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
Column: Safety tips for hunting turkeys
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

In most Wildlife Management Districts, spring turkey hunting in Maine begins a half hour before sunrise on May 2. There is a special Youth Day that is held April 30th. There is probably no better way to introduce a youngster to hunting than in the turkey woods. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Disobedience - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Disobedience is a new film about a new phase of the climate movement: courageous action that is being taken on the front lines of the climate crisis on every continent, led by regular people fed up with the power and pollution of the fossil fuel industry.
Melt of vast underwater glaciers worries scientists
Washington Post - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Meltwater on the top of an ice sheet finds its way to beneath the surface, further speeding ice loss. Much about the planet’s future will depend on processes that humans today cannot directly observe – because they are occurring hundreds of miles below the sea surface where enormous marine glaciers, in Greenland and Antarctica, simultaneously touch the ocean and the seafloor. The more we learn about this crucial yet inscrutable place, the more worrying it seems.
Regulators scale back at-sea cod monitors in New England
Associated Press - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

The amount of at-sea monitoring that New England’s cod fishermen will be required to submit to will be reduced in the coming fishing year, federal regulators have decided. At-sea monitors are workers who collect data on fishing trips that helps inform fishing regulations. The government shifted the cost of paying for the monitors from itself to fishermen in the New England groundfishery earlier this year in a decision that riled the industry.
State to extend multiuse Sunrise Trail into central Ellsworth
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

The Down East Sunrise Trail soon will be a little bit longer and a whole lot closer to the city’s main commercial strip. The State has awarded a contract to extend the western end of the multiuse trail, which stretches more than 80 miles from Hancock to Pembroke. The project will lengthen the trail by approximately 2 miles west from Washington Junction in Hancock into Ellsworth, bringing it within a few yards of the central thoroughfare that guides scores of tourist vehicles every summer to and from Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Trail riders with all-terrain vehicles or snowmobiles, which usually are hauled around on trailers towed behind pickup trucks, will be encouraged to continue parking at the existing trailhead at Washington Junction.
This week’s wacky wildlife news from afar
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Believe it or not.
Opinion: Elephants won’t forget that a long crusade on their behalf began here
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

On Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is scheduled to have its last performance using elephants. The 146-year-old tradition, which has been deeply ingrained in our culture, will end. The end of this tradition brings much joy and relief among many in the animal protection movement. It has been a long, hard battle, one in which Maine was very much a part. Win each battle to end cruelty, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and animal advocates will win the war to bring animal protection into mainstream thinking. ~ Robert Fisk Jr., Maine Friends of Animals
Letter: LePage lacks business sense
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

After following Gov. Paul LePage for several years, I would not bet the farm on his business ability. In 2013, the Maine Public Utilities Commission finalized an initial agreement with Statoil to develop an offshore wind power project on the Maine coast. Statoil was to invest $120 million in the project and Maine ratepayers were supposed to contribute to this effort. Maine was poised to become first state in the nation to develop offshore wind power. LePage pressured the Legislature to change the rules in the bidding process, favoring instead UMaine. Shortly afterward, Statoil withdrew its Maine project. By chasing Statoil away from Maine, LePage managed to deprive Maine people of badly needed jobs and investment dollars. When mills close, he blames others, usually with an angry tirade. ~ Robert D. Tweedie, Westfield
Letter: I-395/Route 9 connector sad
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

It is sad to think of what our currently peaceful neighborhood will be like once the I-395/Route 9 connector is built. It is sad that we wasted years with public meetings with the Department of Transportation, which promised the towns and residents a voice in how and where this connector would be built, or not built. It is sad that we taxpayers will be dishing out $61 million or more for a road when the state can’t keep up with repairs to the roads and bridges we already have. It is sad that since this project started in 2000 traffic patterns, mill closings and other changes in our area do not change a thing. It is sad that more people don’t check out the truth. It’s just plain sad. ~ Carol and Vinal Smith, Brewer
Electric vehicle chargers ‘the next logical step’ for inn that aims to be sustainable
Kennebec Journal - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Scott Cowger said he and his partner, Vince Hannan, have a deep-rooted philosophy about being “green” and sustainable at their Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center. As part of their mission to continue to be environmentally friendly innkeepers, they installed two electric vehicle chargers Thursday. “We did a wind turbine, then solar, and put in LED lighting throughout the inn several years ago,” Cowger said. “This was the next logical step.” Cowger, a former Democratic state legislator, said businesses and individuals have a responsibility to help fight climate change by minimizing their footprints and impacts. In November 2005, the inn was named the state’s first “environmental leader” green lodging inn by the Department of Environmental Protection.
127th Maine Legislature wrap-up of environmental issues
Maine Environmental News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Here is a summary of what happened with key bills on environmental and conservation issues dealt with by the 127th Maine Legislature. It is based on information from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition, Maine Legislative Information Office, and other sources.
Legislature fails to override LePage veto of bill to protect Maine state forest funds
Maine Environmental News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

