January 23, 2019  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Art of Katahdin panel discussion, Oct 2
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

Panel Discussion by a group of artists whose work is represented in the book, Art of Katahdin. At University of New England, Art Gallery, Portland, October 2, 5-6:30 pm.
Sustainable Maine: The Triple Bottom Line, Oct 2 & 6
Announcement - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

Researchers at Maine's Sustainability Solutions Initiative are working to tackle urgent economic, social and environmental challenges. SSI researchers collaborate with fishermen and others so tidal power in Cobscook Bay is developed sustainably. Then head to Central Maine, where researchers are working with family forest owners struggling to steward their land in the face of growing pressures. Maine Public TV, Oct 2 & 6.
Sustainable Maine: Return of a River, Oct 2-6
Announcement - Sunday, September 29, 2013 

After decades of clean-up efforts, the Saco River Estuary is coming back to life. Surrounding communities now turn to the estuary as a source of renewal and economic development, but new pressures are emerging, including increasing coastal development. Understanding how these pressures affect the estuary and developing new tools to help safeguard its health is the focus of a research project. Maine Public TV, Oct 2, 5 & 6.
Point of No Return
Publication - Friday, September 27, 2013 

This Greenpeace report says the world is quickly reaching a Point of No Return for preventing the worst impacts of climate change. With total disregard for this unfolding global disaster, the fossil fuel industry is planning 14 massive coal, oil and gas projects that would produce as much new carbon dioxide emissions in 2020 as the entire US, and delay action on climate change for more than a decade. Continuing on the current course will make it difficult, if not impossible, to prevent the widespread and catastrophic impacts of climate change. The costs will be substantial: billions spent to deal with the destruction of extreme weather events, untold human suffering, and the deaths of tens of millions.
MCV 2013 Legislative Scorecard
Publication - Thursday, September 26, 2013 

Maine Conservation Voters has issued a scorecard of voting records of members of the 126th Maine Legislature, which features a range of environmental and conservation issues.
MPA 2013 Legislative Scorecard
Publication - Thursday, September 26, 2013 

The Maine People's Alliance has issued a scorecard of voting records of members of the 126th Maine Legislature, which features a variety of issues, including environmental protections, unions, pensions and workplace laws, immigrants, health care protections and fundamental voting rights.
NRCM 2013 Legislative Report Card
Publication - Thursday, September 26, 2013 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine has issued a report card for the 126th Maine Legislature, which summarizes action on a range of environmental and conservation issues.
Maine Audubon 2013 Legislative Summary
Publication - Thursday, September 26, 2013 

Maine Audubon has issued a summary of actions by the 126th Maine Legislature on a range of environmental and conservation issues.
Sierra Club Maine 2013 Legislative Summary
Publication - Thursday, September 26, 2013 

The Sierra Club Maine Chapter has prepared a summary of good and not-so-good news from the recent session of the Maine Legislature.
Troubled Waters: Damage to Maine’s Lake Protection Program
Publication - Wednesday, September 25, 2013 

This investigative report, produced by the Natural Resources Council of Maine, documents damage caused to the State of Maine’s lake protection efforts under the Administration of Governor LePage.
East-West Corridor Panel Discussion, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 22, 2013 

The film Chasing Ice, a documentary reporting upon the abrupt and accelerating melting of glaciers, will be shown followed by a panel discussion concerning the proposed East-West Corridor plan for Maine. The EW Corridor would contribute to, rather than reduce, carbon atmospheric pollution, which is driving climate change globally. Film at 2 pm, followed by the panel discussion. At Monson Community Center, Sep 29, 2-5 pm.
Mushroom Foraging and Identification, Sep 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 22, 2013 

Join Justin Schlawin, Dusty Small, and Teague Morris for a discussion and mushroom identification walk at Small-Burnham Conservation Area in Litchfield, followed by a local foods potluck. Sep 29, 2 pm. Must pre-register. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
National Public Lands Day, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2013 

Celebrate the 20th anniversary of National Public Lands Day by visiting a public park or other open space area. Sep 28.
Free Entrance in the National Parks, Sep 28
Announcement - Saturday, September 21, 2013 

