July 20, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Understanding and Preparing for Abrupt Climate Change, Feb 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 30, 2014 

Alder Stone Fuller has been teaching science at the college level since the 1970s but in the 1990s he realized that he needed to make a change. His concern is not for the future of the earth and mankind in the years to come but for what could happen right now in our lifetime, which he believes calls for action immediately and not just words and ideas. At Rockland Public Library, Feb 6, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Camden Conference.
What’s the Truth About Genetically Modified Foods? Feb 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 30, 2014 

No topic in agriculture is more polarizing or excites emotions like genetically modified foods. At the Belfast Free Library, Feb 6, 6:30-8 pm. Sponsored by Camden Conference.
The Memorials of Acadia, Feb 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 30, 2014 

Don Lenahan will give a presentation about the special little markers to be found throughout Acadia National Park. At Jesup Memorial Library, Feb 6, 10 am.
Who Gives a Dam? Feb 6
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 30, 2014 

Natural resource economist Lynne Lewis will talk about "When Environmental Economics and Economic Hydrology Collide." At Bates College, Lewiston, Pettengill G52, Feb 6, 4:45 pm.
February outdoor events
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 30, 2014 

A list, however incomplete, of Maine outdoor events in February compiled by Aislinn Sarnacki.
How Are Things Changing in Coastal Maine? Feb 5
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 26, 2014 

Esperanza Stancioff, UMaine Cooperative Extension and Maine Sea Grant, will focus on current research on how climate is changing, in what ways it might change in the future, and what sort of adaptation is under way. Feb 5, 6:30 pm. $5 donation suggested. Sponsored by Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association.
Nationwide Vigils to Protest Keystone XL, Feb 3
Action Alert - Saturday, January 25, 2014 

On the evening of Monday, February 3, citizens will come together around the country to make our voices heard to stop the Keystone XL oil pipeline. More than half a dozen vigils are planned in Maine:
• Auburn―5:30 p.m. at Festival Plaza
• Bangor―5:00 p.m. by the Bangor Public Library
• Belfast―5:00 p.m. on the bridge over the Passy
• Brunswick―5:00 p.m. on The Green on Main Street
• Portland―5:30 p.m. in Monument Square
• Waterville―4:15 p.m. at the intersection of Elm and Silver Streets
• York―6:00 p.m. at Market Square, Portsmouth, NH
Wind power, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 25, 2014 

Residents of Trescott and Edmunds, two of Maine’s Unorganized Territory communities included as “expedited permitting areas” for wind power development, are invited to a local meeting to discuss LD 616, which would restore UT residents’ rights to participate in public hearings on wind developments. At Cobscook Community Learning Center, Trescott, Feb. 1, 9:30 am.
Munson Island Ice Cutting Hike, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 25, 2014 

Join Maine Guide Dale Tobey for a guided snowshoe/ski/hike on West Grand Lake to Munson Island for the traditional ice harvest. Meet at the Grand Lake Stream Town Building to carpool, Feb 1, 9:30 am, weather dependent. Sponsored by Downeast Lakes Land Trust.
Tar Sands Exposed, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 25, 2014 

In the context of climate change, tar sands oil is a “carbon bomb” as destructive a force as any known to date, with the risk of literally making the planet uninhabitable. At UMaine, Orono, Wells conference center, Feb 1, 2 pm.
NRCM winter outing, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 25, 2014 

Join the Natural Resources Council of Maine for a morning of cross-country skiing and snowshoeing on groomed trails. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Feb 1, 10 am - 1 pm. RSVP NRCM.
Inter-Continental Day of Action, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Friday, January 24, 2014 

564 organizations have signed a letter opposing Fast Track for the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). This Friday (and into the weekend) is an international TPP Day of Action, during which people in 50 cities and towns across North America will be taking their message of opposition to back-room dealmaking into the streets.
Climate Reality, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Friday, January 24, 2014 

Sharon Tisher, a professor at the University of Maine in Orono, will speak about Climate Change. At Congregational Church in Cumberland, Jan 31, 6:30 pm.
Tar Sands Exposed, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Friday, January 24, 2014 

In the context of climate change, tar sands oil is a “carbon bomb” as destructive a force as any known to date, with the risk of literally making the planet uninhabitable. At University of Southern Maine, Portland, Jan 31, 7 pm, $10 suggested donation.
XC skiing in Acadia National Park, Jan 31-Feb 2
Event - Posted - Friday, January 24, 2014 

