November 18, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Help wanted: Clean Energy Policy Advocate & Staff Attorney
Announcement - Friday, June 30, 2017 

Helps advance the Natural Resources Council of Maine's initiatives by providing legal, policy and advocacy support primarily for the Climate & Clean Energy Project.
Art and Land Conservation Symposium, Aug 3-4
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 29, 2017 

A two-day symposium exploring the critical role of 19th and 20th century visual artists in the American land conservation movement, and considering how art can inform land conservationists, outdoor enthusiasts, art lovers, and citizen stewards in addressing contemporary pressures on the American landscape. At Colby College, Waterville, August 3-4, $95.
Maine Solar
Action Alert - Monday, June 26, 2017 

Gov. LePage has pledged to veto the critically important pro-solar bill LD 1504. The Maine House and Senate will vote on Tuesday (June 27). Two-thirds votes are needed to override the Governor’s veto. Urge your legislators to vote YES on LD 1504. ~ Sierra Club Maine
Creating Backyard Habitat, Jul 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 24, 2017 

Hildy Ellis, district coordinator of Knox-Lincoln Soil and Water Conservation District, will talk on “Beyond the Birdfeeder, Creating Backyard Habitat.” At Rockport Opera House, July 6, 1 pm.
Save Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump is considering eliminating the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in Maine or opening it to logging and mining as well as expanding areas for hunting, trapping, and off-road vehicles. Urge the Trump Administration and your U.S. congressional representatives to oppose any effort to rescind or weaken Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. Comment deadline is July 10, 2017. ~ RESTORE: The North Woods
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument is Under Attack
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

The Trump Administration is threatening to overturn Maine’s new National Monument. At the request of Governor Paul LePage, the Department of Interior (DOI) included Katahdin Woods & Waters on a list of 27 monuments to be “reviewed.” DOI Secretary Ryan Zinke could recommend that Maine’s National Monument be changed, or possibly even abolished. Tell the Trump Administration to keep its hands off Katahdin Woods & Waters. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Stop Trump-LePage’s Monumental Betrayal
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Let's tell Secretary Zinke that any attempt to revoke the Katahdin Woods and Waters and other National Monuments is an assault on our historical, cultural, and natural heritage, and that our public lands must be protected for generations to come. ~ Sierra Club
Speak up in defense of Maine’s new National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Last summer’s creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument in northern Maine was a huge victory for conservation and wildlife in our state. Today, that designation is at risk. The Trump administration is conducting a review of national monument designations, including Katahdin Woods & Waters. The Department of Interior is accepting public comments until July 10. ~ Maine Audubon
Defend Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

There was a multi-year process that incorporated public input to protect Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument, which garnered broad support in Maine and across the country. And yet the Trump administration issued an executive order that may alter the size of or even attempt to eliminate the national park site. ~ National Parks Conservation Association
Protect Our National Monuments
Action Alert - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

President Trump issued an executive order directing the Department of Interior to review – and potentially eliminate or shrink – protections of some of our nation’s most pristine national monuments, including Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. This is a direct attack on our shared Maine history and heritage. ~ League of Conservation Voters
The Future of Maine's Fisheries: Threats Posed by Federal Budget Cuts, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Leaders from Maine’s marine and fisheries communities discuss how the Trump Administration’s proposed cuts to the EPA and NOAA would hurt Maine’s marine environment, economy, and research—and what you can do to help protect these important marine resources. At Univ of Southern Maine, Portland, Luther Bonney Building, Talbot Hall, June 29, 6 pm.
Family Friendly Hikes in Maine, Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

Bangor Daily News outdoor journalist Aislinn Sarnacki will present a slideshow and talk about her new book, "Family Friendly Hikes in Maine." At Blue Hill Public Library, June 29, 7 pm. Sponsored by Blue Hill Heritage Trust.
"Born to Rewild," Jun 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 22, 2017 

This documentary features wilderness ultratrekker John Davis who traveled 5,000 human-powered miles from Mexico to British Columbia through the Western Wildway, a mega wildlife corridor along the western spine of North America, during an epic conservation journey called TrekWest. Also, William Stolzenburg will read from his book "Heart Of A Lion." At Frontier, Brunswick, June 29, 7 pm, $5 in advance, $6 day of show.
Renewable Energy Activity – Global to Regional, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Lawrence Mott, Director Americas of SgurrEnergy, a global renewable engineering firm, will speak on the current status of large scale wind and solar projects, technology, and policy here and abroad. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, June 28, 5:30 pm.
Mountain Lions in Maine – Rewilding the Maine Woods, Jun 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, June 21, 2017 

Panel discussion about the challenges involved in bringing large, apex predators, specifically the cougar (mountain lion, puma, panther) and other wildlife back to their native habitat in the Northeast corridor, and how human communities can adapt to co-exist with and even benefit from them. At DRA Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, June 28, 7 pm, $8.
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News Items
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.
NASA map shows 20 years of changing seasons
Associated Press - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

NASA captured 20 years of changing seasons in a striking new global map of the home planet. The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. The varying ocean shades of blue, green, red and purple depict the abundance – or lack – of undersea life. Two decades – from September 1997 to this past September – are crunched into 2 1/2 minutes of viewing.
Bonn climate talks end with progress despite glitches
Associated Press - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

Delegates stumbled out of an all-night negotiating session at this year’s global climate talks, expressing satisfaction Saturday at the progress made toward creating a comprehensive rulebook for fighting global warming. The two-week meeting in Bonn was billed as a “blue-collar” event designed to work out technical details of the 2015 Paris climate accord. But fears had loomed beforehand that the administration of President Trump, who rejects the Paris agreement, would seek to block any advances seen as counter to American interests. In the end, most agreed that U.S. diplomats had engaged constructively, while delegations from several American states, cities and businesses were praised for committing themselves to the goals of the Paris agreement.
Farmers look to extend vegetable growing season
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

