March 23, 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.
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.
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.
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
11 Ways the EPA Has Helped Americans
Free Press - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

The budget proposal Donald Trump’s administration announced last week will slash the Environmental Protection Agency’s funding by nearly a third, crippling an agency that has played a key — but often unnoticed — role in American life for nearly a half-century. The main target of the president’s ire seems to be the agency’s programs that address climate change. Here is a look back at some of what the EPA has accomplished over the last 46 years since Richard Nixon signed an executive order in 1970 bringing the agency into existence. These successes were, almost unanimously, won despite the strenuous and well-financed objections of recalcitrant polluters, and are, almost unanimously, now taken for granted.
Maine bill aims to protect climate deniers
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

A Republican lawmaker in Maine wants to protect the rights of people who reject the science of climate change. In a recently introduced bill, state Rep. Larry Lockman includes provisions that would prevent discrimination against people based on political views — including their "climate change policy preferences." Lockman, who has previously dressed up as a vampire to speak out against the IRS, said the bill would also protect the free speech of climate change supporters.
Maine Rep. Lawrence Lockman’s decades-long history of extremism
Mike Tipping's Tipping Point Blog - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Representative Lawrence Lockman has a consistent history of words and actions on rape, AIDS, taxes, education and gay and lesbian Mainers that should prompt us all, especially the voters who elected him, to have some significant concerns about his role as a legislator and public figure. At the very least, his history of extremism should be kept in mind when evaluating his current actions as a lawmaker.
U.S. Global Change program plugging ahead amid uncertainty
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Scientists with the U.S. Global Change Research Program are continuing to work under a cloud of uncertainty after the Trump administration revealed its so-called skinny budget. The program is in charge of putting together a report on the impacts of climate change in the United States every four years as per the 1990 Global Change Research Act, and the next one is due in 2018. However, after the Trump budget suggested cuts to the scientific community that are both vast and unspecific, the future of the program seems uncertain.
Maine fishermen see warning signs in lobster surge
Forecaster - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

After Maine’s lobster industry set sales records for a second straight year, area fishermen are enjoying the boom while the water is warm. Literally. Rising sea temperatures are benefiting Maine’s iconic crustacean, leading to an increase in population while other marine species, such as soft-shell crabs, have suffered a decline, according to fishermen who spoke at a March 16 Maine Coast Fishermen’s Association panel. But the factors for today’s success may portend tomorrow’s economic and cultural disaster, according to some area fishermen.
For true Mainers, canoe racing season starts even if there’s still snow
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Over the past 38 years, Dale Cross has become accustomed to taking frequent trips to the St. George River in March, and keeping a close eye on long-range weather forecasts. Cross is the race director of the state’s first two whitewater canoe races of the season. And if the St. George is still clothed in its winter coat come the third week of March, Cross begins to get a bit nervous. The St. George is the first race of the annual Maine Canoe and Kayak Racing Organization’s series, and begins at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Former EPA staffers decry 'draconian' budget cuts
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

A coalition of former U.S. EPA staffers yesterday unveiled a scathing analysis of President Trump's proposed budget, calling cuts to the agency "draconian" and "a full-throttle attack" on environmental laws. The report by the Environmental Protection Network is based on an assessment of the "skinny" budget Trump released last week as well as an earlier leaked internal Office of Management and Budget "passback," which provided much more detail on specific proposed cuts. Overall, the White House aims to reduce EPA spending by 31 percent. That, the authors argue, would limit the agency's ability to protect environment and public health.
Maine searches for opportunities in offshore wind power
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s opposition to the cost of renewable energy has stalled Maine’s chances of developing an offshore wind power industry. But this month, his acting energy director went to England to learn about the economic development and government policies around offshore wind that are creating thousands of jobs and attracting billions of dollars in investment. Angela Monroe said that while offshore wind would still be more expensive than other energy sources for Maine, wind farms planned off the coast of Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island and other states could hold promise for Maine companies.
Bangor needs $63 million to keep wastewater from spilling into Penobscot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Bangor’s sewer rates may soon rise to help fund nearly $63 million in projects during the next 15 years to stop wastewater spillage into the Penobscot River and Kenduskeag Stream. The first major project outlined in a city plan to meet a federal mandate under the Clean Water Act is an estimated $22 million installation of a 3.8 million gallon wastewater storage tank along the waterfront behind Tim Hortons. It’s the first of several projects the city agreed to complete by 2032 in a 2015 consent decree with the U.S. Department of Justice, which was acting on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Letter: Let Maine’s development always be within reason
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

