March 19, 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
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.
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.
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News Items
Researchers develop claw grip sensor to gauge lobster health
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Dale Cross has been keeping a close eye on the St. George River lately, hoping for some warm spring weather that will help a winter’s worth of ice, allowing him to stage the season’s first canoe race. On Tuesday, Cross — who serves as race director for both the St. George and Passagassawakeag river races — reluctantly admitted that Mother Nature has again forced the postponement of both events.
Obama gives Shell go-ahead to drill for oil in Alaskan Arctic
Other - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Royal Dutch Shell has received the go-ahead from the US government to restart a controversial oil exploration campaign in the Alaskan Arctic despite fears over the risk to the environment. The Department of the Interior approved the Anglo-Dutch oil major’s request to return to the Chukchi Sea within the Arctic circle. It comes just three years after Shell’s last attempt to find oil in the region floundered when its Kulluk drilling rig ran aground.
Pellet plant plans progressing in Mattawamkeag
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

A developer’s plan to turn the former Dr. Carl Troutt School into a small-scale wood pellet manufacturing facility might get a significant boost when the planning board meets to discuss it on Wednesday, officials said. Eventually, as many as 18 people would be employed at the facility. They would run two manufacturing machines that could generate a maximum capacity of 20,000 tons of home-heating pellets for regional sale.
Could Maine become the nation’s second ‘Arctic’ state?
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Alaska Dispatch News - Alaska, which within its boundaries contains the only U.S. territory north of — or even anywhere near — the Arctic Circle, has long been the nation’s Arctic state. But is there room at the table for a second “Arctic” state? If there is, Maine increasingly is vying for that spot, the Portland Press-Herald writes in a piece written by former Anchorage Daily News reporter Tom Bell. Maine is located about 1,500 miles south of the Arctic Circle — it’s closer to Miami, the Press-Herald points out — but also lies on the other end of the Northwest Passage from Alaska and is connected by shipping lanes and commerce to important ports throughout the North Atlantic.
Collins weighs in on [national park]
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

U.S. Sen. Susan Collins went to the University of Maine Tuesday to talk about civility in politics and society, but last week’s headlines dominated her pre-speech press conference with local reporters. On the subject of a proposed national park for the Katahdin region, the Republican senator said she would reconsider her opposition but only under certain circumstances. “If the people of the region believe that their future lies in a national park, obviously I would be open to their views,” Collins said. “Right now, I don’t hear that kind of consensus. I hear a lot of division about what the future of the Katahdin region should be.” She also said that she has concerns about federal ownership of such a large amount of land in Maine.

Hike: Snow’s Cove Preserve
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Snow’s Cove Preserve is a 58-acre tract of land that is home to roughly two miles of walking trails that lead to the shore of the scenic Bagaduce River in Sedgwick. Donated to the Blue Hill Heritage Trust in 2007 by Bill Brown and Paul Trowbridge, the small preserve is open for the public to enjoy year round. The small trail network on the property consists of about 2 miles of trails, which are open to foot traffic only.
Maine eagle population continues to grow
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

The state's bald eagles are experiencing a population growth of about 7 percent each year, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are now well over 600 nesting pairs in the state, up from a low of about 30 pairs in the late 1970s.
Maine Natural Gas seeks rate increase to expand market, raise revenue
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Maine Natural Gas, which is growing at a record pace in its service areas around Augusta, Bath-Brunswick and Windham-Gorham, is seeking a sizable rate increase as part of a proposed three-year rate plan. The company says it needs more than $10 million in additional revenue over the next three years to improve the safety and reliability of its distribution system, expand customer services and bring earnings in line with industry standards.
Waldo County police caution motorists to watch out for deer
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Police are warning motorists to take extra care when driving on stretches of Route 1 in Waldo County that have seen large numbers of car-deer accidents in recent days. “We have covered an average of two car-deer accidents a day on the area of Route 1 that runs through Northport and Lincolnville,” Lt. Jason Trundy of the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office wrote this week on the agency’s Facebook page.
Editorial: Not a dictatorship: Maine should be a place based on laws, not LePage’s whims
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

