September 21, 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
Letter: Time to talk climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, September 22, 2017 

Now that the U.S. has been hit by back-to-back strong hurricanes, I would like to ask our elected officials, “Now can we talk about climate change and sea level rise?” Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, said, “The time to talk climate change isn’t now.” Really? Climate change is accepted science by the majority of climate scientists. And these same climate scientists agree that humans are having a significant impact on the changing climate. They predicted that hurricanes would be stronger, and more damaging. The president has called climate change a Chinese hoax and has said the United States will withdraw from the Paris climate agreement. We need to insist that our elected representatives address climate change in an open, honest and practical way. We shouldn’t wait for the next major storm. ~ Jenni Casale, Surry
Maine Ag Department Moves To Acquire Conservation Easement for State's Largest Sugarbush
Maine Public - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry is moving to acquire a $1.2 million conservation easement to protect a remote plantation of sugar maples — meaning it could soon become a stakeholder in Maine’s maple syrup industry. The department has confirmed that it is the lead applicant for a 23,600-acre swath of timberland in Somerset County — also known as Big Six — which accounts for about a quarter of the state’s maple syrup output. The department is seeking public funding to purchase the easement through the Land for Maine’s Future program, a program that it also oversees. State agencies have previously been co-applicants on LMF projects. In this instance, however, the department could effectively become the steward of a sugarbush parcel, where most of the production is done by Canadian companies.
Feds send Maine $916,888 for Parks and Outdoor Recreation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Department of Interior today announced that $916,888 will be distributed to the state of Maine for outdoor recreation and conservation projects from the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), which is funded through offshore oil and gas leasing. These funds are awarded through federal matching grants that leverage public and private investment in America’s state and local public parks. “The Land and Water Conservation Fund state grant program has been a resounding success that makes physical investments in our communities,” Secretary Zinke said. “From Detroit, Michigan, to Augusta, Maine, the program benefits citizens across the nation."
Seal pups rescued in Maine among those released off Rhode Island
Associated Press - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Three seal pups that were apparently abandoned by their parents after birth have been released into the waters off Rhode Island. Connecticut’s Mystic Aquarium says one of the seals was rescued in Harpswell, Maine, and brought to the aquarium in June. Another was found in East Boothbay Harbor, Maine, and arrived at the aquarium in July. The aquarium says the three seals are now healthy enough to survive on their own.
Editorial: Trump administration monument recommendations favor extraction over conservation
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zink's recommendations for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument say it should allow the same activities on the protected land as are taking place outside their boundaries. This is less a thoughtful analysis and more the imposition of a mindset that nothing should be off limits to extraction, whether it be logs, fish, oil or coal. This totally undermines the point of conservation. His recommendations leave an unnecessary cloud of uncertainty over Maine’s only national monument, which already has become a tourism draw for a region hard hit by the loss of mill and logging jobs.
U.S. will now be 1 of only 2 countries out of the Paris climate accord
Washington Post - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

This week, Nicaragua, one of the few holdouts from the Paris climate accords, did an about-face and said it will sign the agreement. After President Barack Obama, who orchestrated the pact bringing together more than 190 nations, only two nations had yet to sign the agreement in April of this year. One was Syria, which was and still is in the middle of a bloody civil war. The other was Nicaragua. Nicaragua had declined to participate because they felt the agreement did not go far enough. According to Andrew Light, a senior fellow at the World Resources Institute, Nicaragua’s decision is “further demonstration that the [Trump] administration is isolated on this issue.”
Hunters will deal with hot weather when moose season begins Monday
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

When 720 hunters and their friends and families head afield early Monday morning on the opening day of this year’s first moose-hunting season, they’ll have a formidable foe to overcome in order to fill their tags. No, not the moose. Mother Nature. Temperatures across the northern tier of the state, where the bulk of the hunting will take place, are expected to reach the upper 70s. According to the state’s moose biologist, those conditions will present a challenging scenario for hunters.
Tourism office aims survey at Mainers
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

The Maine Office of Tourism is asking for more input from Mainers to evaluate the state’s tourism marketing campaigns. “This isn’t going to be an economic impact survey, or how many visitors you are getting,” said Steve Lyons, interim director of the Maine Office of Tourism. “We are trying to find out what is the most effective way to do regional marketing for the state of Maine.” Input from local businesses, governments, nonprofits, tourism entrepreneurs and residents will give the state, and local tourism marketers, a better idea of the strengths and weaknesses of each region, he added.
Letter: Selfish bikers
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, September 21, 2017 

There is one thing that I can barely tolerate. The selfish disregard most Harley-Davidson owners have for the rest of us, specifically those who illegally remove the mufflers from their bikes. It reminds me of those who bring a boombox to the beach and turn up the volume as if everyone else on the beach wants to hear their music. Is it possible that motorcycle owners imagine that they are doing others a similar favor by making all that noise? Or are they just plain selfish? ~ Ray Clemons, Hermon
Common Ground Country Fair to open Friday with updated infrastructure
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

The annual country fair, which kicks off its 41st year this weekend, received upgrades from solar power to a recontoured amphitheater.
Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into Maine faces sentencing today
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border at Calais is due to be sentenced for money laundering. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle. Narwhals are medium-sized whales known for spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They are protected by the U.S. and Canada.
NOAA Funding Algal Bloom Research In Maine, 6 Other States
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Maine is among seven states where the federal government is funding a research project to try to better understand harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms can contaminate drinking water and have negative effects on the environment, wildlife and tourism. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing nearly $1.7 million for research projects about the blooms in Alaska, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. The Maine grant is nearly $250,000 for a project led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to increase the number of options available to states to monitor diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. DSP is a food safety threat for shellfish consumers.
Column: Lessons from years fighting for the environment
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