I must be the voice of reason on state mining regulations. The Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee all but guarantees siding with the touchy-feely crowd. We need work in Maine. Whether it was the east-west highway and pipelines or the Bald Mountain mining project in Aroostook County referred to in the article, certain people want “their” georesources intact yet have no compunction about their homes (built with natural resources), their computers and their automobiles. But it doesn’t matter where any project is located in Maine when it comes to bulldozers. Do you think our beloved Maine Turnpike would have been allowed to be constructed today? ~ Bill Capistran, Kennebunkport
Letter: Support North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is stimulating economic growth in a region that needs it, protecting wildlife habitat and recreation and putting rural, northern Maine on the world’s radar. Our congressional representatives should fully support it. I’m deeply troubled to think the president may be considering pulling the rug out from under rural Maine. But what troubles me more is the idea that my elected representative, Bruce Poliquin, is not going to bat for this huge boon to the Katahdin region and rural Maine. ~ Debbie Gilmer, Orono
Brunswick enacts ban on single-use plastic shopping bags
Forecaster - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Town Council voted 8-1 Monday to ban single-use plastic bags from most town retailers starting Sept. 1. The plastic bag ban passed with little discussion. Councilor Dan Harris said, “We’ve been up and down on this issue,” he said, referring to past lengthy discussion about whether to encourage reduced consumption of single-use plastic bags with a fee, or to ban them outright. Most councilors ultimately supported the ban because it would reduce the impact on the environment. Included were those like Councilor Sarah Brayman, who also campaigned for a penalty on single-use paper bags.
LePage Says He Didn’t Sign $13 Million Biomass Bailout (He Did)
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage claimed Wednesday that he did not sign a bill last year that diverted over $13 million to several ailing biomass facilities, though he actually did. LePage signed the proposal in April of last year. The governor has repeatedly lamented its passage, but he has also said that bailing out biomass energy plants was the only way to preserve the logging jobs that depend on the plants. LePage also said that he plans to testify before Congress on legislation that deals with the president’s abilities to create national monuments. The governor has opposed the Katahdin Woods and Waters monument created by President Barack Obama last year. He has since asked President Donald Trump to rescind the designation.
White House slams door on carbon tax
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Trump administration is not considering a carbon tax, an official said after a White House press briefing yesterday in which press secretary Sean Spicer declined to rule it out. Interest in the administration's stance on the issue has persisted while a lively debate is reportedly taking place within the West Wing over President Trump's economic agenda and various parties aim to influence the result.
Dip in temps may mean sap won’t just go with the flow
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Warmer days, freezing nights. The sap is running – sporadically – just in time for Maine Maple Sunday, following a topsy-turvy stretch of winter weather that’s enabled sap to flow a little earlier than usual, only to be halted at times by late-season chills. This weekend Maine will celebrate the 34th annual Maine Maple Sunday, held every year on the fourth Sunday of March.
Biomass firm asked to explain financial status after loggers say they were not paid
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Regulators have asked a company that’s receiving state subsidies for operating biomass plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro to explain why loggers supplying the plants report not being paid in more than a month. On Wednesday afternoon, the lead staff attorney for the Maine Public Utilities Commission sent a letter to Stored Solar partner Bill Harrington asking for “an immediate update on the operational and financial status of the West Enfield and Jonesboro facilities and the status of any payment obligation to suppliers, contractors or employees.” Stored Solar has received $426,000 in subsidies for electricity generated in January and February, according to regulatory filings.
Alligators make a splash, but invasive species pose greater risk in Maine
