January 17, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Wicked Weather Forum, Apr 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Learn more about weather and meet some of your favorite television weather forecasters. Included are talks about hurricanes, tornadoes, lightning, and nor'easters; Portland's weather extremes and the extreme weather atop Mt. Washington; observing, forecasting and broadcasting the weather; and how changing weather conditions could affect water levels along the Maine coast and what can be done to build more resilient coastal communities. At University of Southern Maine in Portland, April 7, 1 pm. Sponsored by the National Weather Service and USM.
King Coal and Appalachian Activism, Apr 5
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 29, 2012 

More than 500 mountains and 1.2 million acres of landscape have been destroyed in Appalachia as a result of a massively destructive coal mining process called mountaintop removal. Some of this coal comes to New England where it fuels power plants that sell electricity to Maine. Hear Chuck Keeney, a local activist and labor and environmental justice historian from West Virginia, talk about the impacts of mountaintop removal mining, what the people of Appalachia are doing to stop it, and how we can help here in Maine. This event, hosted by the Bowdoin College McKeen Center, is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so RSVP. At Smith Auditorium, Sills Hall, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, April 5, 7-8:30 pm.
The Last Five Percent, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 28, 2012 

An evening of breathtaking still photos from the most remote and remarkable places in the ocean with acclaimed underwater high-definition filmmaking pioneer and ocean conservationist Feodor Pitcairn. The event includes a screening of Pitcairn’s Ocean Odyssey. At Waynflete School, Portland, April 4, 7 .m.
Wind Over Wings, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 

This presentation features Zachariah the raven, Skywalker the golden eagle, Pippin the saw-whet owl and a red-tailed hawk. At Farmington Town Office, March 31, 10 am. Sponsored by the Maine Forest Service and the Upper Kennebec Valley Chapter of the Small Woodland Owner's Association of Maine.
Sheepscot River Megafauna: Sturgeon, Apr 3
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 27, 2012 

Presentation by Gayle Zydlewski, Research Assistant Professor in the School of Marine Sciences at the University of Maine in Orono. At Sheepscot Valley Conservation Association, Newcastle, April 3, 7 pm.
Finding Donn Fendler, Mar 29 & 31
Announcement - Monday, March 26, 2012 

"Finding Donn Fendler: Lost On A Mountain in Maine 72 Years Later" is the true story of 12-year-old Donn Fendler who was lost on Mount Katahdin for nine days in 1939, and how two filmmakers try to turn his adventure into a feature film. Maine Public TV, March 29 at 10 pm and March 31 at 11 am.
Auburn Land Lab, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Monday, March 26, 2012 

Jim Chandler, Director of the Auburn Land Lab, will demonstrate how the Lab’s programs use hands-on learning to engage students in their education. At Auburn Public Library, April 2, 6-8 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Protected Planet
Announcement - Sunday, March 25, 2012 

Protected Planet is described as "an initiative to showcase the World Database on Protected Areas (WDPA) that uses the 'citizen science' approach to engage the public in gathering and improving information on protected areas. By making this information openly available, the global community can help to improve it, thereby assisting in the conservation of biodiversity and helping to boost global interest in protected areas." This crowd sourced data base has great potential to provide a comprehensive information about protected areas worldwide. Unfortunately, it is not very reliable yet. For instance, if you click on Katahdin Lake in Maine, you get Nicatous Lake State Park. Hmmm.
Vernal Pools and the First Signs of Spring, Mar 23-Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 24, 2012 

This art exhibit at Merrymeeting Arts Center in Bowdoinham runs March 23 - April 28.
Sustainable Ocean Studies, Jul 5-28
Announcement - Saturday, March 24, 2012 

Offered through a partnership with Waynflete School and the Chewonki Foundation, SOS is a month-long marine biology summer program focused on promoting ocean health and sustainability. Participants both camp and stay in dorm facilities in the University of Maine Darling Marine Center. July 5-28.
Allagash Tails and Tales, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 24, 2012 

This is a multi-media presentation will be presented at the Maine Sportsman's Show at the Augusta Civic Center on March 31 at 4-5 pm, April 1 at 3-4 pm, and April 2 at 11 am-noon. Narrated by author and former Allagash Wilderness Waterway Supervisor Tim Caverly, the show includes music, scenic and historic photographs as well as stories detailing Tim's personal experiences while living in the woods.
Industrial Wind in the Wilds of Maine, Mar 25
Announcement - Friday, March 23, 2012 