A weekend of outdoor activities in Acadia National Park. Stay in downtown Bar Harbor hotel and dine in local restaurants. Conditions permitting ski on the carriage trials; if not enough snow, hike or snowshoe on the hiking trails. Registration required. $111/person double room, $222/person single room. Jan 31-Feb 2. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
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News Items
George Smith and the Quest for a Most Favorite Fly
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

I made my first trip to our camp at Camp Phoenix on Memorial Day weekend of 1991. George came for his first weekend the following week. That gave me one week’s head start in discovering what fly might work on the lake at that time. George spent much time before his trip collecting what seemed to be every trout fly commercially available in the State of Maine. ~ Jim Hynson
With diners prizing Maine oysters, farming them booms along coast
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

The cold saltwater along Maine’s coast harbors a growing oyster industry that is riding the bivalves’ blossoming popularity and the state’s reputation for quality seafood. Experts predict that the industry, which had a record year in 2016, could triple in size within the next dozen years.
Opinion: Portland task force’s pesticide ordinance is full of loopholes
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Anyone who has followed the Portland City Council task force deliberations on a pesticide ordinance over the last year has to have been encouraged by the strong showing at a June 21 hearing. Residents testifying in favor of the most protective regulations – namely, the provisos of an ordinance enacted by South Portland last year – outnumbered by 5 to 1 supporters of the chemical industry-friendly draft ordinance from the Portland task force. The task force ordinance, which purports to be based on integrated pest management practices and to ban synthetic pesticides on public and private land, is replete with loopholes that allow insecticides, herbicides and fungicides to be used if “the pest population exceeds acceptable safety, economic or aesthetic threshold levels.” ~ Jody Spear, Portland Protectors
Opinion: Lawmakers should sustain Gov. LePage’s veto of solar bill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Legislators who want to move Maine’s energy policy forward should support Gov. LePage’s veto of L.D. 1504, An Act To Modernize Rates for Small-scale Distributed Generation. Despite the title’s promise, the bill locks in an outdated and expensive subsidy for the businesses that install private solar systems. It also unfairly shifts costs to everyone who pays an electric bill and delays opportunities for solar energy to make a more meaningful difference for Maine’s environment and economy. ~ Sara Burns, president and CEO, Central Maine Power
Letter: Plastic buoys a threat to ocean health
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

I first noticed the use of large plastic buoys in the early 2000s. Since then harbors have filled up with them and salmon pens are encircled by their bright yellow domes. Each one is stuffed with tiny pellets. Big, light, with excellent flotation, these buoys are a fine choice over the rusting metal buoys and inflatable rubber moorings that can be found wrenched off their traces, high ashore islands and bluffs. But they are not as tough as the ultraviolet rays that chew up plastic. Now they are falling apart, escaping their bonds and casting toxic pellets far and wide. Many of these buoys are on the verge of deterioration and present imminent danger to the health of the ocean and marine wildlife. ~ Charles A. Kniffen, Lubec
Popular viewpoint and orchards preserved in York County
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 17, 2017 

More than 240 acres of fields, apple orchards and forestland on Goat Hill in Acton will be permanently preserved for agriculture after Three Rivers Land Trust, Maine Farmland Trust, and the town worked together to protect it from future development. The hilltop, a favorite destination for residents of western York County, offers views of the ocean, lakes and Mount Washington. The orchards have produced apples for the wholesale market for 80 years.
Maine tourism industry says more foreign help better late than never
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 17, 2017 

The head of Maine’s trade group for hotels and restaurants praised a federal decision to allow more foreign workers into the country, but said it’s too late for much of the industry to recover its losses. Steve Hewins, head of the Maine Innkeepers Association and the Maine Restaurant Association, said the Trump Administration’s move “is definitely too late in the season for many business that will not be able to recover their earlier losses, but we are grateful that they finally heard our pleas and acted – even on this limited basis.”
Lobster Industry Grapples with Climate Change
Other - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Fisherman's Voice - Maine’s lobster fishery has sustained many local communities for well over 100 years, persisting when other fisheries have either declined or crashed. But some interesting times for the American lobster could be coming. What that means for the future in these uncertain times is unclear. That was the thought among Maine-based speakers at the 11th International Conference on Lobster Biology and Management, hosted in Portland from June 4-9.
Maine’s Pulp and Paper Industry
Other - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Fisherman's Voice - Maine’s papermaking industry expanded at a rapid pace and by 1890 Maine had 25 different operating paper mills. Today, Maine faces competition not only from other U.S. states and Canada, but also new mills in Europe that came online beginning in the 1980s and that trend continued into the 1990s. After that, Brazil and Chile, with their vast forests, began building new mills and these put a severe crimp on Maine’s share of the pie. Also, Asia is building new pulping facilities at a rapid rate. Many of Maine’s mills have had no option but to shutter their doors.
Federal officials order 15,000 new visas for low-wage seasonal workers
Washington Post - Monday, July 17, 2017 

