March 20, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

American Meat, Feb 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 31, 2015 

American Meat begins by presenting the history of the current industrial meat production system through the eyes of farmers who live and work there, and moves to a presentation of alternative models of rotational grazing and local distribution. Finally asking the question, Can this new model feed us all? Local grass farmer Joe Grady and private investor Paul Skydell will lead a discussion following the film. At Minnie Brown Center, Bath, Feb 7, 3 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham and Kennebec Estuary Land Trusts.
Sunrise Trail Cross County Ski Tour, Feb 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 31, 2015 

4 mile and 8 mile options.
Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail History, Feb 6
Event - Posted - Friday, January 30, 2015 

Paul Johnson, a member of Maine Woods Forever, will discuss the Thoreau-Wabanaki Trail, a traditional Wabanaki canoe route in Maine’s Kennebec and Penobscot River drainages over which Henry David Thoreau traveled in his three excursions into the Maine Woods, his last two with Penobscot Indian guides. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, Feb 6, 4:30 pm, $5.
Announcement - Saturday, January 24, 2015 

WinterKids helps children develop healthy lifelong havits through fun, outdoor winter activities. See the schedule of upcoming events.
A Wild Wish
Action Alert - Sunday, January 18, 2015 

This year, for my twenty-second birthday, I would like to raise $2,200 for the Northeast Wolf Coalition (NEWC). This alliance of conservation organizations and scientific advisers recognizes the ecological, economical and ethical reasons for potential wolf recovery in the Northeast. My hopes are that NEWC can use this money to fund research, public education, and outreach programs focused on the value of wolves and other large carnivores. ~ Melissa Dinino
Woodlot Management Adult Education Course, Feb-Mar
Announcement - Saturday, January 17, 2015 

The information and contacts you gain from this free course will help you make decisions on how to sustainably manage your woodlot. At Bangor High School, Feb-March, Monday evenings, 6-8 pm. Registration required. Sponsored by Penobscot County Soil and Water Conservation District and Prentiss & Carlisle.
David Brower's Fight for Wild America, Feb 4
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

A film and discussion about the issues raised by Brower's life and work. At Skidompha Library, Damariscotta, Feb 4, 2 pm.
Behind the scenes on the Appalachian Trail, Feb 3
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

Claire Polfus, Conservation Resources Manager for the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, will share a peek "behind the scenes on the A.T." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Feb 3, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Transmission in the Northeast Conference, Feb 2-3
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

This conference will address challenges to the integration of economic renewable resources, the siting of transmission reliability projects and opening up access in the Northeast United States to resources in Eastern Canada. At Boston, MA, Feb 2-3. Attorneys and industry executives $1145; government employees $765; students, people in their job less than a year, and public interest NGO's $572.
Viles Arboretum 11th Annual Super Bowl Sunday Table Tour, Feb 1
Event - Posted - Friday, January 16, 2015 

Trails open at 11 am and trail food will be served till 1 pm. Desserts, coffee and hot beverages will be served until 2 pm. Participants get to indulge in some of the best culinary delights available from restaurants and food providers in and around our Capital City. $25 (members $22.50), 12 and under $5, no charge for toddlers. Sponsored by Viles Arboretum, Augusta.
Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership
Announcement - Thursday, January 15, 2015 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to apply for a leadership program that includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park. Participants backpack from one end of the Park to the other, working with a variety of specialists and Park staff to understand the wilderness through science, art, storytelling, photography, writing, history, and recreation. Application deadline is Feb 8.
Diary of a River: Solargraphs of the Kennebec River
Announcement - Thursday, January 15, 2015 