After refusing to sign off on the issuance of bonds approved by voters years ago expressly to pay for Land for Maine’s Future projects, LePage now says he alone will decide what projects get funded. LMF purchase agreements are business deals with families, corporations or others who want to preserve their land. Subjecting these entities to the whims of an impetuous governor who has shown he has no respect for institutions is unfair to them, but worse, it perpetuates the notion that Maine isn’t an honest broker when it comes to business dealings. Maine can’t afford this reputation.
Ogunquit officer rescues baby great horned owl
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Great horned owls are Maine’s earliest nesters, according to Eggs are produced in January or early February with babies arriving within a month. The owlets leave the nest on foot within six weeks of hatching. Within nine weeks they’ll learn to fly. [video]
Opinion: Warming climate spells disaster for Gulf of Maine fisheries, unless we act
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

For 13 years I was a lobsterman from Cliff Island. Global warming, climate change and carbon pollution are disturbing the ocean and threatening our way of life. It used to be that only scientists could detect rising temperatures or alarming changes in fish stocks. Now almost every fisherman and lobsterman on the coast is aware of these changes in our everyday environment. I fervently hope Sen. Susan Collins will join Sen. Angus King and Rep. Chellie Pingree and give her full support to the EPA’s new power plant rules. Our fishing way of life depends on passing this critical legislation. ~ Edward Reiner, South Portland
New program to facilitate interaction between K-12 students, researchers in the field
The Weekly - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Connecting K-12 students in Maine and around the world with researchers in the field is the goal of a new program offered by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension with support from UMaine’s Climate Change Institute and the Maine 4-H Foundation. Follow a Researcher aims to give students a glimpse into a scientist’s world by providing live expedition updates and facilitating communication between the youth and scientist.
UMaine professor, student write community guide on how to start a wood bank
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

With the snow beginning to melt, firewood may be the last thing Maine residents want to think about, but according to University of Maine professor Jessica Leahy, spring and summer are the best times to start a wood bank, and her new guide shows communities how. Leahy, an associate professor of human dimensions of natural resources at the University of Maine School of Forest Resources, wrote the guide with Sabrina Vivian, a senior in the Ecology and Environmental Sciences Program.
How would you spend new revenue to benefit Maine’s fish and wildlife?
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

If Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife received new revenue, how do you think it should be spent? That was the assignment that the legislature’s Appropriations Committee gave to the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee last week. The request was focused on the possibility of giving DIF&W some tax revenue, something we’ve been trying to achieve for more than 20 years, without much luck. Here are the new initiatives I’ve suggested to the committee.
Maine hunting seasons for crow, snowshoe hare ending for spring
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Maine's hunting seasons for crow and snowshoe hare are ending for the spring in most of the state. Tuesday is the final day to hunt snowshoe hare anywhere in Maine. There is a daily limit of four and a possession limit of eight for the hares. An earlier season that is limited to Vinalhaven Island ended on Feb. 28. The hunt began Oct. 1. Crow hunting season also ends on Tuesday in most of Maine. The crow season extends until April 15 in six wildlife management districts in the far northern part of the state. The hunt resumes on Aug. 1 for the summer season. It is not subject to a bag limit.
Ever been in a forest and thought you heard whispering? Maybe it wasn't in your head.
Other - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

When you walk into a forest, it's likely that all the trees are networked with each other, including other species of tree, as far as you can see. In fact, trees aren't only communicating, but are also sending resources back and forth to help out other trees — even if they are a different kind of tree.
Letter: Columnist overlooks what unbounded growth could do to Portland
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

Greg Kesich, editorial page editor for the Portland Press Herald, has now made his misguided position absolutely clear: Growth of any kind in Portland is our city’s salvation, and we should all sit down, shut up and let it happen. He couldn’t be more wrong. Unbalanced growth solely for the very rich and the very poor hollows out and ruins a city. When he gets a sense of the role of urban design in the life and death of cities, we suspect he’ll take a more modulated view of “growth.” As the rest of us already have. ~ Peter Monro, Keep Portland Livable
Letter: Don’t ruin public lands
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

