March 20, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Winter Wildlife Photography, Jan 5
Event - Posted - Friday, December 28, 2012 

Join Andy Anderson, nature photographer, on a winter adventure on the grounds of Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, Jan 5, 1-3 pm, $10/Maine Audubon member; $15/nonmember. Advance registration required.
SAM Sportsman’s Congress, Jan 4
Event - Posted - Friday, December 28, 2012 

The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine will host its annual Sportsman’s Congress at SAM’s Augusta Conference Center on Jan 4, 9 am - 3:30 pm. $20.
Whales and Ales at the Sea Dog, Jan 4
Event - Posted - Friday, December 28, 2012 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for Bar Harbor Whale Watch, will present amazing photos and a talk about the natural history and conservation of whales. At Sea Dog Restaurant, River Driver event room, Bangor, Jan 4, 7 pm. Sponsored by Penobscot Valley Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Goranson Farm: An Uncertain Harvest, Jan 3 & 5
Announcement - Thursday, December 27, 2012 

This film follows a small organic farm in Dresden, Maine, during its most difficult season in 25 years. Maine Public TV, January 3 at 10 pm and Jan 5 at 11 am .
Baxter State Park & Katahdin, Jan 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 27, 2012 

Illustrated presentation by John Neff and Howard Whitcomb on “Baxter State Park & Katahdin: A Photographic History.” At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Jan 2, 12:15 pm.
Free National Parks Entrance Days in 2013
Announcement - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 

265 of the 398 U.S. National Park System units do not charge any entrance fee. For those parks that do have a fee, the fees will be waived on nearly a dozen days in 2013, including: Jan 21, Martin Luther King, Jr. Day; Apr 22-26; National Park Week; Aug 25, National Park Service Birthday; Sep 28, National Public Lands Day; and Nov 9-11, Veterans Day weekend.
NRCM Dip & Dash against Climate Change, Dec 31
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 26, 2012 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine's 2012 Polar Dip and Dash is fast-approaching. Meet the morning of Dec 31 at Portland's East End Beach for a 5K run around Back Bay, then take the plunge at noon into the icy Atlantic. The event is a fun way to raise awareness and funds for NRCM's work to curb climate change that threatens Maine's coastline, leaf-peeping and ski industries, and causes so many other problems for Maine and the planet.
National Parks Business Plan Internship
Announcement - Tuesday, December 25, 2012 

The National Parks Business Plan Internship is a highly selective summer program for top graduate students studying business, public policy, environmental management, and related fields. Over the course of eleven weeks, pairs of interns work in various parks and regional offices across the country, where they lead strategic projects that impact the long-term health of America's national parks. Applications due Jan 13.
Chasing Ice
Announcement - Saturday, December 22, 2012 

In the spring of 2005, acclaimed environmental photographer James Balog headed to the Arctic on a tricky assignment for National Geographic: to capture images to help tell the story of the Earth’s changing climate. Even with a scientific upbringing, Balog had been a skeptic about climate change. But that first trip north opened his eyes to the biggest story in human history and sparked a challenge within him that would put his career and his very well-being at risk. Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet.
Nature Time: Winter Session, Jan 14 – Feb 25
Event - Posted - Friday, December 21, 2012 

Nature in winter is a wonderful, mysterious time. Children ages 2 to 4, come to our wintertime nature-based program with stories, creative play, and art projects. Caregivers participate too. At Fields Pond Audubon Center, Holden, Mondays, Jan 14 – Feb 25, 10-11:00 am. $50/Audubon member, $60/nonmember per child for 7-week session. Advance registration required.
Maine DEP Seeks State Sustainability Stewards for Governor's Awards for Environmental Excellence
Announcement - Wednesday, December 19, 2012 

The Department of Environmental Protection is seeking nominations for the annual environmental excellence awards. The awards honor entities that go beyond standard techniques or regulatory requirements to creatively meet environmental challenges or opportunities. The categories: businesses with 19 or fewer employees; businesses with 20 to 99 employees; businesses with 100 or more employees; local, state federal or tribal entities; not-for-profit organizations; and new ventures begun in the last 24 months. Deadline is Feb 22.
Help Wanted: The Working Waterfront Editor
Announcement - Saturday, December 15, 2012 