Johanna Moore produced images between the summer and winter solstices of the sun as it crossed the sky. She built 120 pinhole cameras and set them out along the Kennebec River and several of its tributaries, from historic sites to river dams, from Indian Pond to Phippsburg. Exhibit at USM, Glickman Library, 5th Floor, Portland, Jan 22-May 22; opening reception Jan 22, 6 pm; artist conversation April 9, 6 pm.
Birds of Gujarat, India, Jan 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Mike Waters and Cathie Murray will speak about “Birds of Gujarat” in western India. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, Jan 28, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
Students Present: Cathance Preserve Field Studies, Jan 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Students will present their field studies of the Cathance Preserve. At Topsham Public Library, Jan 27, 6:30 - 8 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance (CREA).
Organic Fertilizers, Supplements & Compost, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 14, 2015 

Master Gardener Linton Studdiford will discuss organic soil management techniques, composting, organic supplement products, soil testing. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, Jan 25, 2-3:03 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Conference to tackle ‘future of land conservation in Maine’
Mainebiz - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, is using the 35th anniversary of its annual Maine Land Conservation Conference this week to explore a different format and dig into some themes in more depth. MCHT President Tim Glidden said he expects nearly 400 of the state's land conservation leaders to gather on Thursday at the Samoset Resort in Rockport as part of a two-day conference designed to explore the future of land conservation in Maine.
LePage Blasts Committee Over Written Request For Timber Harvesting Information
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee sent a letter last week seeking answers to 26 questions about the sale of wood harvested from public lands and asking for some very specific information on sales to some mills. The governor sent a blistering letter in response to the committee denying any improprieties, and appeared before the committee personally to denounce some of its members.
LePage veto survives House, killing Bar Harbor port authority bill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have given Bar Harbor voters permission to form a port authority. The House’s 81-63 vote on Tuesday in support of LD 1400 lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override LePage’s veto. As they have consistently done during the 128th Legislature, House Republicans stood by the Republican governor.
All-Electric Bus Takes A Spin Around Portland
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

An all-electric bus drove around downtown Portland at lunchtime Tuesday. The Greater Portland Metro Bus system and the Shuttlebus-Zoom bus system serving Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach are considering ordering a few with funding from a federal grant.
Opinion: The Trump budget is a threat to Maine’s environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts are a direct threat to Maine’s environmental resources, economy and the public health of our residents. The president proposed dramatic cuts to nearly every agency working to protect the environment, particularly funding for renewable energy and environmental science programs focused on climate change and air pollution research. Here in Maine, we would lose about $4 million per year from cuts to the multipurpose and brownfield grants alone. Other programs that benefit Maine such as the Environmental Education Grants Program, Wells National Estuary Program and the UMaine Sea Grant Program would be eliminated in the proposed budget. ~ Shri A. Verrill, habitat restoration manager, Downeast Salmon Federation, Surry; and Dr. Irit Altman, marine ecologist, Portland
Ski: Hadlock Loop in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Hadlock Loop is one of several cross-country skiing routes in Acadia National Park. Measuring 4.2 miles round trip from the Brown Mountain Parking Area, the route passes near the eastern shore of Upper Hadlock Pond, then climbs gradually and travels along the lower elevations of Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak and Penobscot Mountain. Along the way, the route crosses over three beautiful stone bridges, the last of which gives a great view of Hadlock Falls.
Maine receives $11.5 Million for Sportsmen & Conservation
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

