June 22, 2017  
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Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Summer on a River: Maine’s Allagash Wilderness Waterway, Feb 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 31, 2017 

Photojournalist Michael Perry of Dreams Unlimited will talk about the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. At USM, Lewiston, February 6, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Baldpate hike, Feb 5
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 29, 2017 

Snowshoe 8 miles roundtrip for experienced winter hikers to the west and east peaks of Baldpate Mtn. from Grafton Notch, February 5. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Bald Pate Mt. snowshoe, Feb 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 28, 2017 

A relatively easy mountain hike on Bald Pate Mountain with options for a steeper climb to the top or a gentler ascent, February 4. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Feb 3-5
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 28, 2017 

The Great Maine Outdoor Weekend is a series of events led by outdoor oriented organizations and companies to celebrate the how, where, and what of being active outside in Maine. February 3-5, 2017.
Rally to oppose Scott Puritt nomination to EPA, Feb 2
Action Alert - Thursday, January 26, 2017 

At Senator Susan Collins office, 1 Canal Plaza, Portland, February 2, 10 am - noon. Co-organized by Environment Maine, 350 Maine, Sierra Club, Food and Water Watch, Maine People's Alliance, Maine Students for Climate Justice.
The A.T. in Maine, Feb 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 26, 2017 

Hear about behind-the-scenes work to protect the scenic integrity and hiker experience along the Appalachian Trail in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Feb 2, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Our Parks, Our Future, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

David Evans Shaw, founder of Idexx Laboratories; Shawn Gorman, Chairman of L.L. Bean; and Lucas St. Clair of Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. and The Quimby Family Foundation will speak about their transformational investments in national parks the last year, and the significance of national parks to the future of our state and nation. At University of Southern Maine, Abromson Center, Portland, January 31, 5-7 pm.
Adventures of a Conservation Geneticist, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

Chris Brinegar, UMF adjunct associate professor in the natural sciences, will explain in lay terms how the story of a threatened species’ past is written in its DNA and how that information can be used to increase its chances of survival into the future. At University of Maine at Farmingtion, January 31, 6 pm.
CREA research projects, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

Presentations by local students about the treasures of the Cathance River Preserve. At Topsham Library, January 31, 6 pm.
Permaculture, Jan 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

Jesse Watson, Midcoast Permaculture Design, & Board President, Permaculture Association of the Northeast, will present an introduction to permaculture. At St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Brunswick, January 29, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Burnt Mt. winter hike, Jan 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

A mid-winter, 6-mile hike to the 3595' summit of Burnt Mountain with outstanding views of Sugarloaf, Abraham, Crockers, and Bigelows. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Community Conservation, Jan 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 19, 2017 

This film explores the efforts of several Maine land trusts to make conserved land available to all members of the community. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, January 26, 7 pm, $5. Sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust and Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Searching Science – Tide Pools, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 

Using this interactive traveling display, participants will dip their hands into the three zones of Maine’s rocky intertidal ecosystem and touch some of the ocean’s most magnificent species. At Patten Library, Bath, January 25, 4 pm.
Senators: Stop Scott Pruitt and Rex Tillerson
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Secretary of State nominee and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is weakening because people are standing up and demanding Senators ask tough questions. Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is a fossil fuel industry puppet. He led a secret alliance with oil companies against climate action, gutted the agency responsible for oil oversight in Oklahoma and fully denies that climate change is real. A vote for Rex Tillerson or Scott Pruitt is a vote for climate denial. Maine's U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins hasn't made her position clear, and will be one of the crucial deciding votes. ~ 350.org
Association of Consulting Foresters, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

