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
Column: Wildlife Action Plan protects Maine's diversity
Seacoast Online - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

Maine’s Wildlife Action Plan, created in 2005, focuses on voluntary measures that can assist many of the state’s most vulnerable species. It highlights natural area conservation efforts, and sets the course for the future of wildlife conservation in Maine. Since 2005, Maine has received close to $8 million in federal funding and accomplished more than 50 research, management and conservation projects. Wildlife Action Plans must be updated every 10 years; Maine’s next revised plan is due Oct. 1, 2015. ~ Wayne Hooper
Balsam fir Christmas wreaths is a Maine tradition alive and well
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

For centuries, societies from Christians to pagans and everyone inbetween have hung wreaths. And their popularity has only grown over the years, becoming synonymous with the Christmas season. “It’s tradition [and] symbolic of peace and goodwill,” said David Whitney of Whitney Wreath. “For a lot of people, it’s the smell of balsam that really does it."
Opinion: Giving thanks to the grandfather of Maine beekeeping on his 90th birthday
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

At the age of 19, Harold, who lived on Prospect Street in Brewer, ordered his first beehive from Sears, Roebuck and Co. Harold grew his bee and honey business, eventually running more than 1,000 beehives. The honey business grew so much he had to bring honey in from other beekeepers. He kept four employees busy looking after bees or bottling 200,000 pounds of honey per year. This Thanksgiving, I will be giving thanks for the effect Harold Swan has had on me and on beekeeping in Maine. ~ Peter Cowin, aka The Bee Whisperer
A fruit for all seasons: Act two at Backyard Farms
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

Every week between 350,000 and 400,000 pounds of tomatoes leave Backyard Farm’s greenhouses in Madison, headed to stores like Hannaford, Shaw’s and Market Baskets in New England and Gourmet Garages or restaurants in New York. None spends more than 12 hours on the road and none travels farther than Maryland, where Backyard Farms has one customer.
Summit Project ensures gratitude to late veterans is set in stone
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

Last year, David Cote, a Marine major stationed with the Pentagon, created The Summit Project, a hiking challenge that calls able hikers to honor deceased Mainers who served in the military. The project calls participants to choose a stone donated by the family of a deceased soldier. The volunteers learn that soldier’s life story, carry the stone up a mountain and then share that story at the summit. The stones are housed at the Military Entrance Processing Center in Portland. They are returned after each hike. Jeff Hutchins, of Leeds, climbed Cadillac Mountain with Summit Project participants last weekend. Hutchins came to Acadia National Park to honor his son, Cpl. Andrew Hutchins, who was killed on Nov. 8, 2010, in Afghanistan. Jeff Hutchins said the tough three-hour ascent was more than a physical test over ice ledges and boulders. It was a pilgrimage.
A tribute to Army Sgt. Nathan Stewart of Portland
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

I joined The Summit Project hike on Nov. 22 at Acadia National Park to do a story on this effort. I found myself stopping a third of the way up Dorr Mountain and telling the group I felt I needed a stone. Em Malone of Boston, a veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard and The Summit Project, had brought two. She reached into her pack and handed me Army Sgt. Nathan Stewart’s stone. Em told me Nathan’s life story as we hiked so that I could honor him appropriately at the summit of Cadillac Mountain, and I felt a small connection with the soldier I was honoring. His stone came from Acadia, a place he loved and visited often. And the park was my first introduction to Maine’s magical outdoor landscape 19 years ago. Four years later I would begin a career as an outdoor journalist in Maine that’s lasted 15 years and counting. So the beauty of Acadia has personal meaning for me, as it did for Nathan. ~ Deirdre Fleming
Often idle, a Rumford power plant offers lessons
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

There’s a modern, efficient power plant in an industrial park here that can generate enough electricity to serve roughly 250,000 homes. It’s well maintained and ready to run 96 percent of the year. But over the past 12 months, Rumford Power was online only 30 percent of the time, including periods last winter when demand during a record cold spell strained the region’s electric grid. What’s happening in Rumford sheds light on the complexities of power generation and the natural gas market, and the challenges involved in expanding the flow of gas into Maine — a move that has the potential to reduce energy costs for thousands of homeowners and businesses.
Column: Black powder for a last shot at whitetails
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

The statewide deer season for muzzleloaders starts Monday and runs through Thursday. Muzzle-loading offers quite a bonus to folks who didn’t shoot a whitetail in November’s regular firearms hunt, particularly since the later season comes with more of a certainty of winter weather that offers deer hunters three advantages: Dropping temperatures to get deer moving; tracking proves much easier in snow cover; and deer show up better against the white background. ~ Ken Allen
Column: Whiskeag Trail is 5 miles of ‘signature achievement’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

