May 24, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Growth in Land-Based Salmon Production, May 31
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Joseph Hankins, Director of The Conservation Fund’s Freshwater Institute will talk about why a national land conservation organization is involved in Recirculating Aquaculture Systems. At Schoodic Institute,
Winter Harbor, May 31, 7 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Slaughtering grizzly bears
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

On May 23, Wyoming officials approved the first hunt in decades for grizzly bears that wander out of Yellowstone National Park. As many as 22 could be shot and killed this fall, including pregnant females. Yellowstone's grizzlies, famous around the world, are national treasures. Slaughtering them is like defacing the Statue of Liberty or filling in the Grand Canyon. ~ Center for Biological Diversity
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
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News Items
New wind turbine at Rockport high school now producing energy
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

The WindPlanners, a group of students who had the goal of bringing the Northwind 100 tower to their campus, took eight years to conduct the research, get school board permission, get town permits and fundraise the $500,000 needed to erect the turbine, which they did last week. A 122-foot-tall wind turbine began generating energy for Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. The WindPlanners have already learned a lot. They did scientific research, math, they interviewed experts, gave testimony to Maine’s Legislature, wrote grants, hosted fundraisers, filed permits with the town and more.
Opinion: Obama's Monumental Opportunity
Other - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Daily Kos - The president has a unique power. When Congress passed the Antiquities Act 106 years ago, it gave the commander in chief sole authority to designate public land as a national monument. Many of our most treasured wild places were first protected in this way, from Muir Woods to Joshua Tree to the Grand Canyon. If I were president for a day, I'd take the opportunity to protect America’s best wild places. Think how big of a dent Obama could make in a year. Go wild, Mr. President, and show us what you can do! One more thing: A little encouragement never hurts. Let the president know you support the designation of new national monuments.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard gets $15.8M for energy conservation, repairs
Associated Press - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has received $15.8 million in funding for energy conservation and repair work. This is the third round of funding — a total of $91.8 million — that’s been announced for the shipyard this month.
Letter: Reducing wind power impact
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

We appreciate the factual look at the issue of wind farms and bird safety in the Sun Journal (March 21), “Peru committee learns about wind turbine impact on wildlife.” It sounds like environmental consultant Steve Pelletier did an excellent job conveying the fact that wind energy is far less harmful to the environment than any of the other more traditional sources of energy generation. The wind industry currently supports nearly 80,000 American jobs. The case for continuing to invest in it is very strong. ~ John Anderson, American Wind Energy Association
Opinion: More jobs promoting green energy than actually making green energy
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Though tasked with an admittedly difficult project, the Bureau of Labor Statistics created a definition of green jobs that is so broad as to make it a meaningless measure of the green economy. Here's a sneak preview: There are 33 times as many green jobs in the septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry as in solar electricity utilities. The meaninglessness of the green-jobs count has not stopped cheerleaders for green mandates and subsidies from pointing to it as justification for more of the same. They point to the nearly 500,000 green jobs in the manufacturing sector. Maybe they have visions of 500,000 people assembling windmills and hybrid cars. ~ David Kreutzer, The Heritage Foundation
Maine environmental regulators checking Freeport fields permit
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Controversy over Freeport's athletic fields continues as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection reviews the construction permit it issued in June for the athletic fields on Hunter Road, which were built last fall. DEP officials are checking the basic permit in the wake of the Town Council's decision Feb. 28 to reject a zoning change that would have allowed Seacoast United Maine to build an indoor-outdoor soccer complex next to the fields. The Seacoast project, which would have been built on land provided by the town, would have triggered a comprehensive environmental review of all fields and structures built or planned on a 60-acre swath of town-owned land between Hunter and Pownal roads. Given the town's involvement in the Seacoast project, DEP officials are trying to determine whether the town should have sought a comprehensive review for entire athletic field development.
Opinion: Tree growth clarification
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