U.S. Department of the Interior - Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $11,574,458 in funding to Maine to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds have been distributed to U.S. states and territories. Maine apportionments include $3,519,175 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $8,055,283 in Wildlife Restoration funds.
Regulators vote to launch investigation of CMP’s billing, metering systems
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it would launch a formal investigation into Central Maine Power’s billing and metering systems following customer complaints about skyrocketing bills and poor quality service. PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy and Commissioners R. Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis agreed to start a “technical forensic audit” to look expressly at metering and billing issues that have arisen over the past several months.
Coastal tour highlights risks of BP's plans to offshore drill Nova Scotia
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Today kicks off the start of a 3 day, hard hitting coastal tour on the risks of offshore drilling Nova Scotia. The Council of Canadians is coordinating this tour because Minister McKenna recently approved BP—the same company behind the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 8 years ago—to drill up to 7 exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia. They are planning to drilling up to twice the depth of the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, significantly increasing the risks of the project. Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist, energy analyst and author of "Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill," Antonia recently wrote: “As Nova Scotia residents and elected officials review both BP’s plans and the Canadian government’s ability to regulate them, it may be helpful to consider the view from your closest U.S. neighbours, who, barely one month ago, expressed virulent opposition to just such drilling in their own waters..."
Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. David Koorits of Kittery, Brian Threlkeld of Portland and Greg Bell of Gray completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter.
Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation
National Public Radio - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That's half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Meanwhile other wildlife-centered activities, like birdwatching, hiking and photography, are rapidly growing, as American society and attitudes towards wildlife change. The shift is being welcomed by some who morally oppose the sport, but it's also leading to a crisis. State wildlife agencies and the country's wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding.
Southern Maine bus services consider cleaning up their act with electric vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Greater Portland Metro and ShuttleBus-Zoom may come together to bring the first electric-powered buses to Maine. The two bus systems are considering whether to jointly apply for state and federal grants to replace up to a half-dozen aging diesel buses in their fleets with electric ones. Electric buses are more expensive to buy than diesel but run cheaper, cleaner and more quietly.
Foundation that tried to buy Saddleback is still meeting in case deal crumbles
Associated Press - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The foundation that once raised money to buy the idle Saddleback ski area is working to position itself in the event a deal with the current purchaser falls through. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation’s board said Monday that Wolfe Tone has replaced Peter Stein, who stepped down recently. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is not actively engaged in negotiations with the mountain’s owner. But the foundation continues to meet regularly.
Subsidized wood-to-energy firm fell far short on wood purchases, state says
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

One of two firms getting millions in taxpayer dollars to generate electricity from Maine wood purchased less than half of the wood it promised and fell short on other investment goals, according to a state report. Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission suggested in a report issued Friday that the three-member regulatory body reduce a subsidy payment to the company Stored Solar by 20 percent, to a little more than $1.2 million in taxpayer funds. That’s about $320,000 less than Stored Solar requested under a state bailout program for two companies that burn low-grade wood to generate electricity.
Madison farmer whose cow was fatally shot reopens snowmobile trail
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

A local farmer has agreed to reopen a portion of a snowmobile trail on his land that he closed last month after one of his pregnant Angus cows was shot and killed, he believes, from the trail. The cow killer has yet to be identified. Clayton Tibbetts apparently has relented.
Mitchell family donates $100,000 to Waterville riverwalk to honor deceased family members
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, his sister Barbara Mitchell Atkins, brother John Mitchell, and their families are donating $100,000 to help build a $1.5 million riverwalk at Head of Falls on the Kennebec River where the siblings lived in their youth. The city plans to name the future gazebo in the park for the Mitchells, who are donating the funds to honor George, Barbara and John’s siblings, the late Robert and Paul Mitchell, as well as their parents, George and Mary Mitchell.
Did Maine Rep Janice Cooper Attempt to Besmirch Maine Citizens at LD 1810 Public Hearing?
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, March 19, 2018 