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The discovery of five alligators in a taxi attracted a lot of attention in Augusta Tuesday, but such exotic animals pose relatively little risk in Maine compared with other invasive species. Greater threats to Maine’s woods and waterways are species such as the green crab, the emerald ash borer and the northern pike. However diminutive those species might look next to an alligator, they actually can survive here. Alligators, on the other hand, could not survive the winters in Maine.
The Republican War on Critters
Sierra Club - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Since the inauguration, the Trump administration and Republicans on Capitol Hill have pushed several ideas that would put wildlife, including endangered species, at greater risk. The most wantonly (and weirdly) cruel initiative would repeal restrictions on carnivore hunting in wildlife refuges in Alaska, which belong to all Americans. Maine's U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R) and Angus King (I) both voted to kill a rule that protects wildlife, including baby animals, in the national wildlife refuges.
Topsham tour to explain timber-harvesting plan
Forecaster - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The town’s Tree Committee will host a site walk Saturday, March 25, for residents to learn about an upcoming harvest of timber on town-owned property. The 9 a.m. walk at the Topsham Solid Waste Facility, 97 Townsend Way, will be guided by Paul Larrivee, a licensed state forester. The walk will cover both the forested and harvested areas. Light selective thinning of about 75 acres began earlier this month, so the public will be able to see both the work that has taken place, and get an idea of what will occur.
Loggers Say They Haven’t Been Paid By Biomass Company Since Last Month
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Last year Maine lawmakers and Gov. Paul LePage authorized state utility regulators to award biomass electricity companies more than $13 million to boost payments for power generated in Maine. The goal was to assist Maine’s beleaguered forest products industry in the wake of multiple mill closures. But Dana Doran, executive director of the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine, says Stored Solar, which operates plants in Enfield and Jonesboro, hasn’t paid many logging contractors in a month or more. Stored Solar has already received more than $400,000 in taxpayer subsidies this year.
Could Mattis and Tillerson buddy up on warming?
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Secretary of Defense James Mattis broke from the Trump administration's usual line in written statements made public for the first time last week in which he addressed the threat that climate change poses to national security. It is probably not likely that Mattis' work will give him much policy overlap with EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, who angered environmental groups this month when he questioned the scientific consensus about carbon dioxide's effect on climate change in a CNBC interview.
Documentaries highlight climate security risks
E&E/Greenwire - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Filmmakers who believe in action against climate change are using documentaries about global warming national security risks to reach skeptics about the issue. "Tidewater" is about how sea-level rise affects national security. "The Age of Consequences" focuses on how climate change is a catalyst of global instability, which the military must then respond to.
Trump's next target: The Clean Power Plan
Natural Resources Defense Council - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Next on President Trump's list of anti-environment rollbacks: The climate-saving Clean Power Plan. Trump is preparing to sign a devastating executive order directing the EPA to begin dismantling this landmark plan — President Obama's signature initiative to cut carbon pollution from dirty, coal-fired power plants and expand clean energy in the U.S.
Federal regulators put an end to turbulent season in northern Gulf of Maine scallop fishery
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Federal fisheries authorities are closing the scallop fishery in the northern Gulf of Maine at one minute after midnight Thursday after a contentious 22-day season that pitted the interests of part-time small boat fishermen from Maine against large, full-time scallop operators. Regulators announced the closure Wednesday after small boat fishermen — many of them Maine lobstermen operating with 40- to 45-foot boats — met their annual quota of 70,000 pounds.
Trump budget eliminates agency that brought $5M to rural Maine
Mainebiz - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

The Northern Border Regional Commission, a federal-state agency that has provided $5.4 million in funding to rural Maine projects since 2010, is targeted for elimination in President Trump's proposed budget.
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