March 24, 2019  
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
Northern Exposure
Yankee Magazine - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

In a region that has spent the better part of two decades sputtering to formulate a post–paper mill identity, a new and unexpected tourist economy, one that revolves around ATV riders, has emerged for New Hampshire’s Coos County. New businesses have opened, familiar ones have expanded, and as the dollars have rolled in. “It’s like the whore on a street,” one longtime Gorham resident told me. “Sure, the money is good. But one day nobody will want her anymore. We’re polluting with noise and dust, and we’re not thinking. We’re just taking the money.”
Into the Woods
Other - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Portland Monthly - Be amazed by who got their start among the whispering pines of Maine's summer camps, including Stephen Sondheim, John F. Kennedy, Prince Mom Tri Devakul, Lauren Bacall, J.D. Salinger, Leonard Nimoy, Lena Dunham, Lindsay Lohan, Theo Epstein, Alan Jay Lerner, Ben Stiller, Kristin Davis, Claire Danes, Jenny Bicks, Maggie Rogers, Robert Kraft, Si Newhouse, W.E.B. Dubois.
State Seeks More Public Input On Portland-To-Lewiston Train Service
Maine Public - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

The state is continuing to study the possibility of passenger rail service between Portland and Lewiston. The public is invited to a meeting Wednesday in Lewiston to see what's been learned so far, and to offer more input. Lincoln Jeffers, the economic development chief in Lewiston, says the meeting is a follow-up to public meetings held last year to begin to gauge interest. "We know from the early meetings a high percentage - I think it was 80 percent of the people who attended - said, 'Yeah, if it was there I'd certainly use it,'" Jeffers says. "But the question is, would they use it daily? Would they use it monthly? Would they use it a couple of times a year?"
100 Mile Wild
Other - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Wild Northeast - Over the course of nine days this past February, fish farmer Greg Bell, Good To-Go co-founder David Koorits and myself embarked on a Maine-grown adventure that few have attempted and fewer have completed (actually just one person). From Monson to Abol Bridge, we set out to snowshoe and ski our way through the 100-Mile Wilderness, the last hundred miles of the famed Appalachian Trail before the terminus of the trail on Baxter Peak, and arguably the most rugged and challenging section of the entire 2,100-mile AT. On day nine, we laughed about how unrelenting the trip had been. Cold. Damp. Fun. Quintessential Maine.
Outside, Millinocket
Maine. The Magazine - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

The year-round New England Outdoor Center is deep in the frozen white of February when we venture to the Katahdin region to rev up, ski, and ride through a couple days of snow play.
Free the Udders
Down East - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

About nine years ago, a movement began, spearheaded by a handful of other Blue Hill Peninsula farmers, to preserve the intimate grower-to-neighbor trade that’s taken place in Maine’s small towns for generations. By 2017, they had helped organize 20 communities to pass ordinances that asserted local government’s right to regulate local food systems, unencumbered by state licensing and inspection requirements that were written for much larger farms and processors. The culmination of their campaign came in 2017, when the state passed a bill permitting “direct producer-to-consumer food exchanges and other traditional foodways.” Since the law went into effect in November 2017, the number of municipalities with food-sovereignty laws has mushroomed to 47, across 14 of Maine’s 16 counties.
Great Works Regional Land Trust goes green
Seacoast Online - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

Great Works Regional Land Trust is saving money, generating energy, and protecting the environment. After completing a 12-month, $15,000 fundraising campaign, Great Works Regional Land Trust installed a 4.80 kw solar electric system at the nonprofit’s headquarters location in Ogunquit. ReVision Energy estimates a solar production of 5,003 kWhs of clean, renewable electricity annually. This would offset about 5,268 lbs of carbon pollution each year.
It’s now spring. Here’s what to do when you see water pools emerge in your yard.
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

As winter thaws into spring, Mainers may notice miniature marshes cropping up in their backyards. These are known as vernal pools. The small, temporary wetlands appear in the spring when snow melt and precipitation fill shallow depressions in forested landscapes. The pools are usually dry by the end of the summer, but they play an essential role as a breeding ground for wood frogs, spotted salamanders and fairy shrimp. When Aram Calhoun, professor of wetlands ecology at UMaine, started researching vernal pool in the mid-’90s, she found that they were more than they seemed. “The more we studied them, the more integral to the functioning of the New England landscape we realized they are,” Calhoun said. “What they supply for us goes way beyond their size or abundance.”
Check out these trails that feature a variety of incredible plants
Bangor Metro - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

