August 25, 2019  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Robert Reich Explains America's Koch Problem
Action Alert - Thursday, June 26, 2014 

The Koch (pronounced coke) brothers are using their tremendous wealth in an anti-democratic bid to impose their views on the rest of us. ~ Robert Reich
Living in the Wind: Exploring Bird Migration and Simple Ways to Save Birds, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Naturalist and author Scott Weidensaul explores the wonder and mechanics of migration, and the simple, effective ways we can help save birds, from what we plant in our gardens to what we pour into our morning mug of coffee. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, July 18, 6:30 pm.
Loons and Eagles on Cobbossee Lake, Jul 18
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Join Lisa Kane, MDIFW Wildlife Educator, and learn about the loons and eagles of Cobbossee Lake. July 18, 5:30–7:30 pm, $15 adults, $5 kids 8-18. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust and Friends of the Cobbossee Watershed.
Story Collider visits Maine, Jul 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

At the Story Collider believes that everyone has a story about science — a story about how science made a difference, affected them, or changed them on a personal and emotional level. The Story Collider visits the state of Maine to hear five personal stories of being caught on the hook, including an environmental advocate, an oceanographer, a marine scientist, a marine ecologist, and a researcher. At the Frontier, Brunswick, July 17, 7:30 pm.
Solar Open House, July 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Tour a solar home and hear a presentation from the homeowners and ReVision Energy, Maine's largest and most experienced solar home installer. At Dresden, July 16, 5:30 pm, RSVP. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Is Climate Instability In Our Future? Jul 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Paul Mayewski, Director of the Climate Change Institute at UMaine, will speak. At Center for Marine Studies, Blue Hill, July 16, 6 pm. Sponsored by Marine Environmental Research Institute.
Friends of Baxter State Park benefit night at Flatbread Company, Jul 15
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Meet other people who love Katahdin and Baxter State Park, win great prizes, and enjoy food and drink on the waterfront deck. Benefits the work of Friends of Baxter State Park. At Flatbread Company, Portland, July 15, 5-9 pm.

DamNation, Jul 14
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

This powerful film odyssey across America explores the sea change in our national attitude from pride in big dams as engineering wonders to the growing awareness that our own future is bound to the life and health of our rivers. At Islesboro Community Center, July 14, 7 pm.
Tar sands rally in NH, Jul 13
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

To call attention to the threat of tar sands and the climate crisis, groups from around the Northeast are organizing a peoples’ rally outside of the annual New England Governors and Eastern Premiers Conference being held at the Mount Washington Resort in Bretton Woods, New Hampshire, on Sunday, July 13. The Natural Resources Council of Maine is co-sponsoring a 55-person bus to the rally. $10.
Chief Worumbo Androscoggin River Race, Jul 13
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

The Worumbo Race is a family-friendly event of approximately six miles, with possible Class I rips and easy Class II rapids. Paddlers will pass by two conserved farms, an island recently conserved in partnership with the Town of Lisbon and a public riverside park in Durham. July 13, 11 am - 4 pm, $30 per adult, $15 per child. Sponsored by Androscoggin Land Trust.
Loon Plate Appreciation Weekend, Jul 12-13
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Free admission to all Maine State Parks & Historic Sites for all vehicles with a Maine Loon license plate, July 12-13. Does not include Baxter State Park, Scarborough Beach State Park and Penobscot Narrows Observatory.
Lobster Lake, Jul 11-13
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 24, 2014 

Joan Saxe will lead a canoe camping trip into the deepest wilderness where Thoreau experienced his lifetime love of Maine and the outdoors. At Lobster Lake, July 11-13. Pre-register. Sponsored by Sierra Club Maine.
Thwing's Point Archaeological Dig, Jul 7-18
Event - Posted - Monday, June 23, 2014 

In a partnership with the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, Friends of Merrymeeting Bay will host an archaeological dig at Thwing’s Point in Woolwich, weekdays from July 7-18. The site has been described as possibly the most significant unexcavated historic archaeological site in Maine. Volunteers will have the opportunity to work with, and learn from, trained archaeologists.
Lac-Mégantic commemoration, Jul 6
Event - Posted - Monday, June 23, 2014 

