November 17, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Butterfly Walk, Jul 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 30, 2012 

Help count butterflies for the North American Butterfly Count. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, July 7, 1 pm.
Palmer Meadow Pond Paddle, Jul 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 30, 2012 

Join Ed Friedman, chair of Friends of Merrymeeting Bay, on July 7 at 9-11 am to paddle Palmer Meadow Pond in Dresden. Pre-registration required.
Maine Political Watch: LePage, Elton John Tribute Band Headline Events at Fort Knox, Jul 7
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 30, 2012 

The first-ever “Economic Freedom Festival” will feature a stellar lineup of political conservatives, according to Carol Weston, director of Americans for Prosperity – Maine, including Governor Paul LePage. At Fort Knox, Prospect, July 7, 3:30 pm. For those not interested in hearing from LePage, the Elton John tribute band Yellow Brick Road will present a show at 6:30-8:30 pm.
Climate Change & Forests
Publication - Friday, June 29, 2012 

According to this fact sheet by the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences, "climate change will alter many aspects of forests and forest management, and although managers and landowners cannot control the changes in climate (e.g., warmer temperatures, altered precipitation), we are not helpless in shaping the future condition of our forestland. The best way to plan and prepare for climate change is to practice good forestry."
Farm Training Project
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 27, 2012 

These workshops, ranging from ecological pest control to farming off the grid, are designed for and targeted to participants in MOFGA's Apprenticeship Program, but are free and open to anyone. They are intended to give apprentices and other young, beginning, and aspiring farmers the chance to visit other farms, learn from farmers about their areas of expertise, and socialize with peers. Sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Stop East-West Corridor through Maine
Action Alert - Saturday, June 23, 2012 

Though purported to be a benificial endeavor for Maine citizens with the lure of increased jobs and commerce, it is now known the purpose of the proposed East-West Corridor across Maine with its massive privately owned land requirements is an attempt to aquire property for the shipment of extremely toxic oil through the state. Sponsored by Eric A. Tuttle.
Natural Resource Conservation Funds Available
Announcement - Saturday, June 23, 2012 

More than $2 million will soon be available for protecting wetland and significant wildlife habitat in Maine. The Maine Natural Resource Conservation Program helps offset impacts to natural resources by funding the restoration, enhancement or preservation of similar habitats. Public agencies, non-profit conservation organizations and private individuals are encouraged to submit a letter of intent for eligible restoration and preservation projects in Maine by July 20.
Landscape Conservation Stewardship Program
Announcement - Saturday, June 23, 2012 

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation in cooperation with its partner, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, announces a new initiative to develop community-based partnerships that further the conservation of fish, wildlife, plants and other natural resources in distinct landscapes. In 2012, approximately $180,000 will be available for matching grants nationwide. Deadline is July 31.
Robin Hood Tax campaign
Action Alert - Friday, June 22, 2012 

Today, the U.S. is the most unequal advanced industrial country in the world. While poverty rates go up, Congress continues to slash programs that protect the environment and help people in need while doling out welfare to corporate polluters and big banks. The Robin Hood Tax is a proposal for a tiny tax, 1/2 of 1 percent or less, on financial transactions in the U.S. that would free up hundreds of billions of dollars to protect public goods. Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and more than 1,000 economists already endorse it.
Old Fort Western Summer Apprentice Program & Field School for Young Naturalists at Viles Arboretum
Announcement - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

Old Fort Western, a 1754 National Historic Landmark fort, store, and house museum on the Kennebec River in Augusta, will be collaborating with the Viles Arboretum to offer a unique learning experience of living history and nature conservancy all in one day. This program is for kids ages 8-12 during the weeks of July 9-13 and August 6-10.
Androscoggin Source to the Sea Trek, Jul 6-Aug 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

Paddle some or all of the Androscoggin's 170+ miles, July 6-August 4. Sponsored by Androscoggin River Watershed Council.
New England Human Powered Vehicle Rally, Jun 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

Expect to see recumbent bikes, velomobiles (enclosed recumbent bikes), electric assisted bikes and home-built or store-bought versions of any of the above. At Rogers Pond, Kennebunk, June 30, 8 am 5 pm.
Portland LobsterFest, Jun 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

