June 20, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Allagash Tails, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Learn about the Allagash, Maine's Wild River, with Tim Caverly, author of "Allagash Tails.” At Stratton Elementary School, March 7, 12:30 pm.
Oil and gas drilling public meeting, Mar 7
Action Alert - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has rescheduled meetings for the public to weigh in on Trump’s five-year oil and gas drilling plan. At Augusta Civic Center, open-house format, drop in anytime, March 7, 3-7 pm.
Clearing the Air about Air Pollution, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Steve Norton, Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at UMaine, will discuss what soil surveys, lake and peat sediments can reveal about climate change. At Belfast Library, March 7, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Sears Island.
Offshore Drilling public meetings, Mar 7
Action Alert - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

The Trump Administration wants to open nearly all coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, including the coast of Maine.
• Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting at Augusta Civic Center, March 7, 3-7 pm. Arrive at any time.
• Environmental news conference at Augusta Civic Center, March 7, 2 pm, followed by environmental public hearing.
• Submit written comments to BOEM before March 9.
Mushrooms at Home, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Mike McNally, mushroom enthusiast and member of the Maine Mycological Association, will speak about many types of mushrooms you can grow at home with very little effort. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 7, 6:30 pm
Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Presentation on backcountry skiing and avalanche safety with Al Mandell of Acadia Mountain Guides. At Patagonia Outlet, Freeport, March 7, 6:30 pm.
Biodiversity in Maine, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Learn about biodiversity in Maine, why it matters for people and wildlife, and how it is threatened locally by invasive plants and animals. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, March 7, 5:30 pm.
Edible Insects, Mar 6
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Bill Broadbent of Entosense will discuss how they make bugs tasty for humans and how you can start to diversify your diet. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, March 6, 6:30 pm.
Environmental Career Fair, Mar 6
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

At Unity College, Unity, March 6.
Allagash Tails, Mar 6
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 27, 2018 

Learn about the Allagash, Maine's Wild River, with Tim Caverly, author of "Allagash Tails.” At The Highlands, Topsham, March 6, 2 pm.
Help restore native fish in the Sheepscot River and the Gulf of Maine
Action Alert - Monday, February 26, 2018 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been blocking native migratory fish—including alewives and endangered Atlantic salmon—from Sheepscot Pond for 40 years. Now, the governor has ordered IFW to continue to block the fishway. Urge your legislators to vote Ought-to-Pass on LD 922. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Allagash Tails, Mar 5
Event - Posted - Monday, February 26, 2018 

Learn about the Allagash, Maine's Wild River, with Tim Caverly, author of "Allagash Tails.” At Maranacook Adult Ed, Readfield, March 5, 9:30 am.
Camden Wings Leopold, Mar 4
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Christine Parrish, Jim Campbell, Lois Anne and friends will do an interactive reading of Aldo Leopold’s essays on woodcock, bird behavior and wilderness, with a few dramatic turns to keep it lively. At Camden Public Library, March 4, 2-3 pm.
Lincolnville Reads Leopold, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Community members will read from their favorite Aldo Leopold essays and tell short personal stories related to them, punctuated by music and poems. Bring the right shoes for a nature walk. At Lincolnville Community Library, March 3, 2-4 pm.
Learn about Invasive Forest Pests, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Hilda Ellis of the Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and Colleen Teerling of the Maine Forest Service will discuss invasive forest pests that are here in Maine - hemlock woolly adelgid, winter moth, and browntail moth - as well as emerald ash borer and Asian longhorned beetle, which are next door in MA and NH. At Merryspring Nature Center, Camden, March 3, 10 am - noon.
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News Items
Old Town mill takes another step toward reopening
Sun Journal - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

The Old Town mill inches a bit closer to reopening last week, with the announcement that crews accepted the first batch of wood chips needed to restart operations at the mill. The mill has been closed since 2015, when former owner Expera abruptly shuttered its doors. Last October 15, however, the property was bought by ND Paper LLC, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong. Nine Dragons Paper is China’s largest producer of containerboard, which most commonly is used in making cardboard boxe.
Important environmental issues at the legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Here’s the latest legislative report from Maine Conservation Voters.
To boost recycling, Bangor residents may soon throw bottles and cans into the trash
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