The Department of Homeland Security on Monday announced a one-time increase of 15,000 additional visas for low-wage, seasonal workers for the remainder of this fiscal year, a seeming about-face from President Trump’s “Hire American” rhetoric, following heavy lobbying from the fisheries, hospitality and other industries that rely on temporary foreign workers. The increase represents a 45 percent bump from the number of H-2B visas normally issued for the second half of the fiscal year. The visas are for workers taking seasonal jobs in the seafood, tourism and other industries but not farm laborers. Representatives in Maine’s tourism industry have said thousands of applications have been held up in processing, leaving many coastal destinations short-handed this season.
Adorable mouse is to blame for the spread of Lyme disease
Washington Post - Monday, July 17, 2017 

White-footed mice — known for their wide eyes and ears, long tails and snow-white bellies and the feet from which they get their name — are often overlooked by humans, hiding out by the billions in U.S. forests, shrubby thickets and even wooded wetlands. But there’s one creature that knows them well: the tick. Scientists say white-footed mice, which are primary carriers of the Lyme bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi, are a highly popular host of black-legged ticks, which consequently makes them a key culprit in the spread of Lyme disease.
Maine campground takes ‘glamping’ to a new level
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Monday, July 17, 2017 

The new Sandy Pines Campground in Kennebunkport opened last month with the unveiling of 12 unique tents, designed by 12 different New England designers and stocked with bedding, mini fridges, bath amenities, heaters and fans. For people who aren’t sure they’re ready for the rusticities of camping, this is a step in that direction. Sort of. It’s “glamping” — or glamorous camping — in its finest form.
64 more Atlantic salmon reach Milford; Season total at 786
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Monday, July 17, 2017 

For nearly 40 years, biologists have counted the Atlantic salmon that return to the Penobscot River each year. Late last week, marine resource scientist Jason Valliere sent along some good news: Valliere said that 64 new salmon were caught at Milford last week, bringing the total yearly count to 786. Of those, 280 were grilse; the remainder were older, multi-sea-winter fish. And as of July 14, 42 of those multi-sea-winter fish and 223 of the grilse had been released upstream of Milford. Another highlight: The first shortnose sturgeon of the year was also caught at Milford. It was released back into the water downstream of the dam.
Fish Fight: Managers Say NJ Flounder Flap Harms Conservation
Associated Press - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Interstate fishing managers say a row with a Trump administration appointee over the regulation of flounder fishing off New Jersey jeopardizes conservation of marine species all along the East Coast. The flatfish in question is summer flounder, which is popular with sport fishermen and commercial fishermen from Maine to Florida. The regulatory Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission announced in June that it had found the state of New Jersey out of compliance with management of the fishery. But Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross needed to sign off on the ruling, and he instead reversed it. An Atlantic States spokeswoman says Ross's ruling is extremely rare and has the potential to soften the commission's regulatory authority.
'It's Raining Needles': Drug Crisis Creates Pollution Threat
National Public Radio - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Increasing numbers of discarded needles from drug users are turning up in cities and towns across the country, finding their way into rivers, parks and onto beaches. In Portland, Maine, officials have collected more than 700 needles so far this year, putting them on track to handily exceed the nearly 900 gathered in all of 2016.
Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners
National Public Radio - Monday, July 17, 2017 

They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction. Together these new and expanded pipelines — comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all — would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. But some scientists warn that the rush to more fully tap the rich Marcellus and Utica shales is bad for a dangerously warming planet, extending the country's fossil-fuel habit by half a century.
Why aren’t there salmon in Salmon Brook?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, July 17, 2017 

erhaps you are wondering why there are no salmon in Aroostook County’s Salmon Brook, a tributary of the Aroostook River which once sported lots and lots of Atlantic salmon. Well, wonder no more. Cast your line here, for two interesting articles about this issue, written by Lloyd Irland, a forestry consultant who lives in Wayne. From clear cuts to pollution to food processing plants to dams, the story is not a good one. And in the mid to late 1800s, tributaries were turned into sluiceways for logs, ruining fish spawning habitat. But a highly regarded fisheries biologist argues this can all be fixed.
Libra’s Piscataquis County revitalization plans include indoor sports complex
Bangor Daily News - Monday, July 17, 2017 