The Maine Legislature today failed to override Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of LD 1629, a bill aimed at implementing the recommendations of the Commission to Study the Public Reserved Lands Management Fund. Most importantly, LD 1629 was written to clarify that revenues generated from logging on Maine’s Public Reserved Lands cannot be raided by a governor to be used for unrelated purposes. Last year, Gov. LePage tried to do just that. LD 1629 would have codified in statute that no governor can pull that gimmick again. Lawmakers approved the bill in mid April without dissent. However, Gov. LePage vetoed the bill on April 27. On Friday, the Maine House voted 90 to 58 to override the veto, but that was three votes short of the needed two-thirds. A few Republicans voted to override, but most supported LePage.
The veto votes are finished
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

The Legislature has completed its work, at least as far as vetoes are concerned. The Senate took its vote on the final veto from Gov. Paul LePage at about 4:30 p.m. Friday. Of the 33 vetoes considered Friday, 12 were sustained and one bill, LD 1481, was sent back to committee, where it will die later today when the Legislature adjourns sine die. That means the work of the 127th Legislature is done — unless a special session is called between now and the end of the year.
Maine Legislators Sustain Governor’s Veto of Unique Solar Bill
Other - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Renewable Energy World - A vote of the Maine House of Representatives today upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of solar legislation designed to modernize Maine’s solar power policy. The bill, which was approved by the Maine House and Senate and sent last week to the Governor for his signature, stemmed from a study of the value of solar conducted by state regulators and was designed to provide a balance between the interests of utilities and solar power providers in the state. LePage vetoed the bill on April 27. The reaction on social media to the House vote was mixed.
Proposed inland storage sites add to Maine natural gas review
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

After regulators sort out whether Maine electricity customers should pay up to $75 million annually to help fund expanded natural gas pipeline capacity, they may have another question before them: whether ratepayers should help pay for natural gas storage facilities. The joint venture Northern LNG, which led the push for Maine regulators to consider natural gas storage, has designs on such facilities in Brewer or Rumford.
Maine Solar Bill Defeated as Override Bid Fails
Associated Press - Friday, April 29, 2016 

The Maine House has failed to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of a bill to modernize state policies on solar power. A last-minute effort to resurrect the bill on a second vote also failed. Rep. Sara Gideon, assistant Democratic leader, said Friday the proposal would've spurred job creation. But Rep. Ken Fredette, House Republican leader, said he feared it would kill jobs by raising energy costs while helping only a small number of Mainers.
Lawmakers uphold LePage veto, killing bill to boost solar energy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 29, 2016 

House lawmakers upheld Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a closely watched solar energy bill Friday in a blow to supporters who argued the measure would boost the industry and create jobs. The House actually voted twice on the bill but, despite a heavy State House presence of solar users and industry representatives, the outcome did not change. In the end, the 93-50 vote in the House was a few votes short of the two-thirds majority needed to override the veto from LePage, a frequent critic of Maine’s renewable energy policies.
Orono program seeking paddlers to learn wildwater skills
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, April 29, 2016 

If you’ve got an adventurous son or daughter interested in learning new skills and competing in an exciting sport they may not have tried, the Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization is looking for them. MaCKRO sponsors junior and under-23-year-old wildwater teams, and workouts have begun. According to the MaCKRO press release, “wildwater is the high performance, high adrenaline cousin of the popular local sports of open canoe and kayak downriver racing.” Jeff Owen, an accomplished paddler who has won awards at the national level and is a teacher in Orono, serves as the coach of the teams. Although team workout sessions have begun, Owen said paddlers are allowed to join at any point.
Solar bill dead...for now...after Republicans sustain LePage veto
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

