June 22, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Hiking in New England, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 28, 2009 

Jeff Romano, author of "Best Loop Hikes, New Hampshire's White Mountains to the Maine Coast," and the upcoming "100 Classic Hikes of New England" gives a presentation on his favorite subject. Hubbard Free Library, Hallowell, April 28, 7 pm.
New website coming for green recreation and travel
Announcement - Friday, April 24, 2009 

NATURAL CHOICES will cater to outdoor enthusiasts, adventure travelers and ecotourists — whose numbers are growing by more than 20 percent each year. This site can help Maine become a leading destination for green travel.
America’s Energy Future Forum, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 23, 2009 

A panel will discuss solutions for creating a clean energy economy at this town-hall style forum. April 25, 11 AM at Colby College, Waterville.
Cutting to the Chase: A Wood Supply Issue for Maine?, May 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 21, 2009 

Members of the Panel on Optimizing Wood Harvesting in Maine will speak. May 1, 7 - 8:30 AM in the Rumford Eagles Hall.
Friends of Baxter State Park Annual Meeting, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 19, 2009 

Pine Tree State Arboretum, Augusta, April 25, 8:30 AM - 12:15 PM.
Walkin' Jim Stoltz concerts, Apr 19-22
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 18, 2009 

A stirring journey in song, slides, stories and poetry across the wide open spaces and through the windows of time with a man who has walked over 26,000 miles through North American wildlands. Walking Jim will be at the First Universalist Church in Auburn, April 19 at 1PM; Belgrade Community Center for All Seasons, April 22 at 7 PM; Frontier Café in Brunswick, April 23 at 7 PM.
Earth First! RoadShow, Apr 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 16, 2009 

The Earth First! Road Show is crossing the country to renew a grassroots, non-violent, direct action movement in the U.S. April 19, 1 - 5 PM, Olsen Student Center Building, University of Maine at Farmington, Section C, North Dining Hall. Free.
SWOAM Annual Meeting, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 16, 2009 

Small Woodland Owners Association of Maine Annual Meeting. April 25, 9:30 AM - 1:30 PM, Maine Forest Products Council office, 535 Civic Center Drive, Augusta.
Midcoast Sustainable Living Expo, Apr 17-18
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 16, 2009 

Business persons, public officials and other citizens from the midcoast region have joined together to promote a viable "green” program of socially responsible economic growth. April 17, 12-6 PM, April 18, 9AM-4 PM, Central Lincoln County YMCA, Damariscotta.
Protecting Maine’s Environment: Greatest Hits and Lessons Learned, Apr 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 16, 2009 

Maine has been a leader in environmental protection. Pete Didisheim, NRCM's advocacy director, will provide an overview of Maine’s big environmental victories and first-in-the-nation accomplishments. He will also give an inside view of how some of these victories were won, and what they tell us about strategies for future success. April 21, 6 PM, Unity Centre for the Performing Arts, Unity, Maine.

Maine's North Woods: Plum Creek and Beyond, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 16, 2009 

Want to know what is happening with Plum Creek’s development proposal for the Moosehead Lake Region? Wondering what is happening to the rest of the North Woods? Cathy Johnson, NRCM’s North Woods Project Director, will answer your questions. April 28, 7-8 PM, Room 326, Luther Bonney Hall, USM, Portland.
Life After People, Apr 21
Announcement - Wednesday, April 15, 2009 

Humans won't be around forever, and now we can see in detail, for the very first time, the world that will be left behind in Life After People. History Channel, series begins April 21, 10 PM.
Animal Rights Symposium, Apr 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 14, 2009 

"Animal Rights and Animal Wrongs: Religious, Ethical and Economic Perspectives on the Humane Treatment of Other Animals." Husson University, April 16. Rep. Nancy Smith, a dairy farmer and member of the Legislature's Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee, will speak.
Regional energy forum, Apr 14
Event - Posted - Monday, April 13, 2009 

In Pittsfield at the Vickery School gymnasium, April 14, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. It is a chance for residents, government officials and business owners to learn about renewable energy sources and how to save on energy costs. Guest speakers and about 15 vendors.
Speaking in Maine, Apr 14
Announcement - Monday, April 13, 2009 