It is heartening to see that the Maine Tree Growth Tax Program is under scrutiny. The intent of the program is worthwhile. Landowners engaged in forestry are taxed based on their use of the land, not on its “highest use” potential. Unfortunately it is a loosely regulated program that invites almost anyone with 10 or more acres to reap the tax break. When that involves shorefront and summer-use residential and recreational property, the tax break is enormous. There is one misconception: the tree growth law prevents “prized forest land from being developed.” If an owner wishes to withdraw land from tree growth and open it to development, a hefty fine for withdrawal would be levied. But a landowner wishing to develop tree growth land can, without penalty, convert it to another “current use” program and then withdraw it from that program, paying a significantly smaller penalty. ~ Surry Board of Selectmen
NStar’s Cape Wind pact pays $940 million over market
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Massachusetts utility NStar has agreed to buy power from the proposed offshore Cape Wind farm for more than double what conventional energy is projected to cost during the length of the 15-year deal. The contract filed with state regulators Friday totals about $1.6 billion, assuming Congress renews certain tax credits. The contract says that’s $940 million above the market price of electricity during that period. NStar estimates the deal will add $1 to the average customer’s bill.
FDA rejects call to ban BPA from food packaging
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition from environmentalists that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food. The agency said Friday that petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions on the much-debated chemical, commonly known as BPA, though federal scientists continue to study the issue.
Editorial: Maine is better off being on the way to somewhere
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Maine will never be a shipping hub in the way Newark, N.J., or Seattle are. But the state is poised to become a link in a developing commerce conduit. Maine, and especially the central, eastern and western parts of the state, lies along an “as-the-crow-flies” corridor between the maritime ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, and the distribution hub of Montreal. Montreal is on the St. Lawrence River, with access to the St. Lawrence Seaway, which in turn links to Detroit and Chicago, which give shippers access to the midwestern U.S. Building a road across Maine linking highways in New Brunswick to highways in Quebec would substantially enhance shipping through the two-nation region.
Birders need to keep etiquette in mind
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Birding behavior is changing. Advances in digital photography have brought affordable cameras and long lenses into the mainstream. When we were merely in visual pursuit of a bird, our hobby was relatively unobtrusive to others. With good binoculars, it was sufficient to admire a bird from a respectful distance. Even for those of us who keep a life list of birds we’ve seen, it has always been adequate to identify a new bird from afar. But I submit that cameras are changing the boundaries. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine Mining Proposal Debate Pits Jobs Against the Environment
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Opponents of a last-minute proposal to change Maine's mining regulations to accommodate a strip-mine project in northern Maine turned out at a public hearing at the State House today. They say the bill is being rushed through the Legislature in order to benefit a single company, and if approved, could expose Maine's environment to significant harm. Supporters, however, including one veteran lawmaker from Aroostook County, say the bill will contain safegaurds against environmental damage, and will create several hundred badly-needed jobs.
County residents, officials support mining bill, others leery
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A proposed bill in the Legislature to change the state’s mining laws generated significant public comment Friday, with support for the legislation mainly coming from Aroostook County business and economic development leaders and residents. Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, submitted the bill in early March, saying he was prompted to introduce it because of the increasing price of minerals and the potential for mining gold, silver, copper and zinc on Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. Bald Mountain is located northwest of Ashland and Portage. J.D. Irving owns the land with Prentiss & Carlisle.
Salmon farm considered at former Navy site in Corea
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A Connecticut startup company is looking to establish a local presence while getting into the high-end seafood market. Palom Aquaculture LLC is applying to town, state and federal officials for permits to build and operate a land-based salmon farm on former Navy property in the village of Corea. The company plans to avoid using pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones in its operations though it would use some mild chemicals as part of its routine cleaning of tanks. There are no organic standards for the aquaculture industry, but the company plans to raise the fish in a low-impact, sustainable way and to market them accordingly as a high-end product.
Deadline approaches for new Maine Master Naturalist Program
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Maine Master Naturalist Program, an independent organization founded just a year ago, is accepting applications for its 2012-13 Belfast and Lewiston courses to become a Maine Master Naturalist. The 10-month training, September-June, includes 10 evening classes and six daylong field trips at a cost of $300. The application deadline has been extended to April 30. The nonprofit corporation was started in the spring of 2011 by a group of four Maine naturalists — Dorcas Miller of Chelsea, Fred Cichocki of Wiscasset, Susan Hayward of Lewiston and Cloe Chunn of Belfast.
Spring tradition: Anglers vied to catch Penobscot’s presidential salmon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

