September 21, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

For Cod's Sake
Action Alert - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The cod fishery, which for generations has supported a way of life in New England’s coastal communities, may be in complete collapse. Stand with us to tell NOAA that we need to protect cod, their habitat, and their refuges, so that they can recover to sustainable levels. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Alpine Essay Contest
Announcement - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The Waterman Fund announces its sixth annual essay contest with a new theme centered on the use of technology in the wild. As handheld devices such as mobile phones are used more in the woods, new questions arise about the bounds and ethics of wild places. Deadline is April 15.
Nontimber Forest Product Resources website
Announcement - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

The Institute for Culture and Ecology announces a new website to help small forestland owners develop commercial nontimber forest product resources on their land. The www.ntfpinfo.us website is free to use, requires no registration, and contains extensive public domain resources including hundreds of extension articles, thousands of photographs, dozens of videos, and a database with over 1,400 commercially harvested species in the U.S.
Finch Fest, Apr 6
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 31, 2013 

Birding trip to the Golden Road. Meet at Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 6, at 7:30 am. Sponsored by Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Northern Forest Canoe Trail Film Fest, Apr 5
Event - Posted - Friday, March 29, 2013 

At the Chewonki Foundation, Wiscasset, Apr 5, 7 pm.
Green Space Gathering, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Portland will host its fourth annual "Green Space Gathering," an effort aimed at introducing residents to city parks and educating them about upcoming projects. Keynote address by Eliza Townsend, former state legislator, Maine Conservation Voters executive director and Maine Conservation Commissioner. At Ocean Avenue Elementary School, April 4, 6:30-8 pm.
Trekking in the Gaspé, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

In 2012, Carey Kish and Fran Leyman embarked on an 8-day, 70-mile trek on the International Appalachian Trail through Gaspésie National Park in Quebec. The IAT traverses the length of the park on its way from Baxter State Park to Newfoundland. At Maine Outdoor Adventure Club, Portland, April 4, 7 pm.
LePage to speak on forestry, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Gov. Paul LePage, just back from vacation in Jamaica, will address issues of interest to Maine’s forestry community. At Maine Industrial Forestry Forum, Jeff’s Catering, Brewer, April 4, 6:15 pm. Pre-registration required.
Marine Mammals in the Gulf of Maine, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Sean Todd of Allied Whale and College of the Atlantic will talk about marine mammals in the Gulf of Maine. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, April 4, 7 pm.
Maine’s Black Bear Monitoring Project, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

Speaker: Randy Cross, Bear Biologist, Maine Dept of Inland Fish & Wildlife. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, Apr 4, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Open-Pit Mining in Maine, Apr 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 28, 2013 

NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett and Jeff Reardon of Trout Unlimited will discuss the major issues associated with open-pit mining, focusing on lessons learned from other states and describing what's ahead in Maine. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, April 4, 7-8:30 pm. Sponsored Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Save Maine's Mountains from Wind Power Development
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 

The wind industry has launched an all out effort to get as many applications in the works as possible this year while they still have the federal Production Tax Credit subsidy. Only your action, in concert with hundreds of others can stop this. If we fail, we could see double or more the number of current industrial wind sites destroy many more miles of Maine in the next 12 months. ~ Brad Blake, Citizens Task Force on Wind Power
Protect kids from pesticides, Apr 2
Action Alert - Friday, March 22, 2013 

On April 2, the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee will hold a public hearing on LD 961, An Act to Ensure Safe School Grounds. This bill restricts the use of pesticides on school grounds and sets stronger guidelines for spraying on athletic fields. At Cross Building, Augusta, April 2, 1 pm. ~ Tracie Konopinski, Toxics Action Center
Pharmaceutical Compounds and Ecosystem Function: An Emerging Research Challenge for Aquatic Ecologists, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2013 

The number of anthropogenic compounds that occur in aquatic ecosystems today is in the thousands, many at trace concentrations. Emma Rosi-Marshall conducts research on factors that control and influence ecosystem function in human-dominated ecosystems. At Colby College, Waterville, Olin Science Center, April 2, 7 pm.
East-West Highway Corridor, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 22, 2013 