This position oversees all aspects of the Island Institute’s monthly newspaper. In addition, the editor is responsible for the paper’s website and for assisting with production of the annual Island Journal.
Western Maine Passport to the Arts
Announcement - Friday, December 14, 2012 

Western Maine’s mountains, forests, lakes and rivers have long been an inspiration for artists in every genre. The new Western Maine Passport to the Arts will help visitors experience this rich culture by providing great discounts, deals and incentives on performance tickets, arts, crafts, lodging and meals in Oxford and Franklin Counties. Provides one-time discounts valued at more than $300 to attend performances or purchase art at 22 venues and galleries as well as 17 accommodations, restaurants and other associated businesses. $20.
New Views of Earth at Night
Announcement - Monday, December 10, 2012 

Scientists have unveiled an unprecedented new look at our planet at night. A global composite image, constructed using cloud-free night images from a new NASA and NOAA satellite, shows the glow of natural and human-built phenomena across the planet in greater detail than ever before. Note that northern Maine is the largest remaining dark (wild) place in the eastern U.S.
Wildlife, landscape art exhibit
Announcement - Sunday, December 9, 2012 

The Maine Arts Commission presents an exhibition of landscape photography and painted bas-reliefs of birds through February in Maine's Capitol Complex as part of the agency's Arts in the Capitol program. The works by John and Cynthia Orcutt and Hugh Verrier were previously exhibited at the Schoolhouse Gallery in Kingfield. The work is on display for the public throughout the week at the Maine State House from 8 am to 5 pm, and at the Blaine House from 2 to 4 pm, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Those wishing to see the work at the Blaine House should call ahead.
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News Items
Conference to tackle ‘future of land conservation in Maine’
Mainebiz - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, is using the 35th anniversary of its annual Maine Land Conservation Conference this week to explore a different format and dig into some themes in more depth. MCHT President Tim Glidden said he expects nearly 400 of the state's land conservation leaders to gather on Thursday at the Samoset Resort in Rockport as part of a two-day conference designed to explore the future of land conservation in Maine.
LePage Blasts Committee Over Written Request For Timber Harvesting Information
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee sent a letter last week seeking answers to 26 questions about the sale of wood harvested from public lands and asking for some very specific information on sales to some mills. The governor sent a blistering letter in response to the committee denying any improprieties, and appeared before the committee personally to denounce some of its members.
LePage veto survives House, killing Bar Harbor port authority bill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have given Bar Harbor voters permission to form a port authority. The House’s 81-63 vote on Tuesday in support of LD 1400 lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override LePage’s veto. As they have consistently done during the 128th Legislature, House Republicans stood by the Republican governor.
All-Electric Bus Takes A Spin Around Portland
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

An all-electric bus drove around downtown Portland at lunchtime Tuesday. The Greater Portland Metro Bus system and the Shuttlebus-Zoom bus system serving Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach are considering ordering a few with funding from a federal grant.
Opinion: The Trump budget is a threat to Maine’s environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts are a direct threat to Maine’s environmental resources, economy and the public health of our residents. The president proposed dramatic cuts to nearly every agency working to protect the environment, particularly funding for renewable energy and environmental science programs focused on climate change and air pollution research. Here in Maine, we would lose about $4 million per year from cuts to the multipurpose and brownfield grants alone. Other programs that benefit Maine such as the Environmental Education Grants Program, Wells National Estuary Program and the UMaine Sea Grant Program would be eliminated in the proposed budget. ~ Shri A. Verrill, habitat restoration manager, Downeast Salmon Federation, Surry; and Dr. Irit Altman, marine ecologist, Portland
Ski: Hadlock Loop in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Hadlock Loop is one of several cross-country skiing routes in Acadia National Park. Measuring 4.2 miles round trip from the Brown Mountain Parking Area, the route passes near the eastern shore of Upper Hadlock Pond, then climbs gradually and travels along the lower elevations of Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak and Penobscot Mountain. Along the way, the route crosses over three beautiful stone bridges, the last of which gives a great view of Hadlock Falls.
Maine receives $11.5 Million for Sportsmen & Conservation
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

