November 20, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Hike Historic Mt. Pisgah, Jun 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 28, 2011 

Celebrate National Trails Day with a guided hike of the new Mt. Pisgah trail and historic fire lookout in Wayne. Jun 4, 9-11 a.m. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Nequasset Canoe Trip, Jun 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 28, 2011 

An easy paddle up Nequasset Brook, which has lots of different habitats, so expect to see a variety of birds. Pre-registration required. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

Don't miss upcoming field trips sponsored by Maine Coast Heritage Trust.
The Nature Conservancy
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

Don't miss upcoming field trips and events sponsored by The Nature Conservancy in Maine.
Fields Pond Audubon Center
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

Don't miss upcoming activities at Fields Pond Audubon Center in the Greater Bangor area.
Gilsland Farm Audubon Center
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

Don't miss upcoming activities at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth.
Maine's wildlife needs help
Action Alert - Friday, May 27, 2011 

There was a good vote in the Maine House in favor of protecting vernal pools and critical wetlands for Maine’s spectacular water birds. But there is continuing pressure to cut the protection zones around these areas from 250 feet to 150 feet or less. Next week – possibly as early as Tuesday - there will be an amendment proposed to do this. The message for legislators this weekend is to support strong protections for vernal pools, critical water bird wetlands, and outstanding shorebird habitat, and to vote against any bill that would cut protections for these areas.
Celebrating the Return of the Alewives in Damariscotta Mills, May 28-30
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

The fourth annual Damariscotta Mills Fish Ladder Restoration Festival will be held on Memorial Day weekend, May 28, 29 and 30.
Weskeag Marsh kiosk celebration, Jun 3
Event - Posted - Friday, May 27, 2011 

Steve Walker of the State Beginning with Habitat Program will present an outdoor program on the aquatic ecology of the Weskeag Marsh, one of the most biologically productive estuary systems in Maine on June 3 at 10 am. This program commemorates the opening of the Georges River Land Trust’s interpretive kiosk. Sponsored by the GRLT and Friends of the Weskeag.
Vernal Pools update
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 25, 2011 

The Maine House of Representatives voted this morning to accept the majority report on LD 1031, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Significant Wildlife Habitat, which maintains critical protections for Maine’s most important vernal pools and coastal bird habitats. Now it goes to the Senate. There has been pressure on legislators to reduce protections around vernal pools and other important wetlands by shrinking the habitat zone from 250 feet to 100 feet.
Problems with the bill to abolish LURC
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 

LD 1534 would abolish the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC), the agency responsible for land use planning and permitting for the half of Maine in Unorganized Territories. The bill would require counties to undertake those duties. There are numerous problems with eliminating LURC and giving its duties to counties.
Penobscot Watershed Eco-Center Opens for Season, May 28
Announcement - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 

The Penobscot Watershed Eco-Center (PWEC), located at 160 Main Street in Bar Harbor, will open for its second season on Saturday, May 28. The center hosts an exhibit entitled “The Living Web,” which presents scientifically and culturally sound education around the importance of water using the Penobscot River Watershed as a model. An open house is scheduled for June 18 at 12-3 pm.
Life on a Maine island, May 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 

Peter P. Blanchard III will tell the fascinating story of a couple, Art & Nan Kellam, determined to live in isolation from the rest of the world on an island off the coast of Maine. Blanchard has been involved with conservation issues for many years. He owns and manages two Maine islands as nature reserves. At the Waldoboro Public Library, May 31 at 7 pm.
Vernal pools, May 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 24, 2011 

What vernal pools are and why they are important. At Cathance River Education Alliance, Topsham, May 31, 6:30 pm.
Ocean Conservationist to Speak at MERI, May 27
Event - Posted - Monday, May 23, 2011 