One hundred years ago, a local fly-fisherman decided to send an Atlantic salmon, the first one caught in the Penobscot River, to the president of the United States. This is the story of that fisherman, and the tradition he began.
Opinion: Sen. Susan Collins leads on boiler rules that affect Maine’s paper mills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Recent hyperbolic claims on the op-ed pages of the Bangor Daily News by critics of Sen. Susan Collins’ Boiler MACT legislation assert their own facts on this issue. Those who purport to want the regulations are precisely the ones who have drawn out the process and had the previous rules vacated by the courts. Put simply, Collins has shown true leadership in working to allow for rules to be actually implemented. ~ Keith Van Scotter, Lincoln Paper & Tissue; Mark Gardner, Sappi; and Mike Jackson, Verso Paper
Lawmakers study new gold mine in Aroostook
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Hollie Umphrey, Portage Lake's town manager and others from northern Maine testified Friday in support of L.D. 1853, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, that would streamline and update mining laws. While supporters say northern Maine needs the jobs, opponents say they fear damage to lakes and drinking water. "Polluted water could have devastating effects on our fish, wildlife and human health," said Beth Ahearn, who spoke on behalf of Maine Conservation Voters. "This, in turn, could impact the sectors of Maine's economy, like fishing and tourism, which rely on clean water, abundant fish and wildlife and a healthy environment."
Glacier inside volcano could help UMaine researchers learn more about climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Atop a glacier inside the crater of an active Chilean volcano, a group from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute recently drilled deep into the ice to open a window to the past and, they hope, the future. The UMaine team returned in late February from a joint expedition to the Andes Mountains with the Climate Change Institute and the Centro de Estudios Cientificos from Valdivia, Chile. Led by the institute’s director, Paul Mayewski, UMaine climate scientists Bjorn Grigholm, Mariusz Potocki, Daniel Dixon and Andrei Kurbatov were joined by a contingent of Chilean scientists. Mayewski said ice core research is vital to predicting what effect global climate change will have around the globe. “At the rate we’re going, by the year 2100, Antarctica will be about 3 degrees centigrade warmer than it is today.” Mayewski said. “The last time Antarctica was that warm was about 20 million years ago, when Antarctica didn’t have any ice on it.”
Blowing in the wind: Maine’s energy past and future
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The nearly 400-foot-tall turbines atop Mars Hill Mountain had been spinning for several months when, on March 27, 2007, the facility quietly marked a historic moment in Maine’s energy history by selling electricity into the power grid. The Mars Hill project formally opened the door in Maine to a renewable energy industry that had been discussed for decades but, prior to that day, had never amounted to more than talk. Five years later, Maine is the largest source of wind energy in New England. The 205 commercial wind turbines spinning on Maine mountaintops, ridgelines and coastal islands are rated to produce enough juice to light more than 6 million 60-watt bulbs. But like most growth spurts, Maine’s rush into wind energy has not been pain-free.
Wind tax credit bites dust again
Other - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Senate argued about U.S. energy policy for two days this week before Republicans closed ranks and turned away legislation Thursday to raise taxes on major oil companies — a bill that also included the much sought-after tax credit for wind power manufacturers such as Vestas.
Editorial: Senators should back toxic regulation update
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A 1970s law based on 1960s science is all we have to protect us from toxic substances in our environment. Regulations that envisioned smokestacks and drainpipes as the prime sources of dangerous chemicals should be updated to look out for toys, baby shampoo and a wide variety of consumer products as the vehicles for dangerous chemicals to enter our bodies and harm us. Such a bill is now before Congress and Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins should sign on as co-sponsors.
Whole Foods to stop sale of unsustainable seafood
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Whole Foods Market said Friday that it will stop selling fish caught from depleted waters or through ecologically damaging methods, a move that comes as supermarkets nationwide try to make their seafood selections more sustainable.
Maine Senate debates pipeline politics
Sun Journal - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Election-year presidential politics came to the Maine Senate on Thursday as lawmakers voted along party lines to urge President Obama and Congress to complete the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Led by the majority Republicans, senators voted 17-15 to pass the resolution just one day before Obama's scheduled campaign fundraiser in Portland. The resolve, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney, R-Springvale, has no legal bearing on the project, which would transfer tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, through several U.S. channels. Courtney is running against U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, in the 1st Congressional District.
Maine Senate passes Tree Growth survey, keeps management plans sealed
Sun Journal - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The state Senate on Thursday passed a measure that will evaluate "questionable" properties enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law program. The bill, LD 1470, directs the Maine Forest Service to randomly sample properties in Tree Growth and to report its findings to the Legislature. It passed unanimously. Several Democrats said the bill could have gone further. Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, attempted to amend the proposal to make it so some information in landowners' confidential forest management plans would be made public. Jackson's amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, 19-15.
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