March 17, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

21st Annual Source to Sea, Jul 8 - Aug 7
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 31, 2016 

Join any part of this paddling event to celebrate the Androscoggin River, which flows for nearly 170 miles from Lake Umbagog to Merrymeeting Bay. July 8 - August 7.
Art Walk reception for nature artists, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Friday, July 29, 2016 

Three artists will exhibit at Maine Coastal Islands Art Gallery: Michael Boardman of North Yarmouth, Leon Vanella of Newcastle, and Janet Glatz of Durham. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge visitor center and art gallery, Rockland, weekdays 8 am - 4:30 pm; opening reception, Aug 5, 5-8 pm.
Governor LePage and Maine’s Environment: A Dismal Record
Publication - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

For the past five years, Governor Paul LePage has supported the most anti-environment agenda of any governor in modern Maine history. He thinks Maine’s environment and economy are in conflict and that we need to weaken Maine’s environmental protections to create jobs—a false, outdated notion that no Maine governor has held in decades. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend grants avaiilable
Announcement - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Small grants are available to help organizers partner with school groups during the September 16-18 Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. Deadline is July 29.
Forever Farm Party, Aug 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Join Maine Farmland Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust at Harvest Tide Organics' new farm in Bowdoinham for local food and music, August 3, 5-8 pm.
Gulf of Maine in Distress, Aug 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Award-winning journalist Colin Woodard will speak about the rapid warming taking place in the Gulf of Maine and the effects this is having on the species that live there. At Damariscotta River Association annual meeting, Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, August 3, 7 pm.
Stargazing the Perseid Meteor Shower, Aug 3, 4 or 5
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Southern Maine Astronomers will lead an exploration of the night sky, during the Perseid Meteor Shower. At Crystal Spring Farm, Brunswick, August 3, 4 or 5 depending on the clear sky forecast. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Farm Party, Aug 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Join Maine Farmland Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust at Harvest Tide Organics‘ newly protected farm: 304 Pork Point Rd, Bowdoinham, August 3, 5-8 pm.
Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference, Jul 31-Aug 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The focus of this year's summit is sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. At UMaine, Orono, July 31 - Aug. 3.
A Climate to Thrive Summer Gathering, Jul 31
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Mount Desert Island residents have banded together to make MDI (its 4 towns and 17 villages) the first multi-town alliance in Maine, and perhaps in the nation, to achieve energy independence. Keynote address at this free conference by Maine U.S. Senator Angus King. At MDI High School, July 31, 3-5:30 pm.
Women and Our Woods workshop, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

A day-long workshop for women woodland owners and foresters to learn about about forest management. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, July 30, fee.
Swan Island Family Field Day, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

This is a day for the whole family to try out archery equipment, an ATV, a nature scavenger hunt, fishing, paddling, geocaching and more. At Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay, July 30, 9 am – 4 pm, with ferry rides beginning at 7:30 am from Richmond. Reservations required.
Blueberry Field Management, July 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

UMaine Cooperative Extension blueberry specialist David Yarborough will discuss maintaining wild blueberry fields and the history of wild blueberries in Maine. Land trust staff and volunteers will highlight upcoming stewardship projects at the preserve. At Davidson Nature Preserve, July 30, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Nordic Trail Festival, Jul 29-30
Event - Posted - Friday, July 22, 2016 

A celebration of community, trails and lifestyle with mountain biking, running and music in the hills of central Aroostook County. At Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle, July 29-30.
Schoolhouse Supper, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 

Join Andrew White and Katee Lafleur of High Ridge Farm for a casual high-summer feast of 100% farm-made tacos. At The Hub, Unity, July 27, 7 pm, $10. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust.
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News Items
Letter: Respect Union River
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