The Association of Consulting Foresters will tour the Advanced Structures and Composite Center at the Univertisty of Maine at Orono, January 24, 3 pm. Re-assemble at 5 pm at the Plumb Creek Room in Nutting Hall to meet with forestry students.
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News Items
Column: Look up, listen and enjoy the amazing chimney swift
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Years ago, right at sunset, I marveled at a huge cloud of swifts disappearing down the chimney at the consolidated school in Greenville. It looked like a swirling vortex of smoke being sucked back down the chimney. That’s a phenomenon that is less likely these days. Chimney swift populations have declined by 75 percent since studies began in the 1960s. Many large chimneys have been demolished and small chimneys are usually capped. In the woods, forestry operations have curtailed the number of standing dead trees. ~ Bob Duchesne
Lobstermen win concession to fish in coral protection zone
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The New England Fisheries Management Council adopted a plan Thursday to protect fragile, slow-growing coral gardens near Mount Desert Rock and Outer Schoodic Ridge. Under this plan, only the lobster fleet could continue to fish there. Department of Marine Resources Commissioner Pat Keliher called the coral protection plan a good compromise. “We want to protect corals, but we know you can do it and not hurt our most valuable fishery,” said Keliher. “Lobstermen don’t want to bother corals because that stuff tears up their gear. So if you’re limiting it to lobstering, the corals should be safe.”
Former Clinton campaign staffer and Brunswick grad to host advocacy training
Times Record - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Brunswick High School graduate Pearson Cost has returned to Maine to intern with the Maine Conservation Voters following a post with the Hillary Clinton campaign in Virginia. Cost, a political science major at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, will be leading a resistance training in Brunswick at Curtis Memorial Library this evening at 6 p.m.
Dead fish cleanup cost: $1,800
Times Record - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The cost of cleaning up decaying pogie fish littering nearly four miles of shoreline in Brunswick is estimated at $1,800, said Town Manager John Eldridge on Wednesday. Clean Harbors, a Massachusetts-based environmental cleanup company, has been hired to use a special vacuum to remove the remaining fish along parts of the shore. Eldridge said the entire affected area will not be cleaned. The cost is $300 an hour, and the town has decided to use the service for six hours, Eldridge said. A large volunteer effort cleared away a lot of the fish that washed up in the marsh grass. The Department of Marine Resources said it has no plans to assist in the cleanup.
Rep. Poliquin seeks rule exemptions for eastern Maine dam in danger of abandonment
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