The native plants of Maine vary dramatically, from poisonous to edible, fragrant to stinky, drab to colorful. And in one short botanical exploration, you might be surprised at all you can find.
• Hidden Valley Nature Center in Jefferson
• Beech Hill Preserve in Rockport
• Shore Acres Preserve on Deer Isle
Opinion: Wood has critical role to play in Maine’s clean-energy future
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

We encourage Gov. Mills, the Legislature and Maine citizens not to overlook the many advantages traditional wood heat has. While heat pumps are efficient, they have little to no economic benefit to the state of Maine after installation. State policy should serve the greatest number for the greatest good. Wood remains a major heating source in Maine, and because it is produced and consumed locally , it provides more economic benefits to the state than any other by keeping dollars and jobs in our state’s economy. It is also a renewable fuel that reduces Maine’s use of nonrenewable fossil fuels. Trees grow back and sequester carbon. Fossil fuels do not. ~ Dana Doran, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
Letter: Healthy fun from watershed coalition
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 23, 2019 

I’m writing to express my gratitude to The Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition. This February vacation, they sponsored a free winter break day camp. Each day they had a snowshoe adventure in a different location, each a preserve of Coastal Mountain Land Trust. They were led by Cloe Chunn and Jennie Judkins, both full of fun and knowledge. The kids (and adults) learned about different animals and their adaptations, how to identify tracks and their environment. What a great time they had! My grandson participated and just loved It. This same program offers nature literacy in local schools. I’m so proud to live in an area that offers such healthy fun for kids. ~ Susan Langley, Belfast
Flight Plan
Maine. The Magazine - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Forty-one years ago, work on the first Maine Bird Atlas commenced as ornithologists began the arduous task of documenting birds that breed in Maine. After five years of observing birds and analyzing the data, the first atlas was published in 1983. Beyond the fact that birds are one of the few organisms to occupy every habitat in the world, birds are also huge indicators of environmental health. Tracking changes in bird population and distribution is vital to understanding how to conserve and protect wildlife for generations to come. Now, a team of researchers, biologists, and citizen scientists are helping produce the most comprehensive atlas yet. The 2018-2022 Maine Bird Atlas will provide an up-to-date understanding of bird diversity and distribution across the state and, for the first time in Maine’s history, documentation of wintering birds, too.
RLHT seeks volunteers for overnight McDeavitt Woods project
Turner Publishing - Friday, March 22, 2019 

The Rangeley Lakes Heritage Trust is looking for volunteers for a multi-day project on its recently acquired property in Wilsons Mills, the John J. McDevitt Woods. Volunteers are needed to assist with trail trimming and blazing, constructing a firepit, and working on the cabin itself, and many other hands-on tasks. The overnight project will take place June 12 to 15.
Ben Carson hails efforts to remove lead from Lewiston homes
Sun Journal - Friday, March 22, 2019 

In whirlwind tour in Lewiston on Friday, .S. Sen. Susan Collins and Ben Carson, secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, saw federal programs in action. Carson said the lead paint program has been a priority for him — and as a result its funding has gone up sharply to $240 million this year. Next year, President Donald Trump proposed hiking it to $290 million nationwide. Nobody mentioned that Carson’s proposed HUD budget would wipe out the $3.4 billion Community Development Block Grants program, a tool for cities such as Auburn and Lewiston to address local issues. It’s also a key source of funding for a major expansion at Tree Street that Carson toured.
Augusta residents to decide whether to require plastic bag fee
Kennebec Journal - Friday, March 22, 2019 

City councilors had been considering a proposal to require stores to charge customers a 5-cents-per-bag fee for plastic shopping bags to carry their items out of the store. Instead, however, they opted to let voters decide on the proposal meant to discourage the use of plastic bags in Augusta. Councilors voted 4-2 Thursday night to approve the proposed bag fee only if residents also vote in favor of it in a referendum vote in November.
Maine CDC Trying To Identify Individuals Exposed To Rabid Bat
Maine Public - Friday, March 22, 2019 

The Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC) is trying to identify individuals who may have been exposed to rabies last weekend in Bangor through the handling a rabid bat. State epidemiologist Dr. Siiri Bennett says the live bat was found in the vicinity of Shaw House, a youth shelter. "We know that it was passed from hand to hand, and apparently, it was passed around for about a 24-hour period," she says. The bat was taken to a lab and tested positive for rabies.
How Maine Farmers Get By When They Find Themselves Buried In Snow
Maine Public - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Do you ever wonder what farmers are doing when it's 20 degrees below zero and the snow is as high as an elephant's eye? It can be hard for farmers to make ends meet in the winter, but, even when the fields are buried in snow, the work never stops. Erica Fitzpatrick, of Fitzpatrick-Peabody Farm in Aroostook County, says, "It's a twelve month food cycle. These buyers need product year round." It’s not as simple as plant something in the spring, harvest it in the fall, then kick back and put your feet up all winter. “But it's great,” says Fitzpatrick "because it's a different set of tasks and challenges we're working on."
Maine DEP to require testing of sludge for ‘forever chemicals’
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 22, 2019 

