September 20, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, September 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 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
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
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News Items
The Woman Creating the World's Largest National Parks
Other - Friday, March 31, 2017 

Outside - Earlier this month, Kris Tompkins and Michelle Bachelet, the president of Chile, signed an agreement to add 11 million acres to the Chilean National Park system. The one million pledged by Tompkins alone is the largest single private-to-public donation of land in human history; combined with the ten million acres pledged by Chile, the total amounts to three times the combined size of Yellowstone and Yosemite. The agreement lays out official protocols for the completion of a journey that Kris Tompkins began a quarter-century ago with her late husband, Doug Tompkins. To imagine what such an announcement might feel like in America, imagine that Donald Trump, Paul Ryan, and Mitch McConnell declared plans to create six massive new national parks. Of course, nothing could be further from reality. The Trump administration is undoing environmental protections and aiming to sell off public lands.
Do we need more energy or more conservation?
Other - Friday, March 31, 2017 

New Hampshire Business Review - Energy demand is going down, energy supply not so much. So if we commit ourselves to build expensive power projects we won’t need, the price of energy will go up. That’s the simple economic idea behind a recently released report, yet it flies in the face of conventional wisdom. The report concludes, if you want to keep electric prices down, it would be better to spend ratepayer dollars on filling reliability gaps, dampening demand — via efficiency and renewables — than by going out and getting more fuel.
Power company scooping up land for new Chester-Pittsfield line
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 31, 2017 

Maine Electric Power Co. has started courting landowners between Chester and Pittsfield as the utility pursues a new regional transmission line. MEPCO, owned by Central Maine Power Co. and Emera Maine, has started holding public meetings and acquiring land for the line it hopes to have up and running by 2020.
Angus King, Susan Collins Co-Sponsor Bill Reforming Temporary Work Visa Program
Maine Public - Friday, March 31, 2017 

U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine is leading an effort to reform a temporary work visa program many Maine inns and restaurants depend on for seasonal help. Congress has curtailed the number of the so-called H2-B visas to be issued this year compared to last, and businesses in states with a relatively late tourist season, such as Maine, are scrambling to find staffing alternatives. King (I), Maine Sen. Susan Collins (R), Sen. Mark Warner (D) of Virginia and several others are co-sponsoring what they call the Save Our Small and Seasonal Businesses Act. The bill would exempt those who have previously worked in the U.S. from the program’s existing cap, potentially allowing tens of thousands more work-visas into the mix.
Officials: 'Very Cold Spring' Means Slow Start for Elver Season
Maine Public - Friday, March 31, 2017 

Maine’s elver season opened on March 22, but marine resources officials say the state’s elver season is getting off to a slow start, with only small numbers of the tiny eels being netted by harvesters. The quality and quantity of the juvenile eels is expected to improve as temperatures climb in April. According to the state Department of Marine Resources, last year nearly 1,000 fishermen landed more than 9,300 pounds of elvers, also known as glass eels, that were valued at more than $13 million.
Trump order on relaxing power plant emissions could mean more pollution in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 31, 2017 

An executive order signed this week by President Donald Trump is expected to undercut efforts in Maine and New England to reduce the amount of power plant air pollution that blows into the region from the rest of the country. The order, which is viewed as a boon for the shrinking coal industry, primarily takes aim at former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Environmental advocates in Maine sharply criticized Trump’s plans, saying that the president’s “denial” of climate science is putting Mainers’ health directly at risk.
DuPont to acquire Rockland seaweed processing plant as it pursues merger with Dow
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 31, 2017 

Chemical giant DuPont announced it plans to acquire the division of FMC Corp. that owns a carrageenan processing plant on Rockland’s waterfront. DuPont announced the deal Friday as part of its bid to satisfy European antitrust regulators concerned about DuPont’s planned merger with Dow Chemical. The Dow-DuPont deal is one of a trio of mega mergers that will reshape the industry and consolidate six companies into three. The two other big deals being ChemChina’s $43 billion bid for Syngenta and Bayer’s acquisition of Monsanto. DuPont said its merger with Dow, which was expected to close in the first half of 2017, is now anticipated to close between Aug. 1 and Sept. 1. The combined company will eventually be spun-off into three independent publicly traded companies.
Stonyfield organic yogurt up for sale
Reuters - Friday, March 31, 2017 

