March 19, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, March 19, 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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
Owner of hydroelectric facilities in Jay requests tax abatement
Sun Journal - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Androscoggin Hydro, a subsidiary of Eagle Creek Renewable Energy based in New Jersey, has filed a tax abatement request for 2017 for its two hydroelectric facilities on the Androscoggin River. Eagle Creek bought four hydroelectric facilities from Verso Corp. in January 2016 for nearly $62 million. The other facilities are in Livermore and Livermore Falls. The company believes the total assessed value of all four facilities is $33 million, not $61.99 million. It has requested that the 2017 assessments in Jay be lowered from $22.6 million to $10.54 million.
Coast Guard sending down camera today to survey sunken tugboat
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A Coast Guard mission to inspect a tugboat that sank in 158 feet of water about 3 miles south of Kennebunkport last week is scheduled to begin Tuesday morning. The tugboat was carrying eight 44-gallon plastic barrels of fuel on deck and had about 4,440 gallons of fuel in its tank.
North Pole surges above freezing in the dead of winter, stunning scientists
Washington Post - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Temperatures may have soared as high as 35 degrees Fahrenheit at the North Pole. Several independent analyses showed it was more than 50 degrees above normal. The warm intrusion penetrated right through the heart of the central Arctic. The temperature averaged for the entire region spiked to its highest level ever recorded in February. January’s winter sea ice extent in the Arctic was the lowest on record.
Republican candidates for governor meet for first debate at Colby College
Morning Sentinel - Monday, February 26, 2018 

When asked how to bring together the economic divide between northern and southern Maine, Kenneth Fredette said “we need to find where our competitive advantage is” now that former jobs, like those in the closed mills, are gone. Shawn Moody said the state needs to create incentives for young people to come back to and stay in Maine. Garrett Mason said more economic opportunity in northern Maine could be achieved through greater access to broadband internet. Mary Mayhew said government needs to “get out of the pocket” of hard working Mainers. Michael Thibodeau said there is already good work happening involving rural industries, such as with salmon fisheries and the timber industry. All the candidates largely praised Gov. Paul LePage’s track record. In response, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett said the candidates did nothing to distinguish themselves from LePage. He said the last thing Mainers need is more of the same politics and economic policies.
Wind Advocate George Smith Follows in Angus King's Footsteps
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, February 26, 2018 

George Smith quotes Angus King's praise of the Maine mountains, as in that land form King has trashed with his wind turbine blight for the almighty dollar: "As Senator Angus King writes in the forward, “The vistas are so wide, the colors so subtle, the forests so deep, that the urge to see for yourself will be pretty hard to resist.” Boy, Angus got that right." We agree, Angus. In fact the vistas were so hard to resist, we bought homes there. And you defiled these priceless vistas with your usual insider game, clipping the taxpayer and stepping on the unwashed commoners we are. You forever destroyed many families' cherished little gardens of eden.
Company To Build Salmon Farm At Site Of Shuttered Verso Paper Mill
Maine Public - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The site of the former Verso Paper Co. in Bucksport, which shut its doors four years ago, will be home to an entirely new business. Whole Oceans has reached an agreement to acquire more than 120 acres of the site and build a $250 million land-based salmon farm. The company says it plans to use water from the Penobscot River, and has developed an advanced water filtering system to remove any contaminants left behind by industry. Unlike the global market for paper, farmed salmon appears to have a predictably solid future.
Maine passenger rail extension will be limited to three summer weekends
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A pilot program that will extend seasonal passenger rail service on Amtrak’s Downeaster north from Brunswick to Rockland won approval Monday for three weekends this summer. The seasonal extension would add stops in Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle and Rockland on a limited weekend schedule. While the program, the Downeaster Coastal Connection, was originally slated to run for 10 weeks this summer, the board voted to allow the pilot program to run only for three weekends in August due to limited funding.
State starts closing down scallop fishery
Mainebiz - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources has begun closing areas to scallop fishing for the season. The shutdowns are designed to protect the resource from depletion, during a season that begins in December and can last until early April. According to a DMR notice, targeted conservation closures have occurred along the Harrington and Pleasant rivers in Addison, and in Upper Frenchman Bay.
Atlantic Mackerel Fishery Will Be Restricted Through December
Associated Press - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The East Coast mackerel fishery will face new restrictions because fishermen have exceeded their limit for two other species. Fishermen bring Atlantic mackerel to shore from Maine to North Carolina. The fishermen are given a limit to the amount of river herring and shad they are also allowed to catch. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says mackerel fishermen are close enough to that limit that restrictions are kicking in. The fishermen will be prohibited from fishing more than 20,000 pounds of Atlantic mackerel per trip for the remainder of the calendar year.
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine helped develop legislator’s school safety bill
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 26, 2018 