On Feb. 9, FERC issued notice of a new license application for the Union River dams. This starts a 60-day clock that is the last chance to comment on or protest the details of this license application. The license proposed will not stop the fish kills that are documented in Ellsworth each year as alewives and eels try to head out to sea. It does not offer any new proposal to help native fish returning to the Union River. It does nothing to change the way water levels are managed at Graham Lake. Contact DEP Commissioner Paul Mercer and encourage him to issue a water quality certificate that respects the Union River. ~ Dwayne Shaw, Columbia Falls
Letter: Water rights
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Regarding Attorney General Janet Mills and Penobscot Nation fishing rights, what is not stated in any coverage I’ve seen on this issue is the intention behind the state’s denial of tribal control over the water surrounding their Islands. The Environmental Protection Agency supports tribal water quality standards. Tribal water quality standards are tough and environmentally sustainable. The state is motivated by big business interests that lobby for the freedom to pollute. There is a word game going on and surprisingly little demand from the people for clarity. ~ Rosalie Paul, Brunswick
Industry, landowners oppose LePage bill to gut wind power permitting process
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 16, 2018 

A longtime skeptic of the cost-competitiveness of wind power, Gov. Paul LePage imposed a moratorium on new turbine permits in January and wants to change the streamlined review process applied to most of the commercial wind energy projects in Maine. But LePage’s bill, which faces strong opposition from both environmentalists and industry, got a chilly reception from lawmakers on Friday.
LePage Proposal Would Limit Turbine Permitting Options
Maine Public - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Governor Paul LePage is proposing to significantly reduce the area in which wind-turbine projects can get a streamlined permit review. Maine lawmakers, residents, businesses and environmental groups are divided on the issue. Depending on your point of view, the turbine farms that have been developed in the state's windiest areas over the last ten years are either a boon to the economy or a blight on the landscape.
Maine Coast Heritage Trust offers paid internships
Courier-Gazette - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, is offering teens paid internships through the Teen Ag Crew program, at Erickson Fields Preserve in Rockport.
Officials react to stormwater rules
Scarborough Leader - Friday, March 16, 2018 

New federal and state regulations affecting stormwater runoff will go into effect this summer and Scarborough will likely have to consider increased spending on education and outreach to remain in compliance with the law. One issue that the town hopes to do is reduce the amount of chloride in all watersheds, which comes from the salt that the town uses throughout the winter to treat the roads. Reducing the amount of salt used during snowstorms is possible, but residents will have to change their expectations of road conditions.
LePage lies about conservation lands—yet again
Maine Environmental News - Friday, March 16, 2018 

In a rambling speech to the Mid-Maine Chamber of Commerce on Thursday Maine Gov. Paul LePage again lied about conservation lands. LePage claimed the state’s property taxes are high because "the most valuable land in Maine, including that which is along the coast and property placed in conservation, is not taxed." That has been shown repeatedly to be untrue. Just last month, a legislative committee issued a report that found of the 2.5 million acres of land conserved by nonprofit conservation organizations in Maine, 94.5% are on the tax rolls. Virtually all the rest make voluntary payments in lieu of taxes.
UPDATED: Maine Governor Wannabes
Maine Environmental News - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Maine’s next gubernatorial election is set for November 6, 2018. Several had dropped out recently. The field was further narrowed when some failed to meet the deadline to submit signatures from 2,000 Maine voters by March 15. Five Republicans and seven Democrats remain standing. The Democratic and Republican primary elections are on June 12. Independent candidates have until June 1 to turn in 4,000 signatures. Here is the updated list. Repairing the damage done by the LePage Administration to Maine’s land, water, air and wildlife safety net will be a major job for the next governor. Ask each of these candidates about their conservation policies, if any.
Hiking Maine’s Baxter Park by Greg Westrich
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Greg Westrich joins me in loving Baxter Park, and his new book, "Hiking Maine’s Baxter Park," is a FalconGuide that will propel you up and over some of Baxter’s wonderful mountains, and to its beautiful ponds and waterfalls.
FEMA Drops 'Climate Change' From Its Strategic Plan
National Public Radio - Friday, March 16, 2018 