Dr. Monique Aniel, Steve Thurston and Maine Guide David Corrigan talk about their struggle against the ongoing destruction of Maine’s precious natural areas by industrial wind developers on Wind Wise Radio, March 25, 7 pm.
World Water Day, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2012 

Since 1993, International World Water Day has been held annually on March 22 to focus attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.
Maine Land Conservation Conference 2012
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2012 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust presents the Maine Land Conservation Conference in support of Maine’s land conservation community. The conference provides training on best practices in land trust management, land transactions, fundraising and stewardship. It provides a forum for learning about the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. In Topsham-Brunswick, April 27-28.
Maple Sunday at Viles Arboretum, March 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2012 

This annual fun event introduces you to the wonderful and sweet world of maple followed by celtic music. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta. March 25, maple events at 10 am - 12 pm; celtic music begins at 12:30 pm.
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News Items
Is Maine still hurricane-proof?
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Maine is luckier than most Atlantic states when it comes to hurricanes, as they generally run out of power by the time they reach us. The reason hurricanes rarely hit the coast, explained John Jensenius, warming coordination meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gray, is the low temperature of Maine’s ocean water. But in the Atlantic region, hurricanes are one of the most destructive weather forces and preparations can prove inadequate.
3,000 Mainers hope to nab one of 11 licenses to fish baby eels
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

More than 3,000 Mainers are vying for one of just 11 new baby eel fishing licenses that Maine will issue this year as it reopens the lucrative fishery. The Maine Department of Marine Resources will issue the licenses through a lottery, with the drawing scheduled for sometime in the coming week. It will be the first time the state has allowed any new entrants into the fishery for baby eels, or elvers, since 2013. Winners with a license who catch four pounds, which will be the annual limit for the new licenses, stand to make between $3,000 and $8,000 this spring, depending on the price.
Bill to Lower Liquor Bottle Deposits Considered
Maine Public - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Grocers and others in the food and beverage industry are supporting a proposal to reduce the deposit rate on liquor bottles in Maine from 15 cents to five. This change would match the nickel deposit implemented last year on small containers of liquor commonly called “nips." But environmental groups that support Maine’s 40-year-old bottle deposit law are concerned about the proposal. They worry that the change could reduce redemption rates and hurt non-profit groups that run bottle and can drives to raise money.
Editorial: Increased offshore drilling is not the answer to America’s energy future
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

The announcement, from Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, is no surprise as the Trump administration is focused on undoing every action taken by former President Barack Obama. And the administration is a big friend of the oil, gas and coal industries. It is rolling back environmental regulations and protections of federal lands in the name of “energy dominance.” The move to allow more offshore drilling is a step backward. Demand for petroleum in the U.S. has stagnated. Car makers are increasingly moving toward electric vehicles. The costs of solar energy are plummeting. This would be a perfect time for the president to champion a cleaner energy future for the country, one that reduces both greenhouse gas emissions and costs. Instead, the Trump administration is playing games with offshore drilling.
CMP's New CEO: If They Want, 'Everyone Should Put Solar Panels On Their Roof'
Maine Public - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Maine's largest electric utility has a new CEO. Doug Herling took over operations of Central Maine Power Company Jan. 1, a day after the utility's long-time leader Sara Burns stepped down. Herling rose through the ranks at CMP, most recently overseeing electric operations for parent-company Avangrid for 2.2 million customers in Maine, New York and Connecticut. Herling says although solar power advocates often criticize the company, he supports build-out of the renewable energy technology in Maine. "I think everyone should put solar panels on their roof if that's what they want to do," he says.
What it means in Maine if the federal government shuts down on Friday
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

The federal government has been careening toward a shutdown this week, after President Donald Trump scuttled a bipartisan deal to prevent the deportation of U.S. residents brought into the country illegally when they were children, allegedly calling Haiti and certain African countries “shitholes” in the process. Republicans control both houses of Congress, but they still need Democratic votes to pass a temporary spending measure in the Senate. If they can’t reach a settlement, the government will shutdown on Friday for lack of funds. If that happens, the most visible effect in Maine would be the closure of Acadia National Park.
MCHT Helps Restore Fish Passage in the Bagaduce River Watershed
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

The Bagaduce watershed has long been a conservation focus for Maine Coast Heritage Trust. After years of planning, engineers, conservationists, and local representatives gathered last summer to break ground on the first of two nature-like fishways in the watershed. “Without MCHT’s support, none of this would have happened,” says Bailey Bowden, head of the Penobscot Alewife Committee. “People are looking at this and saying, ‘Wow.’ It’s had a big community impact."
Opinion: I toured the monument with Zinke; his recommendation to open it to logging is disappointing
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