The Great Maine Lobster Eating Contest will test the skill and the stomach of the competitors. In a ten minute period, each contestant must shuck and eat the lobster tail and both claws. Senator Olympia Snowe will be a special guest judge for the Lobster Eating contest. Governor Paul LePage will also attend the Portland LobsterFest. At Maine State Pier, Portland, June 30, 11 am.
Bird Sounds Walk, Jun 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

Ornithologist Will Broussard will lead a morning bird sounds walk in Bowdoinham. June 30, 7-9:00 am. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay. Pre-registration required.
Maine Regulatory Fairness Board, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 21, 2012 

To effectively report to the Legislature and the Governor on regulatory conflicts, the Maine Regulatory Fairness Board is eliciting public comment concerning "specific state rules and regulations that may unreasonably impede business sustainability and growth; and recommendations for regulatory and statutory change that may enhance Maine's business climate." Or you can remind the board that regulations protect the public from excesses of the private marketplace. Next meeting is at the Ellsworth Middle School, June 29, 1-4 pm.
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News Items
Outstanding leaders organize new native fish advocacy group
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, November 17, 2017 

Exciting news! A new organization focused on our native fish has been organized, “to protect, preserve, and restore native fish populations through stewardship of the fish and their habitats.” Outstanding fisheries leaders at the state and national level comprise the national board, with state boards in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
Getting More 'Wolflike' Is The Key To The Future For Coyotes
Associated Press - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The future of the coyotes that roam from Newfoundland to Virginia could hinge on the animals becoming the "wolves'' of the East Coast. Coyotes have lived in the East since the 1930s, and recent genetic tests have shown they are actually a mixture of coyote, wolf and dog. Scientists say they might be getting genetically closer to wolves, helping them become better predators and thrive in urban areas and the woods of Maine. That means people will need to learn to coexist with them.
Plan To Improve Lobstering Data Collection Faces Hearings
Associated Press - Friday, November 17, 2017 

Interstate fishing regulators are holding a series of hearings on the East Coast about a plan to improve data collection in the lobster fishery. The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission says it wants to improve harvest reporting and biological data collection to better inform fishing regulations. The hearings include Jan. 10 in Scarborough, and Jan. 11 in Ellsworth.
Letter: Who owns land between high- and low-tide marks? Answer is simple
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 17, 2017 

I couldn’t believe my ears when I heard Wednesday that the debate on who owns the land between the high- and low-tide marks is still going on! The solution seems so simple: Go to town hall and check the property lines listed on the property tax records for those properties abutting the ocean. If the property owner is paying property taxes for the land up to the high-tide mark only, then the “exposed land” at low tide is public. If the property owner is paying taxes for the land up to the low tide mark, then the “exposed land” is private. Problem solved! ~ Steven C. Pomelow, Gorham
Letter: Maine kids with asthma need Clean Power Plan
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The proposal to revoke the Clean Power Plan gives power plants a license to pollute. Children with asthma, including my son and the 21,726 children suffering from asthma in Maine, need healthy air. I call on Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King to take steps to ensure that EPA follows the law and protects our health from unlimited carbon pollution. Don’t let the EPA roll back the Clean Power Plan. ~ Patricia Salpietro, Readfield
Letter: Trump needs to act on climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 17, 2017 

It has been a year of extreme weather everywhere in the world. Climate change and global warming is not something new to people. But have we been taking it seriously enough? President Donald Trump does not seem to think this is a priority or that we as the people should take responsibility for it. We can change our policies here in the U.S. to help make a difference. We need our president to stand by his people and our earth. We can’t make these changes without our presidents’ support and interest in this urgency. ~ Briana Libby, Kennebunk
Letter: Woods don’t belong to hunters
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 17, 2017 

For anyone to blame the shooting death of Karen Wrentzel on the fact she was not wearing hunter orange is asinine. I remember Karen Wood innocently hanging clothes out in her own backyard in Hermon and being shot by a hunter. I was aghast then that she was blamed for her own demise. It seems that one hunting season runs right into another now in Maine. Just how many days are left to those of us who like to wander and hike and just observe nature? There is Sunday. Bear hunters and others have tried more than once to “kill” that day of reprieve. It is a hunter’s responsibility to know what he or she is aiming at — no excuses. The woods do not belong to the hunters. ~ Tonya Troiani, Meddybemps
Trump lifts ban on importing elephants killed as trophies
Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