A heavily lobbied bill to reform the way Maine solar energy producers are paid in a bid to grow and save industry jobs died after House Republicans voted to sustain a LePage veto on Friday, although a reconsideration vote may follow. Environmental interests were saying a reconsideration vote is likely on Friday, with House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe, D-Skowhegan, saying he held the bill to get “clarifying information” and another vote may come today. Ahead of that, the Maine League of Conservation Voters was putting pressure on four House Republicans to change their votes.
Volunteer hosts get to enjoy magic of Maine summer camping, all for free
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

At 68, Armon Duford has hit on a lifestyle that suits him to a tee. The former Pownal resident, retired from his long career as an elementary school custodian, now spends his summers on the coast of Maine and his winters near Tampa Bay. He socializes casually with people from all over the world, spends a lot of time in the great outdoors and tinkers to his heart’s content. Duford, like thousands of other retirees across the country, is a volunteer park campground host.
Why these pools in the forest are more important than you may think
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

The effects of vernal pools on the surrounding forest are seen long after the pools disappear. The insects and amphibians that emerge from the pools in the spring provide plentiful food for birds and mammals well into the fall. Vernal pools also protect and preserve surrounding lands year-round. Pools fill up like reservoirs after heavy rains, dampening potential floods. Pools also help filter nutrients out of storm runoff water that could otherwise foul lakes and rivers. While they may be small in stature and in time, vernal pools can nourish the senses in the spring and the forest through the year. ~ Zachary T. Wood and Jared J. Homola, Ph.D. students, UMaine
Editorial: Solar bill offers right answers for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Lawmakers who are considering voting to sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of L.D. 1649, the modernization of the state’s market for solar energy, should take a hard look at his arguments. They simply don’t hold up. Lawmakers have a choice: They can create a system where Maine can take advantage of new technologies that would provide low-cost, clean power now and in the future, or they can cling to an antiquated system that will become more expensive over time. That’s a quiz that we cannot afford Maine to fail.
Opinion: Override the veto so Maine can benefit from modern solar policy
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 29, 2016 

L.D. 1649 istruly good policy: a path forward for Maine that increases solar installation tenfold, creates 650 new jobs and protects 300 existing jobs and makes it easier for residents, communities, companies, farms and forestry businesses to take advantage of solar power. The bill does this while lowering electricity bills for all electric customers – an estimated $58 million to $110 million in savings – and mitigating climate change. Maine has been lagging for too long in solar. As the only New England state without a comprehensive solar policy, it should be no surprise that we’re in the region’s last place in solar job creation and solar development. This landmark legislation puts us in a position to lead the nation in 21st-century energy policy. We must embrace this opportunity and make this legislation law. ~ Rep. David Woodsome (R-North Waterboro) and Rep. Sara Gideon (D-Freeport)
Letter: Bar Harbor needs Ted
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Ted Koffman of Bar Harbor, who served admirably in the Maine House of Representatives for 8 years, chaired the Natural Resources Committee and had a strong record in environmental safety issues. In 2008, Koffmann received the Environmental Leadership Award from the Maine League of Conservation Voters. We need Ted Koffman in our state Senate to provide a strong voice for expansion of Mainecare and protection of our environment. ~ Dr. Edward B. Gilmore, Bar Harbor
Letter: Solar power not the answer
Sun Journal - Friday, April 29, 2016 

I support Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of the poor solar power legislation. Maine recently announced it has risen to 21st among states when it comes to solar capacity per capita (watts/person). Nevada is No. 1 at 429 watts/person. Las Vegas raised electric rates to subsidize and fund solar panels and legislated attractive net metering programs to encourage development. There are a lot of unhappy customers in Nevada now. Upon realizing solar customers didn’t pay to maintain the power grid and everyone else pays for the lucrative subsidies to the solar users, Nevada officials cancelled the program. To be competitive, Maine needs lower, not higher, electric rates. ~ Michael Brakey, New Gloucester
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