It was with disappointment that I read what Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke may have in store for Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in his memorandum to the president, especially in light of the secretary’s visit to Maine back in June. Standing on the banks of Wassataquoik Stream, the secretary told us he had a plan that would make everyone happy. Today, I fear the harm “active” logging within earshot of scenic corridors and points of interest will do to this precious gift to the American people. Logging would not only interfere with their experience, but negatively influence the recent promising uptick in tourism in the Katahdin region. ~ Paul Corrigan, retired Baxter State Park range, Millinocket
UPDATED: Maine Governor Wannabes
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Maine’s next gubernatorial election is set for November 6, 2018. It will be the first in the state’s history to be conducted by ranked choice voting, unless that is declared unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. According to various, mostly reliable, sources as of January 17, 2018, there are 13 declared Democratic candidates, 5 declared Republican candidates, and 9 other gubernatorial wannabes. Plus a gaggle of possibles in the wings. Here is the updated list. Repairing the damage done by the LePage Administration to Maine’s land, water, air and wildlife safety net will be a major job for the next governor. Ask each of these candidates about their conservation policies, if any.
Mainers use chainsaws to harvest oysters in the bitter cold
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

When temperatures plummeted below zero in late December, the oyster farmers of Mere Point Oyster Company vowed not to let 8 to 10 inches of ice in Mere Point Bay prevent them from harvesting to keep their winter market satisfied. “The bay froze relatively quickly during that cold snap, and by just after Christmas it was frozen pretty solid,” said Dan Devereaux, who with Doug Niven owns the 2-year-old Mere Point Oyster Company. But with customers clamoring for oysters — and a coveted spot at the Taste of Freeport next month — Niven and Devereaux employed a bit of Maine ingenuity to pull up the oyster cages. They headed out on the ice the second week of January, and returned — thanks to a chainsaw and a lot of lifting — with enough oysters to fulfill all those orders.
Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel
New York Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The majority of members of the National Parks System Advisory Board, which advises the federal government on management of the country’s national parks, have jointly resigned to protest Trump administration policies that the board members say have ignored science, squelched efforts to address climate change and undermined environmental protections. “From all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside,” wrote Tony Knowles, the head of the advisory board, in a resignation letter that was co-signed by eight other members of the 12-member panel.
Nearly all members of National Park Service panel resign in frustration
Washington Post - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.
Lawmakers back bill to ease prohibition on money being part of moose permit swaps
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Since 2015, hunters who were successful during Maine's moose lottery have been allowed to exchange permits but could not offer each other money or any other form of compensation. A bill that won preliminary endorsement from a legislative committee on Monday would once again allow payments between hunters and also allow hunting guides to facilitate such swaps. But the bill would prohibit guides from receiving any compensation for helping arrange a swap.
St. Joseph’s College Ends Deal With Company To Build Greenhouse
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by Cate Street Capital have ended a $750,000 agreement to build a greenhouse as part of the college’s new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. Cate Street Capital was behind the failed bid to revive the Great Northern Paper Mill in East Millinocket in 2014, despite receiving millions in taxpayer dollars. Peter Nielsen, St. Joseph’s entrepreneur-in-residence, said, “What we had begun to explore in March of 2017 looked good at that point, but when we got to the end of the year, it just wasn’t making sense to anybody." Nielsen says St. Joseph’s is working with many other partners and will still move forward with the plan.
Major investor in Verso sells off significant lot of shares; company could be sold
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

A major investor in Verso, owner of the paper mill in Jay, has sold more than $21 million worth of shares in the first two weeks of January, just months after expressing frustration with returns on the investment. Then on the heels of those transactions by Mudrick Capital Management L.P., Verso Corp. revealed Tuesday that its Strategic Alternatives Committee is looking at the possibility of selling the entire company outright, or merging with another. About 400 people now work at the Androscoggin mill. When Verso emerged from bankruptcy in summer 2016, it employed about 560.
Dental student extracts 10-pound landlocked salmon from Maine lake
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Some of us dream of catching a five-pound brook trout before we die. Others avid anglers want to hook onto a lake trout that’ll barely fit through the hole we drill in the ice. On Jan. 11, Chris Parent ended up with a fish story like that, and he doubts he’ll ever catch a landlocked salmon to top the one he landed, which measured 30 inches long and weighed 10.2 pounds.
Maine college cancels deal with failed paper mill redeveloper
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by private equity firm Cate Street Capital have called off a partnership to develop a greenhouse on the college’s Standish campus, which was tied to a $750,000 donation to the college. The greenhouse is a major feature of St. Joseph’s plans for its new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, a college effort to help New England food producers grow crops locally that the region typically has to import. The private equity firm’s failed 2011 restart of the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket left behind a trail of debt that the attorney overseeing the mill’s bankruptcy attributed in part to mismanagement.
Group Acquires Parcel Key To Maine Dam Removal Project
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