The Trump administration said it will allow the importation of body parts from African elephants shot for sport, contending that encouraging wealthy big-game hunters to kill them will aid the vulnerable species. Animal rights activists and environmental groups expressed skepticism Thursday that killing elephants could help save them. Wayne Pacelle, the president and CEO of The Humane Society of the United States, said the policy change sends the wrong signal amid international efforts to curb illegal poaching. But the move was quickly praised by groups that champion big-game trophy hunting, including Safari Club International and the lobbying arm of the National Rifle Association.
Project to bring Canadian hydropower to New England gets federal approval
Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

The granting of what is called the Presidential permit allows for the $1.6 billion project to take hydropower across an international border and connect to the United States grid. The Northern Pass project calls for building a 192-mile electricity transmission line in New Hampshire. The project has pitted supporters who argue it will create jobs and cut energy costs against those who fear the transmission lines will destroy scenic views, reduce property values and hurt tourism. “They have a permit to cross the international border but they don’t have a permit to site the project on 192 miles of New Hampshire landscape. That is what the SEC will determine,” said Will Abbott, the vice president for policy with the Society for the Protection of New Hampshire Forests, which opposes the project.
UMaine student discovered new species of wasp – and it doesn’t sting
Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

State officials say a University of Maine student has discovered a new species of wasp. Hillary Morin Peterson discovered the species while doing work for her thesis. The Brunswick resident named the wasp Ormocerus dirigoius, in tribute to Maine’s motto, “Dirigo.” It means “I lead” in Latin. Peterson discovered the small, non-stinging species of wasp while doing research about the invasive winter moths that live in Maine. Her work was in collaboration with the Maine Forest Service.
Keystone Pipeline closed through several states after 200,000-gallon leak
Other - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

NBC News - Part of the controversial Keystone Pipeline was shut down Thursday after more than 200,000 gallons of oil leaked in South Dakota, the state and the company that runs the pipeline said Thursday.
Why Did The Passenger Pigeon Go Extinct? The Answer Might Lie In Their Toes
National Public Radio - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Scientists believe they may have new insights into why passenger pigeons went extinct, after analyzing DNA from the toes of birds that have been carefully preserved in museums for over a century. The bottom line, according to Beth Shapiro, one of the researchers on a newly released study in the journal Science, is that "passenger pigeon extinction was avoidable. It was entirely our fault. We over-hunted and over-exploited this amazing animal, and we should try to be careful about what we're doing today."
Once a nuisance, now toxic algae is a severe nationwide threat
Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

The scourge is escalating, overwhelming government efforts to curb a leading cause: fertilizer runoff from farms. Instead of ordering agriculture to stem the flood of nutrients, regulators seek voluntary cooperation, an approach not afforded other big polluters. Government agencies have spent billions of dollars and produced countless studies on the problem. But an investigation found little to show for their efforts.
UPDATED: Maine Governor Wannabes
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

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 information from various, mostly reliable, sources as of November 16, 2017, there are 11 declared Democratic candidates, 5 declared Republican candidates, and 7 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. Will we find out the policies of each of these candidates?
Blog: A green industry is brewing in Maine
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

My experiences in the outdoors as a child led to a deep passion for nature, which I’m thankful to say, has carried on into my adult life. I am proud to be an advocate for the natural world, and even prouder to advocate for people and businesses that also work to be stewards of nature. Maine’s craft beer industry is a great example of the free market creating outstanding products while promoting greener practices. ~ Ben Wyman
Watchdog slams Zinke for failing to document travel
POLITICO - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke failed to properly document his travel, the agency's watchdog said Thursday, preventing it from determining whether he had violated government rules. "Our investigation is delayed by absent or incomplete documentation for several pertinent trips and a review process that failed to include proper documentation and accountability," Deputy Inspector General Mary Kendall said in a letter obtained by POLITICO and first reported by The Washington Post.
Former employee charged with setting fire at Lincoln mill
Associated Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Officials say David Parsons, of Lincoln, a former worker at the the former Lincoln paper mill, was charged Thursday with three counts of arson. More than a dozen fire departments were called in to help douse the fire that started Wednesday afternoon and destroyed a 300-foot-long warehouse and a scale shed. The fire raised concerns about toxins on the site. Lincoln officials voted to seek a Superfund designation for the site that’s contaminated with cancer-causing asbestos, dioxin, heavy metals and PCBs. Arson carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison.
Scarborough officials may raise beach parking fees, plan to sell public safety building
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Some beachgoers could see higher parking fees next year at Ferry, Higgins and Pine Point beaches. Town councilors passed the first reading of proposed parking fees for 2018 summer beach parking on Wednesday evening and scheduled a public hearing on the fees for Dec. 6. The proposed fees for resident season passes for beach parking will remain the same at $40, but nonresident passes could double from $75 to $150. Parking for resident seniors and veterans will still be free. Daily parking passes could climb from $10 to $15 at the three beaches. A 5:30-9 a.m. parking fee could also be added for $5. Hourly meters will remain at $1 at Ferry and Higgins beaches.
Fire at Lincoln mill fuels concerns about asbestos, other toxins
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