A nonprofit foundation is building a community recreation complex on West Main Street as part of its $10 million plan to revitalize Piscataquis County. The Libra Foundation plans to transform a former auto dealership into an indoor recreation facility with an attached ice rink, Libra Foundation CEO Craig Denekas said. The news comes after the foundation in October kicked off efforts to transform Monson, about 15 miles northwest, into an artists colony. The foundation’s goal in both towns: To turn Piscataquis, which the U.S. Census Bureau rated as Maine’s poorest county in 2015, into a center for tourism, recreation and agriculture.
Forest Bathing: A Retreat To Nature Can Boost Immunity And Mood
National Public Radio - Monday, July 17, 2017 

The aim of forest bathing is to slow down and become immersed in the natural environment. The practice began in Japan in the early 1990s. Now, forest bathing is starting to take off in the U.S. The Associations of Nature & Forest Therapy plans to train and certify about 250 new guides next year. The idea that spending time in nature is good for our health is not new. Most of human evolutionary history was spent in environments that lack buildings and walls. Our bodies have adapted to living in the natural world. But today most of us spend much of our life indoors, or at least tethered to devices. Perhaps the new forest bathing trend is a recognition that many of us need a little nudge to get back out there.
Opinion: Expanded deep-freezing facility would heat up local, state economy
Portland Press Herald - Monday, July 17, 2017 

I’ve witnessed the decline of groundfish landings at the Portland Fish Exchange, from 30 million pounds per year in the early 1990s to about 3 million pounds annually since 2015. Despite this steady decline, Portland seafood processors have been able to maintain production, sales and jobs by supplementing fresh fish with frozen fish. These processors not only use frozen seafood products but also create ready-to-prepare frozen lobster tails, lobster meat, fish fillets and minimally processed seafood that require a local, deep-freeze storage facility. They are forced to truck seafood to deep-freeze facilities in Massachusetts and back again to Maine. Western Promenade abutters say they do not support cold storage at the capacity proposed. But a smaller capacity is not economically viable. ~ Bert Jongerden, general manager, Portland Fish Exchange and harbor commissioner for the Port of Portland
Opinion: Bass clubs stewards of Maine lakes
Kennebec Journal - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Each year, almost 300 bass tournaments take place on Maine’s inland waters between April and November. Many bass clubs, such as the Man vs. Bass Maine Trail, not only run tournaments for club members, but also participate in programs for getting youth involved in fishing. According to the Man vs. Bass Maine Trail tournament director, Corey Vose, the club spends one week each year at the Bryant Pond 4-H camp, teaching kids how to fish and about being good stewards of the lakes. Many other bass clubs in Maine also donate their time to youth fishing and fishing tournaments for disabled veterans. ~ Toni Pied, Belgrade Regional Conservation Alliance
'Dirt Is Good': Why Kids Need Exposure To Germs
National Public Radio - Sunday, July 16, 2017 

Jack Gilbert is the co-author of a new book called "Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child's Developing Immune System." Presented in a Q&A format, the book seeks to answer many of the questions Gilbert has fielded from parents over the years.
Physically disabled persons praise, question access to Acadia
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, July 16, 2017 

During a recent visit to Acadia National Park, Shirley Beck, who has multiple sclerosis, said she was “very pleased” to find a paved path that allowed her to reach a viewing platform at the Cadillac Mountain summit with her light three-wheel electric scooter. Beck, who visited Acadia while traveling with her husband, Roy, on a cruise ship, said she was not able to get quite as full of an experience at another key Acadia landmark, Thunder Hole. An accessible ramp leads to the upper viewing area of Thunder Hole for physically disabled persons, but not down to the lower area next to the sea cavern itself.
Eves promises ‘a campaign of hope’ in gubernatorial run
Foster's Daily Democrat - Sunday, July 16, 2017 

Former House Speaker and gubernatorial candidate Mark Eves agrees he is in a crowded field of five Democrats running in next June’s primary, but he said it doesn’t faze him. Eves cites jobs, health care and the environment as three primary pillars of his platform.
Maine’s agricultural museums provide a glimpse of farming from long ago
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 16, 2017 

Farming isn’t an easy life, but in many ways today’s farmers have it better than the hardscrabble folks who settled this state a couple of centuries ago. Sometimes it’s good to glance in the rearview mirror to see how far we’ve come. Maine has several good agricultural museums that will let you do just that. Here’s a sampling.
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Art and Land Conservation Symposium
at Colby College, August 3-4

Frederic E. Church, 
Mount Katahdin from Millinocket Camp, 1895, 
Portland Museum of Art

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