One of the longest hiking routes along the coast of Maine can be found within the densely populated boundaries of Bath. There the Whiskeag Trail traverses three conservation preserves and several municipally owned properties on its five-mile journey through the wooded outskirts of town, much of it along Whiskeag Creek. The trail is a project of Bath Trails, itself a collaboration of the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust, the city of Bath, Healthy Maine Partnerships, local schools, mountain bikers, landowners and citizens. ~ Carey Kish
Column: On behalf of all winter sports enthusiasts, thanks a plenty
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

It’s time to give thanks to the ways Maine blesses those of us who ski and snowboard. I’m thankful for the diehard skiers who push Maine’s mountains to open in November and even October. I’m thankful that so many Maine resorts are investing in their future. I’m also thankful that Maine’s resorts have developed an environmental conscience. I could go on. I’m thankful that the Maine Ski Hall of Fame and Ski Museum of Maine preserve Maine’s heritage, and that companies like Lucid Skis and Volition Skis are bringing back the tradition of Maine ski manufacturing. I’m thankful gracious athletes like Seth Wescott have put Maine in the national spotlight. ~ Josh Christie
Column: In from the Saskatchewan cold, with a trophy buck
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

The big buck stepped out of the brush, its sight sending a jolt of adrenaline through my body. Fighting desperately to compose myself I slowly unzipped my Heater Body Suit and reached for the Patriot. I had the gun up and nearly out the window of my blind when the deer melted back into cover. Then the buck did something that deer never do. He turned around. It was as if fate had caught itself sleeping and upon realizing its mistake, steered the buck back my way. This time I was ready. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: Threatened lynx caught in a trap
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 30, 2014 

Canada Lynx are a federally threatened species in Maine because of their small population. Maine is the only state in the east with a population of lynx, so we have a responsibility to do all we can to help them. A new ruling by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, however, puts lynx at risk of being harmed when caught in traps that are set for other, non-threatened wildlife. The “incidental take permit,” or ITP, to allow accidental capture of lynx by trappers falls short of the agency’s mandate to protect the species. USFWS will allow up to 195 lynx to be captured over the 15-year term of the permit. Given how little is being asked of trappers to minimize their impacts on lynx, this first-in-the nation approval of an incidental take permit for lynx sets a troubling precedent. Some wildlife advocates are planning to sue over the take permit. But does Maine really need any more conflict over wildlife management? IFW has the opportunity to go beyond the minimum requirements in the ITP. ~ Charles F. Gauvin, Maine Audubon
Column: Early returns on the deer harvest
Sun Journal - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

The November deer season has come and gone. Hard to believe. Those still waiting to fill the freezer have a week to two weeks to close the deal (depending upon which wildlife management area you choose to hunt). What kind of a deer season was it? Before the season started, Kyle Ravanna, the state deer research leader, went out on a limb and predicted that this fall's deer harvest would be about 25,750, or 20 percent more than last year's deer harvest. This is good, but a far cry from the halcyon days of Maine deer hunting, when the annual deer kill invariably exceeded 30,000. My wholly unscientific guess is that the overall harvest will be less than Ravanna's projection. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Maine hunting season for bears and moose ends Saturday
Associated Press - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Maine’s annual hunting seasons for bears and moose are coming to an end for the year. Saturday marks the end of the hunting season for both animals. It is legal to hunt moose in six of the state’s 29 wildlife management districts. The end of the bear season does not allow the use of bait, dogs, or traps to hunt the animals. Those methods will again be available for limited use in 2015 because voters rejected a ballot initiative that sought to ban them in November. Saturday is also the last day of the year to hunt deer with firearms. The firearms season for deer is followed by a muzzleloader season that begins on Monday. An expanded archery season for deer also extends into December.
Longest-serving Maine lawmaker back for 24th term
Associated Press - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

John Martin, who once ruled the Statehouse with an iron fist, will be sworn in alongside 150 other newly elected House members next week. He wants to make another push to overhaul the state's mining regulations to facilitate mining operations in northern Maine.
Spanish pledge raises climate fund close to $10 billion goal
Reuters - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

A Spanish pledge of 120 million euros ($150 million) to a fund to help poor nations cope with global warming has raised the total close to the $10 billion U.N. target before a U.N. meeting in Peru next week to work on a climate deal. The Green Climate Fund said on Friday that pledges now totalled $9.7 billion from 22 nations, just shy of the U.N. goal but well short of $15 billion demanded by developing nations for a first capitalisation.
Editorial: Lead alternatives: Given toxicity, should the metal be in ammunition?
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

