July 18, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Tree Farm Field Day, Sep 6
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 30, 2014 

Bambi Jones and Tracy Moskovitz, 2014 Maine and Northeast Regional Outstanding Tree Farmers, will host Maine Tree Farm Field Day. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, September 6, 8:50 am - 6 pm.
How Green Is Your Legislator?
Publication - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

The Maine Conservation Voters 2014 Environmental Scorecard rates all Maine legislators based on their votes on a range of key issues.
Maine Sierra Club Annual Dinner, Sep 5
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

Featured speaker: U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud. At Maple Hill Farm Inn, Hallowell, Sep 5, 5:30 pm, $40.
Passenger Pigeons, Plovers & Puffins, Sep 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

Doug Hitchcox, staff naturalist, and Laura Minich Zitske, Director of the Piping Plover & Least Tern Recovery Project, at Maine Audubon will discuss the extinction of the passenger pigeon and what you can do today to protect threatened and endangered species. At Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, September 4, 5:30 pm.
Wolfe's Neck Woods State Park Events
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

Wolfe’s Neck Woods State Park offers nature programs on weekends and holidays at 2 pm through September 30.
Maine Seaweed Festival, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

The debut Maine Seaweed Festival, which celebrates the local seaweed industry, will be held at Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, Aug. 30, 11 am-5 pm.
LWCF Turns 50, Sep 3
Announcement - Thursday, August 28, 2014 

Founded in 1964 to conserve America's natural and cultural heritage, the Land and Water Conservation Fund is dedicated to the conservation of our national parks, forests, wildlife refuges, wilderness areas and important historic sites, as well as development of state and local parks and protection of threatened and endangered species. LWCF, which is funded through off-shore gas royalties and not taxpayer dollars, strives to provide access for all Americans to their public lands. September 3, 2014, is the 50th anniversary of America's most important conservation program.
The Changing Ocean Ecosystem, Aug 27
Announcement - Wednesday, August 27, 2014 

Maine Calling addresses the creatures great and small that thrive — and struggle — in the Gulf of Maine. Guests: Janet Gannon, marine biology lab instructor at Bowdoin College; Adam Baukus, research associate at Gulf of Maine Research Institute; and Joe Payne, Casco Baykeeper with the Friends of Casco Bay. Host: Jennifer Rooks. Maine Public Radio, August 27, 12-1 pm.
Transborder Land Protection Fund
Announcement - Tuesday, August 26, 2014 

Thanks to renewed support from the Partridge Foundation, the Open Space Institute is accepting grant proposals for the Transborder Land Protection Fund. In the face of an uncertain climate and potential development, it is critical to provide ecological options and pathways for plants and animals. OSI’s Transborder Land Protection Fund is focused on addressing these challenges in key wildlife linkages within the Northern Applachian ecoregion — among the most intact broadleaf temperate forests on Earth, which spans northern New England and maritime Canada.
National Parks Free Entrance, Aug 25
Announcement - Monday, August 25, 2014 

Only 133 of our country's 401 National Park System areas charge an entrance fee to help cover costs, but even that will be waived on the NPS birthday, Aug 25.
East-West Corridor Art Show
Action Alert - Monday, August 25, 2014 

An art exhibit in Northeast Harbor in support of opposition to the proposed East-West Corridor has ended, but you can still support the cause by purchasing art until November 19.
MST Poll: New Maine National Park
Action Alert - Sunday, August 24, 2014 

Maine Sunday Telegram Poll: Should a portion of Maine’s North Woods near Katahdin be turned into a national park?
Spirit Pond and Popham Beach, Aug 31
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 24, 2014 

Join Merrymeeting Audubon to the mid-coast’s best shorebirding location to wish the migrating shorebird flocks well on their journey south. Car Pool from Bath, August 31, 8 am - 12 noon.
Bickford Slides Hike, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 23, 2014 

A 3-mile hike with an elevation of 400 feet ends at a waterfall with an inviting pool below. At Evans Notch, White Mountains National Forest, August 30. Sponsored by Maine Sierra Club.
Lovely Lichens of Thorne Head Preserve, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 23, 2014 

Join Maine Master Naturalist Becky Kolak to discover the world of lichens- those unassuming organisms that are a combination of fungi and algae. At Thorne Head Preserve, Bath, Aug 30, 10 am - noon. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
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News Items
Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses
Other - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