268 of your 401 national park areas never charge an entrance fee. On National Public Lands Day, September 28, 2013, the rest are fee free too.
Experience the Marsh, Sep 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 21, 2013 

Exploration of land and water is promised during "Experience the Marsh." At Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center, Scarborough, Sep 28, 10-11:30 am. $11 for adults; $10 for kids. Sponsored by Friends of Scarborough Marsh.
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News Items
Letter: Skowhegan Millers?
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 23, 2019 

If Skowhegan is the name European-Americans adopted from what Native Americans called a place for watching and spearing fish in the Kennebec River, then it is sad (or worse) to note that such fish are now dammed downstream and rarely seen that far up the river. Considering Skowhegan’s heritage of mills along the falls, the resilience of Sappi paper mill, and the forward-looking vision of milling locally sourced grains — MSAD 54 may want to consider retiring the “Skowhegan Indians” as the team name and updating it to “Millers.” ~ Mark Rains, Vienna
Concern About Global Warming Among Americans Spikes, Report Says
National Public Radio - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

According to a new public opinion survey, the proportion of Americans who said global warming is "personally important" to them jumped from 63% to 72% from March to December of last year. 29% are "very worried" about global warming; 40% are "somewhat worried;" 56% said their family will be harmed by global warming. The survey says that 48% of Americans feel hopeful about global warming, while 51% feel helpless. Just 14% of Americans think it is too late to do anything about it.
Bill To Tax Fossil Fuel Producers Among Dozens Of Climate-Related Proposals Before Maine Legislature
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

Democratic state legislators want to tax fossil fuel producers and redirect the dividends to Maine electricity buyers. The bill proposes what's known as carbon pricing. Democratic state Rep. Deane Rykerson, of Kittery, is sponsoring the bill, which is among more than 100 climate-related proposals introduced this session. The Maine proposal would charge $5 per ton of carbon emissions, with the fee increasing every year. Several other state legislatures are considering carbon-pricing bills. Economics professor Thomas Tietenberg says the concept is politically popular because the carbon tax is returned to ratepayers instead of being used to expand government.
Sea-level rise hurting Maine real estate values
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

Increased tidal flooding caused by sea level rise has contributed to a loss of about $70 million in the appreciation of waterfront real estate values in Maine over the last 12 years, according to a report released Tuesday.
Plan To Quarantine Invasive Forest Pest Up For Hearings
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

Maine forest managers are holding public hearings about a plan to use a quarantine to stop the movement of an invasive forest pest that can cause havoc for the state's timber industry. Maine wants to use the quarantine to contain the emerald ash borer. The new rule is designed to prevent the pest's movement in firewood, ash logs, ash wood products and other products from northern Aroostook and York counties. The first public hearing is scheduled for Feb. 11 in Ashland. The other is slated for Feb. 13 in Springvale.
Editorial: Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Department serves diverse interests. That’s not all bad.
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

Many in the conservation community argue that the merged Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry diminished their interests. Gov. Janet Mills has pledged to make Maine less dependent on imported fossil fuels, which drain money from the state and are major contributors to climate change. ACF can be a leading agency in this work. Despite a resurgence in farming, Maine imports most of its food. Producing more food in state will boost the state’s economy while also reducing transportation, which is costly and is a major source of greenhouse gas pollutants. Farms and forests also store carbon, one way to reduce the impacts of climate change. Giving up on a merged department may be premature.
Belfast salmon farm ignites debate about what ‘NIMBY’ actually means
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

In Greater Belfast, almost every recent development proposal — from the land-based salmon farm to turning an old school into apartments — has been met with noisy, sometimes hostile, opposition. And as those localized debates about specific developments play out, a separate examination of what it means to be a “NIMBY” and what it means to accuse someone of being one has intensified the conflicts. People are objecting to these projects for all kinds of reasons, of course: fears about pollution, water use, urban sprawl and neighborhood decline, to name a few. But underlying all these objections may be one, more simple idea: “we just don’t want that here.”
SAM Proposes Seven Legislative Bills
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine has proposed seven legislative bills governing turkeys, bears, shooting ranges, hunting near hiking trails, the Maine Outdoor Heritage Fund, and sales taxes. Here is a summary of their bills.
Trail snack tips, suggestions and recipes from readers
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