State environmental regulators announced Friday that all sludge will have to be tested for the presence of an industrial chemical before being used as fertilizer or applied to land. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection announced the new testing requirement in response to growing concerns about contamination from PFAS, a group of chemicals widely used to create non-stick coatings on cookware, food packaging and fabrics as well as in firefighting foam. An Arundel dairy farmer has also blamed PFAS contamination on his farm on the treated municipal sludge he used to fertilize his hay fields for years.
As Elver Season Opens, Fishermen Hope For Year Free Of Poaching, Shutdowns
Associated Press - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Maine fishermen are taking to rivers and streams in the state to fish for baby eels in a high-stakes season they hope isn't interrupted by poaching concerns as it was a year ago. Fishermen in Maine use nets to harvest baby eels, called elvers, to feed demand from Asian aquaculture companies, who use them as seed stock. They are one of the most valuable fisheries in the country on a per-pound basis, and were worth a record of more than $2,300 per pound last year. The elver season began Friday. Last year's season was shut down two weeks early by state regulators after investigators found illegal sales had caused Maine to blow past its quota for the eels. New controls on the fishery are expected to clamp down on clandestine sales.
Maine DIF&W commissioner names communications chief
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Judy Camuso, the commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, has named a longtime department employee to serve as its communications director. Mark Latti first joined the department in 1998 and oversaw media relations for a decade, until leaving for a job at the Maine Department of Transportation in 2008. He returned to the DIF&W in 2011, directed the landowner relations program for two years and then assumed a position overseeing communications for the department’s Bureau of Resource Management. In his new position, he will oversee all media relations for the DIF&W.
Young exhibitors leave their marks on Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s show
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 22, 2019 

Last weekend, I had the chance to talk with a few of the younger exhibitors at the Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, each of whom helped remind me why the show is so much fun. Eri Martin, a student at Unity College was displaying some of the products he produces through his business, Mountain Adventure Baskets. Martin makes traditional pack baskets. At the Annika Rod & Fly booth, an impressive young fly tier, 14-year-old Noah Tibbetts, turned out a steady supply of “maple syrup” and “spunky” flies. He was selling those flies to benefit the Children’s Miracle Network. He has raised more than $40,000 during the past several years.
Column: People don’t become good at bird identification by being right all the time
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 22, 2019 

People don’t become good at bird identification by being right all the time. They get better by being wrong, and then remembering the mistake. There’s nothing like a good mistake to sear a particular field mark into your brain. ~ Bob Duchesne
Why more offices are taking up an ecological approach to design
Bangor Metro - Friday, March 22, 2019 

The Nature Conservancy state office in Brunswick might look like it’s right at home in Maine, but there’s a well-designed reason for its seamless integration into the landscape. After all, the curvilinear walls are made from yellow birch sustainably harvested from the St. John River Valley, and the carpets are made from recycled fishing nets. In other words, the Brunswick Nature Conservancy lives and breathes Maine. Buildings that are consciously designed to be a product of their place are known as biophilic, a practice that is becoming increasingly common in architecture.
Opinion: A different view of Auburn’s zone
Sun Journal - Friday, March 22, 2019 

In a guest column Jason Levesque accused all of the people in Auburn’s agricultural zone, including myself, of living off the rest while allowing our land to just waste away. It was frightening to read the words of the mayor. What kind of person believes in a terrifyingly dystopian future in which farmers are lazy, mooching enemies of the people? What kind of person believes that our precious farmland is better beneath the enormous footprint of a McMansion? I invite Levesque to come visit our farm. We would like to show him around and talk about how important open space, healthy woods and thriving ecosystems are to sustainable farming. ~ Bronte Roberts, Auburn
Letter: Public utility can’t be any worse than CMP
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 22, 2019 

CMP has demonstrated complete incompetence in the one area in which the private sector is supposed to have an advantage over government – customer service. The absurdity of their billing problems is unmatched by anything I’ve seen – and I’ve paid electric bills in five states and three countries. Last month, CMP charged me for about 50 percent more electricity than any of my previous bills using an “estimate” that was contradicted by CMP’s own online data. Beyond poor customer service, they have distorted our public policies toward renewable energy; and manage the grid for profits instead of reliability, efficiency and sustainability. It shouldn’t be hard for Maine to do better than allow ourselves to get swindled time and again by this profit-over-everything-else company. ~ Bill Savedoff, Brunswick
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