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
Maine legislative leaders reach tentative budget deal without income tax cuts
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Unable to reach bipartisan agreement on income tax cuts, Republican and Democratic leaders in the Legislature have struck a tentative budget deal that would make it harder for lawmakers to increase taxes in the future. But the deal has revealed a deep rift within Republican ranks, with the top House Republican vowing to fight the emerging budget compromise because it lacks the income tax cuts and welfare reforms sought by party leaders and Gov. Paul LePage. The Legislature has weeks to finalize a budget able to pass both chambers and survive a potential veto by LePage or else force a government shutdown – a prospect that appeared to deepen late Sunday.
Editorial: LePage meltdown puts GOP on the spot
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

The Land for Maine’s Future bonds Gov. Paul LePage refused to sign (putting some in jeopardy of expiring) were approved by voters and meant to fund conservation projects that have been approved by the Land for Maine’s Future board (made up of LePage appointees) and have long been in negotiation. In some instances, the Land for Maine’s Future approval was used to leverage other money, including private donations. Land for Maine’s Future 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. The question now is whether Republicans stick with him, no matter who he insults or threatens.
Abandoned coyote pup rescued in Cape Elizabeth
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

South Portland police expect an abandoned coyote pup found in Cape Elizabeth will be taken to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray for rehabilitation. A Cape resident discovered the tiny pup in the backyard Thursday. South Portland’s Animal Control Officer Corey Hamilton responded and took the animal to the city’s police station. Coyotes are adaptable, living in many different kinds of habitats, including deep forest and suburban areas, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Yes, Religious Conservatives Accept Climate Change — Just Not The Ones You Think
Climate Progress - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

While white evangelical Protestants have a lot of work to do on green issues, strong conservative religious belief — and even, it seems, rejection of human evolution — are not, for whatever reason, universally driving climate skepticism. On the contrary, given the firm belief in climate change among more financially disenfranchised Christians such as black Protestants and Hispanic Catholics, it would seem that economics, not theology, is the more important issue at play.
Bill stalls, but tribes still hope for deal on shared management of fisheries
Associated Press - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Fishing has been a way of life for Maine’s American Indians since time immemorial. Members of Maine’s four federally recognized American Indian tribes are regrouping just as a tribal effort to forge a fishery management pact with state regulators is faltering. The tribes proposed an ambitious bill that called for regulators and tribes to craft “memorandums of agreement” about managing marine resources. The bill, which stemmed from recent squabbles that the tribes have had with regulators about quotas and gear used in the lucrative baby eel fishery, was soundly rejected by a key state legislative committee in May, and it appears unlikely to pass if it reaches the full Legislature.
Group advocating for alewives in Cobbossee Stream
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

A small community group is trying to raise awareness about how dams on Cobbossee Stream in Gardiner block alewives from swimming upstream to spawn.
Partly Cloudy — With 50% Chance Of Season Change
Jim Andrews' Self Propelled Travels in Maine Blog - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Last week, a little bit north of our campsite in the Allagash Wilderness Waterway there was a full two inches of snow on the green grass lawn that extends down to the river’s edge. This all came back to me yesterday — exactly one week after these snowy photos were taken. I was sweating profusely in muggy 90 degree heat as I mowed my lawn here in Farmington. Maine weather.
Obama’s trade agenda faces tougher odds heading into House
Associated Press - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

After several near-death experiences in the Senate, the trade agenda that President Obama is pushing as a second term capstone faces its biggest hurdle yet in the more polarized House. Anti-trade forces have struggled to ignite public outrage over Obama’s bid to enact new free-trade agreements, but Democratic opposition in Congress remains widespread. The outcome may turn on Republicans’ willingness to hand the president a major win in his final years in office.
When a PUC chairman and governor meet, does it mean they are conspiring?
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Democrats on the Legislature’s energy committee have stepped up pressure on regulators, probing a notion that the Maine Public Utilities Commission’s recent decisions too closely align with the preferences of Gov. Paul LePage. Calendars from the PUC start on Jan. 29, a date before the calendar of commission Chairman Mark Vannoy shows a meeting requested by the governor’s office that has prompted speculation among Democrats and others opposed to many of LePage’s energy policies that the Republican governor has been exerting improper influence over the independent commission’s deliberations. The meeting took place just before Vannoy pressed for and successfully convinced Commissioner Carlisle McLean, LePage’s former legal adviser, to rewind negotiations with two wind power developers over the terms of long-term power purchasing agreements.
Mount Washington native keeps traditions alive
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Sam Appleton is president of a family business that runs the privately owned Mount Washington Auto Road, which extends 7.2 miles from its base at Pinkham Notch and offers views of the Great Gulf Wilderness and the Presidential Mountain Range. It first opened in 1861 as the Mount Washington Carriage Road. Appleton manages the road and the coach tours, helping as many as 55,000 tourists each year drive up the road to see the panoramic views. But he’s never far from the restless, outdoor adventures of his youth. Last weekend, Appleton drove to the summit with several of his ski buddies, ranging in age from 59 to 78, helping to keep alive another long-standing tradition.
With Maine’s growing number of new farms, do we need more vet techs?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

