August 24, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Plan for the Future of Your Land, May 7
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

UMaine School of Forest Resources professor Jessica Leahy will discuss how to get started thinking about land succession, including selling, or giving it to a family member, or putting it into a conservation easement. At Wiscasset Community Center, May 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Midcoast Conservancy and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Anyone can be a naturalist, May 7
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 30, 2019 

Nat Wheelwright, author of “The Naturalist’s Notebook” will discuss how to become a naturalist no matter what your background. At Topsham Public Library, May 7, 6 pm.
Climate change in Freeport, May 6
Event - Posted - Monday, April 29, 2019 

Maine House Speaker Sarah Gideon and a panel of local experts will offer information and context about possible climate change impacts. At Freeport Conservation Trust annual meeting, Freeport Community Center, May 6, 7 pm.
Saving Thoreau's Birthplace, May 5
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 28, 2019 

Lucille Stott will give a slide talk about her book, "Saving Thoreau's Birthplace: How Citizens Rallied to Bring Henry Out of the Woods." At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 5, 2 pm.
Penny’s Preserve hike, May 5
Event - Posted - Sunday, April 28, 2019 

Trail stewards Jo Barrett and Bob Sullivan will lead a quarry hike. At Penny’s Preserve Trail, Blue Hill, May 5, 1 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
2019 Count Fish at Nequasset
Action Alert - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Alewives are expected sometime between the end of April and early May at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich. Counting the fish helps determine the health of the run. Nequasset Fish Count sign ups are open.
World Naked Gardening Day, May 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

World Naked Gardening Day is an unofficial holiday celebrated annually on the first Saturday in May. The purpose is to help people liberate themselves and help them reconnect with the natural world.
Global Big Day, May 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Join more than 30,000 others and become a part of Global Big Day. You don’t have to commit to birding for 24 hours—an hour or even 10 minutes of watching birds makes you part of the team. May 4.
Vernal Pool Exploration, May 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Join Explore Outdoors! education coordinator Julianne Taylor for a visit to the vernal pool. At Miles Lane Trails, Bucksport, May 4, 9 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Wilderness First Aid training, May 4-5
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Learn to assess & treat injuries in outdoor situations. Two-day course taught by Wilderness Medical Associates. At Maine Audubon, Falmouth, May 4-5, $175-$250, pre-register.
Building Thriving Communities, May 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 27, 2019 

Get the knowledge and tools needed to empower local action on Health, Food, Forestry, Energy, Water and Economy to build a positive future for all. Keynote Speaker, Gus Speth, Senior Fellow and co-chair of the Next System Project at the Democracy Collaborative; Co-Founder of Natural Resources Defense Council; Founder of World Resources Institute; former Dean, Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies; senior adviser on environmental issues to Presidents Carter and Clinton. At Hutchinson Center, UMaine, Belfast, May 4, $50.
Tune up your paddling skills, equipment and knowledge, May 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 25, 2019 

Scott Shea, Master Maine Guide, helps you prepare for another season of paddling the beautiful waters of Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 2, 7 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Invasive plants workshop, May 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 25, 2019 

The Oxford County Soil & Water Conservation District and UMaine Cooperative Extension will host a workshop on the ecology, impacts, identification and management of invasive plants. At the Cooperative Extension Office, Paris, May 2, 9:30 am - 2:30 pm, $15, preregister.
Great Meadow at Sieur de Monts, May 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 25, 2019 

Wild Acadia Project Coordinator Brian Henkel will talk about the past and future of the Great Meadow at Sieur de Monts in Acadia National Park. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, May 2, 7 pm.
5th Annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards, May 1
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 24, 2019 

Celebrate the winners of the fifth annual Source Maine Sustainability Awards. At Vineland Farms, New Gloucester, May 1, 5:30 to 7:30 pm.
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News Items
Why a Belfast man wants artists to paddle down the Penobscot River
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

Starting this weekend, a puppeteer, a cartoonist, a dancer, painters and other artists are taking to two large canoes to paddle the lower portion of the Penobscot River into Penobscot Bay. It’s the inaugural flotilla of the Village Canoe, a combined canoe expedition and floating artist residency, the brainchild of Chris Battaglia. “My hope is to see if this is a viable new art program that bridges Maine’s outdoors and environment and creative place-making,” he said.
Opinion: Jay Inslee’s exit shows how bad our presidential selection process is
Washington Post - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