A conservation group has acquired about seven acres in Down East Maine as part of a dam removal project. The Downeast Salmon Federation says it has taken ownership of the parcel in Sullivan that surrounds the head of tide of Smelt Brook, which has been blocked by a stone dam for more than 50 years. The group says the acquisition is part of a "multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project'' designed to reconnect Smelt Brook to Smelt Cove. The restoration is expected to help create habitat for fish such as brook trout and rainbow smelt. The group says by removing the dam it can support recent work to improve fish passage in the area. The project also seeks to provide an outdoor classroom for a high school.
Canada’s oil-sands region now facing 340 billion gallons of toxic sludge
Bloomberg News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Amid the bogs and forests of northern Alberta, the heart of the Canadian oil patch, lie some of the largest waste dumps of the global energy business. In the shadow of the pipes and smokestacks that turn oil sands into flowing crude, earthen dams as long as 11 miles encircle lakes of toxic sludge, the byproduct of decades of extraction. These waste pools, known as tailings ponds, represent perhaps the most serious environmental challenge facing the oil-sands industry. Now, the battle over how quickly to clean them up – and fears about who will pay – are escalating anew. Critics say the industry could end up sticking taxpayers with the estimated $22 billion bill.
Author Sandra Neily discusses new book about Maine's north woods
Wiscasset Newspaper - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Sandra Neily set her novel, “Deadly Trespass,” in the north woods of Maine, where the main character, Cassandra Patton Conover, stumbles across the body of her best friend Shannon while trespassing on someone else’s land. Cassandra soon learns from an old newspaper friend, there are rumors of an illegally placed wolf-breeding population in Maine, a desperate environmental action that could potentially stop a number of money-making activities run by logging companies, and knowingly abetted by conservation groups. If the plot all sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Parts of the background plot could be ripped from the headlines.
Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument Officials To Discuss Winter Use
National Parks Traveler - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

With winter swirling all about the Northeast, the folks at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine are planning to host a public meeting on winter use in the monument. The meeting, set for January 24, is designed to help the National Park Service better understand the diversity of opportunities and concerns related to winter activities and to help inform the development of a management plan for the national monument.
MCHT’s Largest Preserve: Rocky Lake
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Thanks to generous donors, 2,352 acres of dense forest and over six miles of shoreline have been permanently protected in Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s largest preserve. Situated between Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, protection of this land creates a wildlife corridor for animals like fisher, bobcat, moose, and black bear. It is also a critical piece of a larger MCHT Initiative to restore the Orange River watershed and rejuvenate once-abundant river herring populations—an important first step toward bringing ground fishing and jobs back to the area.
The Damage Done by Trump’s Department of the Interior
Other - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The New Yorker - Under Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, it’s a sell-off from sea to shining sea. Zinke is, in many ways, a typical Trump appointee. A lack of interest in the public interest is, these days, pretty much a precondition for running a federal agency. In the decades to come, one can hope that many of the Trump Administration’s mistakes—on tax policy, say, or trade—will be rectified. But the destruction of the country’s last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed.
Maine opposing push to require all lobstermen to report catch data
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The state’s top fisheries official says Maine lobstermen should not be subjected to stricter requirements for reporting their catch to federal regulators. Patrick Keliher, commissioner of Maine Department of Marine Resources, also said he is confident he can convince the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to drop the idea. The commission is accepting public comment on the proposal until 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22.
China disrupts ecomaine and other recyclers with ‘foreign garbage’ ban
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

China has prompted “a crisis in the recycling world” with its decision to no longer accept what its regulators call “foreign garbage” such as paper contaminated with pizza grease. The action by China, long known for its willingness to import and repurpose recyclables from the United States and elsewhere, is being felt in Maine and around the nation. “They put the hammer down,” said Kevin Roche, chief executive officer of ecomaine, the nonprofit that handles recyclables for about a third of Maine’s population.
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