French food group Danone said on Friday it would sell its New Hampshire-based organic yogurt business Stonyfield to facilitate the rapid completion of its $10.4 billion acquisition of U.S. organic food producer WhiteWave foods Co. The decision to sell Stonyfield stemmed from an agreement in principle reached with the U.S. Department of Justice’s antitrust department, Danone said in a statement.
Bill Would Give Disabled People Free Access to State Parks
Associated Press - Friday, March 31, 2017 

A state legislator is proposing to give permanently disabled people free admission to Maine State Parks. The proposal by Saco Democratic Rep. Donna Bailey would apply to people who have been determined to be permanently disabled by an official body such as the U.S. Social Security Administration or a workers’ compensation board. The access pass would also grant free entry to an adult accompanying the pass holder. The proposal is up for a public hearing before the Committee of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry on Thursday in Augusta.
The entire coal industry employs fewer people than Arby’s
Washington Post - Friday, March 31, 2017 

President Donald Trump earlier this week announced the rollback of Obama-era environmental regulations that would have affected industries such as coal mining. Trump has repeatedly claimed that over-regulation has led to a decline in coal-industry jobs. Experts in the industry have already pointed out, repeatedly, that the coal jobs are extremely unlikely to come back. The plight of the coal industry is more a function of changing energy markets and increased demand for natural gas than anything else.
Sportsman’s Alliance proposes hike in fishing license fees
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 31, 2017 

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine is proposing a hike in fees for fishing licenses to fund a new “Maine Outdoor Programs and Activities Fund.” If SAM’s bill, LD 1179, is enacted, resident fishing licenses will cost $26 and nonresident licenses $66. That’s a $1 increase in the resident fee and $2 in the nonresident fee. The bill also creates a Maine Outdoor Programs and Activities Fund Board to make grants to DIF&W and others. It would make more sense to provide the money to the existing Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund program.
Column: How can we throw away perfectly good food?
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 31, 2017 

South Portland and Scarborough soon will become Maine’s first municipalities that collect food waste, separate from the rest of the trash, at the curbside each week. The pilot programs aim to divert the household food waste from our rubbish stream and ship it to an “anaerobic digester” in the northern Maine town of Exeter, where it will be converted into electricity, compost and animal bedding. According to a 2011 study by UMaine, 28 percent of Maine’s household trash consists of food waste. That’s about 150,000 tons per year. ~ Bill Nemitz
EPA tries to praise Trump’s climate order, ends up criticizing him instead
Washington Post - Friday, March 31, 2017 

The Environmental Protection Agency wanted to highlight some of the praise President Donald Donald Trump has received for his new executive order rolling back climate change regulations. So on Thursday the EPA sent out a news release loaded with glowing quotes from supporters. Only the first quote on the list wasn’t so glowing. “With this Executive Order, President Trump has chosen to recklessly bury his head in the sand,” read the statement. An honest mistake, or a deliberate act of sabotage from a rogue operator in the EPA press office? Unclear. The EPA quickly issued a correction.
Letter: EPA administrator’s position on runoff, climate not credible
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 31, 2017 

I am neither a scientist nor a fisherman, nor an expert on water pollution, but I have to be a witness to two things: the amount of effluents that flow daily into our seas, and the effort on the part of the current administration and Environmental Protection Agency director to deny that there is any correlation between environmental controls and impacts on our waters. Do I read the signs from the southern New England fishing experience and the science from the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, or listen to the guy from Oklahoma who says there is no correlation? ~ David Hyde, Pownal
Letter: Ban plastic bags
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 31, 2017 

I am in favor of banning plastic bags at supermarkets and stores. The best alternatives are to bring your own reusable fabric bags or wheel the cart to your vehicle and unload it there. There are other ways, such as boxes or paper bags. Some stores will give a 2-cent discount for bringing your own bags. The landfills are running out of space. We all need to do our part to reduce waste. ~ Alton Shedd, Lincoln
Want to Make America Prosperous Again? Bet on Nature, not Fossil Fuels
Other - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

Stanford Univ - On March 28, President Donald Trump took a “sledgehammer” to US climate policy, lifting the moratorium on coal and ordering a review of emission standards from fossil fuels. Recently he also signed executive memos to revive the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipeline projects. These actions match the promises he made during his campaign about “opening federal lands for oil and gas production” and “opening offshore areas.” But this strategy to revive fossil fuels misses a crucial point: We cannot rely on a volatile industry to generate long-term financial returns or employment. Instead, it is far more productive to focus on areas that are stable and growing. Three such sectors have emerged in the US environmental arena: land restoration, renewable energy, and sustainable agriculture.
Dueling Legal Opinions Offered In Battle Over National Monuments
National Parks Traveler - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