“The Ocean and Us: Caught In The Same Net” is the title of a lecture by author, ecologist and environmental activist Carl Safina at the Marine Environmental Research Institute on May 27. Speaker reception at 6 pm, lecture at 7 pm. Free.
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News Items
On the NFCT with filmmaker Brad Tallent
Other - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Canoe & Kayak magazine - Filmmakers Brad Tallent and Austin Graham, the co-founders of Adventureitus Productions, along with their partners, Megan Tallent and Mallory Hirschler, canoed the length of the 740-mile Northern Forest Canoe Trail, shooting an intriguing teaser and developing a series of video guides for each section of the water trail, which stretches from New York to Maine. Brad says, "I really looked forward to the Allagash and St. John rivers. Section 13 lived up to everything I could have asked for and more."
Verso third quarter financial results
Other - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Verso reported financial results for the third quarter of 2017. Net sales for the third quarter of 2017 decreased by $54 million compared to the third quarter of 2016. The sales decline was primarily attributable to a decrease in total sales volume due to the general softening of demand for coated papers and capacity reductions at the Androscoggin Mill, partially offset by a 1 percent increase in price.
Online sustainability journal Spire calls
Courier-Gazette - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Spire, the Maine Journal of Conservation and Sustainability, invites submissions for the second issue of the online journal, slated for release in spring 2018. ​Spire's editorial team of graduate and undergraduate students at UMaine is accepting submissions through Sunday, Dec. 10.
Editorial: Jensen Bissell — He Took on a Tough Job as Director of Baxter State Park, and Did It Well
Maine Sportsman - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Jensen Bissell, who has served as Park DIrector for Baxter State Park for more than 12 years, recently announced he will retire at the end of the year. Throughout his time as director, Bissell allowed himself to be guided by the near-religious tenets of Governor Baxter, who conditioned the many deeds to the property by mandating that the park lands were to be "maintained primarily as a wilderness," while "recreational purposes are to be regarded as of secondary importance" toward the goal of keeping the area "forever wild."
Letter: Accolades for Jensen Bissell, Retiring Director of Baxter State Park
Maine Sportsman - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Jensen Bissell [who announced October 18 that he would be retiring as Park Director on December 31] has done an exemplary job at Baxter State Park. From his early work on the Scientific Forest Management Area, to his efforts to put the park on a solid financial footing, to being a quiet but persistent force to carry on Percival Baxter's vision, Jensen has been professional, fair, humble and dedicated. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Board Secretary, Friends of Baxter State Park
Here’s why you should be alarmed by the changing climate
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, November 20, 2017 

What will it take to convince you that climate change is happening and is a problem that must be addressed? Perhaps Lyme disease and deer ticks? The terrible loss of commercial fisheries along the Maine coast, as the ocean water warms? The huge number of moose dying from ticks? Erratic weather including a frightening increase in fires, floods, and hurricanes? The increase in the number of Maine cases of Anaplasmosis? If our country is going to tackle this, we need Congress to step up on several key issues, including stopping the President’s proposed cuts in the EPA’s budget, repeal of rules protecting our streams, rivers, lakes and ponds, and revival of the coal industry.
Opinion: All quiet on the climate front
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 20, 2017 

“Promoting coal at a climate summit is like promoting tobacco at a cancer summit,” said Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor, but President Donald J. Trump did exactly that. He sent a team of American diplomats and energy executives to the annual world climate summit, that was held this year in Bonn, Germany, to extol the wonders of “clean” coal. Bloomberg, now a U.N. special envoy for climate change, got it right. ~ Gwynne Dyer
Maine Says More Than 400K Farm Acres To Transfer In 10 years
Associated Press - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Maine officials say more than 400,000 acres of Maine farmland will transition ownership over the next 10 years. The coming transfer of ownership is the focus of an upcoming conference scheduled for Dec. 4 at the Augusta Civic Center. It's co-hosted by Maine Farmland Trust and Land For Good.
Under threat of Trump cuts, Maine labs find clever ways to pay for science
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 20, 2017 