U.S. Department of the Interior - Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $11,574,458 in funding to Maine to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds have been distributed to U.S. states and territories. Maine apportionments include $3,519,175 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $8,055,283 in Wildlife Restoration funds.
Regulators vote to launch investigation of CMP’s billing, metering systems
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it would launch a formal investigation into Central Maine Power’s billing and metering systems following customer complaints about skyrocketing bills and poor quality service. PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy and Commissioners R. Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis agreed to start a “technical forensic audit” to look expressly at metering and billing issues that have arisen over the past several months.
Coastal tour highlights risks of BP's plans to offshore drill Nova Scotia
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Today kicks off the start of a 3 day, hard hitting coastal tour on the risks of offshore drilling Nova Scotia. The Council of Canadians is coordinating this tour because Minister McKenna recently approved BP—the same company behind the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 8 years ago—to drill up to 7 exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia. They are planning to drilling up to twice the depth of the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, significantly increasing the risks of the project. Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist, energy analyst and author of "Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill," Antonia recently wrote: “As Nova Scotia residents and elected officials review both BP’s plans and the Canadian government’s ability to regulate them, it may be helpful to consider the view from your closest U.S. neighbours, who, barely one month ago, expressed virulent opposition to just such drilling in their own waters..."
Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. David Koorits of Kittery, Brian Threlkeld of Portland and Greg Bell of Gray completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter.
Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation
National Public Radio - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That's half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Meanwhile other wildlife-centered activities, like birdwatching, hiking and photography, are rapidly growing, as American society and attitudes towards wildlife change. The shift is being welcomed by some who morally oppose the sport, but it's also leading to a crisis. State wildlife agencies and the country's wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding.
Southern Maine bus services consider cleaning up their act with electric vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Greater Portland Metro and ShuttleBus-Zoom may come together to bring the first electric-powered buses to Maine. The two bus systems are considering whether to jointly apply for state and federal grants to replace up to a half-dozen aging diesel buses in their fleets with electric ones. Electric buses are more expensive to buy than diesel but run cheaper, cleaner and more quietly.
Foundation that tried to buy Saddleback is still meeting in case deal crumbles
Associated Press - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The foundation that once raised money to buy the idle Saddleback ski area is working to position itself in the event a deal with the current purchaser falls through. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation’s board said Monday that Wolfe Tone has replaced Peter Stein, who stepped down recently. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is not actively engaged in negotiations with the mountain’s owner. But the foundation continues to meet regularly.
Subsidized wood-to-energy firm fell far short on wood purchases, state says
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

One of two firms getting millions in taxpayer dollars to generate electricity from Maine wood purchased less than half of the wood it promised and fell short on other investment goals, according to a state report. Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission suggested in a report issued Friday that the three-member regulatory body reduce a subsidy payment to the company Stored Solar by 20 percent, to a little more than $1.2 million in taxpayer funds. That’s about $320,000 less than Stored Solar requested under a state bailout program for two companies that burn low-grade wood to generate electricity.
Madison farmer whose cow was fatally shot reopens snowmobile trail
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

A local farmer has agreed to reopen a portion of a snowmobile trail on his land that he closed last month after one of his pregnant Angus cows was shot and killed, he believes, from the trail. The cow killer has yet to be identified. Clayton Tibbetts apparently has relented.
Mitchell family donates $100,000 to Waterville riverwalk to honor deceased family members
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, his sister Barbara Mitchell Atkins, brother John Mitchell, and their families are donating $100,000 to help build a $1.5 million riverwalk at Head of Falls on the Kennebec River where the siblings lived in their youth. The city plans to name the future gazebo in the park for the Mitchells, who are donating the funds to honor George, Barbara and John’s siblings, the late Robert and Paul Mitchell, as well as their parents, George and Mary Mitchell.
Did Maine Rep Janice Cooper Attempt to Besmirch Maine Citizens at LD 1810 Public Hearing?
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, March 19, 2018 