A new study from the Impact Travel Alliance presents an optimistic outlook on the effort to mainstream sustainable tourism. It provides 32 concrete tactics to help accomplish such a lofty goal. The 66-page “Bringing Sustainable Tourism to the Masses,” was designed specifically to popularize sustainable travel and engage the average traveler in the movement.
Regulators approve new probe of CMP rates
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday morning to open an investigation into Central Maine Power Co.’s rates, saying the utility’s returns on investment exceed its allowable amount. The ruling came in response to a complaint that asks the commission to investigate whether CMP and its parent companies are capitalizing on excessive returns on investment. Other parts of the complaint asked the PUC to investigate whether CMP benefited from the inordinate costs associated with the October 2017 windstorm.
On Delicate Ground: Communicating about Climate Change
Other - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The Kennebec Estuary Land Trust in Maine is among a number of land trusts that engage young people in studying and documenting climate change. KELT has found students, teachers and administrators to be highly receptive, and a recent Yale study reported overwhelming public support nationwide for teaching students about the causes, consequences and potential solutions of climate change.
Maine Photographer's Bailey Island Image Selected for U.S. Stamp Series
Maine Public - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The Maine Coast will grace a new stamp thanks to DownEast Magazine's photography editor Ben Williamson. A 20-stamp series produced by the U.S. Postal Service will conclude with an image of Bailey's Island that Williamson shot. William's image of the Maine coast will illustrate the last line of "America the Beautiful" in the stamp series.
Bath Iron Works to pay $355,000 to settle EPA complaint
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Bath Iron Works will pay $355,000 as part of a settlement with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency over claims that the company allegedly failed to submit Toxic Release Inventory reports for a number of chemicals for the years 2013 to 2015. The shipyard also failed to comply fully with all the requirements in its stormwater permit, according to the federal regulatory agency. Masters Machine Co. of Round Pond, which makes precision automotive and electrical components, will pay a $92,210 penalty after allegations it failed to file TRI forms for copper and lead.
Maine Young Birders Club is a wonderful project
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

I love seeing kids outside enjoying birds and birding. My wife Linda did a birding unit for her first graders every year, and at the end, they would be bused to our house for a birding adventure, which we all enjoyed very much. So I was pleased recently to learn about the Maine Young Birders Club, founded and coordinated by Lena Moser and Nathan Hill.
LePage had two special places to give out tax benefits. Both went to paper
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Out of 32 places to give tax breaks to investors, Gov. Paul LePage had special discretion for two. For each of those special picks, LePage looked to paper towns. The governor’s use of those special selections to pick Madawaska and Baileyville reflect a hope that, despite declines in most paper industry sectors, the mills that have endured some brutal years may still draw new investment or serve as an anchor for sustaining rural economies. The reaction among Maine’s paper industry shows how policymakers and local officials were operating in the dark as they selected those zones in Maine.
Striped bass have made a big return to eastern Maine. Here’s why.
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Anglers caught more than 4.1 million stripers in Maine in 2006. Five years later, they only caught 160,000. But this year, after a steady trend toward improvement, striper anglers are smiling again, and the population of the coveted fish are seemingly surging again. So why have the stripers returned? A regulatory change that has protected smaller stripers up and down the East Coast and an abundance of bait for those fish to feed on are likely contributors, experts say.
Column: Our good neighbor Canada
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

Take a look at a map and you’ll see that Maine is in Canada. The current turmoil with our Canadian friends is unfortunate and harmful. From President Donald Trump’s nasty and insulting remarks about Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to the emerging trade war, disaster is lurking. J.D. Irving, based in New Brunswick, is our state’s largest landowner. And perhaps you buy gas at the Irving’s Maine stations. If the relationship between Canada and the United States continues down this troubling road, Maine will suffer greatly. Someone needs to step up and stop this before we all get hurt. ~ George Smith
Letter: 'Yes' on windmill ordinance
Sun Journal - Wednesday, July 18, 2018 

The towns of Woodstock and Greenwood have been the focus of energy corporations seeking to establish wind farms to provide electricity to other locations, with the impact of the wind farms affecting our residents, our views and all the collateral damage that is now known to accompany wind power generation. Green, renewable energy in the form of wind and solar provides significant environmental benefits. However, in those circumstances in which wind power is in close proximity to our lakes, it is likely to negatively affect use and enjoyment. Therefore, the Community Lakes Association opposes the project. ~ Janice Kendrick, Community Lakes Association, Woodstock
Rescuers take an hour to rescue scrappy raccoon under Denny’s dumpster
Sun Journal - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Police and an animal rescuer wrestled with a 20-pound raccoon for more than an hour Tuesday after the animal got stuck beneath a dumpster outside Denny’s restaurant. The raccoon was ultimately freed, although it did not happen easily.
Over 200 CMP customers join class-action lawsuit claiming they were overbilled
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

More than 200 Central Maine Power Co. customers who believe they have been overcharged on their electricity bills have joined a class-action lawsuit against the company. Lipman & Katz, an Augusta-based law firm, issued a statement Tuesday night announcing that it plans to file the lawsuit Thursday in Cumberland County Superior Court. Other law firms will join in the class-action case. About 97,000 CMP customers‘ monthly bills increased 50 percent or more in December, January or February over the same month a year earlier. The firms contend that another 200,000 customers have been overcharged by up to 50 percent.
Brunswick residents appeal town’s assessment on solar panels
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