In a letter, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, R-2nd District, is urging the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to exempt the Forest City Dam on the St. Croix River from regulations that could force its manager to abandon it. He says if the dam is abandoned, water levels on the river and in East Grand Lake would have a deleterious effect on housing and fisheries that contribute to the area’s economy. [Conservationists argue that restoring natural river flows allows alewives to return to their ancestral habitat.]
Special 2017 Legislative Wrap-up Report
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Out of the 1,640 bills introduced this year in the Maine Legislature, we’ve kept close tabs on more than 100 that could affect Maine’s environment. The Legislature has completed action on nearly all of these. The big exception is the solar bill (LD 1504), which passed the Senate on Tuesday, received an initial positive vote in the House yesterday, and now awaits further votes in the House and Senate in the next few days. Lawmakers also will need to vote on the solar bill again in July, after a certain veto by the governor. Here are summaries of what’s happened so far. ~ Pete Didisheim, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Tear down a land posting sign and you’ll lose your hunting and fishing license
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The landowner relations program at the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife got a major boost this year. LD 1391 nearly tripled the program’s funding, recognizing that this program is critically important to all of us who enjoy recreating on private land. In addition, the legislature enacted a bill that revokes the hunting and fishing licenses of anyone convicted of “destroying, tearing down, defacing or otherwise damaging property posting signs.” Do that, and you lose your hunting and fishing license for one year from the date of the conviction.
Trump Administration slashing federal jobs
Washington Post - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke told lawmakers Wednesday that he plans to shrink his department’s workforce by 4,000 employees as part of budget cuts to downsize the government’s largest public lands agency. Interior spokeswoman Heather Swift declined to provide details on the workforce cuts or timing. The Environmental Protection Agency plans to shed more than 1,200 employees by early September. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has pledged to cut a total of 3,200 positions. Trump’s proposed budget could eliminate “about 1,000 jobs” at the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.
A Beautiful Equation: From Science Comes Art
Free Press - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Science follows a plodding and predictable process, using building blocks of knowledge to structure a theory in full light of day, then inviting others to knock it down with more data. Artists follow a more subjective path, interpreting emotions or putting current culture into a form that can be shared. But who’s to say which is more powerful? At their best, both share a common root: the creative spark that leads to the edge of the known world. Increasingly, scholars now see the two not as ideological foes, but partners. That is what motivated Molly Schauffler, the Science Program coordinator at the UMaine Hutchinson Center, to suggest an exhibit of the photographs, drawings, and watercolors of scientists from the University of Maine Climate Change Institute who work at the edges of the world.
Opinion: This is the one climate solution that’s best for the environment and for business
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord has induced a fateful pessimism about what can be expected of the country on this critical issue. Yet our long experience in Washington has taught us that the transition from the inconceivable to the inevitable can sometimes be very rapid. On Tuesday, the Climate Leadership Council announced its founding members, a group of companies, opinion leaders and nongovernmental organizations who have joined forces to promote a consensus climate solution based on carbon dividends. ~ George Shultz and Lawrence Summers, The Washington Post
Editorial: Solar bill would let Maine 
grow clean energy jobs
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Advances in solar power technology have brought down prices, putting photovoltaic panels in financial reach of millions of homeowners as well as small and medium-size businesses. There are opportunities for utility-scale solar projects. It’s not happening in the oil fields. And it’s not really happening in Maine, either, because political division has kept the state from modernizing its regulations. Lawmakers on the fence will have to decide: Is Maine going to be able to take part in the new energy boom, or will our politics force us to keep sitting on the sidelines, where all we can do is watch?
Letter: LePage’s action on ‘nips’ shows his small-minded, vengeful nature
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Reading Gov. LePage’s decision to attempt to delist sales of miniature “nips” bottles of liquor in Maine, I have concluded that the man is a complete phony. After years of the governor telling us all that the Legislature is “playing games”; after endless declarations of how the governor is the only one who is trying to bring jobs to the state; after huge levels of vitriol directed at all our representatives for supposedly not doing what is right, the governor chooses to financially damage a solid Maine company and possibly cause dozens of people to lose their jobs because he could not get his way. Gov. LePage, who claims to be above petty politics, turns out to be the most small-minded, vengeful and vindictive of men. ~ John Schaberg, Portland
Opinion: Our National Monuments Are in Danger
Other - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Sojourners - Connecting with the land can broaden our view of the world and expand our hearts for each other and for God. As such, the recent order by President Donald Trump that calls for a review of national monuments established under the Antiquities Act could disconnect us from each other and the land itself. The Trump administration is reviewing lands that have already been placed in public trust and tell unique cultural stories. Our national monuments are special places in creation and need protection. We must keep national monuments intact and oppose any provisions that would undermine or give away America’s public lands. ~ Chuck Tooley
Speakers at hearing urge Portland councilors to ban pesticides but differ on best approach
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

More than two dozen people voiced support on Wednesday for banning the use of pesticides in Portland, but they split over whether to back a measure adopted by South Portland or one drafted by a city task force.
Lewiston to get $3.4 million to address lead hazard in housing
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lewiston will get $3.4 million in federal funding to help address lead hazards in housing for low-income families. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins announced the two grants Wednesday. She said $3 million will come from a lead hazard reduction demonstration grant and $400,000 is from the Healthy Homes supplemental funding program.
Extra visas could ease Maine tourism industry’s labor shortage
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The Department of Homeland Security will offer extra visas for temporary seasonal workers, a move that could help the Maine hospitality industry find workers for jobs it is struggling to fill this summer. Steve Hewins, director of the Maine Innkeepers Association said the news is positive, but its impact on Maine is unclear. Maine businesses are waiting on roughly 2,000 visas to be approved.
Bill To Halt New Solar Rules Could Face Veto
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