The days of Bangor residents separating their milk jugs, Moxie cans, Pottery Barn catalogues and other recyclables from the trash could be coming to an end. City staff have recommended that Bangor move away from its current program of having residents leave their recyclables out for curbside pick up every other week. Beginning in September, residents would mix — or “comingle” — all their trash and recycling into the same loads that they drop at the curb every week under the proposed changes. Those loads would then go to a new waste processing facility in Hampden, which has been designed to automatically divert any paper, plastic, organic material and other recyclable materials out of the waste stream.
Backing lobstermen, Rep. Golden seeks to withhold funds for right whale protections
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine’s 2nd District congressman, introduced an amendment to a pending appropriations bill that would block controversial right whale regulations requiring Maine’s $485 million a year industry to cut the number of buoy lines in the Gulf of Maine by 50 percent to prevent fatal fishing gear entanglements. Golden and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, a co-sponsor of Golden’s amendment, question NOAA’s decision to use a data tool that has not been subjected to the review of independent, third-party scientists to quantify the estimated risk to right whales. Environmentalists were especially concerned that this effort was being led by Democrats.
Somerset County residents ask commissioners to vote again on CMP corridor support
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Residents frustrated with Somerset County commissioners’ support of a controversial power line project asked the commission to vote again on their support Wednesday. Opponents of the project recently accused Commissioner Lloyd Trafton of a conflict of interest for his role serving on the board of directors for Western Mountains & Rivers Corp., a nonprofit formed to oversee the spending of $22 million in mitigation dollars from Central Maine Power, the project developer, in exchange for support. Newell Graf, chairman of the county commissioners, said in response that “the (attorney general) looked at this and said there’s nothing to it as far as Commissioner Trafton is concerned. The AG’s office and the county both said there is no conflict.”
Sonny Perdue reverses Jobs Corps closures amid backlash from Congress
POLITICO - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

The Trump administration, under heavy pressure from Congress, will withdraw plans to end a U.S. Forest Service program that trains underprivileged youth. The Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers trains low-income young people to to become first responders to natural disasters, to work on rural infrastructure projects, and to maintain national forests. The administration’s reversal on its shuttering the centers comes after significant pushback from lawmakers of both parties and also from the union that represents USDA Forest Service employees.
EPA defies climate warnings, gives coal plants a reprieve
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Despite scientists’ increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants in a move it predicted would revitalize America’s sagging coal industry. Despite Trump’s repeated false claims that America’s air is the cleanest it’s ever been, there were 15 percent more days with unhealthful air both last year and the year before than on average from 2013 through 2016.
Maine agriculture takes center stage at Waterville forum
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Jenni Tilton-Flood left Maine to “feed the world,” but soon returned when she realized that what she really wanted was to feed her corner of that world.
Golden, Pingree Try To Stop Federal Rules That Would Limit Amount Of Rope Lobstermen Can Use
Maine Public - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Maine Congressman Jared Golden and Congresswoman Chellie Pingree are trying to block funding for federal rules that would force Maine lobstermen to take half of their gear-rope out of the water. The issue is part of the debate over how best to protect the endangered North Atlantic right whale against potentially deadly entanglement. The U.S. House is expected to vote on Golden's amendment and the appropriations bill it would attach to by the end of this week.
Maine Poised for Big Boost in Clean Energy
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Bipartisan majorities in the Maine Senate and House have given final approval to a historic solar energy bill that would give residents, businesses, and towns more opportunities to invest in affordable solar power. LD 1711 is awaiting the signature of Governor Janet Mills, who has signaled she intends to sign it into law after campaigning on the need for more solar power in Maine. The solar bill, combined with a bill that will expand the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 80% by 2030 and sets a goal of 100% renewable by 2050, represents the most significant renewable energy action in more than eight years. Previous versions of the solar bill had been passed by the Legislature but vetoed by former Governor Paul LePage, who was also a vocal opponent of the RPS.
Neighbors push back against proposed 14-lot Richmond subdivision
Times Record - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

People living close to a proposed 14-lot housing development off Route 201 in Richmond are pushing back, saying they’re worriedabout overcrowding and that their wells might dry up. About 18 acres are slated for development, another 17 acres is to be left as open space or a common area.
Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Stalled efforts to test a floating wind farm off the Maine coast got back on track Wednesday after Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed legislation directing the Public Utilities Commission to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind wind project in the United States. Mills also announced two collaborative efforts to put the state back in the game for offshore wind energy research. Mills’ predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage (R), opposed wind development.
Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Clean-energy supporters are celebrating the pending passage of two bills that they see as catalysts to advance a new wave of renewable power development in Maine. The first, L.D. 1494, will update Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires increased production of electricity from sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydro. The RPS bill aims to double the percentage of renewable power sold in the state to 80 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. The second, L.D. 1711, would increase an arbitrary cap on the number of customers who can receive power from a community solar farm from 9 to 200. “Mainers have been waiting for this kind of climate action for a long time,” said Kathleen Meil with Maine Conservation Voters. Jim LaBrecque, a longtime solar-policy antagonist who served as Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s adviser on energy, bashed the law and predicted it would raise electric bills.
During U.S. National Pollinator Week, attention focuses on protecting bees
Other - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

National Pollinator Week in North America recognizes the irreplaceable role that pollinators – bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and other small mammals – play in the world. Pollinating over 180,000 different plant species and nearly 75% of the nation’s crops, pollinators are vital to the maintenance of a thriving ecosystem. These plants produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils and fibers. One of the most crucial pollinators is the honeybee, responsible for pollinating 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of the world’s plants. However, bee populations are on a steady decline, threatening healthy ecosystems and the local and international food economy. One of the things you can do to support the bees along with protecting habitat is to become a beekeeper.
River Herring Will Not Be Added To Endangered Species List
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