In a sane presidential selection process, a two-term governor with a solid record on raising the minimum wage, health care, job creation, immigration and education – coupled with real expertise on a critical topic, climate change – would be a leading contender for the Democratic presidential nomination. Instead, Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee is dropping out. There's no room for a smart, accomplished governor in a Democratic field full of cranks, crackpots and nonviable contenders. ~ Jennifer Rubin
Opinion: Feds lack credibility for changes to Endangered Species Act
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

A federal push to weaken the Endangered Species Act – the latest target in the Trump administration’s crusade against environmental protection – is troubling on its face. Making it worse is the behavior of the Interior Department. The agency is supposed to be a trusted steward of precious public resources, including endangered species and a fifth of the land in the United States. But it is hobbled by appearances of cronyism and reduced transparency. Tweaks may be needed to the Endangered Species Act. But an Interior Department that’s facing ethical questions, is led by a former oil lobbyist and is politicizing public disclosure hasn’t earned the trust to make such changes. ~ The Seattle Times
Letter: Working together will ease anxiety over climate change
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

I’ve been very disheartened by everything we’re hearing about climate change, but a climate change service at Allen Avenue Unitarian Universalist Church brought the conversation into the open and allowed us to share our fears in community. When the fear is heavy enough, I feel overburdened. Hopeless. Helpless. It becomes easy not to act. I urge anyone who’s feeling similarly bogged down by fear and a sense of helplessness to find a group you can work with, or even form one. It will remind you that you’re not going it alone, and perhaps, together, we can act to save at least some of this precious Earth. ~ Erica Bartlett, Portland
China increases its U.S. lobster tariff, and dealers ‘can’t believe this is happening again’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 23, 2019 

China is raising its tariff on U.S. lobster imports yet again, from 25 to 35 percent, delivering more bad news to an industry that has seen sales to its fastest-growing international market fall 46 percent as a result of the U.S.-China trade war. Annie Tselikis, executive director of the Maine Lobster Dealers Association, said Friday, “Our businesses have been struggling in the Chinese market for the last year, so the additional tariff is certainly not helpful.” Dealers reeled at the news, Tselikis said, adding that “I can’t believe this is happening again” was a common refrain.
Augusta may have to choose — rail service or trails
Kennebec Journal - Friday, August 23, 2019 

Trails or trains? Augusta councilors are being asked to affirm, by two different constituencies, the city’s separate commitments to passenger rail service and the extension of a biking and hiking trail to connect Augusta to Topsham. At issue is a request from Merrymeeting Trail advocates for city councilors to endorse the proposal to connect the Kennebec River Rail Trail to existing trails in Topsham and Brunswick by building a new biking and hiking route in the rail corridor from Gardiner through Richmond and Bowdoinham to Topsham. Advocates for restoring passenger train service to Augusta fear the proposal could squash any hopes they have of rail service returning to that corridor.
Waterville City Council debates the future of funding recycling center
Morning Sentinel - Friday, August 23, 2019 

With Waterville already operating a curbside recycling service, some councilors see recyclers such as I Recycle Inc. as redundant, but businesses see them as necessary to take their recycling that the city doesn’t. Since its introduction two years ago, the curbside recycling pickup provided by the city has excluded commercial businesses such as bars, restaurants and large apartment buildings.
Union rejects Twin Rivers contract
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The three United Steelworkers local unions rejected the latest contract offer from Twin Rivers Paper Company during a meeting Wednesday night at Madawaska Middle High School. While the official terms of the rejected contract are not known, sources said that some of the main reasons workers are not happy include wages, working conditions and workload.
World wants to save Amazon rainforest. Brazil’s president wants no help.
Washington Post - Friday, August 23, 2019 

Since January, nearly 75,000 fires have burned in the Brazilian Amazon. The fires and the international concern they have provoked again revealed a central conflict in the Amazon: Who gets to decide what happens to it? Is Brazil, which commands of two-thirds of it, the primary warden? Or should the international community have a role in safeguarding the world’s most precious forest, which scientists say is essential to curbing the destabilizing effects of global warming? The jostling for position has further complicated the response to the unfolding crisis. The Amazon, which is often referred to as the earth’s lungs, accounts for one-fourth of the carbon dioxide absorbed by the worlds’ forests, is rapidly being devastated by fire.
David Koch, billionaire industrialist who influenced conservative politics, dies at 79
Washington Post - Friday, August 23, 2019 

