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

Forest Summit 2010, Oct 14-15
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 30, 2010 

Topics include Wildlands and Woodlands Vision for New England, Biomass: The Unvarnished Truth, New England Forests at the Crossroads, Plant Conservation and Climate Change, History of Environmental Ethics and Forests. Organized by the Eastern Native Tree Society. At Holyoke Community College in Holyoke, MA, Oct 14-15, 9 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Windfall
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 30, 2010 

The film documentary "Windfall" is the story of how a wind farm disturbed the peace and quiet of a town and turned lifelong neighbors into opposing sides of a heated argument. It debuted on Sep 10 at the Toronto Independent Film Festival.
Conservation Bus Tour of Knox County, Oct 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 30, 2010 

Featured destinations include Pool Preserve, Sweetgrass Farm Winery & Distillery and Linita Farm in Union and Avena Botanicals Herbal Apothecary in Rockport. Oct 7, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. Registration fee.
Roque Island Archepelago talk, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 30, 2010 

Archaeologist Mark Hedden will give a talk about the Roque Island Archepelago off the eastern Maine coast. Recent research has established that, beginning in the 1540s, Basque whalers and fishermen traded with Native Americans in the area. At Vienna Union Hall, Oct 2 at 7 p.m.
GrowSmart talk, Oct 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 30, 2010 

GrowSmart Maine Executive Director Nancy E. Smith will talk about the "Charting Maine's Future" and "Envision Maine" reports. Oct 7 at 7:15 a.m. at the Winthrop Area Chamber of Commerce. Registration fee.
Baxter State Park volunteers needed
Announcement - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

Volunteers are needed to help close campgrounds in Baxter State Park for the season. If you can assist during the last two weeks of Oct with carpentry, painting, leveling cabins and lean-tos, etc., contact Laurie Rich, Friends of Baxter State Park, Volunteer Coordinator, 207-862-6580.
MLCV Endorses Libby Mitchell for Governor
Announcement - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

The endorsement follows a thorough analysis of candidate records, policy positions, public statements, questionnaires and interviews by MLCV. Of the five candidates for governor, only Paul LePage did not complete the questionnaire or join an interview with MLCV Board members.
Friends of Merrymeeting Bay job opening
Announcement - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

Friends of Merrymeeting Bay is seeking a full-time coordinator.
Wind power forum, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

A public Wind Educational Forum sponsored by the River Valley Wind Educational Committee will be held at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford, Maine, Sep 29, 6-9 p.m.
E2Tech Gubernatorial Candidate Debate, Sep 29
Announcement - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

Maine gubernatorial candidates Eliot Cutler (I), Paul LePage (R), Libby Mitchell (D), and Shawn Moody (I) debated current energy and environmental policy and business development issues in Maine at USM in Portland on September 23. Maine Public Radio, Sep 29 at 1 p.m.
A Chemical Reaction, Sep 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, September 28, 2010 

This 70-minute documentary follows Paul Tukey's journey to Hudson, Quebec, a town near Montreal. Hudson passed a law in 1991 that bans the use of nonessential pesticides. Since then, 154 municipalities and the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and New Brunswick have placed restrictions on the cosmetic use of synthetic lawn pesticides as a result of health and environmental concerns. Sep 30 at 5:30 p.m. at Lithgow Public Library in Augusta. Free.
Georges River film, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 26, 2010 

Georges River Land Trust will debut a 90-second film at the Camden International Film Festival Thursday through Sunday, Sep 30 through Oct 3. The film depicts the mission of the land trust and includes interviews with landowners telling the story of why they conserved their woodlands and farms.
Ragged Mountain tour, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 25, 2010 

Coastal Mountains Land Trust and Georges River Land Trust will co-host an exploration of Ragged Mountain on Oct 2 from 9 a.m. to noon.
Paint Augusta green, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 25, 2010 