A Republican lawmaker who proposed legislation seeking a $20 million bond to fund state-specified school safety improvements developed the bill in concert with the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine. The hunting and fishing organization rarely involves itself with school issues but is a fierce opponent of most gun control legislation. “Our organization is proud to introduce legislation that, unlike other proposals coming forward in recent days, will actually make our schools a safer place to learn,” said Trahan, a former Maine legislator.
Maine’s Farmers’ Markets Prepare for the 2018 Season
Maine Government News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Maine has more than 130 summer farmers’ markets, and each is operated locally. To find out whether a particular market is accepting new vendors this year, visit the market’s website and social media.
Maine Office of Tourism Marketing Campaigns Receive Awards
Maine Government News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The Maine Office of Tourism was recognized for excellence in travel marketing by Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International. Maine received two Adrian Awards, a platinum award for advertising, and a silver award for public relations. The winning campaigns were chosen out of a field of over 1,300 entries submitted for 2017.
Column: In trusts, LePage doesn’t trust
Forecaster - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Nobody is saying conserving land is a bad idea. Well, nobody but Republican Gov. Paul LePage . But LePage needs a boogeyman to make it appear somebody else is chiefly responsible for high property taxes. The rest of us think saving open space for future generations is a worthy enterprise. Unfortunately, the state has ignored how the consequences of that investment are distributed. The deal seems to be unfair to the most economically disadvantaged sections of Maine. Those towns ought to have some say before more large tracts are taken off the tax rolls. ~ Al Diamon
Revered fisheries biologist knew we needed to protect our streams and native trout
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 26, 2018 

After fighting for the last two years for protection of the tributaries to our Heritage ponds, where our native brook trout are protected, I was delighted to read that revered DIFW fisheries biologist Roger Auclair recognized this need long ago. Here’s what Roger said. “One of the biggest challenges during my time was realizing the importance of streams to our fisheries, the importance of habitat and temperature for native species. The most meaningful opportunity was being able to survey and manage Moosehead Lake and its watershed because of its remote vastness, because of its wonderful brook trout populations, and because of its wonderful coldwater species that are still intact.”
Federal panel weighs lower royalty payments for offshore oil and gas drilling
Washington Post - Monday, February 26, 2018 