A bill to halt new Maine solar regulations so far lacks the support needed to survive the Gov. Paul LePage's veto. The Maine House voted 90-54 Wednesday on Republican Sen. Thomas Saviello's bill. State utility regulators released solar billing rules this year that drew criticism from solar proponents and skeptics such as LePage. The Maine Public Utilities Commission said it would maintain current rules for existing solar customers for 15 years while reducing certain bill credits over time. Saviello's bill would give regulators several years to come up with a new billing system. The bill would also allow more customers to participate in a solar array. LePage supports a market-based credit system for solar energy.
Solar bill gets initial approval in House, but it lacks votes to survive veto
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

House lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill that delays new solar energy “net metering” rules and directs utility regulators to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the controversial policy. But supporters failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to overcome an all-but-guaranteed veto from Gov. Paul LePage, once again casting doubt over solar policy in Maine. Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said, “A vote in favor of L.D. 1504, which would overturn the PUC’s terrible anti-solar rule, should be a no-brainer for lawmakers looking out for their constituents."
Construction of solar project on South Portland’s capped landfill to start in July
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Construction of a solar array on South Portland’s capped landfill is expected to start in July after the City Council approved final adjustments to the power purchase agreement Monday. Portland-based ReVision Energy will install 2,944 photovoltaic panels on the 34-acre former landfill, which is behind the solid-waste transfer station and the public services facility that’s being built at 929 Highland Ave.
Maine Forest Service warns about holiday fire safety
Maine Government News - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The Maine Forest Service is cautioning towns and residents against using third-party, non-sanctioned online burn permit systems after at least two fires occurred this spring. According to MFS, the fires likely would not have resulted if the officially sanctioned state online burn permit system had been used instead of that of a third party.
Rep. Pingree recognized for sustainable food advocacy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, a longtime organic farmer in Maine, has been chosen as one of six recipients of this year’s James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. The awards recognize people from diverse backgrounds who promote sustainable food systems.
Exxon, Shell, and BP support a Republican plan to do something about climate change
Climate Progress - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

A group of major businesses, including Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and fossil fuel giants ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell, announced Tuesday they have joined a Republican-led council that proposes to put a $40 tax on carbon emissions.
Opinion: I hope Zinke’s visit showed him the importance of the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s recent visit to Maine to see firsthand our majestic landscapes is a good exercise of his role of chief steward of our nation’s national parks and monuments. But contemplating reduction or elimination of our public land is not. The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is one of 27 protected public land sites under scrutiny by the Trump administration. Earlier this month, I joined nearly 260 park service professionals in signing a letter to Protect America’s National Parks. We came together to advocate for the importance of protecting parks and public lands and to emphasize the role the Antiquities Act has played in building that legacy for present and future generations. ~ Sheridan Steele, retired superintendent, Acadia National Park
Fresh from the farm: Maine takes lead in ‘food sovereignty’ movement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill into law that affirms the rights of cities and towns to regulate local food production, making Maine the second state in the nation to allow consumers to buy directly from farmers and food producers regardless of the state and federal licensing and inspections that would otherwise apply. With the passage of the law, Maine becomes a leader in the so-called food sovereignty movement that promotes freedom of food choice for consumers who are willing to forgo some food safety regulations.
Column: Climate change is good, right?
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The warming climate is a good thing, right? Those of us who shunned swimming in the cold Maine ocean water can now do so in warmer water. A bunch of Maine fish, clams, shrimp, and other critters are going, going, gone, but we can still get some of them from aquaculture facilities. A lot of annoying critters will be disappearing from the northern forest, including moose. But hey, we’ll still be able to see and hunt them in Canada. Snake lovers will be pleased when rattlers and pythons arrive. Some of the plants we grow will disappear, but there will be new plants. OK, I’m kidding about all of the good things brought our way by climate change. As the news about our changing climate gets worse, and our president withdraws from the Paris Accord and vows to restore the ailing coal industry, we all need to step up and do everything we can to fix this problem. I only hope we are not too late. ~ George Smith
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