Area artists will come together Saturday, Oct 2, to forge a number of firsts in Augusta. One is an artist group tour to the city’s recently acquired 268 acres in the Bond Brook area. Another is a coalescing partnership with local business and municipal interests to promote and support this acquisition. A third is the opportunity to create Bond Brook art to be auctioned off as part of a fundraising surge by Augusta Trails.
Green Buildings Open House, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 25, 2010 

The Northeast Sustainable Energy Association invites the public to visit local sustainable buildings to talk with homeowners and experts during the 2010 Green Buildings Open House Oct. 2, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
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News Items
MCHT Helps Restore Fish Passage in the Bagaduce River Watershed
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

The Bagaduce watershed has long been a conservation focus for Maine Coast Heritage Trust. After years of planning, engineers, conservationists, and local representatives gathered last summer to break ground on the first of two nature-like fishways in the watershed. “Without MCHT’s support, none of this would have happened,” says Bailey Bowden, head of the Penobscot Alewife Committee. “People are looking at this and saying, ‘Wow.’ It’s had a big community impact."
UPDATED: Maine Governor Wannabes
Maine Environmental News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

Maine’s next gubernatorial election is set for November 6, 2018. It will be the first in the state’s history to be conducted by ranked choice voting, unless that is declared unconstitutional by the state’s Supreme Judicial Court. According to various, mostly reliable, sources as of January 17, 2018, there are 13 declared Democratic candidates, 5 declared Republican candidates, and 9 other gubernatorial wannabes. Plus a gaggle of possibles in the wings. 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.
Mainers use chainsaws to harvest oysters in the bitter cold
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 17, 2018 

When temperatures plummeted below zero in late December, the oyster farmers of Mere Point Oyster Company vowed not to let 8 to 10 inches of ice in Mere Point Bay prevent them from harvesting to keep their winter market satisfied. “The bay froze relatively quickly during that cold snap, and by just after Christmas it was frozen pretty solid,” said Dan Devereaux, who with Doug Niven owns the 2-year-old Mere Point Oyster Company. But with customers clamoring for oysters — and a coveted spot at the Taste of Freeport next month — Niven and Devereaux employed a bit of Maine ingenuity to pull up the oyster cages. They headed out on the ice the second week of January, and returned — thanks to a chainsaw and a lot of lifting — with enough oysters to fulfill all those orders.
Citing ‘Inexcusable’ Treatment, Advisers Quit National Parks Panel
New York Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The majority of members of the National Parks System Advisory Board, which advises the federal government on management of the country’s national parks, have jointly resigned to protest Trump administration policies that the board members say have ignored science, squelched efforts to address climate change and undermined environmental protections. “From all of the events of this past year I have a profound concern that the mission of stewardship, protection, and advancement of our National Parks has been set aside,” wrote Tony Knowles, the head of the advisory board, in a resignation letter that was co-signed by eight other members of the 12-member panel.
Nearly all members of National Park Service panel resign in frustration
Washington Post - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration.
Lawmakers back bill to ease prohibition on money being part of moose permit swaps
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Since 2015, hunters who were successful during Maine's moose lottery have been allowed to exchange permits but could not offer each other money or any other form of compensation. A bill that won preliminary endorsement from a legislative committee on Monday would once again allow payments between hunters and also allow hunting guides to facilitate such swaps. But the bill would prohibit guides from receiving any compensation for helping arrange a swap.
St. Joseph’s College Ends Deal With Company To Build Greenhouse
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by Cate Street Capital have ended a $750,000 agreement to build a greenhouse as part of the college’s new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. Cate Street Capital was behind the failed bid to revive the Great Northern Paper Mill in East Millinocket in 2014, despite receiving millions in taxpayer dollars. Peter Nielsen, St. Joseph’s entrepreneur-in-residence, said, “What we had begun to explore in March of 2017 looked good at that point, but when we got to the end of the year, it just wasn’t making sense to anybody." Nielsen says St. Joseph’s is working with many other partners and will still move forward with the plan.
Major investor in Verso sells off significant lot of shares; company could be sold
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