While Maine’s potato farmers have a “long tradition” of growing during the summer season and storing their harvest for the rest of the year, more and more vegetable farmers are using greenhouses to actively grow hardier vegetables through December, January and February. The greenhouses employed by Maine farmers are often unheated and made of durable sheets of plastic over a metal frame. Their technology has improved, so that the structures can better withstand the snow and other elements of winter. They’re also commonly called “hoop houses” and “high tunnels.”
Letter: Trump makes America irrelevant
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, November 18, 2017 

With actions taken by President Donald Trump since January 2017, we have abdicated our nation’s respected international leadership on the major economic and environmental issues. Trump talks about “America first” while making us irrelevant. Trump withdrew the United States from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership, an international trade agreement affecting 40 percent of all world trade. In June, Trump announced he would withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement of 2015. The agreement has now been adopted by every other nation in the United Nations as response to the record breaking rising greenhouse gas emissions. I am saddened. ~ Pam Person, Orland
Editorial: Wind storm highlighted weaknesses in Maine electrical grid. Who will fix them?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 17, 2017 

Mainers understand that power outages happen. But, the long-lasting power outage that began on Oct. 30 left utility customers, town officials, state lawmakers and others with a lot of questions. Both the Public Utilities Commission and Maine Legislature plan to review the storm’s impacts and costs. The PUC, as part of its routine regulatory process, will determine how much of the repair and restoration costs are passed on to the utilities’ ratepayers. The task is less about assigning blame than about making needed improvements to minimize outages in the future.
Lawsuit alleges New England energy companies overcharged customers
Portland Press Herald - Friday, November 17, 2017 

A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the parent company of Central Maine Power Co. and another energy company alleging that the two conspired to raise electricity rates for customers in New England. The suit, filed in federal court in Boston on Tuesday, alleges that Avangrid, the Connecticut-based corporate parent of CMP, and Eversource Energy, inflated electricity prices to New England customers by as much as 20 percent from 2013 to 2016. The suit says that 14.7 million customers in New England were affected by “a unique monopoly” between Eversource and Avangrid that resulted in $3.6 billion in over charges.
Region’s natural gas pipelines near capacity in winter, operator says
Associated Press - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The independent corporation overseeing the operation of New England’s power system says natural gas pipelines feeding the region are so constrained that electricity prices are driven higher during cold winters. ISO New England President Gordon van Welie says regional pipelines were built for gas distribution companies’ heating demands, not for power generation. He says they’re at, or near capacity, in winter and generators have to use more expensive fuels, including oil and liquefied natural gas.
What do you do when the butcher gives you the wrong moose?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 17, 2017 

For years, I’ve heard the whispered tales from disgruntled hunters who were certain that the meat cutter they’d trusted with their deer or moose or bear had engaged in some nefarious behavior, and had clearly, obviously, certainly stolen prime cuts. And since it’s basically impossible to convince an angry hunter that shooting their moose six times may have made some of the meat inedible, and led to a less-than-expected yield, I’ve chosen to keep quiet. Then, I ended up with a mystery of my own. Simply put, the moose I shot in October grew.
Drought means another tough year for Maine bees
Bangor Daily News - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The final numbers for 2017’s Maine honey production are not known yet, but those who work with bees and with the beekeepers say it is likely down from last year. There are 1,147 registered beekeepers in Maine managing 9,853 hives, according to Lund. The dry weather was especially tough on beekeepers in the southern part of the state.
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.
Katahdin Woods and Waters: "Renewed Hope for Maine"
Other - Friday, November 17, 2017 

From Maine to California, hundreds of small businesses are speaking up on behalf of some of the country's most treasured places. Nearly 600 businesses and chambers of commerce on Thursday sent a letter asking the head of the National Economic Council to encourage the Trump Administration to preserve safeguards for national monuments, including Maine's Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. John Hafford owns a design and marketing firm nearby and says the Katahdin monument has been a godsend to the area.
Letter: A bipartisan way on climate change
Kennebec Journal - Friday, November 17, 2017 

The flashover time in home fires has been reduced from 15 minutes to only five minutes due to the present-day preponderance of toxic plastic and man-made materials in our homes and buildings. Fortunately, despite the Trump administration, Congress is looking at legislation to deal with the negative effects of fossil fuel use. A study by Regional Economic Models showed that a revenue neutral carbon tax, which would return all the fees collected to U.S. households equally, could increase employment while dramatically cutting carbon emissions. As a series of hurricanes and wildfires are highlighting the dangers of climate change, let’s urge our legislators, state and federal, to put aside partisanship and search for solutions to our climate dilemma. ~ Philippa Solomon, Readfield
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
Maine outdoor companies to form trade group
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, November 16, 2017 

A collection of Maine businesses has formed a new trade group aimed at growing the state’s outdoor products and service industry. Maine Outdoor Brands will be announced at a Nov. 20 press conference at the Press Hotel in Portland. The group, which has 26 members, “sees value in leveraging what Maine is best known for –the outdoors — in creating a business climate conducive to outdoor product brands and the younger workforce they attract.” Members include clothing, gear, boat, ski, surf and snowboard manufacturers, as well as food companies, marketing companies and law firms. Among them are L.L. Bean, Hyperlite, Grain Surfboards, Good To-Go and Old Town canoe and kayak.
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.
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Natural Resources Council
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