At the Penobscot County Commissioners meeting on April 2, 9 am to 12 pm, Darryl Brown and Peter Vigue of Cianbro Corp. are expected to give a promotional presentation in favor of the proposed East-West Highway Corridor across Maine.
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News Items
Ready Seafood gets final permit for Maine’s largest lobster processing operation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Ready Seafood has nabbed the last local permit it needs to build a $10 million lobster processing, storage and research center in Saco. On Monday, the city’s Planning Board unanimously approved Ready Seafood’s plan to build a 64,000-square-foot facility on a 40-acre lot at 1016 Route 1. When the building is completed in 12 to 14 months, Ready Seafood will be the largest of Maine’s half-dozen lobster processors, capable of handling 100,000 pounds of Maine’s signature crustacean every day.
Blog: The Common Ground Fair for beginners: 2018 edition
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Last year, I wrote about how overwhelming the Common Ground Fair can be for beginners. It’s easy to see how someone just getting started with farming, gardening, or homesteading might feel a little overwhelmed at all the amazingness the Common Ground Fair has to offer. So I wrote with some tips and recommended some sessions that looked great for the beginner.
14 Shuckers to Vie for Oyster-Opening Supremacy in Maine
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Fourteen contestants are sharpening their oyster knives for the Maine Champion Oyster Shucking Contest at the Pemaquid Oyster Festival in Damariscotta on Sunday, September 30. The winner will be eligible to compete in the U.S. National Oyster Shucking Contest at St. Mary’s County Oyster Festival in Maryland. The winner of that event will qualify for the World Oyster Opening Championship in Galway, Ireland.
Pro-solar coalition sues, says new metering rules violate Maine law
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A coalition fighting new state rules that reduce solar power incentives has filed a new lawsuit against Maine’s Public Utilities Commission, arguing that regulators violated state law by approving rules that will raise their costs of connecting to the grid. The Conservation Law Foundation, Natural Resources Council of Maine, solar installer ReVision Energy and the Industrial Energy Consumer Group on Thursday filed their lawsuit in Cumberland County Superior Court, continuing a legal battle against a new system for tracking generation and power consumption by small residential and commercial customers with on-site generators.
King, Poliquin tour Acadia, promote park maintenance funding bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

U.S. Sen. Angus King and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin met at Acadia headquarters with park officials, including Dan Smith, a Maine native and deputy director of the National Park Service who currently is serving as its acting director. In addition to learning more about the park’s deferred maintenance needs, the meeting gave officials the chance to promote legislation pending in Congress that would dedicate $6.5 billion in federal funds toward capital improvement projects spread throughout the National Park Service system.
Massive fire destroys Corinth wood pellet mill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A massive fire destroyed a wood pellet mill in Corinth on Wednesday night. More than 20 towns responded to the blaze at the Corinth Wood Pellets Manufacturing, which broke out around 6:30 p.m., according to media reports. Flames tore through the roof and ultimately destroyed the plant as crews worked through the night to extinguish them.
Worker shortage delays completion of Bowdoin building
Forecaster - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Classes are well underway at Bowdoin’s Roux Center for the Environment, but construction on the college’s first new academic building in more than a decade is still underway due to a shortage of workers. The primary two college departments that will use it are Earth and Oceanographic Science and the Environmental Studies Program. The Roux Center has received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design platinum award.
Candidates for Governor Discuss Energy & the Environment
Free Press - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Three candidates for governor — Democrat Janet Mills and independents Terry Hayes and Alan Caron — discussed their positions on energy and the environment at a forum last week in Portland. Republican Shawn Moody declined to attend. Attorney General Janet Mills said she supports setting a state goal of switching to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Hayes said she does not have an energy policy but prefers to have a “level playing field” when it comes to energy sources. Like Mills, Caron said he would set a goal that Maine switch to 100 percent renewable energy by 2050 by providing financial incentives to solar and offshore wind power. All three candidates expressed support for charging electricity customers to subsidize the construction of natural gas pipeline capacity into New England.
Preparations for Maine moose hunt heat up as temperatures cool down
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

After record-breaking heat over the summer, and with the memory of a sun-drenched September moose season a year ago still fresh in biologists’ minds, it appears that this year’s moose hunt will begin with more traditional late-September conditions. A total of 835 moose hunters will head into the woods early Monday morning on the first of four hunting sessions to be staged this year. The September hunt and the first October hunt account for 2,005 of the 2,500 permits.
Maine hunter in wheelchair kills big bear
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I’m inspired by a Mainer in a wheelchair who shot a 300+ pound bear this fall. This fellow, who is in the same ALS support group as me, hunted out of Camel Brook Camps in Fort Kent. ALS has taken almost all the strength from my fingers and hands. I can’t even pull the trigger on a gun. But I’m going to get out with friends, hoping to see them get a deer. I’ve had a lifetime of fabulous hunts, and lots of success. I do not feel the need to shoot another deer.
Lobster industry’s struggles overseas add urgency to driving up demand in U.S.
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