The federal government says two species of herring are not at risk of going extinct, and will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the government has finished a review of the status of alewife and blueback herring and decided against designating the fish as endangered or threatened. The fish live on the East Coast and are an important piece of the food chain.
Loomer Earthwatch Expedition Scholarship
Other - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Mount Olive Tribune (NC) - The Loomer Earthwatch Expedition Scholarship was first offered last year. Maureen Loomer, a retired biology instructor, established the scholarship in memory of her husband, Dr. Lance Loomer. She used the prize from her 2014 Wayne Community College Distinguished Chair Award to participate in an Earthwatch expedition in Acadia National Park in Maine. She said she wanted students to have the same “exhilarating, transformative experience.”
Coal comeback? Trump plan would breathe new life into aging power plants
USA Today - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

President Donald Trump is keeping a signature campaign promise to boost the coal industry but environmentalists say the energy plan his administration is expected to unveil Wednesday would lead to premature deaths and hasten climate change. Environmental groups and some states already have vowed to sue to stop the plan's implementation, just as opponents of Obama's Clean Power Plan did successfully four years ago.
What’s in your recycling bin? Interns will grade the contents this summer in 4 communities
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

For Falmouth, Scarborough, South Portland and Windham residents, interns will become a common sight this summer. Ten student are participants in a pilot program started by ecomaine, a regional waste management agency, and four of its member communities in an effort to reduce contamination of recyclable waste left at the curbside. Like the residents who recycle, the interns are also excited to be a part of Maine’s sustainability efforts.
What can and can’t be recycled through Ecomaine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Ecomaine’s recycling program includes various forms of paper, plastic, metal and glass. Use ecomaine’s free Recyclopedia mobile app, available at ecomaine.org/recyclopedia, to check if individual items are recyclable. Most forms of paper are OK, including books, newspapers, magazines, mail, milk cartons and paper plates, and cardboard. However, paper towels, napkins and tissues should not be placed in recycling bins.
Column: Enjoy tax-free water – for now
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Nearly everything we value is taxed today. So it was good news when the Legislature rejected a bill that would have taxed Poland Spring for the water it bottles and sells. To do that, the Legislature would have had to take away the right that all of us have to the water underneath our property. And you are naïve if you think it wouldn’t take them long after taxing Poland Spring to start taxing all of us for that water. Consider what they are taxing now: the money you make, your property, most of the things you buy, gambling on sports, your inheritance, enjoying a state park, travel on the turnpike, and on and on it goes. ~ George Smith
What We Eat Now and Why It Has to Change
Outside - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Our collective diet has shifted in the past century. Two new books take us around the globe to examine how—and why—our eating habits have changed. How will we get our meals in the future? "For The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat In a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World," Amanda Little roved the planet for three years asking that very question. "The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World" by Bee Wilson focuses on the transition from unique regional menus with unprocessed, locally grown ingredients to a globally homogenous diet heavy in packaged snacks and calorie-laden beverages. The books are perfectly complementary. While the former contextualizes the world in which we live, the latter looks to what lies ahead, providing hope if not a definite conclusion.
Hiker rescued from Mount Washington may have to foot the bill
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

An 80-year-old hiker who was rescued trying to reach the summit of Mount Washington could end up footing the bill for the emergency services, New Hampshire officials said Tuesday, amid efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the popular tourist destination. Authorities may even file criminal charges in the case, after two relatives left James Clark behind. The NH Fish and Game Department has recommended that nine people be billed so far this year. Twenty-five people were billed in 2018. Clark said that he blamed himself for telling his two grandsons to go ahead without him.
Purchase of Bethel forestland completes 3,500-acre conservation area
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

The national Trust for Public Land, Bethel-based trail organization Mahoosuc Pathways and the Northern Forest Center in New Hampshire achieved a five-year goal of creating the 3,500-acre conservation area by purchasing the 978 acres that will become the Bethel Community Forest. A decade ago, the town of Bethel acquired the 2,411-acre Bingham Community Forest, located in Newry next to Sunday River, a parcel that originally had been managed to protect the town’s water supply. It became a first step in Mahoosuc Pathways’ vision to create the larger area of protected land for recreational uses.
Kingfield cidery awarded development grant
Sun Journal - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

A small-but-growing local business has received a substantial economic development grant. At their Monday night meeting, Kingfield selectmen learned a Community Development Block Grant of up to $45,000 has been awarded to the Orchard Girls Cidery.
Movers, shakers of Maine arts gather in Portland for summit
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

About 200 artists, creative entrepreneurs, community leaders and big thinkers gathered at Ocean Gateway in Portland on Tuesday to try to figure out how to turn Portland into a world-class art community – or make people aware that it already is. David Brenerman, Creative Portland’s board president, said, “The City Council endorsed the plan early this year, and now we have to make it happen." U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree spoke about the importance of the arts as an economic catalyst statewide and tout the work that she and her colleagues are doing to ensure that funding for the arts continues at the federal level, despite attempts by the Trump administration to eliminate it. The arts contribute $1.5 billion to Maine’s economy every year and have created more than 16,000 jobs in the state, Pingree said.
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