On March 18, at a public hearing on LD 1810, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development, Chris O'Neil, on behalf of the citizen-funded 501c3 nonprofit organization Friends of Maine's Mountains, gave testimony which called for "repealing the Wind Act ten years and countless disappointing results after it was hastily enacted." In response, state representative Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth) had only one question: “What are your funding sources?” Ms. Cooper's question was asked to perhaps create an impression that Mr. O'Neil was simply up there at the behest of the oil and gas industries. She was not interested in asking anything about the FMM testimony and no one else at the hearing was asked who gave them money. This is what happens when good citizens are scoffed at, ridiculed and besmirched by those who take the oath of office to represent them.
Norway moving forward to get LED streetlights
Sun Journal - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The Board of Selectmen has voted to have Town Manager Dennis Lajoie write to RealTerm Energy advising that officials want to move forward with switching to LED streetlights. RealTerm Energy specializes in LED conversions for municipalities. Among its projects are conversions in Wells, Biddeford, South Portland, Falmouth, Rockland and Mount Desert.
Opinion: Central Maine Power transmission line project raises red flags
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Central Maine Power is engaged in a major public relations effort to convince Maine people that its 145-mile transmission line project, which would cut a new 53-mile swath through Maine’s scenic North Woods to bring Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts through our state, is good for Maine people and Maine’s environment. New Hampshire regulators recently turned down a similar proposal because of the harm it would do. So the question is: why should Maine accept a line like the one New Hampshire just rejected? Gov. LePage has vowed to ram the project through Maine’s DEP. If we want to send renewable power across Maine to Boston, a far better alternative would be to build farms of offshore wind turbines. ~ Ernie Hilton, Starks selectman and former Maine Board of Environmental Protection chair, and Adam Lee, Lee Auto Malls owner
Letter: Trump budget cuts make food insecurity worse
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Food insecurity is an issue, especially for seniors, children under 18 years and adults with disabilities, who make up almost 66 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in this country, as well as for the 58 percent of working-age, non-disabled adult SNAP recipients who work while getting SNAP, earning wages below living costs. By cutting off access to affordable, nutritious food for an estimated 4 million in-need Americans who have been oppressed by our federal government, further restrictions on SNAP could ultimately kill them. The Trump administration is using SNAP budget slashes as a way of saving money for other careless spending. ~ Ashley Kulesza, Lewiston
Letter: Install monument signs
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When my husband and I moved to Medway in 2016 to become the owners of a small business in the tourism sector (Pinegrove Campground and Cottages), the timing was right: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument had recently been established. Since the monument’s designation, many of our customers have asked me about it and have been interested in exploring it themselves. What can we do to ensure these visitors have a positive experience? Let’s start with getting signs to the monument installed on Interstate 95 and on routes 11, 157 and 159. It’s so unfortunate to hear from customers who couldn’t find the monument and had to turn around when they didn’t know where to go. This doesn’t need to happen. ~ Kate Deshler, Medway
Letter: Local farmers care about neighbors
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When I buy food products from local farmers, I know how it is grown, raised and handled. I know the famers. We talk, and I learn. The product is consumed by the growers and their families and friends. Our local farmers don’t poison their families and neighbors. When I read the March 10 BDN article on food sovereignty, what I was reminded of was all the industrial meat and poultry recalls from supermarkets and food poisonings at fast food restaurants. Supermarket food comes from all over the world, processed by strangers who have no interest in our community. I don’t need government bureaucrats to tell me where to obtain my food, or how it ought to be produced. ~ Peter Nelson, Brooksville
Editorial: How much can Paul LaPage waste?
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

According to a new review by The Associated Press, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has hired outside legal representation that has cost at least $110,000 just since last fall, raising his total expenditures on frivolous lawsuits to more than half a million dollars over the past four years. LePage seems determined to squander not only the public trust, but the public piggybank, before he stumbles off into the sunset next year. What a waste.
Nor’easters give New England ski resorts late season powder blast
Associated Press - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Back-to-back nor’easters that have pounded New England have given ski resorts a late-season blast of their life’s blood, luring skiers and snowboarders to the slopes, and allowing smaller ski areas that rely on natural snow to stay open. From Vermont to Maine, skiers and riders were cheering the mounds of snow.
Live trapping is one way to deal with freeloading rodents
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

The current two-year tally at Nancy Donovan’s home is, Donovans: 95, Squirrels: 0. Nancy Donovan and her husband, Daniel, have been actively trapping and releasing the gray squirrels around their Presque Isle home since 2016 in an effort to keep the fluffy-tailed rodents from cleaning out their bird feeders. Nancy Donovan said, “We started keeping count to see how many of the little buggers we were going to get.” Turned out, an impressive amount. They caught 55 in 2016 and another 40 last year, all subsequently released a mile or two from their house.
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