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the federal government's first responder to floods, hurricanes and other natural disasters, has eliminated references to climate change from its strategic planning document for the next four years. The document does not say what could be contributing to "rising natural hazard risk," or what conditions could require the "increased investments in pre-disaster mitigation." Similarly, under a section about "Emerging Threats," the document cites cybersecurity and terrorism. There are no references to global warming, rising sea levels, extreme weather events or any other term related to the potential impact of rising surface temperatures.
How Maine’s loon population grew 70 percent in 30 years
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 16, 2018 

One of Maine’s most iconic creatures, the common loon, is holding steady in the state with a population about 70 percent higher than it was 30 years ago, according to results of the 2017 Maine Audubon Loon Count, released earlier this week. “I think education and outreach has really helped [the loon population],” said Maine Audubon wildlife biologist Susan Gallo. Recent state laws to regulate lead fishing lures may also contribute to the long-term incline in the state’s loon population, Gallo said. Maine Audubon estimates a statewide population of 2,817 adult common loons and 453 chicks.
Letter: Food sovereignty not about safety
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 16, 2018 

In a March 10 BDN article, the Maine commissioner of agriculture argues against food sovereignty laws on the basis of food safety, but the only evidence cited in the article is that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has found no food-borne illness in Maine over the last 10 years that can be attributed directly to a farm or dairy. There is an obvious disconnect here. Clearly, the issue here is not one of food safety, but of big government versus local control. ~ Deb Suran, Deer Isle
A passenger rail connection for Lewiston-Auburn?
Sun Journal - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Does it make sense for the Twin Cities to pursue a passenger rail service between Lewiston-Auburn and Portland? City officials are hoping that local residents can help them answer that question during an upcoming open house at the Lewiston Public Library. The public feedback is part of a study underway to see if connecting the Twin Cities with the Amtrak Downeaster service in Portland is feasible. While the mayors of both cities say they are anxious to hear feedback, they aren’t optimistic it will make sense financially.
Trophy hunters win seats on Trump wildlife protection panel
Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

A new U.S. advisory board created to help rewrite federal rules for importing the heads and hides of African elephants, lions and rhinos is stacked with trophy hunters, including some members with direct ties to President Trump and his family.
Man barred from entering Smiling Hill Farm after goat killed with crossbow
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

A homeless man from the Portland area has been barred from stepping foot on the Smiling Hill Farm property following the killing of a pregnant goat in February. Police say the goat was shot by an arrow fired from a crossbow. A judge in Cumberland County District Court approved a one-year protection-from-harassment order filed by Smiling Hill Farm against Daniel J. Arnold, 40. Arnold has not been charged with killing the Toggenburg goat named Ava. However, police investigated Arnold in connection with the crime, and a witness reported to investigators seeing Arnold walking out of the woods around the time of the killing, carrying a crossbow, according to court records.
Former Saddleback employee sues Aussie development company for unpaid wages
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

A former employee for the Australian development company that is planning to buy Saddleback Mountain resort in Rangeley has filed suit against the company alleging he was not paid for his services. Perry Williams of Rangeley sued the Majella Group for nearly $30,000 in unpaid wages. Williams was hired on Jan. 1, 2017, as a consultant for the Saddleback project.
Australian CEO denies visa program is key to Saddleback purchase
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

The CEO of an Australian company planning to buy the idle Saddleback ski area said Thursday the controversial foreign investor visa program is not key to his plans to finance the deal. “The EB-5 program has got nothing to do with purchasing the property and nothing to do with getting the mountain back up and running,” said Sebastian Monsour of the Majella Group.
Hiker rescued after 8 hours
Sun Journal - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

A Massachusetts man was found safe late Wednesday night, eight hours after being lost while hiking the Grafton Loop Trail, according to the Maine Warden Service. Thomas Dilger, 29, of Worcester, Massachusetts, was hiking alone on the eastern section of the trail that goes from Route 26 to the summit of Puzzle Mountain. He called for help around 3 p.m., according to a news release from the Warden Service. Searchers used Dilger’s cellphone coordinates to locate him.
Nova Scotia government will fund Portland terminal upgrades to keep ferry service afloat
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Nova Scotia will pay for improvements at the Portland ferry terminal required by the federal government so international ferry service can resume this summer. The provincial government will spend as much as $1.5 million for license plate readers and radiation detectors at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection facility at Portland Ocean Gateway, said Marla MacInnis, a spokeswoman for the Nova Scotia Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “This funding clears the way for the return of the Nova Scotia-Maine ferry service for the 2018 sailing season,” MacInnis said.
In fundraising speech, Trump says he made up facts in meeting with Trudeau
Washington Post - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