State environmental safety workers will do air tests after two buildings were destroyed by a fire at the former Lincoln paper mill that police said was intentionally set. The tests set for Saturday will determine the level of threat posed by cancer-causing pollutants found at the former Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC mill. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Maine Department of Environmental Protection workers will tour the site on Friday, DEP spokesman David Madore said Thursday.
Column: It’s time to rent a birder for a day
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

The Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon conducts an annual online auction, and one of this year’s auction items is me. The highest bidder wins a morning walk anywhere in Maine to identify all the birds making noise. Bidding will continue until Dec. 8. Then we party. ~ Bob Duchesne
Clinton Townsend’s Memoir is Amazing
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

The title of Clinton Townsend’s memoir is both ironic and wrong. The book is titled Trouble Maker, and Bill was not that. He was one of our state’s greatest conservationists and an inspiration to many, including me. But I get the title. Bill was certainly an environmental agitator, pushing us forward on my important issues and projects. From the protection of Bigelow Mountain to the creation of the Land-use Regulation Commission, and from his advocacy for the Allagash River to his participation in the Land for Maine’s Future program, we all owe Bill so much for all that he did. He was given many awards for his wonderful work.
Opinion: Maine lobstermen know the need for clean air, water
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Maine’s lobster industry, realizing we are dependent on a healthy ocean as well as an abundance of lobsters, has a long established heritage of conservation and has made choices over time that helped create a fishery that is flourishing while others are not. Our good management decisions could well be an example to decision-makers who mistakenly believe that momentary gain from relaxation of environmental regulations somehow benefits us in the long run. Working in the natural world, fishermen realize that a healthy environment and its resources feed our economy. What we need is a government that looks to our environmental, economic and physical well-being. ~ Richard Nelson, member of the Maine Ocean Acidification Commission and the Maine Regional Ocean Planning Advisory Group, Friendship
Passenger Rail Service from Rockland to Boston Could Return in May
Free Press - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

It’s been nearly 60 years since a passenger train ran from Rockland to Boston, but the Amtrak Downeaster is tentatively scheduled to restart the service in May, according to the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA). The authority, which manages operation of the Downeaster, says its proposed midcoast connection would be a seasonal pilot project to see if there is enough demand for the service. The train would operate on weekends from May to October with stops in Bath, Wiscasset, Newcastle, and Rockland.
A dead moose in a Subaru and other scenes from a Maine moose hunt
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

A Subaru Brat climbing Scammon Ridge didn’t fare well when it caught fire after overheating. Firefighters attributed the blaze to its cargo — a heavy bull moose, which, according to a firefighter, exceeded the Subaru’s maximum recommended weight limit. A flatbed from Guilford transported the charred mess to the Texaco Station in Greenville, where Warden Pat Dorion and I met the hunter. While the warden interviewed the man, I was dumbstruck by the blackened moose: Its hind end sat in the bed of the Subaru, the torso draped the roof, and the neck and antlered head covered most of the windshield and hood. ~ Ron Joseph
Labor shortage challenges Maine ski resorts to be creative as season opens
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

Every year, Maine’s ski industry more than triples its workforce in only a few months, hiring armies of snowmakers, lift attendants and front office representatives, as well as servers, cooks, housekeepers and retail salespeople. In the winter, the Sunday River and Sugarloaf ski resorts become the biggest employers in rural Oxford and Franklin counties, respectively. Collectively, Maine’s ski resorts added $300 million to the Maine economy, according to a 2015 Maine Development Foundation tourism report. But as Maine’s labor market has tightened, ski resorts have found it harder to fill positions.
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