During a mountain hike or an ocean paddle, even the simplest fare can be enjoyable and nourishing. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put a little extra thought and effort into what you pack to eat – the opposite, in fact.
Liberty homesteader shares ‘all the dirt on living the good life’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

The farmhouse had been empty for 30 years. Built in the 1860s, the building had no electricity or running water, the surrounding fields were overgrown with brush, and a giant Yankee-style barn on the property was filled with animal waste and discarded equipment. Yet to Kirsten Lie-Nielsen and her partner Patrick Jackson, the old farm looked like home, a place where they could pursue their homesteading dreams. Now three years later, Lie-Nielsen is sharing these experiences and all she has learned along the way in her latest book, “So you Want to Be a Modern Homesteader?: All the Dirt on Living the Good Life.”
Letter: Bond package would pay to preserve land, but not wildlife that uses it
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 22, 2019 

A recent Press Herald article (Jan. 15) describes a proposed $75 million bond package for the Land for Maine’s Future program, but it doesn’t mention that hunting and trapping must be allowed on land bought with Land for Maine’s Future funds. LMF requires that “hunting, fishing, trapping and public access may not be prohibited on land acquired with bond proceeds except to the extent of applicable state, local or federal laws, rules and regulations and except for working waterfront projects and farmland protection projects.” ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Westbrook’s ice disk survives storm and takes a spin on the internet
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 21, 2019 

Westbrook’s world famous ice disk is ready for its close-up –— at least it better be. There’s now a webcam that broadcasts the daytime movements of the disk, which has been spinning in the Presumpscot River for more than a week and continues its counterclockwise rotation, despite a new covering of several inches of fresh snow over the weekend. The image can be found at mooseheadwebcams.com.
Kennebec Land Trust cabins to be featured on 'Maine Cabin Masters'
Mainebiz - Monday, January 21, 2019 

The Kennebec Land Trust's Wakefield Wildlife Sanctuary is quiet this time of year — the 115 acres on Cobbossee Stream in West Gardiner don't have any developed trails yet, or even a parking area. But the preserve, one of the Winthrop-based land trust's more than 60 properties stretching through Kennebec County, is about to get its celebrity moment. Two cabins recently renovated on the shore of the stream will be featured on an episode of "Maine Cabin Masters" Feb. 25 on the DIY network. The cabins will be rented out to the public beginning in July, the 30-year-old trust's first foray into renting out property.
Maine Farmland Trust CEO chosen to lead Maine’s Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Dept.
Mainebiz - Monday, January 21, 2019 

Gov. Janet Mills on Friday nominated Maine Farmland Trust President Amanda Beal as the state's next agriculture chief, completing her roster of 15 Cabinet picks less than three weeks after taking office. If confirmed, Beal would be the first woman to lead Maine's Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry. She has served as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust since 2016.
Rare raptor’s health improving after being rescued during snowstorm
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 21, 2019 

A great black hawk that was found on the ground in Portland during Sunday’s snowstorm and brought to a midcoast wildlife rehabilitation center was standing and looking alert Monday morning, Avian Haven reported. The rare raptor was residing in Deering Oaks Park the past few weeks and was found by passersby who said it was unable to stand and who contacted Avian Haven in Freedom, which specializes in the rehabilitation of wild birds. Before this year, a great black hawk – a raptor native to Central and South American – had never been seen in Maine and was extremely rare in the United States.
Rare hawk rescued from Portland park during storm
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 21, 2019 

A great black hawk that made itself at home in Portland’s Deering Oaks Park was rescued during Sunday’s storm after suffering from frostbite. Two volunteers came across the bird on Sunday morning, and the raptor was on the ground and unable to stand under its own power, according to Avian Haven, a wild bird rehabilitation center in Freedom. Native to Central and South America, the great black hawk is the first of its kind to be spotted in the United States.
9 ways to make your kitchen more earth friendly
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 21, 2019 