I am honored to be receiving an award at this year’s Evening for the Environment sponsored by the Maine Conservation Voters. The award is the 2017 Harrison L. Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to care for the nature of Maine and her wild places.” I am especially pleased to receive this award because it’s an important recognition that sportsmen and women share the same values and goals with environmentalists. We are all environmentalists. Here are lessons I learned during a lifetime of political activism. ~ George Smith:
Column: Ensure Portland’s waterfront has room for fishermen who make it special
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

There are four new waterfront projects in various stages of development that would bring thousands of people to Commercial Street. This is great news for Portland. But fishermen sees a time when there is no room for them. Developers and the tourism industry should help protect the area's marine character as their footprint quickly grows. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: Think before you litter Maine roadside
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

My wife and I and another couple recently took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However, when we crossed the international border from New Brunswick to Madawaska, we noticed a great change. it was the incredible amount of roadside trash. In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. I hope that those who read this letter at least think before you toss your Dunkin’ Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window. ~ Bob Bennett, South China
World’s problems stem from population growth
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Nations and people addressing environmental issues such as water pollution and global warming must soon face the fact that such efforts only address symptoms of the real problem, which is population growth. In my lifetime, world and U.S. population has tripled, creating demands for the food, energy and material goods whose production creates the environmental problems we face. Because of population growth, America continues to pave over and destroy the farmland, forests and waters essential to long-term survival. Immigration was needed when land and resources seemed unlimited, not now. We must increase productivity with zero population growth. ~ Tom Gillette, Jefferson
Maine recovers nearly all mussels affected by toxic algae
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Seafood dealers have recovered 98 percent of the mussels that were recalled after being harvested in an area of Down East Maine currently experiencing an algae bloom that produces a potentially deadly biotoxin. Officials estimate 58,480 pounds of mussels were affected by the recall initiated Friday.
LePage says ‘corporate greed’ driving up lumber prices in hurricanes’ wake
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is calling for a suspension of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to ease prices as families and businesses prepare to rebuild in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma – and with two more months of hurricane season to go. The Republican governor blames “corporate greed” for driving up costs, and says large lumber companies are in the position to “potentially price-gouge distressed Americans.” “We’ve tried to stay neutral. We have members on all sides. In general, what we’re in favor of is negotiating some sort of settlement quickly that’s equitable to all sides,” said Patrick Strauch, Maine Forest Products Council executive director.
Shareholders advance idea that selling Jay mill would shore up their finances
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opens up the possibility that the Verso paper mill in Jay may be sold, as the investor holding a majority of the shares is frustrated with the returns. The Androscoggin Mill, owned by Verso Corp., has faced difficulty in recent months. Verso is not alone in its struggles. Closures and layoffs have plagued the state’s paper industry in recent years. Five mills have closed in the last few years. [Editor: Actually seven Maine paper mills have closed in the past five years. Since 1997, sixteen Maine paper mills have shuttered.]
Maine DEP practices oil spill response in Richmond
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There was no oil spill Tuesday afternoon on the Kennebec River, but for several hours, members of the state’s hazardous materials cleanup teams pretended otherwise. Off the eastern shore of Swan Island, they used boats and anchors to stretch yellow barriers across the river, trying to protect sensitive shellfish habitats from the imaginary oil slick floating on the surface.
Study: New England Loses 65 Acres Of Forest Per Day To Development
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.
Maine expanding shellfish closure in wake of harmful bloom
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Maine regulators are expanding a shellfish harvesting ban along the state’s central and eastern coast that follows a harmful algae bloom. The bloom resulted in a recall of mussels last week. The state Department of Marine Resources has closed a section of the Penobscot River north of Stockton Springs and a section of Cobscook Bay south of Eastport to harvesting of shellfish. The state has also expanded a precautionary harvesting ban as far east as Calais, which is on the Canadian border. Harvesting had been suspended in Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island after mussels tested at elevated levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by an algae bloom. It can cause sickness, memory loss and brain damage in humans.
Photos: Common Ground Fair from old to new
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Every fall, upwards of 60,000 people descend on Unity for the Common Ground Country Fair in the spirit of celebrating agriculture in Maine. The fair reawakens the back-to-the-land movement with organic food enthusiasts, craftsman, wool spinners, sheep herding demonstrations and more. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association held its first Common Ground Country Fair at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in 1977. In 1996, the fair was moved to Unity, where it has been held since. This year’s Fair runs Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. Take a look through the Bangor Daily News archives as we remember fairs of the past, reminding us about the movement that changed Maine.
French president defends international cooperation at U.N.
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a ringing defense of global cooperation Tuesday, telling world leaders that solving major challenges otherwise will be reduced to “the survival of the fittest.” In his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, Macron vowed to press ahead with the Paris accord to combat global warming, although the United States has said it is withdrawing.
Hike: Trout Brook Mountain in Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Rising 1,767 feet above sea level on the north end of Baxter State Park, Trout Brook Mountain features a 3.3-mile loop hike that leads to great views of the nearby Traveler Mountains and Grand Lake Matagamon, as well some lesser mountains and bodies of water.
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