At least 14,000 tons of lead are introduced into the environment every year by U.S. hunters and anglers, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This not only poses a risk to wildlife, especially scavengers such as eagles, but also to humans who eat deer, moose and other game. Given the health risks of lead — to animals and humans — using alternatives could be an easy personal choice. As a matter of state policy, the move away from lead is worth serious consideration.
Suitors to bid Monday on Great Northern Paper mill
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Bidders for the shuttered Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket are set to put forward their best offers Monday morning before a Tuesday hearing to determine a buyer for the bankrupt mill. Conversion to paperboard production was just one of many possibilities, according to the bankruptcy trustee in the case, who last week said that of 12 potential buyers, four are interested in restarting the mill. The sale is assured to move ahead for about $2.9 million to the firm GNP Acquisition, formed by the president of the auction and appraisal firm Capital Recovery Group. If a higher bidder does not come along for the mill, it’s not clear whether GNP Acquisition plans to operate it, resell it or scrap it.
Time outdoors reduces kids’ risk for eye problems
Washington Post - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

It’s long been thought kids are more at risk of nearsightedness, or myopia, if they spend hours and hours in front of computer screens or fiddling with tiny hand-held electronic devices. Not true, scientists say. Research suggests that children who are genetically predisposed to the visual deficit can improve their chances of avoiding eyeglasses just by stepping outside. Sunshine — specifically, the natural light of outdoors — is all they need, and 14 hours a week of outdoor light should do it. Why this is the case is not exactly clear.
Letter: Land use
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

I have lots of friends and family who hunt, and I do not wish to deprive them of their activities, but hunters who do not ask permission to use your land and put you at risk ruin it for the other hunters. We used to allow hunters who asked us to hunt on our land, but recently as we were going out to gather wood on our own land, we saw a car parked in one of our driveways with the driver in orange. I drove over and advised her that we owned the land, and we did not want hunters. She lied to me and told me she was just sitting in her car and would move. What she did not say was she was driving for a hunter in the woods. ~ Mary Ryan, Frankfort
Letter: Get the lead out
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

The co-directors of the wild bird rehabilitation center Avian Haven have made it abundantly clear that Maine can do more to prevent deadly lead poisonings among our land and water birds. The mature female eagle, which had a tragic and poignantly described death reported by the BDN on Nov. 13, was just one of several eagles to have arrived at Avian Haven after ingesting lead from hunters’ ammunition. Once they ingest lead, all birds, whether predator or scavenger, begin the battle to stay alive. Loons still succumb to another source of lead poisoning — lead fishing weights. ~ Beth Henderson, Belfast
Letter: Wind power a needless extra cost
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, November 29, 2014 

Data from the top 10 wind power states show that from 2008-2013 electricity prices rose an average of 20.7 percent, which is seven-fold higher than the national average of merely 2.8 percent. Federal and state taxpayer subsidies to wind power producers hide the additional cost of wind power. After tremendous start-up costs, operational wind farms employ few workers. More jobs are created in the conventional power industry even while electricity production costs go down. And unlike wind power jobs, nearly all U.S. power plant manufacturing and operational jobs go to American workers. Wind power is needlessly raising living cost, reducing living standards, and destroying American jobs. ~ Richard Harris, Fairfield
Mid Coast Hospital adds compost to environmentally friendly practices
Times Record - Friday, November 28, 2014 

Boosting its environmentally friendly practices at the start of this month, Mid Coast Hospital began a composting program that reduces the amount of garbage disposed of into the waste stream, while supplying nutrient rich soil for gardening and landscaping. In effort to reduce waste, the hospital’s Food and Nutrition Services team has been monitoring food production and usage for more than two years. The kitchen staff has learned new food preparation techniques, uses state-of the art software to track ordering, weighs food waste, and tracks excess food amounts.
Battle rages over Rangeley fishing between bait and fly fishermen
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 28, 2014 

Here’s another fascinating lesson from the past, as related by Richard Judd in his book Common Lands, Common People, published by Harvard University Press in 1997. This one is about a debate over inland fishing. "Typical was a dispute over Maine’s Rangeley Lakes. For generations local inhabitants had come down to the shores during the late summer to take fish, which provided an important food supplement during the busy harvest season. When branch railroads reached the lakes in the 1880s, city anglers began crowding these locals at the good fishing spots."
Caribou continues to struggle with cleanup problems at former Birds Eye site
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 28, 2014 

Citing the state’s dangerous building statute, Caribou’s City Council enacted cleanup guidelines for the former Birds Eye site in August and property owner Steven R. Nasiff of the Massachusetts-based Nasiff Land LLC was ordered to remove the dilapidated structures and remediate environmental concerns. With the last remaining deadline for completion of those cleanup orders on Friday — the others long since missed — the site remained an eyesore on the corner of Fort Street and Presque Isle Road.
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