With overseas markets shaky at best, the leaders of Maine’s $1.4 billion lobster industry came together Wednesday to talk about how to drive up demand and get top dollar in the one market they can count on – the United States. It’s a conversation that began long before China slapped a 25 percent tariff on U.S. lobsters, closing the door on a $128.5 million-a-year market, or the European Union inked its trade deal with Canada, driving down European exports by 27 percent.
Opinion: As demand for recycled material shrinks, consumers can take action
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

There is unprecedented low global demand combined with a big glut of recycled materials on the market. We need to create more demand for recycled commodities closer to home. The materials we recycle are too contaminated, so we need to improve the quality. We need to design easy-to-recycle products and ensure people understand what can be recycled. Meanwhile, the uncoordinated town-by-town waste management system is inconsistent, inefficient and inequitable. What you can do to help:
• Reduce waste
• Recycle right
• Redeem your beverage containers
• Buy stuff made with recycled materials
• Support policies for a strong recycling economy
~ Sarah Lakeman, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Letter: Mills undercuts workers by fighting tribal rights to protect water quality
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

In your coverage of this year’s Labor Day breakfast, you mention that Janet Mills “spoke…about her support for Maine workers.” Clearly, Mills’ support does not extend to workers in the Penobscot Nation. Since 2015, she has been engaged in a lawsuit claiming that the Penobscot Nation does not have authority to set water quality standards for the part of the river where their islands rest. Mills’ decision puts the Penobscot people at risk for health complications caused by consuming fish from polluted water. If she wants to support workers’ rights, Mills must be a candidate for all Maine workers and acknowledge that the Penobscot Nation has a right to protect the quality of the water where their islands are located. ~ Morgana Warner-Evans, Portland
Letter: Bear trapping appalling
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

I was appalled and horrified to learn that bears are trapped in Maine. I thought it was bad enough that we are one of the only states left that allow bear-baiting (aka habituating bears to doughnuts and other piles of garbage, then shooting them). Euphemisms like “device,” “harvesting” and “foot restraint” don’t really explain what’s actually being done to the bears. I believe the public has a right to know the details. ~ Jennifer Goldenberg, Bangor
Cape Elizabeth council rejects waterfront lawsuit settlement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

