May 24, 2018  
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
New Hampshire committee rejects Northern Pass appeal
Associated Press - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee unanimously voted on Thursday to deny a request by Eversource to rehear the $1.6 billion, 192-mile Northern Pass transmission line project. It first voted against the project in February, which resulted in Massachusetts abandoning plans to contract with the project to fulfill its clean energy needs. The Massachusetts Office of Energy said it would reverse course and terminate the earlier selection of Eversource’s Northern Pass project. The state will instead move toward an agreement with New England Clean Energy Connect, a hydropower project proposed by Central Maine Power Co.
Watchdog Agency Calls For Changes To Bottle Deposit Law
Maine Public - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The legislature’s watchdog agency is recommending that lawmakers do a comprehensive review of the state’s bottle deposit law, passed first by voters at referendum in 1976. The office of Program Evaluation And Government Accountability reviewed the history and operations of the bottle deposit law, and it concluded that lawmakers need to consider several changes to make the law work more efficiently. The report suggests several improvements in data collection and recommends changing language in the current law that it found to be confusing.
Pigs found buried on Swanville farm close to emaciated, state documents say
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

A Swanville farmer, Jerry Ireland, has entered a plea of not guilty to 13 counts of cruelty to animals charges filed after state animal welfare officials exhumed a dozen Mangalitsa pigs that he allegedly shot, killed and buried on his property a day before the agents were scheduled to check on them.
Rice production in Maine ‘growing exponentially,’ but more farms are needed
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Maine might seem to be an unusual place to grow rice, but for the last six years, Ben Rooney from Wild Folk Farm in Benton has shown it can be done. He’s also found that Mainers are hungry for locally-grown rice, with demand far outpacing the amount of the grain that the small paddy system on his farm — the only Maine farm commercially growing rice — can supply. Rooney said, “People want rice here.” That’s why he is particularly excited that the Maine Rice Project, a non-profit he helped start which has a goal of getting more people to grow and eat sustainably grown rice and grain throughout Maine, is expanding.
Editorial: St. Clair’s monument work gives him edge in 2nd District Democratic primary
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Three Democratic candidates are running in the June 12 primary to challenge Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican who represents Maine’s 2nd Congressional District. Jared Golden is the assistant majority leader in the Maine House of Representatives and a veteran of the Marine Corps. Lucas St. Clair, who runs his family foundation, was instrumental in creating the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. Craig Olson is a bookseller from Islesboro. We believe that St. Clair is the best choice.
Trump is about to repeal one of Obama’s last climate rules
Think Progress - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

The Trump administration is set to repeal a rule finalized in the last days of the Obama administration that would have required states and some cities to take greenhouse gas emissions into account when planning transportation projects.
Acadia photo wins grand prize in national Share the Experience photo contest
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

On Thursday, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the winners of the 2017 Share the Experience photography contest. The grand prize winner is a captivating starry night at Acadia National Park by Manish Mamtani of Peabody, Massachusetts. The image will be featured on the annual America the Beautiful National Parks and Federal Recreational Lands Pass. The winning photo in the wildlife category, by William Sweet, was also taken in Acadia National Park.
Much higher turkey harvests and more public support called for in new plan
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Here’s one of the most significant statements in the new Turkey management plan: “Population management should include steps to substantially increase turkey harvest in WMDs that are experiencing significant public complaints, with the goal of reducing population size to socially acceptable levels.” Yup, we need to kill more turkeys.
You can spend the night with goats at this Maine Airbnb
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

Not everyone who travels to Maine on vacation is coming for the lobster. Some come for the goats. At least that’s what attracts guests to Karl Schatz and Margaret Hathaway’s Ten Apple Farm Airbnb in Gray, where people looking to get away from it all can get away with not only goats, but pigs, sheep, chickens and turkeys.
Letter: Fossil fuel use robs next generation
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, May 24, 2018 