If you are looking to green your lifestyle habits, your kitchen is a great place to start, between all the food waste, packaging and energy used to run cooking and cleaning appliances. Here are some ideas on how to green your kitchen:
• Reduce your paper towel use
• Mind your pots and
• Opt for energy efficient appliances
• Green your dishwasher
• More green ways to wash dishes
• Buy in bulk
• Consider your containers
• Recycle food scraps
• Grow your own herbs
Opinion: Join the effort to support renewable energy development
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 21, 2019 

In 2018, “gross metering” rules went into effect, requiring new solar power projects to measure exactly how much power they generate. Previously, only the difference between electrons generated and used on site was tracked. This was called “net metering,” and it allowed people to harvest some sunlight for their own use entirely separate from their utility bills. Under the new rules, the utilities now claim ownership of the portion of harvested sunlight we use immediately to power our homes – energy that never touches the utility distribution lines. Rep. Seth Berry, who co-chairs the Energy and Utilities Committee, has introduced L.D. 91, An Act To Eliminate Gross Metering, to stop this practice, which is taking away the right of Maine people to collect and use renewable energy freely on their own land. ~ Tobey Williamson, Warren
Editorial: Diverse group unites for conservation of Maine land
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 21, 2019 

A task force on land conservation is calling for a return to the robust programs that have protected lands for all Mainers but which suffered during the Le-Page administration. LePage held back voter-approved funding for the Land for Maine’s Future program. He even called the program “corrupt," even though there was no proof of that and the program is widely admired. The recommendations of the task force include a $65 million bond for Land for Maine’s Future, which matches private and individual contributions to projects deemed to be in the public’s interest. The task force also recommends a $10 million bond to finance projects and maintenance at state parks, which have a backlog of needed work.
5 reusable products to help you reduce waste
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

We live in a disposable culture. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the average American throws out 4.4 pounds of garbage per day. If you are looking to reduce your contribution to landfills, here are seven products you can use (and reuse) to reduce the amount of garbage you dispose every day.
The Bangor area was once home to more than 10 ski areas — all now lost
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

As recently as 40 years ago there were at least 12 known ski mountains and hills in the Bangor area of varying size and popularity. A few of them were big enough to boast paid memberships, ski lifts and full-service lodges. Some were little more than a hill with a portable rope tow set up for parts of the winter. Today, they’re all either overgrown, privately owned or in some cases, both.
Solar-panel plan for Blaine House sends a message
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

The Mills administration is drawing up a request for proposals over the coming weeks to install solar-electric panels on the Blaine House, an action meant to signal that Maine once again aims to be a leader in clean energy development.
Clean-energy agenda sees power surge in Augusta
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

Rep. Chloe Maxmin, D-Nobleboro, is the lead sponsor of a bill to create a Green New Deal in Maine. The bill would chart a path for Maine to get all its power from renewable sources by 2030, transforming the economy and creating clean-energy-sector jobs. Maxmin’s bill also is emblematic of the surge of energy-related proposals in Augusta this year. Taken together, more than 60 separate working titles would have the effect of reversing the priorities of former Gov. Paul LePage.
Dreaming of a lobster license, but trapped on a waitlist
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

Most lobster fishing zones in Maine were closed to newcomers almost 20 years ago in an effort to prevent overfishing and the turf wars that can happen when a fishery grows too large, too fast. Would-be lobstermen who finish a state apprenticeship program go on the zone waiting list, where they must wait for a certain number of fishermen to give up their licenses, or their trap tags, before they can start fishing. State lawmakers want to help people who have been languishing on the apprentice waitlist for years. Rep. Jay McCreight, D-Harpswell, has proposed a bill that would give licenses to anyone who has been on the list for a decade or more. Based on state records, 55 of the 248 people currently sitting on one of the seven regional waitlists would fall into that category.
Opinion: Loggers and conservationists have many common interests
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 20, 2019 

The Professional Logging Contractors of Maine would like to commend Kate Dempsey, director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine, for her Dec. 30 Maine Voices column: “When it comes to preserving northern forests, Maine can’t afford to falter.” We need to do all we can to preserve and build our professional logging and trucking workforce, as it will be essential to preserving our northern forests through responsible timber harvesting and management to achieve this shared vision. ~ Dana Doran, Professional Logging Contractors of Maine
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