The Trump administration’s proposal to slash federal science funding by $4.3 billion in the 2018 budget strikes across the nation’s science organizations. In Maine, the proposed 22 percent cut for the National Institutes of Health would most impact the state’s world-renowned biomedical research institutions like Bar Harbor’s Jackson Laboratory and MDI Biological Laboratory. The University of Maine in Orono gets state and federal funds from multiple agencies including the National Science Foundation, whose budget the president recommended cutting 13 percent, and the Department of Defense, facing a 15 percent cut. Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences in East Boothbay could get hit by a potential 11 percent drop in the Environmental Protection Agency budget.
Maine Legislature has long to-do list when it returns in January
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 20, 2017 

State lawmakers will face a long list of bills when they return to work in January – including measures on solar and hydropower regulation – in a second session with a high risk of grandstanding by those who are running for higher office in the November 2018 election. Several key lawmakers are running for governor or Congress. Among that group are Senate President Mike Thibodeau, Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, all Republicans running for governor; and House Assistant Majority Leader Jared Golden, a Democrat who is seeking the 2nd Congressional District seat.
Letter: Portland arborist stepped up for ‘Forest City’
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 20, 2017 

Our wonderful city recently suffered an unusually vicious rain and wind storm that took down many of its graceful and mature trees. Fortunately, however, we are blessed as a community to have aForestry Division, led by our city arborist, Jeff Tarling, who responded to the emergency with care, efficiency and good judgment. Jeff and his team made urgent and critical decisions to protect the safety of our citizens and preserve the integrity of our beautiful “Forest City.” ~ Phyllis Givertz, Portland
New Label Will Promote Food Grown By Maine Veterans
Associated Press - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Maine agriculture officials say they have reached an agreement with United Farmer Veterans of Maine to promote agricultural products grown by the state's veterans. The promotion will include a new "MaineGrown by Vets" label. The agriculture department and veterans group say they've also reached agreement to mutually market the new label. Supporters of the new label say it will give Maine veterans a chance to showcase their products "as a veteran produced product off a veteran owned farm in Maine."
Lobster Catch Might be Less this Year
Associated Press - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Members of the lobster industry say Maine's lobster haul might be less this year, and prices have drifted downward for both lobstermen and consumers. American lobster fishing is in the midst of a multiyear boom, with Maine fishermen setting a record of nearly 131 million pounds last year. Fishermen in the state have caught more than 100 million pounds for six years in a row after never previously reaching that total. But market analyst John Sackton says some in the industry believe catch could be as much as 30 percent off this year. Meanwhile, prices for live lobsters are lagging behind last year. Maine is far and away the biggest lobster producing state in the U.S. Maine fishermen accounted for more than 80 percent of the nationwide catch last year.
Legal dispute snags revitalization of Old Town mill
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

The latest attempt to transform a shuttered pulp mill in Old Town into a production center for wood-based energy and fuels is tangled in a lawsuit filed by a prospective buyer, who says he was illegally pushed out of a $10 million deal in favor of a competitor. Samuel Eakin of Cape Elizabeth, the managing director of Relentless Capital Co. and an allied company, Old Town Utility & Technology Park, who hoped to sell wood-based energy to UMaine, sues over breach of contract and wants the sale to a third party blocked. The university operates the Forest Bioproducts Research Center in a corner of the mill, where it’s working to commercialize fuels, chemicals and materials made from wood. That’s why the future of the Old Town mill has taken on a broader significance.
State largely ignores role as seas grow more acidic
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Despite a bipartisan recognition of a threat to Maine's shellfish industry, leadership on the issue has fallen to a group of concerned volunteers. “For a state whose identity and economy is so heavily dependent on marine resources, I think it is really shameful that we are not doing enough to look at the threats of changing ocean chemistry,” says Bill Mook, who had to develop water treatment systems after watching acidic water kill crop after crop of newly hatched oysters. Rep. Devin says, “It’s the governor and a few of his minions that have blocked the ocean acidification bills. We’re not going to be able to do anything environmental with Governor LePage in office.”
Scientist Steve Eayrs knows how to build a better fish trap
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Steve Eayrs, a research scientist at Gulf of Maine Research Institute since 2007, who works in the area of fish behavior and gear technology, has designed some new spins on old gear, intended to make fishing more efficient and sustainable.
Maine farmers raising turkeys in record numbers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Maine farmers are increasingly raising turkeys for the meat market with the number of live turkey poults being brought into the state up 30 percent in the last year. Farmers say they’re responding to a demand for locally raised meat and a lucrative market.
Planting of Atlantic salmon eggs in Kennebec River starting to pay dividends
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Atlantic salmon were first listed as threatened by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in 2000 in a small portion of Maine. In 2009 the list was expanded and the salmon’s status was elevated to endangered. Since 2010 as many as 300,000 to 1 million Atlantic salmon eggs grown in a hatchery have been planted, or seeded, in the Kennebec watershed. The Sandy isn’t the only river in Maine where hatchery-grown eggs are planted. Marine Resources also has planted salmon eggs in the Sheepscot and Penobscot rivers, the Downeast Salmon Federation has in the Machias, Pleasant and Narraguagus rivers, and the Saco River Salmon Restoration Alliance has in the Saco.
Column: Finish the season with a local paddle
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