President Donald Trump boasted in a fundraising speech Wednesday that he made up facts in a meeting with the leader of a top U.S ally, saying he insisted to Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that the United States runs a trade deficit with its neighbor to the north without knowing whether or not that was the case. Trudeau told Trump, "Donald we have no trade deficit." Trump responded, "Wrong Justin, you do.’ I didn’t even know.…I had no idea." One of Trump's aides told him, "We have no deficit but that doesn’t include energy and timber....And when you do, we lose $17 billion a year.” The United States trade representative office says the United States has a trade surplus with Canada.
Land trusts get high marks from legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

The Maine Legislature’s Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee has released its report on conservation lands owned by nonprofit organizations. The report gives high marks to our land trust community. I was particularly intrigued by this recommendation: that the Legislature review the four current-use tax programs and how each program treats the issue of public access. A certain level of public access to land should be a requirement in order for a property owner to be eligible for a reduced rate of property tax. Land trust organizations play an important role in the State because only 6.5% of land in Maine is public. Maine has the lowest amount of land in public ownership on the east coast. Look in the mirror, Governor LePage, and you will see the real problem. It is, most definitely, not our land trusts and wonderful conservation lands.
AG Mills Faces Backlash From Maine Tribes and Progressive Groups Over Lawsuit
Maine Public - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

An array of progressive groups and two of Maine's Native American tribes are criticizing Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills for joining a Washington State lawsuit over tribal water rights. The lawsuit is scheduled to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court next month, and its outcome could affect a long standing legal battle in maine over water quality standards in the Penobscot River.
Maine's Scallop Season Nearing End With Grounds Still Open
Associated Press - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

The Maine scallop season begins in December and runs until April 10 this year. The state's regulators use targeted closures to protect scallops from succumbing to overharvesting. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says no emergency actions or closures are currently pending. The department says it's continuing to monitor the health of scallops through surveys and industry updates. Maine fishermen harvested nearly 800,000 pounds of scallops last year, the most since 1997.
Lawmakers Ask Why Logs Not Delivered to Mill Owners Who Oppose LePage
Free Press - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Chris and Jason Brochu, who own and operate four Maine sawmills and strongly favor tariffs on Canadian lumber, were expecting a February delivery of logs from Maine state forests to keep the sawmills operating smoothly. They didn’t get it. Instead, LePage administrators delivered logs to Stratton Lumber, a Canadian-owned company in western Maine that they said had a three-week supply. LePage strongly opposes Canadian lumber tariffs. Maine lawmakers want to know if it was politics that was behind why the Stratton mill got wood and the Brochu mills did not. They sent questions to LePage forestry officials and expect written answers back on March 15. “Why are we picking winners and losers?” said Sen. Tom Saviello, a former forester on the committee that oversees Maine Public Reserve Lands.
Letter: Climate change effects are increasing hazards for birds
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

I study birds for a living and I love my job, because birds are amazing creatures. For example, one veery, which sang near the Presumpscot River last summer, spent the previous winter in Brazil. For the past five years, he has braved long-distance migratory flights over the open ocean to make his way back to nesting territory in Falmouth. But climate change is causing an increase in severe storms in the Atlantic, which make over-water crossings even more dangerous for migratory birds. If he times arrival in Maine poorly, he could miss an important food source. That mismatch could endanger his entire breeding season. Thousands of species in ecosystems across the globe are struggling with these same changes. Climate change is the single greatest threat to most species. We need to take it seriously and to vote accordingly. ~ Kathryn Williams, Gorham
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