March 24, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Speak up for smart solar policy
Action Alert - Monday, July 31, 2017 

We truly have one last chance to pass a solar bill this legislative session. To get it done, we need to reach out to legislators one more time before August 2nd—the scheduled date for the veto override vote. ~ Maine Audubon
Override solar bill veto
Action Alert - Monday, July 31, 2017 

Governor LePage has vetoed the solar bill, LD 1504, for no good reason — despite widespread support. His actions could threaten good-paying solar jobs, our environment, and our future. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Maine needs a strong solar policy
Action Alert - Monday, July 31, 2017 

Governor LePage vetoed the solar bill, LD 1504, despite overwhelming bipartisan support of the bill in both the House and Senate. The bill comes back for a veto override vote on August 2. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Sharp-tailed Sparrow Workshop and Field Trip, Aug 5
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 29, 2017 

Join Maine Audubon naturalist Doug Hitchcox to unravel the complexities of sharp-tailed sparrow identification. At Scarborough Marsh, August 5, 8-10 am, Maine members $1; non-members $13.
Acadia art, Aug 4
Announcement - Friday, July 28, 2017 

An exhibit of paintings, the Acadia Series: 2014-2017, by artist Christopher S. Tietjen will open at Schoodic Institute in Acadia National Park, August 4, reception 7-10 pm.
Land for Maine's Future, July 26
Announcement - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

LMF has helped protect more than 600,000 acres of land in Maine through matching funds. Guests: Kate Dempsey, The Nature Conservancy in Maine; David Trahan, Sportsman's Alliance of Maine; Jeff Romano, Maine Coast Heritage Trust. Maine Public Radio, July 26, 1 pm.
“Bringing Nature Home” in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Join Maine Audubon’s Director of Education, Eric Topper, to explore the plants, practices and perks involved in restoring native food webs in our gardens, yards and communities. At Portland Public Library, Rines Auditorium, July 26, 5:30 pm.
Little Swan Island Evening Paddle, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 19, 2017 

Leader: Warren Whitney. At Richmond, July 26, 5:30-7:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Exploring the Night Sky, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 18, 2017 

Discover the wonders of the night sky with astronomer Bernie Reim. At Scarborough Marsh, July 25, 8:30-9:30 pm, Maine Audubon members $6, non-members $8.
Recreational Fishing, Jul 24
Announcement - Monday, July 17, 2017 

Hear from experts on what fishing means to Maine's culture and economy, best places to go, ways to get started. Guests: Mac McKeever, LL Bean senior public relations representative; Bonnie Holding, Director of Information and Education, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Maine Public Radio, July 24, 1 pm.
Maine Open Farm Day, Jul 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 16, 2017 

Maine has about 8,200 farm operations statewide, worth more than $740 million, not including face-to-face sales. Officially, more than 60 farms in all 16 counties are open July 23, although historically many other farms also open their doors to piggy-back on the event.
Summer Nature Journaling, Jul 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 15, 2017 

Join Master Naturalist Andrea Lani to explore the worlds of wildflowers and insects beginning with an introduction to nature journaling, then heading into the woods and fields to observe, sketch, and write about the bugs and blooms you discover. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, July 22, 10 am - 2 pm, Arboretum members $35, others $45.

Rainbow Loop Trail Grand Opening, Jul 21-22
Event - Posted - Friday, July 14, 2017 

Celebration in Millinocket, July 21, 5-7 pm. 6-mile hike on the spectacular Rainbow Loop Trail, July 22 at 8:30 am and 9:30 am. Sponsored by The Nature Conservancy.
Native Plant Walk, Jul 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, July 13, 2017 

Explore the habitats at Fields Pond with Heather McCargo and learn to recognize some of the wildflowers, ferns, shrubs and trees native to Maine. At Fields Pond, Holden, July 20, 10-11:30 am, Maine Audubon and Wild Seed Project members $7; non-members $10.
Happy Birthday, Henry
Announcement - Wednesday, July 12, 2017 

Henry David Thoreau, American poet, author, naturalist, philosopher, abolitionist, and leading Transcendentalist, was born on July 12, 1817 in Concord, Mass.
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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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