David H. Koch, a billionaire industrialist and philanthropist whose fortune and hard-edge libertarianism had a profound effect on American politics while making him an uncommonly polarizing figure, has died at 79. He and an older brother, Charles, transformed the Wichita-based Koch Industries into the second-largest privately held company in the United States. By 2018, Charles and David Koch were estimated to be worth about $60 billion each. It was through a network of well-financed advocacy groups that the Koch brothers achieved their greatest distinction, spreading an uncompromising anti-government gospel that moved the Republican Party steadily to the right. Greenpeace dubbed Koch Industries the “kingpin of climate science denial.”
Macron Urges G-7 Members To Put Amazon Fires At Top Of Agenda
National Public Radio - Friday, August 23, 2019 

French President Emmanuel Macron is calling on world leaders to place the massive fires destroying Brazil's Amazon rainforest at the top of their agenda as they gather in France's southwest for the Group of Seven summit. "Our house is burning. Literally. The Amazon rain forest – the lungs which produces 20% of our planet's oxygen – is on fire," Macron wrote in a tweet Thursday. "It is an international crisis." An estimated 2,500 active fires in the Amazon have caused international concern, prompting a backlash against Brazil's right-wing president, Jair Bolsonaro, who has described measures to protect the rainforest as "obstacles" to economic growth.
Editorial: There’s long-term value in each part of the bond proposal before the Legislature
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 23, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills' bond package continues to make sense. The $5 million for cleaning up contaminated brownfield sites can bolster community health while serving as an economic development tool in order to make properties safer and more economically viable. Funding for drinking water infrastructure, in this case $5 million, is understandably popular bond item. And $5 million for weatherization and energy-efficiency projects can help Mainers lower their energy costs in the long run. Outdoor recreation is a valuable contributor to the state economy. The LMF program also supports Maine’s working waterfronts, and helps preserve and secure commercial fishing access. Each part of the bond package is a worthy and needed investment in Maine’s future.
Column: Birds with crossed beaks are back in Maine White-winged and red crossbills are back in Maine this year
Bangor Daily News - Friday, August 23, 2019 

They’re back. Crossbills were mostly absent from Maine last winter. I didn’t encounter a single one, even when I went looking for them in their favorite places. In early June, I started noticing a few. By July, I was hearing them all over the spruce forests west of Baxter State Park. Crossbills are finches with a uniquely adapted bill. The tips cross, allowing the birds to extract seeds from conifer cones. ~ Bob Duchesne
Editorial: Maine organic dairy farms losing out with livestock rule
Portland Press Herald - Friday, August 23, 2019 

The misinterpretation of a rule governing organic livestock by some certification agencies has allowed a few dairy farms to produce milk inconsistent with national standards. It has put those dairy farms who follow the rule the way it was intended – including all the organic dairy producers in Maine – at a disadvantage. The U.S. Department of Agriculture should close this loophole to put all dairy producers on level ground – and to maintain the integrity of the department’s organic certification.
Hospital staff feed Appalachian Trail hikers at Grafton Notch
Rumford Falls Times - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Appalachian Trail hikers were treated to grilled burgers, fresh vegetables and cupcakes Thursday afternoon by a group of Rumford Hospital employees who set up a lunch table in the parking lot beside Route 26. It’s the second year the hospital employees have hosted Trail Magic. Residents of nearby towns have offered AT hikers rides for showers and supplies, backyard campsites, snacks and other meals.
KLT to hold annual meeting where interns will present their experiences
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Jonah Raether and Joe Hazelton stood out to Kennebec Land Trust Executive Director Theresa Kerchner for their desire to mitigate climate change. “They are inspiring,” she said. “It is hopefully a sign that the next generation is focusing on the future.” As interns building and maintaining trails, directing volunteer stewards and writing grant applications, Raether kept a keen eye on the connection between human health and the environment, while Hazelton helped community members discover good forest management. They will present their research projects during KLT’s annual meeting this weekend in Wayne.
Alicia Heyburn appointed Executive Director of T3
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Alicia Heyburn has been named Executive Director of Teens To Trails (T3), a charitable nonprofit dedicated to increasing the opportunities for teens to experience the out-of-doors. Heyburn previously ran CommunityWorks, a consultancy specializing in building communities that appreciate, protect and restore natural resources. She has also served on the board of the Maine Island Trail Association, the Advisory Board of the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust, the Ride Committee of Bicycle Coalition of Maine, and the Lands Committee of the Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
Misleading EPA statement led news outlets to report M-44 'cyanide bombs' had been banned. Here's the reality.
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