In Maine, many small farms are being started as second, or alternative, careers by newcomers with little experience. They may need more help with veterinary care since they haven’t grown up around farming like Doran, who knew just what to do when his cow got into trouble. They are also more likely to experience sticker shock when they get the vet bill. Using a vet tech for minor issues that don’t require a vet’s expertise can save veterinarians time and rural farms money. But at a time when jobs are plentiful for vet techs, the two schools in Maine that train them are in flux.
Vet tech program at University of Maine-Augusta struggles to redefine itself
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

One of only two schools in Maine that trains vet techs is struggling to emerge from tough times. The University of Maine-Augusta had traditionally been a two-year school that offered associate degrees, but in recent years it transitioned most of its programs to four years. The vet tech major offered on the Bangor campus, however, remained a two-year program – one that was bleeding red ink. So when the time came to balance the budget last year, the program – which ran a deficit of about $250,000 every year – was targeted for elimination. The fact that its graduates had no trouble getting jobs didn’t seem to help. But “a huge outcry in the community” at the news of a possible closure did.
Column: A bird in the hand means opportunity for a second
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Maine’s two-bird spring bag limit can be a double-edged sword. It provides more opportunity, a chance to spend more time in the field, gain more experience and put more food on the table. But when things don’t go your way, it can become a ball and chain. The first bird is the most important. Get one and worry about the second later. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: Casting call is out for black bass
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Maine black bass are spawning now, so fishing for them is as good as it gets – reason enough to cast to shallow coves in lakes, ponds and rivers. When sunlight shines on bottom, astute observers can easily spot the 14- to 30-inch spawning beds, which male bass aggressively defend. Pugnacious males think fishing lures are threatening their young and strike with reckless abandon at the offerings, so casters do well now. ~ Ken Allen
Column: When it comes to day hiking, Portland Trails are happy indeed
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Now in its 24th year, Portland Trails oversees more than 70 miles of trails in Falmouth, Westbrook, Portland, South Portland, Cape Elizabeth and the Calendar Islands. They vary in length and difficulty, from the .17-mile Jack Path on the East End (which connects Sheridan and North streets) to 5-plus mile routes like the Harborwalk in Portland and South Portland Green Belt walkway. There’s even a long route linking smaller trails into a 10-mile interconnected trek; the Forest City Trail. Created to celebrate Portland Trails’ 20th anniversary, the Forest City Trail runs from the Presumpscot River to the Stroudwater River over nine existing trails – basically the Appalachian Trail of Portland. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Be ready to climb if you want to spot a Bicknell’s thrush
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

In birding as in life, the most satisfying accomplishments often require the most effort. Adding Bicknell’s thrush to your life list is one of those high-effort, high-reward milestones. Seven members of the thrush family nest in Maine. The wood thrush is more common to our south but can reliably be found throughout the state. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Koch brothers seem beyond repentance for eco-sins
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

As a tree-hugging, silver-sneakered, lover of planet Earth, I asked a Unitarian Universalist minister who serves on the same advocacy network that I do if a UU may, in good conscience, wish for the justice of having a super storm blow all the Koch brothers’ mansions into the acidifying ocean. Her answer was calm and well-reasoned: It would be more in keeping with UU principles to hope that the brothers reach an enlightened understanding of what their unbridled quest for fossil fuels is doing to the planet and act accordingly. I humbly had to agree, but wondered which outcome was more likely to happen. ~ Melanie Lanctot
Letter: Solar power offers Maine a bright, sunny future
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