Events on July 6 organized by 350 Maine will commemorate the first anniversary of the tragic oil train explosion in Lac-Mégantic in Canada:
• Vigil, Congress Square, Portland, 11:30 am
• Vigil, Damariscotta-Newcastle Bridge 12 pm
• Vigil, Brunswick Mall, 12 pm
• 47 sunflower ceremony, Belfast, 1 pm
• Oil-By-Rail, Happy Acres Hall, Alton, 4:30 pm
Lac Megantic anniversary events in Maine, Jul 6
Event - Posted - Monday, June 23, 2014 

Mainers for a Fossil-Free Future will discuss the history of oil trains through Maine, oil and rail industry plans for future shipments, and ways that Mainers can take action to stop these bomb trains from endangering life, land, water, and air. At Happy Acres Hall in Alton, July 6, 4:30 pm. Additional memorial events are planned in communities across Maine, including in Belfast, Brunswick, Damariscotta, and Portland.
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News Items
Fire damages kiln at newly reopened Old Town pulp mill
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

Two firefighters were injured Saturday morning as they helped to extinguish a fire at the newly reopened Nine Dragons Paper mill in Old Town. The fire originated in a lime kiln, which is used in making unbleached softwood pulp that is produced at the mill. Though the fire was contained to the kiln, it took a few hours and help from several neighboring fire departments to put it out. The mill reopened last month and produced its first bales of unbleached softwood pulp on July 31.
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
Opinion: Lobster industry faces unjustified punishment
Village Soup Gazette (Knox County & Penobscot Bay) - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

Collective punishment, a penalty imposed on every member of a group without regard to his or her involvement in the group's actions and conduct, is an unconstitutional and illegal tactic. Under the 1949 Geneva Convention, in time of war, collective punishment is considered a war crime. On Aug. 14, NOAA scientist Colleen Coogan admitted: "The government has not been able to trace the death of a right whale to entanglement with gear from a Maine lobster trap." On Aug. 15 in Portland, at another NOAA hearing, environmental advocates resisted any form of common sense. “It’s important not to debate the facts," said Gina Garey of Portland, state director of Animal Wellness Action. The "facts" prove they have no evidence to support their war against the lobster industry. We all care deeply about the right whale, but penalizing people who have nothing to do with right whale deaths is not the answer. ~ Maine Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, Friendship
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
Letter: Support Land for Maine’s Future
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, August 24, 2019 

On Monday, Aug. 26, the Maine State Legislature will consider an infrastructure bond vital to Maine’s economic future that includes funding for roads and bridges, renewable energy, broadband and Land for Maine’s Future. LMF’s $20 million portion would provide funds to protect Maine’s critical agricultural and “working waterfronts” threatened by alternative development. The Working Waterfront Access Protection Program preserves land, piers and wharfs along the coast traditionally used for the fisheries and marine economy, while also contributing to tourism — Maine’s largest industry! On Monday, please encourage your state senators and representatives to support the bonds, including Land for Maine’s Future, and working waterfronts. ~ Ron Phillips, Waldoboro
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
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.
Letters: What would Vacationland be without public land?
Times Record - Friday, August 23, 2019 

Maine’s parks, forests, mountains, and beaches make the state a special place. The Land and Water Conservation Fund makes Maine’s public lands — like Acadia — what they are today. But the fund does more than conserve major national parks and monuments. The LWCF also supports local recreation centers, hockey rinks and baseball fields, and even municipal swimming pools. Congress made the fund permanent this past year. Despite bipartisan support, Congress rarely fully funds the program. That means money spent elsewhere could be used for conservation projects. Our public lands deserve full support now and forever. It’s time to fully and permanently fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Let’s keep Vacationland beautiful. ~ Michaela Morris, Environment Maine
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 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.
Hike: Riverbrook Preserve in Waldoboro
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, August 22, 2019 

Riverbrook Preserve in Waldoboro is comprised of 371 acres of fields and forestland sandwiched between the Medomak River and Meadow Brook. The land was purchased by the Medomak Valley Land Trust in 2014, thanks to a donation from an anonymous donor. Since then, the land trust has built a network of naerly 3 miles of intersecting trails that lead to interesting historic and natural features. ~ Aislinn Sarnacki
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.
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