A major investor in Verso, owner of the paper mill in Jay, has sold more than $21 million worth of shares in the first two weeks of January, just months after expressing frustration with returns on the investment. Then on the heels of those transactions by Mudrick Capital Management L.P., Verso Corp. revealed Tuesday that its Strategic Alternatives Committee is looking at the possibility of selling the entire company outright, or merging with another. About 400 people now work at the Androscoggin mill. When Verso emerged from bankruptcy in summer 2016, it employed about 560.
Dental student extracts 10-pound landlocked salmon from Maine lake
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Some of us dream of catching a five-pound brook trout before we die. Others avid anglers want to hook onto a lake trout that’ll barely fit through the hole we drill in the ice. On Jan. 11, Chris Parent ended up with a fish story like that, and he doubts he’ll ever catch a landlocked salmon to top the one he landed, which measured 30 inches long and weighed 10.2 pounds.
Maine college cancels deal with failed paper mill redeveloper
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by private equity firm Cate Street Capital have called off a partnership to develop a greenhouse on the college’s Standish campus, which was tied to a $750,000 donation to the college. The greenhouse is a major feature of St. Joseph’s plans for its new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, a college effort to help New England food producers grow crops locally that the region typically has to import. The private equity firm’s failed 2011 restart of the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket left behind a trail of debt that the attorney overseeing the mill’s bankruptcy attributed in part to mismanagement.
Group Acquires Parcel Key To Maine Dam Removal Project
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

A conservation group has acquired about seven acres in Down East Maine as part of a dam removal project. The Downeast Salmon Federation says it has taken ownership of the parcel in Sullivan that surrounds the head of tide of Smelt Brook, which has been blocked by a stone dam for more than 50 years. The group says the acquisition is part of a "multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project'' designed to reconnect Smelt Brook to Smelt Cove. The restoration is expected to help create habitat for fish such as brook trout and rainbow smelt. The group says by removing the dam it can support recent work to improve fish passage in the area. The project also seeks to provide an outdoor classroom for a high school.
Canada’s oil-sands region now facing 340 billion gallons of toxic sludge
Bloomberg News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Amid the bogs and forests of northern Alberta, the heart of the Canadian oil patch, lie some of the largest waste dumps of the global energy business. In the shadow of the pipes and smokestacks that turn oil sands into flowing crude, earthen dams as long as 11 miles encircle lakes of toxic sludge, the byproduct of decades of extraction. These waste pools, known as tailings ponds, represent perhaps the most serious environmental challenge facing the oil-sands industry. Now, the battle over how quickly to clean them up – and fears about who will pay – are escalating anew. Critics say the industry could end up sticking taxpayers with the estimated $22 billion bill.
Author Sandra Neily discusses new book about Maine's north woods
Wiscasset Newspaper - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Sandra Neily set her novel, “Deadly Trespass,” in the north woods of Maine, where the main character, Cassandra Patton Conover, stumbles across the body of her best friend Shannon while trespassing on someone else’s land. Cassandra soon learns from an old newspaper friend, there are rumors of an illegally placed wolf-breeding population in Maine, a desperate environmental action that could potentially stop a number of money-making activities run by logging companies, and knowingly abetted by conservation groups. If the plot all sounds vaguely familiar, it should. Parts of the background plot could be ripped from the headlines.
Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument Officials To Discuss Winter Use
National Parks Traveler - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

With winter swirling all about the Northeast, the folks at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine are planning to host a public meeting on winter use in the monument. The meeting, set for January 24, is designed to help the National Park Service better understand the diversity of opportunities and concerns related to winter activities and to help inform the development of a management plan for the national monument.
MCHT’s Largest Preserve: Rocky Lake
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Thanks to generous donors, 2,352 acres of dense forest and over six miles of shoreline have been permanently protected in Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s largest preserve. Situated between Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, protection of this land creates a wildlife corridor for animals like fisher, bobcat, moose, and black bear. It is also a critical piece of a larger MCHT Initiative to restore the Orange River watershed and rejuvenate once-abundant river herring populations—an important first step toward bringing ground fishing and jobs back to the area.
The Damage Done by Trump’s Department of the Interior
Other - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The New Yorker - Under Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, it’s a sell-off from sea to shining sea. Zinke is, in many ways, a typical Trump appointee. A lack of interest in the public interest is, these days, pretty much a precondition for running a federal agency. In the decades to come, one can hope that many of the Trump Administration’s mistakes—on tax policy, say, or trade—will be rectified. But the destruction of the country’s last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed.
Maine opposing push to require all lobstermen to report catch data
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The state’s top fisheries official says Maine lobstermen should not be subjected to stricter requirements for reporting their catch to federal regulators. Patrick Keliher, commissioner of Maine Department of Marine Resources, also said he is confident he can convince the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to drop the idea. The commission is accepting public comment on the proposal until 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22.
China disrupts ecomaine and other recyclers with ‘foreign garbage’ ban
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