Two legal analyses have been added to the debate over whether President Trump can unilaterally rescind the designation of Bears Ears National Monument in Utah and, not surprisingly, they reach different conclusions. While Maine Gov. Paul LePage wants President Trump to rescind the designation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, at least two members of that state's congressional delegation disagree with the governor, saying they're seeing signs that the monument is helping to spur the economy around it.
Legislative panel rejects studying expanding passenger rail from Brunswick to Bangor
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

State lawmakers killed a bill Thursday to allocate $300,000 to study expanding passenger train service from Brunswick to Bangor. The initiative died despite Bangor’s offer to contribute up to $25,000 for a study. The lack of fiscal support from other municipalities, and a desire to see the results of a pending $400,000 study into possible expansion of passenger rail service from Brunswick to Lewiston-Auburn, were the biggest factors in the bill’s defeat.
Maine Attorney General Prepares to Fight Trump Administration on Fuel Economy Standards
Maine Public - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

Maine is part of a coalition of states, led by New York, that says it will oppose any weakening of the Obama-era standards, which would require corporate fleet vehicles to get 54.5 miles to the gallon by 2025. The Trump administration has ordered that the rules be re-evaluated, and it’s expected to roll them back. “When you pump a pound of carbon into the air for every mile you drive in a standard vehicle, that’s a lot of carbon,” says Maine Attorney General Janet Mills. “We’re opposing [Environmental Protection Agency] Secretary [Scott] Pruitt’s proposal to get rid of the waiver that allows California and about a dozen other states to have their own emission control regulations.”
State Extends Ice Fishing Season in Northern Maine
Maine Public - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

State fisheries officials have extended the ice fishing season in northern Maine by a couple of weeks. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says that, due to unusually cold weather, the ice fishing season in northern Maine has been extended from April 1, to Sunday, April 16.
Yet another tough winter for honeybees
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

As winters go, it has not been a bad one for us human beings. Weatherwise, I don’t think it has been that bad for bees, either. Temperatures have been a bit up and down, but overall they haven’t had to cope with prolonged bitter cold. However, reports are coming in where some beekeepers’ bees are doing fine and other beekeepers are losing many of their hives.
Column: Birds striking your windows? Move the feeder
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

Cats kill more than 1 billion birds per year in the United States. But the second leading cause of human-induced bird mortality is window strikes. There might not be much you can do if your neighbor lets Fluffy prowl your backyard, but I’m happy to report that you can do something about windows. The fastest, cheapest and best solution is to just move the feeder. ~ Bob Duchesne
Opinion: Trump ignores science with executive order dismantling Clean Power Plan
Other - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

The Hill - Given its geographic location and natural resource jobs, Maine is uniquely susceptible to the effects of climate change. Our corner of the Atlantic, the Gulf of Maine, is warming faster than 99 percent of the world’s oceans. On top of that, prevailing winds make our state the “tailpipe of the nation”—meaning that we breathe air already polluted by states to the west. President Obama’s Clean Power Plan provided hope that we could avoid some of the future harms of climate change while pivoting toward a clean energy economy that already employs 3 million Americans. Turning our back on that progress will have disastrous effects. ~ Rep. Chellie Pingree
When wildlife resorts to extortion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

Living out in the woods as I do, it’s really no surprise most of my immediate neighbors have fur or feathers. Over the years, it’s been a congenial, live and let live arrangement. But lately, I have the distinct impression my forest friends have started regarding me not so much as their benign landlord, but as their lackey. Moreover, I suspect they are organizing and making plans, and I honestly don’t think extortion is too strong a word for what they are up to.
Divided report issued on bill to allow Amish hunters to wear red
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 30, 2017 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee issued a very divided report on LD 426 to allow Amish hunters to wear red instead of orange. With 7 committee members in favor and 5 opposed, the bill is far from certain of getting through the House and Senate and signed into law by the Governor. At the bill’s publi hearing, the Amish testified that their religion doesn’t allow them to wear orange (it’s too flashy) and asked for permission to wear red instead.
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