We are wrapping up our 2017 canoeing with the theme of getting out there one last time before the snow flies, and exploring someplace close to home. In our case that means an outing on the nearby Androscoggin River in Brunswick. The big windstorm of a few weeks ago has created extra yard work for many of us, so getting away for a daylong outing is not as likely right now. A few hours on the water in a pretty setting provides a much-needed therapeutic interlude. ~ Michael Perry
Column: Extra preparation worth it for the joy of winter hiking
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Hiking during the winter feels like a totally different exercise than the rest of the year, with a solitude and silence that don’t exist during the warmer months. The flow of rivers slows to a trickle or stops completely, and many animals migrate to warmer climates or begin to hibernate. The buzz of insects, a constant annoyance during the summer, dies completely. And, while some hardy souls enjoy hiking during the winter, the trails empty almost completely. The cold also makes winter hiking a more dangerous adventure. This isn’t meant to discourage winter hiking, but to encourage those embarking on it to take due caution and prepare. ~ Josh Christie
Column: Perspective needed in debate on deer scents
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

The threat of Chronic Wasting Disease is very real. It continues to spread, though we still don’t know how, or ultimately what impact that could have on wild deer populations. We could take the cautious approach and ban urine-based scents based solely on the possibility that something could happen, though there’s no real evidence to support that notion. Or we could let hunters continue to spend their $9 an ounce and hope nothing bad does happen. I guess the right course of action is a matter of perspective. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: The rare beauty of a 64-crayon fall day
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

This was a Crayola kind of day. What’s that, you say? Well, it’s a day where if I had a box of 64 Crayola crayons and, if I could draw, I could use every single color! Oh! If I could only draw! ~ Anne Cataldo, Boothbay
Letter: Birding adds joy to exploring Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 19, 2017 

Deirdre Fleming’s Nov. 5 story about deer hunters who enjoy birding was right on the mark. My wife, Linda, and I started birding 12 years ago, and I wish we’d started much sooner. Birding adds so much to our trips, and we now often travel just to see birds. You don’t have to be an expert to enjoy birding in Maine. And it sure does add a wonderful element to spending time in our great outdoors. ~ George Smith, Mount Vernon
Column: Elk hunt, part 2: The trail food search
Sun Journal - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

This is part two of a three part column series about my fall elk hunt to Colorado. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Big backlash resurrects big-game ban
Washington Post - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

A combination of public and private pressure prompted President Trump to overturn his administration’s recent move to allow elephants shot for sport in Zimbabwe and Zambia to be imported back to the United States as trophies, according to interviews with several individuals briefed on the decision. Trump’s announcement Friday that he was putting the decision “on hold” until he could personally review it marked animal welfare activists’ first federal victory since the president took office in January.
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