Paper and Tissue violated the Commission’s Prohibition of Electric Energy Market Manipulation.”
Friends of the Boundary Mountains files Petition for Judicial Review of Sisk Mountain Decision
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Charging that the record shows the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission has misapplied and misinterpreted the Expedited Wind Energy Act and abused its discretionary powers in awarding TransCanada a permit to industrialize Sisk Mountain with grid-scale wind power and associated facilities, Friends of the Boundary Mountains today filed a Petition for Judicial Review with the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.
Maine Progressives Mobilize to Derail LePage Agenda
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, January 31, 2011 

At 83, Ed Schlick still follows politics closely. What he sees dismays him. "A massive change wiping out 10 years of environmental legislative progress," he says. "Could be in one bill. It could be in any number of bills." Schlick thinks progressives shouldn't sit on their hands. His new group is called the Maine People's Veto Alliance. "The Constitution says clearly that the people can veto any bill or bills or resolutions, or any other official act of the Legislature that they wish to," he says. The first meeting of the Maine People's Veto Alliance is scheduled for Feb. 12.
Out-of-State Companies Behind LePage Push for Regulatory Reform
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Gov. Paul LePage this weekend defended his proposed list of more than 60 environmental rules and regulations he'd like to see rolled back. He said most of the proposals come from his red tape workshops that have been held throughout the state. But most of the opposition to the Kid Safe Products Law that the governor would like to repeal has typically come from out-of-state chemical companies and trade associations. Matt Prindiville, the clean production project director at NRCM, says, "There is no connection -- absolutely no connection -- that can be made between this proposal to repeal the bisphenol A rule, which passed unanimously based on the science, and jobs in Maine."
Letter: ‘Wolves’ in coyotes’ clothing
Times Record - Monday, January 31, 2011 

To all coyote lovers: Turn off the Nature Channel, leave the warm comfortable view of the bird feeder and venture to the front lines where we constantly deal with reality and damage caused by coyotes.
Governor Highlights DEP Designee’s 40 Years of Environmental Stewardship
Other - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Maine Governor Paul LePage: "Last week I unveiled an initial report from the red tape sessions. The first phase of the regulatory reform proposals focuses primarily on the environment and administration of the Department of Environmental Protection. The reform proposals are concepts at this point, but they come, by-and-large, from business leaders and they are a very good beginning for the discussions here in Augusta. It is far too soon to tell how many of these items will be implemented. As Darryl [Brown] and his team move forward, we may make decisions to move in other directions. Strong opposition could also derail some of these ideas. Regardless, I believe Maine’s business community has answered the call and I am ready to get to work!"
Maine Governor Proposes 63 Clean Energy and Environment Reversals
Other - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Maine's new Tea Party governor is drawing the ire of environmental groups and health advocates, who charge that his proposed set of 63 regulatory rollbacks would threaten the state's nature-based economy and hamper its bold climate change efforts. "Maine has been a real leader when it comes to these issues … and [the proposals] would put us at the back end," said Nathaniel Meyer, a field associate with Environment Maine.
Real Estate Plum Creek Timber 4Q Profit More Than Doubles
Other - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Plum Creek Timber Co., which owns about seven million acres of timberlands, has seen prices for its products improve during the past year, but the slump in the housing market has weighed on results. The company recently refinanced $463 million in debt, incurring a $13 million hit to its fourth-quarter earnings. For the latest quarter, Plum Creek reported a profit of $59 million. Timber revenue rose 6.9% to $140 million, while real estate revenue more than doubled to $155 million. Shares have risen by 12% over the past year.
Clamming Together in Frenchman's Bay
Other - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Maine Townsman - Towns in Downeast Maine are legendary for their fierce independence. So when the six towns surrounding Frenchman’s Bay, plus the City of Ellsworth, decided to form a regional shellfish conservation district, it was seen as newsworthy. The participating municipalities are: Trenton; Lamoine; Franklin; Hancock; Sullivan; and, Sorrento. Ellsworth, on Union River Bay, has no open clam flats, but does have 15 newly-licensed diggers. Town shellfish ordinances are focused on clams, one of Maine’s most abundant and remunerative cash crops. For hundreds of years, people have been digging the clam flats, and it can still provide a good living, though most clam diggers also have other jobs, at least seasonally.
Letter: Environmental needs must balance business needs
Kennebec Journal - Monday, January 31, 2011 

My request is that all thoughtless attempts to slash regulations, such as simply eliminating the Land Use Regulation Commission, should be abandoned. Re-balancing should involve business leaders and environmental scientists meeting to discuss the problems with our environmental regulations and the reasons we have them until both sides are satisfied, and a true and thoughtful balance is achieved. Degrading our environment to earn more money now is not ethical and is not a gift to our grandchildren.
Editorial: Rule rollbacks give something for nothing
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Lost in discussion over Gov. LePage's plan to revise Maine's environmental regulations, which he says are too stringent for business, has been that businesses are offering nothing in return for the governor's gesture. Businesses should have to say what's in it for Maine if we cut back environmental protection.
Opinion: Get Maine off the 'green road to serfdom'
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 31, 2011 