An Interior Department advisory panel is considering whether the federal government should sharply cut the royalty rate that oil and gas firms pay for deepwater drilling while expediting energy development on federal land. The panel also calls for conducting a lease sale for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge’s coastal plain within two to three years, rather than the four years dictated by the budget resolution Congress adopted last year. Panel members hail from the energy industry or from states with significant drilling or mining activity.
Botanical gardens, Boothbay quietly work to end legal feud over $30M expansion
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Two months after Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens filed suit against the town of Boothbay alleging that the town violated the Civil Rights Act, settlement talks have begun. In December, Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens sued Boothbay in U.S. District Court alleging the town incorrectly revoked a permit for the botanical gardens to expand, a project that was already well underway. Four members of the Anthony family, who live next to the gardens and also have filed a civil suit over the expansion, are intervenors in the federal suit. The three parties have agreed to negotiate a settlement.
Tiny livestock can be the perfect fit for small-scale homesteaders
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Going tiny in regard to farm animals is a good option for Maine homesteaders, according to Cindy Kilgore, livestock specialist with the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. “These animals are smaller so they are easier to manage and move around,” Kilgore said. “They take less feed, hay, straw or space than their larger counterparts so the whole scale of operation is just smaller.” Plus, there is the “awwww” factor with miniature livestock.
Where Republicans who want to succeed LePage stand on key issues
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Question 3: Are the requirements in Maine’s citizen initiative process appropriate? What changes, if any, would you support as governor? Garrett Mason: “No, they are not appropriate." Mary Mayhew: “The initiative process is undermining and detracting from the legislative process and distorting priorities for our state." Ken Fredette: “The referendum process is being abused by liberal, progressive, out-of-state interests." Shawn Moody: “Out-of-state liberal interests with massive budgets have hijacked Maine’s referendum process by funding efforts to place questions on Maine’s ballot and then funding the campaigns to pass them." Mike Thibodeau: “I will work to pass a constitutional amendment to prevent far-left organizations from increasing the tax burden on Maine’s small businesses and doing harm to our economy."
Blog: Winter in Acadia with a three-year-old is gorgeous and challenging in all the right ways
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Bill, Penrose and I just returned from a short family vacation to gorgeous Acadia National Park. We envisioned a snowy trek, and packed snowshoes, cross country skis, gaiters, a toboggan, and snow pants, none of which we needed. The weather was mild and the ground snowless when we were there, and even without the main park loop road being open, Acadia offers plenty of walking and hiking opportunities. Here’s a day by day breakdown of the trip. ~ Courtney Naliboff, The Frozen Choice, Rural Jewish Island Life blog
Bad news for forests: Beeches booming as climate changes
Associated Press - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Beech trees are dominating the woodlands of the northeastern United States as the climate changes, and that could be bad news for the forests and people who work in them, according to a group of scientists. Beech, often used for firewood, is of much less commercial value than some species of birch and maple trees that can be used to make furniture and flooring. Jasen Stock, executive director of the NH Timberland Owners Association, said, “We’re really dealing with the fallout from climate change, and how do we manage to accommodate for that.”
Review: ‘You Had a Job for Life’ by Jamie Sayen
Wall Street Journal - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Jamie Sayen’s book, “You Had a Job for Life,” is the story of a former company town. The mill in Groveton was built in 1891. During its golden years it was run by three generations of the Wemyss family, most notably James C. Wemyss Sr. (“Old Jim”). Because he lived in Groveton, the welfare of the town and his workforce weighed strongly in the calculus of his business decisions. This sort of calculus was abandoned, however, with corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith’s 1981 attack on Diamond International. That inaugurated a quarter-century of absentee ownership—Goldsmith, then Virginia-based James River Corp., then Wisconsin-based Wausau Paper—that coincided with soaring energy and shipping costs, shrinking demand, and the general effects of globalization.
Wind Industry Sues LePage Over Halting of New Permits
Associated Press - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

The Maine Renewable Energy Association has filed a lawsuit in Kennebec County Superior Court saying Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage lacks the executive authority to decide which industries can get regulatory review. The group is seeking a judge to nullify the governor's moratorium on new wind power permits. The governor in his January address called the benefit of wind turbines "uncertain." His moratorium would last until a new commission releases findings on the economic impact of wind turbines. The governor's order said the commission's proceedings will not be public under Maine's Freedom of Access Act.
New kids outdoor program on Sears Island in high demand
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

An after-school program on Sears Island is part of a new monthly series called Science Squad, organized by Friends of Sears Island. Designed for children ages 6-12, the program has a different theme each month, and is limited to 12 students and their parents or guardians. “The main goal is to get kids out exploring, just to be out in nature in their local environment and learning how to be stewards of that environment,” said Ashley Megquier, outreach coordinator for Friends of Sears Island.
Blog: Ways Cities Are Moving to Sustainable Energy
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

The global population is growing at a fast pace. People tend to move to cities because of what cities have to offer. However, a large number of people means that a lot of energy that is being used. On top of that, a lot of this energy is actually being wasted. In order to minimize the waste, scientists are working on more efficient and eco-friendly sources of energy. ~ Adam Richards
Stunning doesn’t begin to describe these photos of Maine’s High Peaks
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

ohn and Cynthia Orcutt have blessed us with amazing photos in their book, Enduring Heights – The High Peaks of Maine. I don’t have the words to really describe these stunning photos that I have been enjoying all week.
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