You may have seen recent headlines about the EPA reversing course on 'cyanide bombs' and thought the Trump administration had miraculously decided to do the right thing and quit using M-44s to kill wildlife. That didn't happen...at least not yet. While there are reasons to celebrate some serious progress, the headlines are misleading. M-44s have not been banned. They are still being used for so-called predator control. This remains unacceptable. Here's how you can help us get M-44s banned across the country for good.
See a different endangered animal in every U.S. state
National Geographic - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

This interactive map highlights lesser-known endangered species across America. Once abundant across the northeastern U.S., Atlantic salmon were fished so extensively after European settlement of North America that they’re now found only in a handful of rivers in Maine. Protected under the Endangered Species Act, the fish is now illegal to catch.
Reichen Kuhl Helps Protect the Lakes of Norway, Maine
Other - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

For Reichen Kuhl, who owns a summer home on Lake Pennesseewassee, protecting the lakes of Norway, Maine from invasive species is an ongoing mission that helps keep up the natural local ecosystems. As a member of the Lake Association of Norway, he finds help and support from dozens of volunteers with the same mission of protecting the waters and its surrounding wildlife.
Opinion: Lawmakers and voters should reject new borrowing
Maine Wire - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Earlier this week, Governor Janet Mills issued a proclamation calling the Maine Legislature back to Augusta for a special session to consider her bond proposals. The four bond bills total $163 million and would pay for “transportation, infrastructure and economic development, environmental protection, and land conservation.” New borrowing at this time would be irresponsible. If every dollar spent on interest for bonds over the last 39 years were given back to the Maine people, each Mainer would receive more than $600. This is money that could have been better spent on tax reductions or other uses. Nonetheless, liberal lawmakers proceeded to spend more money than necessary to keep promises to their base instead of tackling problems they were sent there to accomplish. ~ Adam Crepeau, Maine Heritage Policy Center
Paul LePage downplays past criticism of Susan Collins; threatens to run for governor again
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Former Maine Gov. Paul LePage says he’s “always supported” Sen. Susan Collins. In 2017, he said he didn’t know Collins well enough to endorse her for governor, even though he had campaigned for her in the past. The former governor also doubled down on previous statements that he would run against Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, in 2022. He said to expect a formal, public announcement on his decision after the November 2020 election.
Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust seeks community input on the future of conservation in the region
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

The Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust is seeking community input on its current and future conservation work. A community survey will be available online until Sept. 2. The trust has been conserving land in the towns of Brunswick, Topsham and Bowdoin for almost 35 years, with over 2,700 acres currently under its stewardship. In addition, the organization offers more than 20 miles of trails, dozens of events each year, school programming, and the much-loved Tom Settlemire Community Garden and Saturday Farmers’ Market at Crystal Spring Farm.
Facing Uncertain Future, Puffins Adapt to Survive Climate Change
Other - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Union of Concerned Scientists - In the midst of a second-straight record year for breeding Atlantic puffins, the research crew on this tiny, treeless jumble of boulders six miles out to sea pondered how long this good fortune would last amid climate change. This summer ended with 188 breeding pairs of puffins on Egg Rock, surpassing last year’s record of 178. “I wonder if the puffins can feel the change,” said crew supervisor Sarah Guitart, a marine science Boston University graduate. “How long will they adapt? Will they adapt or die?”
It’s literally never been hotter
Natural Resources Defense Council - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

In July, 197 billion tons of ice melted in Greenland. That's three times more than the expected average this time of year — and enough to measurably raise global sea levels. All that happened in just one month. July was the hottest month in recorded history.
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