China has prompted “a crisis in the recycling world” with its decision to no longer accept what its regulators call “foreign garbage” such as paper contaminated with pizza grease. The action by China, long known for its willingness to import and repurpose recyclables from the United States and elsewhere, is being felt in Maine and around the nation. “They put the hammer down,” said Kevin Roche, chief executive officer of ecomaine, the nonprofit that handles recyclables for about a third of Maine’s population.
Letter: No oil drilling off Maine coast
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

I was encouraged to see that both Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have come out against President Donald Trump’s proposal to open Maine’s coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling. Gov. Rick Scott has already had the entire coastline of Florida taken off the list, so we know it can be done. I can see Republicans taking Maine off the list when the House of Representatives passes the legislation to stabilize health insurance markets that Collins was promised for her yes vote on that same tax reform bill. ~ Warner Vaughan, St. George
Maine Conservation Corps Gives Away Winter Wear at Augusta Warming Center
WABI-TV5 - Monday, January 15, 2018 

As part of the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service, the Maine Conservation Corps teamed up with the Augusta Community Warming Center on Monday to hand out winter wear to folks in need.
D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass
Other - Monday, January 15, 2018 

Next week Massachusetts’ three major electric distributors and the Department of Environmental Resources will announce which proposals to produce 10 terawatt hours of clean renewable energy over the next 20 years will be selected to negotiate long-term contracts. The 46 proposals present a buffet of options for energy officials and are expected to help meet Massachusetts’s clean energy goals. A majority of the proposals would use wind power. The wind and solar power in many plans would be supplemented by large hydro when wind and solar are not available. After the selection committee makes its recommendations, the projects have until March 27 to negotiate long-term contracts before they are presented to the Massachusetts DPU in April.
Freeport to talk goals, fighting climate change
Times Record - Monday, January 15, 2018 

The Freeport Town Council will meet Tuesday evening to consider a recommendation by the Freeport Sustainability Advisory Committee to endorse a the “Climate Mayors Statement to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Cumberland veterinarian plugs into solar power
Forecaster - Monday, January 15, 2018 

Veterinarian Tom Netland hopes that from this spring forward, his power bill will be about zero, along with his business’ impact on the environment. Netland and his wife, Lauren, recently installed 160 solar panels behind their Cumberland Animal Clinic. The array of 10 ground mounts has been up and running nearly a month, and is expected to produce 66,000-kilowatt hours of energy over the course of a year. The return on the investment could be three to eight years, thanks also to a tax rebate incentive. Since the life of the array is supposed to be 30 years, Netland said, “from eight to 30 it’s all gravy.”
Editorial: Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 15, 2018 

In 2016, the Legislature passed a bipartisan bill to update the state’s rules around solar power generation. LePage vetoed that legislation. When it came time for the override vote, many House Republicans reversed their earlier support for the legislation and voted to uphold LePage’s veto. In his veto message, LePage repeated untrue accusations. Lawmakers have one more chance to fix this by passing LD 1686 before the PUC begins assessing the new costs on Maine electricity customers.
When deer yards disappear so do the deer
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 15, 2018 

In the Maine Sunday Telegram on December 24, Bob Humphrey’s column on deer wintering areas was a good one, thoughtful and provocative. With Bob’s permission, I am sharing his column with you today.
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