On March 18, at a public hearing on LD 1810, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development, Chris O'Neil, on behalf of the citizen-funded 501c3 nonprofit organization Friends of Maine's Mountains, gave testimony which called for "repealing the Wind Act ten years and countless disappointing results after it was hastily enacted." In response, state representative Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth) had only one question: “What are your funding sources?” Ms. Cooper's question was asked to perhaps create an impression that Mr. O'Neil was simply up there at the behest of the oil and gas industries. She was not interested in asking anything about the FMM testimony and no one else at the hearing was asked who gave them money. This is what happens when good citizens are scoffed at, ridiculed and besmirched by those who take the oath of office to represent them.
Norway moving forward to get LED streetlights
Sun Journal - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The Board of Selectmen has voted to have Town Manager Dennis Lajoie write to RealTerm Energy advising that officials want to move forward with switching to LED streetlights. RealTerm Energy specializes in LED conversions for municipalities. Among its projects are conversions in Wells, Biddeford, South Portland, Falmouth, Rockland and Mount Desert.
Opinion: Central Maine Power transmission line project raises red flags
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Central Maine Power is engaged in a major public relations effort to convince Maine people that its 145-mile transmission line project, which would cut a new 53-mile swath through Maine’s scenic North Woods to bring Canadian hydro power to Massachusetts through our state, is good for Maine people and Maine’s environment. New Hampshire regulators recently turned down a similar proposal because of the harm it would do. So the question is: why should Maine accept a line like the one New Hampshire just rejected? Gov. LePage has vowed to ram the project through Maine’s DEP. If we want to send renewable power across Maine to Boston, a far better alternative would be to build farms of offshore wind turbines. ~ Ernie Hilton, Starks selectman and former Maine Board of Environmental Protection chair, and Adam Lee, Lee Auto Malls owner
Letter: Trump budget cuts make food insecurity worse
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Food insecurity is an issue, especially for seniors, children under 18 years and adults with disabilities, who make up almost 66 percent of Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program recipients in this country, as well as for the 58 percent of working-age, non-disabled adult SNAP recipients who work while getting SNAP, earning wages below living costs. By cutting off access to affordable, nutritious food for an estimated 4 million in-need Americans who have been oppressed by our federal government, further restrictions on SNAP could ultimately kill them. The Trump administration is using SNAP budget slashes as a way of saving money for other careless spending. ~ Ashley Kulesza, Lewiston
Letter: Install monument signs
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When my husband and I moved to Medway in 2016 to become the owners of a small business in the tourism sector (Pinegrove Campground and Cottages), the timing was right: Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument had recently been established. Since the monument’s designation, many of our customers have asked me about it and have been interested in exploring it themselves. What can we do to ensure these visitors have a positive experience? Let’s start with getting signs to the monument installed on Interstate 95 and on routes 11, 157 and 159. It’s so unfortunate to hear from customers who couldn’t find the monument and had to turn around when they didn’t know where to go. This doesn’t need to happen. ~ Kate Deshler, Medway
Letter: Local farmers care about neighbors
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

When I buy food products from local farmers, I know how it is grown, raised and handled. I know the famers. We talk, and I learn. The product is consumed by the growers and their families and friends. Our local farmers don’t poison their families and neighbors. When I read the March 10 BDN article on food sovereignty, what I was reminded of was all the industrial meat and poultry recalls from supermarkets and food poisonings at fast food restaurants. Supermarket food comes from all over the world, processed by strangers who have no interest in our community. I don’t need government bureaucrats to tell me where to obtain my food, or how it ought to be produced. ~ Peter Nelson, Brooksville
Editorial: How much can Paul LaPage waste?
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

According to a new review by The Associated Press, Maine Gov. Paul LePage has hired outside legal representation that has cost at least $110,000 just since last fall, raising his total expenditures on frivolous lawsuits to more than half a million dollars over the past four years. LePage seems determined to squander not only the public trust, but the public piggybank, before he stumbles off into the sunset next year. What a waste.
Nor’easters give New England ski resorts late season powder blast
Associated Press - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Back-to-back nor’easters that have pounded New England have given ski resorts a late-season blast of their life’s blood, luring skiers and snowboarders to the slopes, and allowing smaller ski areas that rely on natural snow to stay open. From Vermont to Maine, skiers and riders were cheering the mounds of snow.
Live trapping is one way to deal with freeloading rodents
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

The current two-year tally at Nancy Donovan’s home is, Donovans: 95, Squirrels: 0. Nancy Donovan and her husband, Daniel, have been actively trapping and releasing the gray squirrels around their Presque Isle home since 2016 in an effort to keep the fluffy-tailed rodents from cleaning out their bird feeders. Nancy Donovan said, “We started keeping count to see how many of the little buggers we were going to get.” Turned out, an impressive amount. They caught 55 in 2016 and another 40 last year, all subsequently released a mile or two from their house.
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