We applaud forestry professor Robert Seymour for clearly articulating the long-term value of conservative management of our public forest lands. These lands have provided high value timber, excellent habitat for many species of wildlife, and recreation for Maine residents. Gov. Paul LePage wants much faster cutting of these lands to provide more money for his administration. If he is allowed to get away with heavier cutting, he will be stealing from our future. This is no different than running a big deficit now and passing the costs onto later administrations. ~ LeRoy and Barbara Bandy, Brownville
Letter: Release LMF funding
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

The governor is withholding $11.4 million in voter-approved bonds for the Land for Maine’s Future program. As a result, the funding for at least 30 projects that were approved is now in limbo. The LMF program has protected land of statewide and regional significance for recreation, wildlife habitat and open space. But important conservation efforts are now at risk due to lack of funding. LMF funding is being withheld pending approval of the administration’s plan to increase timber harvest on Maine’s public lands and use the funding for projects in other state departments. LMF funding has been and should continue to be a bipartisan effort and should not be held hostage to unrelated issues. ~ Robert Bryan, Harpswell
Letter: States know best
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 31, 2015 

A growing number of states are seeking to hold a convention for proposing constitutional amendments. Federal bureaucrats surely know how spend our tax dollars, but they haven’t near the knowledge about forestry and fishing acquired through generations of hands-on experience. We are fully capable of passing state or local laws we deem them necessary to protect our environment. Exclusive jurisdiction will prevent the Environmental Protection Agency and other federal agencies from telling states how to conduct their own affairs. States are meant to be sovereign. With a convention of states, we can make it a reality. ~ Kathy Johnson, Monson
LePage taps key ally to oversee forestry on public lands
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 30, 2015 

The LePage administration has appointed the head of the Maine Forest Service to oversee forestry activities within the Bureau of Parks and Lands, giving Gov. Paul LePage a key ally in his plan to increase logging on Maine’s state-owned lands. Doug Denico’s appointment is likely to heighten concerns among some groups opposed to LePage’s plans for more intensive timber harvesting on Maine’s “public reserved lands” and for dismantling the agency responsible for managing state parks and public lands. Denico worked for some of Maine’s largest commercial timberland owners and paper mills before joining the Maine Forest Service in 2011.
Google is a Big Renewable Energy Investor
Other - Monday, March 30, 2015 

When someone thinks of Google they likely think first of their browser. However, Google invests in energy, with a goal of powering its operations with 100 percent renewable energy. The company has over $1.5 billion worth of agreements to fund renewable energy projects, with a capacity of over 2.5 gigawatts. The projects are expected to generate over six billion kilowatt hours a year. The company has signed nine contracts for 1,146 MW of wind energy. Google has also invested in solar energy. Several of the investments are in large scale solar facilities, including $145 million in a project with SunEdison.
Trash called Waterville’s ‘biggest, most difficult’ issue
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 30, 2015 

The city has some major and expensive decisions to make about trash collection. Its contract with Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington, which burns the city’s rubbish, is nearing expiration, and a vote is set in nearly three months on whether to keep the new pay-as-you-throw program. “More than any other municipal service, trash disposal, by far, will be the biggest and most difficult item for us in the next three to five years,” City Manager Michael Roy said Monday.
Group pitches opening Augusta’s Bicentennial Nature Park to non-residents
Kennebec Journal - Monday, March 30, 2015 

Supporters of Bicentennial Nature Park want to let those who don’t live in the capital city use the swimming and picnic spot for a higher fee, but some officials are concerned that the change would upset an agreement with nearby landowners and cost more money than it’s worth. Members of Friends of Bicentennial Nature Park, a group that raises money to help offset the city’s expenses running the city-owned park, want to allow those from outside the city into the lightly used park as a way to boost revenue and be neighborly.
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