A front-page article May 16 headlined “Views clash as DEP readies greenhouse gas rulemaking” reported on the May 15 hearing on the citizen-initiated petition for rulemaking aimed at achieving an 8 percent annual reduction in Maine’s greenhouse gas emissions. The article presented the hearing as a clash between two groups, but it did not report that 31 people, including nine youths, spoke in favor of the petition and only three spoke against it. Two of the opponents were lawyer lobbyists representing business clients. Our addiction to fossil fuels is robbing our children and grandchildren of their rightful inheritance. We need good old-fashioned American innovation and an all-hands-on-deck effort to re-chart our course. ~ Tica Douglas, Portland
Farmington officials rethinking energy project
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

Farmington officials are rethinking their endorsement of the New England Clean Energy Connect project, a controversial plan to build a Quebec to Massachusetts transmission line that would run through western Maine. At the urging of Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, selectmen are doing more research into the project, which they endorsed at the request of Central Maine Power in 2017. Saviello said, “In Vermont the company that proposed this line proposed $312 million for economic development. In New Hampshire, the company that was turned down (by the state) proposed $200 million. CMP has proposed zero dollars." John Carroll, project manager for New England Clean Energy Connect, said bids on the transmission line submitted in New Hampshire and Vermont would have caused more disruption in communities and on public land, requiring the companies behind those proposals to offer up more compensation to offset the impact.
Mainers View Forest Products Industry As An Important Part Of State's Economic Engine
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

A new poll released by the Critical Insights marketing group of Portland concludes that nearly half of all Mainers surveyed believe the forest products industry remains vital to the state's economy. Patrick Strauch, executive director of the Maine Forest Products Council, said Wednesday that despite the closure of five pulp or paper mills between 2014 and 2016, Mainers are confident about the role forest products play in the state's economy and on the growth of new businesses in the industry.
CMP Parent Company To Build Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Project
Maine Public - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

A subsidiary of Central Maine Power's (CMP) parent company won the right Wednesday to negotiate a contract for what will be the nation's largest offshore wind project, off the Massachusetts coast. Avangrid Renewables is a 50 percent stakeholder in the "Vineyard Wind" project, which will deliver enough electricity to power more than 400,000 Massachusetts homes. CMP is currently seeking permits for its plan to bring even more electricity to the Bay State, via a transmission line in western Maine, from Hydro Quebec's massive dam system.
Maine Governor Supports More Trade with China
Other - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

The Cattle Site - Paul LePage, a Republican elected governor in 2011, will complete his second term at the end of the year. He visited China on trade missions in 2012 and 2015. "So many results have been achieved!" he told China Daily, singling out the access that Maine's lobster producers now have to the Chinese market. "In the summer months, Maine is visited more than any other state in America. We invite Chinese people to come to visit Maine," Gov LePage said.
The return of alewives to this Bangor-area stream is an epic success story
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

At Blackman Stream on Tuesday morning made that scenario seem nearly believable: The seasonal run of river herring, or alewives, turned the stream black, and in shallow spots, hundreds of wriggling dorsal fins were halfway out of the water. The return of alewives to Blackman Stream is an epic success story made possible due to the Penobscot River Restoration Project, which removed two dams on the Penobscot’s main stem and added fish passage at another upriver dam. On Saturday, families are welcome to celebrate this annual migration during Alewife Day at the Maine Forest and Logging Museum at Leonard’s Mills in Bradley.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island announce large offshore wind projects
Associated Press - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

Massachusetts and Rhode Island have announced offshore wind projects aimed at delivering a combined 1,200 megawatts of energy. In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage has been a persistent critic of the wind and solar energy industries, suggesting such renewable technologies drive up electricity costs for ratepayers and cannot compete without government subsidies. In January, LePage imposed a moratorium on new wind energy projects in western and coastal Maine while establishing a secretive commission to study how wind turbines affect the state’s tourism economy. Lawsuits filed to overturn the moratorium are pending in court.
Maine’s elver season shut down 2 weeks early as off-book sales disrupt quota
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

State regulators are shutting down the lucrative elver fishery two weeks early, after Maine Marine Patrol investigators concluded that off-the-books sales of the valuable commodity have pushed the statewide catch beyond the legal limit. Elver dealers and fishermen are supposed to use an electronic swipe-card system that allows accurate, real-time tracking by state regulators, but some dealers are paying less than the going rate – around $2,400 per pound – for cash sales of the baby eels, which are raised to adulthood at aquaculture facilities in Asia and sold to the seafood market as a delicacy.
10 Prettiest Coastal Towns in New England
Yankee Magazine - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

