June 24, 2017  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Native Plants in Context, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 28, 2013 

William Cullina, Director of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, will describe the importance of relationships in the natural world and answer the age-old question, "Why is gardening such hard work?" He will also describe a more sustainable way to garden and live. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, Mar 17, 2 pm. $10; proceeds benefit the Tom Settlemire Community Garden.
Maine: Breadbasket of New England, Mar 1
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 28, 2013 

Speakers: Tom Settlemire, director of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Local Farms/Local Food Initiative; Esther Lacognata, former director of the Bureau of Rural Resources in Maine; Alexander Petroff is a TED Senior Fellow specialist in rural development and President of Working Villages International; and Jim McCarthy, former editor of The Times Record and now lead writer for Mainebiz.
At Pilgrim House, Brunswick, March 1, 6 pm.
Smart Growth Mobility Forum - A Model for Maine, Mar 15
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

The Smart Growth Mobility Project is a plan for transportation policy aimed at implementing new strategies for future passenger rail and transit investments in targeted communities along railway transportation corridors. At Univ of Southern Maine, Wishcamper Center, Portland, Mar 15, 8-11 am. Sponsored by Maine Rail Transit Coalition, Maine Association of Realtors, Sierra Club Maine and US Rail Car.
Owl Walk, Mar 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

Local birder Paul Markson will guides you through the field and forest, listening and looking for Barred, Saw-whet and Great Horned Owls. At Hirundo Wildlife Refuge, Old Town, Mar 13, 6:30 pm.
East-West Corridor Community Forum, Mar 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 27, 2013 

A forum on the proposed East West Corridor will take place on March 13 at 5:30 pm in Calais.
Maine Master Naturalist Program, Mar 12
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 26, 2013 

Cloe Chun, co-founder of the Maine Master Naturalist Program, will describe the program and demonstrate some of the teaching techniques. MMNP trains individuals to actively care for Maine's natural environment, to teach natural history, and to be volunteer naturalists at nonprofits and schools throughout the state. At Fields Pond Audubon Nature Center, Holden, Mar 12, 7 pm.
Local Environmental Action conference, Mar 10
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

A sampling of the workshops: Getting Organics out of the Waste Stream; Coal and The Revenge of Carboniferous Era: Using a 17th Century Fuel in the 21st Century; What the Frack? Fact, Fiction, and Fracking; What's Coming Out of that Smokestack? Tips for Understanding, Measuring and Monitoring Air Pollution from Fossil Fuel Power Plants, Trash Incinerators, and More; Community Organizing Bootcamp. At Northeastern University, Boston, Mar 10.
Maine Outdoor Film Festival, Mar 9
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

Teens To Trails is partnering with the producers of the first annual Maine Outdoor Film Festival, No Umbrella Media and Three Rivers Whitewater, to sponsor the Maine Outdoor Film Festival to benefit teen Outing Club programs in Maine. At Windham High School, Mar 9, 7 pm.
Changing Oceans and the Future of the Gulf of Maine, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Monday, February 25, 2013 

The conference on "Changing Oceans and the Future of the Gulf of Maine: Solutions, Successes, and Sustainability" features keynote speaker Dr. Carl Safina and a host of other marine experts. At Colby College, Waterville, Mar 8. Free, but pre-registration requested. Presented by Colby Environmental Studies Program.
The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 24, 2013 

Andrew Barton, coauthor of "The Changing Nature of the Maine Woods," will talk about the ecology of the ever-changing Maine forest. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Mar 7, 6:30 pm. Cosponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, Cornerstones of Science, and The Nature Conservancy.
Hike, Soup, and Strings, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 24, 2013 

Hike the Torsey Pond Nature Preserve trails in Readfield, followed by light dinner and open mic at Olde Post Office Café in Mount Vernon. Hike Mar 3 at 3 pm, dinner at 5 pm.
East-West Corridor Community Forum, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 23, 2013 

A forum on the proposed East West Corridor will take place on March 2, 1-4 pm in Dexter.
Maine River Bird Survey, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 20, 2013 

Erynn Call of Maine will speak about the Maine River Bird Survey. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, Feb 27, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Area Bird Club.
East-West Highway Informational Meeting, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2013 

An East-West Highway informational meeting will be held at the Garland Grange, Feb 23 from 6-8 pm. An article for a moratorium ordinance concerning “private corridors” has been placed on the town warrant.
Family Fun Day at Aroostook State Park, Feb 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 16, 2013 