The Cape Elizabeth Town Council on Wednesday night soundly rejected a mediated court settlement with several waterfront residents who have sued the town claiming ownership of an undeveloped portion of Surf Side Avenue. Under the proposed settlement, the Pilot Point Road residents had agreed to pay the town $500,000 to prevent development of a public shore path between their multimillion-dollar homes and scenic Broad Cove. The council voted 6-1 against the settlement, with several members saying they felt compelled to reject the agreement because it didn’t support the principle of maintaining public access to the shoreline.
Maine Conservation Voters and ReVision Energy Host Belfast Community Solar Tour
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Wednesday evening, Sept. 19, community members and students from Unity College gathered for a tour of the Belfast Pitcher Road solar array, the first municipal solar project in Maine to be built on a former landfill site. The group went to learn about this innovative project that has inspired a growing number of other municipalities in the state to follow suit, despite Gov. LePage’s repeated veto of bills that would support the growth of solar power in Maine. Sadie Lloyd, City Planner for the City of Belfast, shared the incredible success of this project. "By the end of 2018 the City of Belfast will have the most municipal-owned solar of any city or town in the state, and will be offsetting nearly 90 percent of the municipal electric load," she said.
State, conservation group preserve 24,000 acres of working forest
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Concord Monitor - A heavily forested area of hills, valleys and ponds alongside the Appalachian Trail has been placed under conservation easements in a $6.1 million project which has been in the works for years. The New Hampshire Division of Forests and Lands and The Conservation Fund announced Wednesday that a 24,000-acre section of working forestland in the Mahoosuc Mountains, between Berlin and the Maine border, had been preserved with a public-private partnership. The easements will prevent any future development of the land, much of which was previously owned by a forest-products company, but it will still be available for logging as well as for public recreation, from hiking to snowmobiling to hunting and fishing.
Agriculture Secretary Visits Western Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Purdue was in western Maine Wednesday and spent more than an hour listening to comments about the needs of rural areas. Purdue, who was in Farmington with Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District, says most people don’t realize the scope of the programs offered by the Department of Agriculture. He says improving the prosperity of rural America is his goal, and that addressing the crisis in opioid use is part of that agenda.
New club working with Topsham to add bike trails
Times Record - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A group of mountain bikers have revived the push to add a series of mountain bike trails in Topsham. The Six Rivers chapter of the New England Mountain Bike Association, a group of bikers from Topsham, Bath and Brunswick is working with the town to develop the trail system behind the transfer station. Another group of bikers first proposed the idea in 2012, but the effort petered out after town officials questioned liability and trail maintenance. A resurgence of interest and a freshly organized group have renewed the talks. Six Rivers also is working with the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust to develop trails at Brunswick Landing.
Maine Lobsters Get Some Herb Before Hitting The Pot
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Lobsters are going to pot in more ways than one. A Maine lobster pound is banking on using marijuana to try to make cooking the crustaceans a little more humane. The business, Charlotte's Legendary Lobster Pound in Southwest Harbor, is owned by a registered medical marijuana caregiver. The owner, Charlotte Gill, says she put a test lobster in a box with a few inches of water before marijuana smoke was blown into the box. She says the animal was calmer for the next three weeks, and she released it into the ocean. Gill plans to use the new method at customers' requests, and then build a larger tank to sedate multiple lobsters at once. It's unknown whether science says pot smoke actually calms lobsters or has any effect on their meat.
Elizabeth Warren Criticized for Climate Change Bill
Fox News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Sen. Elizabeth Warren has introduced the Climate Risk Disclosure Act of 2018, which would mandate that publicly traded companies provide extensive climate-related information, such as greenhouse gas emissions, fossil fuel investments, and risk management strategies for things like rising sea levels and increased temperatures. “Climate change is a real and present danger ― and it will have an enormous effect on the value of company assets,” Warren said. Not everyone, however, is a fan of Warren's legislation. Marc Morano of ClimateDepot.com, on Fox & Friends, argued that Warren's bill would give the Securities and Exchange Commission extensive power to go after companies and "shake them down."
Officials still don’t know when Fiberight will start processing waste
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

A large cluster of automated sorting equipment nearly a story tall sits dormant in the middle of the Fiberight Coastal Resources of Maine facility in Hampden, but officials are still unable to pinpoint when it will begin processing waste. Installation of this recycling and non-organic waste sorting infrastructure, worth $11.5 million, is nearly complete, CEO Craig Stuart-Paul said Tuesday during a facility tour. As for when towns can expect to cease landfilling and send their trash and recyclables to his facility, he’s not sure — but it’ll be sometime this fall.
Maine restaurant gets lobsters high before killing them
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

In an effort to be more humane, the owner of a roadside lobster shack on Mount Desert Island is selling lobsters that have been exposed to marijuana smoke before they are cooked. Charlotte Gill, owner of Charlotte’s Legendary Lobster Pound in the Southwest Harbor village of Seawall, has treated lobster by blowing marijuana smoke into a plastic box with a lobster in it before the lobster goes in the cooking pot. She said killing the lobster by stabbing it through its head or by electrocuting it can be quicker, but also can be cruel if not done correctly.
Fire breaks out at wood-pellet plant in Corinth
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

More than 20 fire departments were fighting a fire that broke out Wednesday evening at a wood-pellet plant in Corinth. The fire was reported around 6 p.m. at the Corinth Wood Pellets manufacturing facility, an emergency dispatcher for the Penobscot County Regional Communications Center said. The dispatcher described the blaze as a large fire that would take time to control. Corinth Wood Pellets LLC manufactures hardwood pellet fuel from wood fiber. The company, formed in 2007, claims to be recognized as the premier wood pellet manufacturer in the state.
The Most Popular Tourist Attraction in Every State: Maine
Other - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Reader's Digest - Maine is brimming with opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors, and one of the best is Acadia National Park. Relish in the hidden beaches sunrises over Cadillac Mountain in the park’s 47,000 unspoiled acres. Acadia is one of the most visited national parks in the country. For an intense hike, check out Precipice Trail, which features narrow ledges, switchbacks, and a 1,000-foot vertical climb to the top.
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