The precautionary principle has clearly influenced Maine environmental policy for some time, including climate change policy, toxic substances, land conservation, genetically modified foods and endangered species. The precautionary principle as enunciated by the UN provides little practical guidance for making risk-based regulatory decisions. In my opinion, the versions espoused by the environmental left are excessively risk averse and inconsistent with capitalism and growth.
Letter: Balance science, politics
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Will we ever read in our mainstream press of the remarkable findings recently from analysis of deep cores drilled into the great ice cap, that about 9,100 years of the approximately 10,500 years since the end of the last great ice age were warmer than it is now? We should ask for balanced reporting on this issue, but I fear that what we are reading now is dictated by politics, not science.
Letter: Baxter authority woes
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 31, 2011 

I am dismayed to hear of a bill (LD 55) that is being presented to the Legislature proposing to undo the agreement that was reached in 2006 on the Katahdin Lake lands. LD 55 is a perfect example of the reason that Gov. Baxter set up the park authority as he did. He knew full well what people are capable of, given the opportunity. This bill is a clear case of unprincipled behavior that must not be rewarded.
Wind developer asks Freedom for abatement, revaluation
Capital Weekly - Monday, January 31, 2011 

Two years after the wind turbines on Beaver Ridge in Freedom started turning, the often-controversial development is raising objections again — this time from the developer. Beaver Ridge Wind — a subsidiary of Mass.-based Patriot Renewables and owner of the three-turbine wind power facility in Freedom — has asked for an abatement and revaluation of the wind farm after town officials increased the value of the development by 10 percent in 2010.
Energy program shut down after questions raised about politics, effectiveness
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Monday, January 31, 2011 

A program funded by a $3 million government grant to market home energy retrofits in Maine abruptly shut down its operation late last week. Records show that almost six months into its first year of the no-bid contract under the grant, the Maine Green Energy Alliance had signed up only 50 households for energy retrofits, but had promised in its contract to have 1,000 signed up in 12 months.
LePage's environmental overhaul plan splits legislators
Herald Gazette - Monday, January 31, 2011 

The proposals by Gov. Paul LePage to relax Maine's environmental laws have divided local legislators. State Sen. Chris Rector, R-Thomaston, said that environmental groups have organized to get people to contact legislators. Rep. Edward Mazurek, D-Rockland, said, "I agree we have to look at regulatory laws and rules but we have to make sure we keep the regulations that protect the public." Reps. Joan Welsh, D-Rockport, and Chuck Kruger, D-Thomaston, were critical of the LePage package. Reps. Andrew O'Brien, D-Lincolnville, and Walter Kumiega III, D-Deer Isle, also took aim at the governor's proposals. Rep. Wes Richardson, R-Warren, Sen. Michael Thibodeau, R-Winterport, and Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, stressed that the governor's proposals were just proposals.
Editorial:George, Matt and SAM
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 30, 2011 

George Smith was, for the most part, an effective lobbyist for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine's key issues before the Legislature. But at some point, he became a polarizing force in the State House. SAM should consider focusing on empowering local hunting and fishing groups, which are in a better position to protect and enhance the environment. And if it can encourage a new generation to set down the video games and venture into the fields and woods, it will have sustained itself and made a better, healthier Maine. Matt Dunlap, a former Democratic legislator who served as chairman of the Legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee, is poised to tackle these challenges.
Mogul's land buy prompts questions
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 30, 2011 

When media mogul John Malone adds 1 million acres of Maine and New Hampshire timberlands to his holdings next week, he might become the largest private landowner in the United States. Malone is already No. 5 on The Land Report magazine's list of top 100 private landowners, with 1.2 million acres that include about 70,000 acres near Jackman. No. 1 on the magazine's list is Malone's fellow media kingpin and friend, Ted Turner, who owns more than 2 million acres. "I think part of him is trying to be the biggest," Jym St. Pierre, of RESTORE the North Woods, a forest conservation group. St. Pierre is among a number of Mainers wondering what Malone's intentions are.
Opinion: Govenor, Maine isn't just like any other state
Sun Journal - Sunday, January 30, 2011 

Gov. Paul LePage issued his recommendations for altering state environmental laws to the Joint Select Committee on Regulatory Fairness and Reform late Monday afternoon. Veteran observer/lobbyist George Smith called the proposals “stunning.” According to NRCM, the plan would repeal or substantially weaken 18 environmental laws, including several that received unanimous support from the Legislature. It would also gut land use controls over the vast unorganized territories. LePage assumes business will thrive if we throw open our landscape to anyone who wants to build anything. He’s selling Maine short.
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