Mainers of all ages are invited to “Take It Outside” when Aroostook State Park will come alive with a wide variety of Winter Family Fun Day activities. In addition to tote rides, ice skating, nature walks and much more, the event will feature the ski and snowshoe trailer, providing free use of cross-county skis and snowshoes. Feb 23, 10 am - 3 pm, includes hot lunch.
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News Items
Letter: Monument support
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Our governor shouldn’t be able to take the great gift of the the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument away from everyone else just because he can’t appreciate the incredible beauty of this area. Let him stay away from the “mosquito area,” but don’t try to stop the rest of the world from going there. Thanks to the BDN’s guide to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument printed earlier this spring, some friends and I will be visiting both the south and north areas three times this summer. I’m hoping that a lot of people come to see this part of our state that has so much to offer those who do appreciate natural beauty. ~ Shirley Smith, Ellsworth
LGBT farmers find opportunity, adversity in rural Maine
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Things have changed profoundly and positively for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in Maine and the rest of the country. June is LGBT Pride Month, celebrated annually to honor the 1969 Stonewall Riots in New York City. The riots marked the beginning of the modern fight for LGBT rights in the United States. Less than a half-century later, the movement has taken root across the nation, making it possible for two married gay farmers in rural Waldo County to be more concerned with their crops than with their safety or acceptance in their community.
Acadia National Park committee suspension lifted by Interior Secretary
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Friday, June 23, 2017 

The Acadia National Park Advisory Commission is planning to resume meetings, following a sudden suspension of their meetings by the Trump administration in May. Ryan Zinke, the secretary of interior, had suspended the meetings of the Acadia commission and more than 200 other federal advisory committees to give his department time to review the “charter and charge” of the panels. In a press release Thursday, U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine announced that the Acadia National Park Advisory Commission will be able to resume its meetings after September 1st and can now begin communicating accordingly.
Caterpillars taking toll on trees in Cape Elizabeth, and crossing town lines
Portland Press Herald - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Todd Robbins, Cape Elizabeth's new tree warden raises alarm about winter moth caterpillars, while a state forest entomologist is optimistic that efforts to curb the insect's range will be successful. An aerial survey last year found 300 acres of oak mortality in Cape Elizabeth, an area encompassing 2,000 to 3,000 dead trees and the only place in Maine where winter moths are known to have killed trees, said Charlene Donahue, a state forest entomologist. Donahue said homeowners who suspect they have a winter moth infestation needn’t worry about their trees until they lose half of their foliage.
Letter: Clean energy voice drowned out by money
Kennebec Journal - Friday, June 23, 2017 

The Supreme Court passed Citizens United, and an ocean of anonymous money was allowed to overwhelm the democratic process. Ultra-libertarian billionaires heavily invested in fossil fuels, and hidden behind the Heritage Foundation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, have made sure that any Republican in office who backed a carbon tax or encouraged renewable energy would face a very well-resourced opponent. Fortunately, in Maine we have conscientious Republicans like Sen. Roger Katz and Rep. Matt Pouliot who have steadfastly supported reasonable solar energy legislation, and Sen. Tom Saviello who is sponsoring a bipartisan solar energy bill, L.D. 1504. Please tell your legislators to vote for L.D. 1504, and show the Koch brothers that our voices won’t be drowned out. ~ Melanie Lanctot, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, Readfield
Letter: Protect the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Friday, June 23, 2017 

Despite denunciations, President Barack Obama used the Antiquities Act to designate the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The region began to look for ways to capitalize on its new recreational destination and people began making capital investments and improvements where there had been none for many years. However, our governor decided that the revitalization of the depressed local economies should not be realized, so he contrived to get the monument on the list of those under review by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke. That Zinke sees no wisdom in reducing the size of the monument or removing ownership from the federal government is cause for exhaling — slightly. All of us should to continue to make our voices heard in support of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument heard. ~ Maj. Gen. Don Edwards, retired, Bristol
Regulators Ban Most Fishing Around Coral Canyons in Gulf of Maine
Maine Public - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Federal regulators decided Thursday to recommend barring most fishing around two deep-sea coral canyons off the coast of Maine — although they gave lobstermen an exemption. The coral canyons of Outer Schoodic Ridge and Mt. Desert Rock lie about 25 miles off Hancock County. Scientists and fishermen recognize their ecological value, and fisheries regulators want to protect them from damage. At a Portland meeting, the New England Fisheries Management Council voted to bar most fishing in those areas, but made an exception for lobstering.
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.”
Maine Kayaker Swam to Island After Being Hit By Wave
Maine Public - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The Coast Guard says a kayaker who was knocked out of his boat by a wave in the ocean south of Milbridge Wednesday morning was found safe on Thursday after a search for him had been suspended. The Coast Guard says that Cerezo was able to swim to a nearby island with his kayak, get back into it, and paddle over to Petit Manan, from where he had set out.
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.
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