Solar power makes sense for Maine. The energy is free. Installation costs can be paid off in loan payments to a bank instead of 15 years of electricity bills. Then it’s all free – no more bills. If your house is shaded, you can join in as a participant in a solar farm project. So what are we waiting for? The current Legislature is considering making changes to benefit solar. Please contact your state senator and representative to encourage them. We will all win. ~ Peter Garrett, Winslow
Letter: Relaxed mining regulations spell doom for environment
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 31, 2015 

A revised mining bill (L.D. 750) will soon come before the Legislature for a vote. Please contact your legislators and ask them to vote against this dangerous bill. This bill was crafted to favor J.D. Irving, Ltd., not to protect Maine’s environment. L.D. 750 as amended allows open-pit mining with tailings ponds for treatment and storage of waste. This is a 100-year-old high-risk technology that is a recipe for disaster in places like Maine where sulfide deposits occur. Maine’s clean water and other natural resources must be protected for future generations. ~ Dave Wood, Hallowell
Maine tribes want Congress to review state’s actions, take fresh look at settlement act
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

Maine tribal leaders are calling on Congress to take a fresh look at the 35-year old Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act to determine whether state officials are misinterpreting and misusing the agreement. A series of longstanding disputes between the state and tribes over issues ranging from water rights to gaming came to a head Tuesday, when the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes withdrew their representatives from the Maine Legislature. They cited concerns about state government’s apparent lack of respect for tribal sovereignty as the reason. It marks the first time in nearly two centuries that the tribes haven’t sent envoys to the Maine state government. The next day, tribal leaders called on Congress to start an inquiry into the settlement act and how Maine state officials have used it to argue their views in disputes over sovereignty, application of laws and authority.
Column: Deer are big business
Sun Journal - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

For more than 100 years Maine has been the deer hunter's destination spot for those who want to hunt big deer in the North Woods. Although a decline in deer numbers in Maine, especially in the big woods, has resulted in fewer nonresident deer hunters flocking to the Pine Tree State, deer hunting by residents and nonresidents alike is still big business. In 2013 deer hunters — 136,796 of them — generated a whopping infusion of 68 million dollars to the state's economy. For a lot of reasons — decreasing deer wintering habitat, predation, and harsh winters — Maine's northern woods aren't what they used to be, deer wise. But don't kid yourself. There are still trophy whitetails making scrape lines in the woods of northern Maine. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Bobcats on the loose in Scarborough
WGME-TV13 - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

People in the Spurwink Road neighborhood in Scarborough might want to be on the lookout after reports of not one, but two bobcats. A Scarborough couple, who say they caught the animals on camera, want to make sure anyone with small pets or children pays attention to what’s out there. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says bobcats are common in many parts of the state, but they are reclusive and rarely seen. [Ed: Bobcats are wild, not domestic, animals. Why wouldn't they be "on the loose"?
Editorial: LePage risks constitutional crisis
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

On Friday, Gov. Paul LePage threatened to veto all bills sponsored by Democrats until the Maine Legislature passes his plan to eliminate the state income tax. It is profoundly hypocritical of the governor to say voters should directly decide tax issues while he blatently ignores the overwhelming vote of the people of Maine by holding hostage voter-approved land conservation bonds. LePage's latest temper tantrum could trigger a constitutional crisis. The Maine Constitution says, "...Whenever for 6 months a Governor in office shall have been continuously unable to discharge the powers and duties of that office because of mental or physical disability such office shall be deemed vacant...." Gov. LePage has exhibited a pattern of behavior that arguably demonstrates he is, indeed, unable to discharge the powers and duties of the office.
Elver fishermen report ‘horrible’ season
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

The 2015 elver fishing season has come to a disappointing end, local fishermen say. “Horrible,” fisherman Abden Simmons described it. “I don’t think I’ve caught half of what my quota was.” “It was a really cold winter,” Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the Department of Marine Resources, said. “Cold weather does have a tendency to reduce the fishery and slow things down and make it so the elvers aren’t moving up into the rivers and streams.”
Fishing in Maine is free Sunday
Associated Press - Saturday, May 30, 2015 

Maine’s free fishing weekend is continuing Sunday. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says anyone can fish for free without a license on Maine’s waterways Sunday. The only exception is for those who have had their licenses suspended or revoked. Officials say typical rules, regulations and bag and possession limits still apply.
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