A group of seven Brunswick residents is asking the town not to add solar panels to their property assessments. Jake Plante of Rossmore Road, one of the seven, estimated there are about 130 homes with solar in town. Plante said, “There are a lot of other fuel types and energy-saving measures people take to reduce their energy footprint and they’re not taxed for those things. So solar is being singled out for this tax.” Town Assessor Cathleen Jamison rebutted that, saying other energy-efficient components are included in the construction details of a home.
Waterville council approves contract extension with WasteZero for trash bag supplies
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

City councilors on Tuesday voted to approve extending a contract with WasteZero to continue supplying purple trash bags to retailers for purchase by residents as part of the city’s pay-as-you-throw system of trash collection.
BIW and Lincoln County company pay to settle EPA allegations
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Bath Iron Works agreed to pay a $355,000 penalty to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly failing to report their use and release of toxic chemicals. Masters Machine Co. of Round Pound, will pay a $92,210 penalty.
UMF fitness center director dies of cancer
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Jim Toner, the director of the University of Maine at Farmington’s Fitness and Recreation Center and a former director of both parks and recreation and public works in Waterville, died Monday of cancer. Toner, 59, served as director of the Fitness and Recreation Center, or FRC, since 2006 and was the founder of the center’s Mainely Outdoors Program and the annual Sandy River Canoe/Kayak Race.
Those lobster license plates are supporting $340,000 in research on vital industry
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

The Maine Department of Marine Resources is using $340,000 from the sale of specialty license plates to bankroll lobster research. The state agency is using lobster license plate profits to fund six research projects, including five run by the University of Maine and one by the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, and give $5,000 mini-grants to four other researchers.
Scoop that poop: A case for picking up dog waste on trails
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Dog waste has long been a problem in public outdoor spaces, in trail networks and on beaches. And in addition to being disgusting, this problem is a public health concern, and can harm the environment and wildlife. Dog feces often contains harmful bacteria, diseases and parasites. That’s why the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests people pick up and dispose of dog feces, “especially in areas where children might play.” While picking up dog poop is a big inconvenience, it’s the right thing to do. Whether you’re visiting public or private property, you’re a visitor. It’s not your space to wreck.
Sens. Collins and King, Rep. Poliquin testify against tariffs on Canadian newsprint
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, as well as U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, were among more than a dozen lawmakers who testified Tuesday before the International Trade Commission against tariffs on Canadian newsprint that already are having a devastating effect on newspapers. President Trump, who has been increasingly aggressive on trade, ordered the tariffs. The tariffs so far have increased newsprint prices by as much as 25 percent.
Right whales give scientists a way to collect data: They blow it into the air
Associated Press - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Scientists no longer have to collect poop to get key data on the health of endangered right whales. A new study indicates that under the right conditions, scientist can get real-time hormonal data by collecting the spray from whales’ blowholes.
Forest Service wants to know who built campfire that started fire in Belgrade
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

The Maine Forest Service is trying to figure out who started a campfire on a small Belgrade island last week, eventually causing a wildfire. So far, no suspects have been identified, said Darrell Rich, a state forest ranger who went to the scene Friday afternoon. The fire burned about a half-acre on a small, tree-covered island in Hamilton Pond, near the intersection of routes 27 and 135 in Belgrade. Rich said the wildfire was the result of someone failing to extinguish a campfire fully.
175,000 watched Maine lobster harvester, chef live-stream event
Other - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

More than 175,000 tuned in to watch the Maine Lobster Marketing Collaborative’s live-streamed, roughly 30-minute lobster-oriented talk show Monday night, in Brooklyn, New York, the group tells Undercurrent News.
The new Maine Mountain Guide is entertaining and inspiring
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

I live vicariously through Carey Kish, enjoying his posts about all his outdoor adventures. He and his wife are amazing hikers and adventurers, and Carey has written a number of hiking books. But his new book, Maine Mountain Guide, published by AMC Books, is his best.
The big deals that won LePage’s favor for tax breaks
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage’s selection of 32 areas of the state for new federal tax breaks reads like a map of big business deals to be done. LePage’s administration said its picks of Opportunity Zones around the state were driven by the potential for successful new investments. The major projects include a plan from J.D. Irving, the state’s largest landowner, to rezone and develop camps and commercial properties on 51,000 acres in Aroostook County and subsidized wood-to-energy company Stored Solar’s plans to add a shrimp farm, greenhouses and an organic poultry farm next to its West Enfield energy plant. Critics say the program will only fatten investors’ pockets for deals they would have done anyway.
Pending bait shortage poses another threat to Maine lobster industry
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, July 17, 2018 

Feeling pressure from trade tariffs and pending rules to protect right whales, Maine’s lobster industry is facing yet another threat: a severe bait shortage. Regulators want to cap this year’s herring landings at last year’s levels, or 50,000 metric tons, and slash next year’s quota of the most popular lobster bait from 110,000 to 30,000 metric tons. They want to do this to offset record low numbers of newborn herring that are entering the fishery to replace those that are caught, eaten by other predators or die from natural causes.
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