These New England coastal towns are perfect for your next daytrip or weekend getaway. The list includes, in Maine: Kennebunkport, Bar Harbor and Camden.
Here’s what to do when a beaver family moves to your property
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

When it comes to looking for a new home, beavers are not ones to ask permission before setting up housekeeping in the ponds or streams of Maine’s small landowners. “Whether it’s good or bad having [beavers] on your property is completely in the eye if the beholder,” according to Griffin Dill with University of Maine Cooperative Extension. “You need to ask yourself if you can tolerate them or if their presence is causing actual harm to your property.”
Climate change to have drastic effects on Gulf of Maine lobster and clam fisheries, studies say
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

Two new scientific studies are highlighting the current and future impacts that rising ocean temperatures will have on lobster, clams and other important commercial fisheries in the Gulf of Maine. Research on nearly 700 North American fish species predicts Atlantic cod habitat could shrink by as much as 90 percent by century’s end and that lobster populations could shift 200 miles farther north as a result of climate change. Meanwhile, a separate research project suggests Maine’s soft-shell clam industry could collapse unless steps are taken to protect the fishery from green crabs that are thriving in the state’s warming waters.
Opinion: Company’s mission is to dupe Mainers into feeling good about cruelty to animals
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

For the past three years, Mark Duda, CEO of Responsive Management, has been hired to work with the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife on its big-game management plan. His mission is to make the public have a positive view of baiting, trapping and hounding as well as hunting in general. It’s all part of DIFW’s ongoing PR effort to sanitize how the state’s wildlife is treated, offering us a “feel-good,” warm and fuzzy picture instead of what is often a very harsh reality – and it’s fostered by a public agency whose financial support is largely generated by the revenue that hunting produces. Now that the game management report has come out, we should read it carefully, and respond with a focus on whose interests have really been served. ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Group seeks to bring chestnut back from blight
Other - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Fryeburg officials and a member of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians traded seeds and stories about the once abundant American chestnut in East Fryeburg recently. Joey Owle, the Cherokees' secretary of agriculture and natural resources, flew to Maine to receive chestnut tree seeds as both a gesture of goodwill and part of a forestry management plan on his tribe’s land in western North Carolina.
When Noble Lynxes Square Off, The Call Of The Wild Gets A Bit...Whiny
National Public Radio - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Here is a video of two lynxes — noble felines whose grace is matched only by their physical majesty — wailing at each other like petulant kids. Another video surfaced in 2010, depicting two lynxes confronting each other with all the auditory menace of a toddler with a toothache. And in that case — a standoff that appears similar to the one heard above — endangered species biologist Mark McCollough told National Geographic the scene was likely a territorial dispute.
Bucksport salmon farm hires shipbuilder to run operations
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The company planning a large-scale salmon farm at the former Bucksport paper mill site has hired an executive with 15 years of experience at Bath Iron Works to lead the aquaculture site’s daily operations. Jason Mitchell, most recently director of ground assembly at Bath Iron Works, will be the salmon farm’s first chief operating officer, Whole Oceans announced Tuesday. Mitchell also founded a San Diego brewery, Helms Brewing Co., which he sold in 2017. He and his wife own Yarmouth-based Delany Arts, a community arts space in a former fire station.
Oil residue likely set massive pile of junk cars on fire
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

A massive fire at a Carmel recycling plant Monday started when a car burst into flames as a crane dropped it on the facility’s junkyard pile, the local fire chief said. The vehicle likely contained flammable oil residue that caught fire as it crashed down on the 30-feet tall, 100-feet wide pile of recycled cars, tires, and debris at Ideal Recycling, Inc. Carmel Fire Chief Ralph Shaw has asked the recycling company to reduce the size of their junk piles to avoid another fire of Monday’s magnitude, but there is no law or town ordinances to force the company to comply with the request.
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