Bill McKibben, Environmental Journalist and Scholar-in-Residence in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College spoke recently about the current global warming paradox at Bates College in Lewiston. Maine Public Radio, April 14 at 1:00 pm.
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News Items
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.”
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.
Solar bill gets initial approval in House, but it lacks votes to survive veto
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

House lawmakers gave initial approval Wednesday to a bill that delays new solar energy “net metering” rules and directs utility regulators to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of the controversial policy. But supporters failed to garner the two-thirds majority needed to overcome an all-but-guaranteed veto from Gov. Paul LePage, once again casting doubt over solar policy in Maine. Dylan Voorhees, clean energy director for the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said, “A vote in favor of L.D. 1504, which would overturn the PUC’s terrible anti-solar rule, should be a no-brainer for lawmakers looking out for their constituents."
Construction of solar project on South Portland’s capped landfill to start in July
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Construction of a solar array on South Portland’s capped landfill is expected to start in July after the City Council approved final adjustments to the power purchase agreement Monday. Portland-based ReVision Energy will install 2,944 photovoltaic panels on the 34-acre former landfill, which is behind the solid-waste transfer station and the public services facility that’s being built at 929 Highland Ave.
Maine Forest Service warns about holiday fire safety
Maine Government News - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The Maine Forest Service is cautioning towns and residents against using third-party, non-sanctioned online burn permit systems after at least two fires occurred this spring. According to MFS, the fires likely would not have resulted if the officially sanctioned state online burn permit system had been used instead of that of a third party.
Rep. Pingree recognized for sustainable food advocacy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, a longtime organic farmer in Maine, has been chosen as one of six recipients of this year’s James Beard Foundation Leadership Award. The awards recognize people from diverse backgrounds who promote sustainable food systems.
Exxon, Shell, and BP support a Republican plan to do something about climate change
Climate Progress - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

A group of major businesses, including Johnson & Johnson, General Motors, and fossil fuel giants ExxonMobil, BP, and Shell, announced Tuesday they have joined a Republican-led council that proposes to put a $40 tax on carbon emissions.
Opinion: I hope Zinke’s visit showed him the importance of the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s recent visit to Maine to see firsthand our majestic landscapes is a good exercise of his role of chief steward of our nation’s national parks and monuments. But contemplating reduction or elimination of our public land is not. The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is one of 27 protected public land sites under scrutiny by the Trump administration. Earlier this month, I joined nearly 260 park service professionals in signing a letter to Protect America’s National Parks. We came together to advocate for the importance of protecting parks and public lands and to emphasize the role the Antiquities Act has played in building that legacy for present and future generations. ~ Sheridan Steele, retired superintendent, Acadia National Park
Fresh from the farm: Maine takes lead in ‘food sovereignty’ movement
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage has signed a bill into law that affirms the rights of cities and towns to regulate local food production, making Maine the second state in the nation to allow consumers to buy directly from farmers and food producers regardless of the state and federal licensing and inspections that would otherwise apply. With the passage of the law, Maine becomes a leader in the so-called food sovereignty movement that promotes freedom of food choice for consumers who are willing to forgo some food safety regulations.
Column: Climate change is good, right?
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

The warming climate is a good thing, right? Those of us who shunned swimming in the cold Maine ocean water can now do so in warmer water. A bunch of Maine fish, clams, shrimp, and other critters are going, going, gone, but we can still get some of them from aquaculture facilities. A lot of annoying critters will be disappearing from the northern forest, including moose. But hey, we’ll still be able to see and hunt them in Canada. Snake lovers will be pleased when rattlers and pythons arrive. Some of the plants we grow will disappear, but there will be new plants. OK, I’m kidding about all of the good things brought our way by climate change. As the news about our changing climate gets worse, and our president withdraws from the Paris Accord and vows to restore the ailing coal industry, we all need to step up and do everything we can to fix this problem. I only hope we are not too late. ~ George Smith
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