March 23, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

2017 Maine Sustainability & Water Conference, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Keynote "Conserving Pools and Watersheds" by Aram Calhoun, Professor of Wetland Ecology, UMaine. At Augusta Civic Center, March 30, 7:30 am - 4 pm.
Northern Goshawks in the Northeast, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: David Brinker, Maryland Natural Heritage Program. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Grow Your Own Mushrooms, Mar 30
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

Speaker: Ben Whatley of Whatley Farm. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 30, 6:30 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Backyard Bees, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Beekeeper Mike Mcnally talks about keeping bees. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 12 pm.
Planning a Garden for Preserving, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 22, 2017 

Speaker: Kate McCarty of UMaine Cooperative Extension. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6:30 pm.
New interactive Androscoggin River Trail Guide
Publication - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

The Androscoggin River Trail Guide is an interactive, mobile-friendly website describing launch site details, river mileages, points of interest, and other on-river information to help guide paddlers down the Androscoggin.
Inspired by Nature, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 21, 2017 

Wildlife biologist and author of I Am Coyote, Geri will illustrate how nature inspires her. At Topsham Library, March 28, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
Conservation and Management of Woodcock, Waterfowl, and Grouse, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Speaker: Kelsey Sullivan, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Perennial Vegetables for Maine, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery talks about perennial vegetables for Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 6:30 pm.
Don't let Trump make massive cuts to the EPA
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Trump aims to cut the EPA by more than 25%. Tell your Senators: Stop Trump from gutting our bedrock environmental protections.
Bats of the World, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Bats comprise nearly one-quarter of the world’s approximately 4,000 mammal species, yet humans continue to fear and misunderstand them. Chewonki presentation for K to 11 years old. At Patten Library, Bath, March 22, 4 pm.
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News Items
“Friends” Group Forms to Help Katahdin Area National Monument
Free Press - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

A new citizen group officially formed last week to help develop and protect the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument located just east of Baxter State Park. The Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters, a nonprofit group, will work with the National Park Service to help raise money to provide education programs and fund specific projects at the new 87,500-acre park that was designated as a national monument by President Obama last August.
Opinion: If America’s public lands were a business, the GOP would be bungling the balance sheet
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

American politicians have always been obsessed with running government “like a business.” If America’s public lands were a business, shareholders would be shocked by the gross negligence of some of their top executives. Every American citizen owns stock in 640 million acres of federal public lands. Rather than harness the power of public lands for maximum benefit, some politicians on the right — including Maine Gov. Paul LePage — are trying to repeal laws that safeguard ecologically vulnerable landscapes. They’re working to roll back protections on some of our most special wild places, including the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in my home state of Maine. Let’s drop the discord, start acting like owners and demand that our elected representatives start delivering the value we deserve. ~ Yvon Chouinard, founder, Patagonia
Opinion: Maine deserves a chance to capitalize on the North Woods monument
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage’s latest political attack on the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is a colossal blunder. On Feb. 14, he sent a letter to President Donald Trump asking him to rescind the executive order that created the national monument. For a governor who touts his pro-economy and pro-business approach to governing, he sure finds a way to undermine these on a regular basis. What he doesn’t seems to understand is that national monuments and parks provide tremendous, long-term economic benefits for the communities around them and the states where they’re located. ~ Zack Klyver, Bar Harbor
Maine’s monument fight is nothing compared to Utah’s
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

Lucas St. Clair, president of Friends of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, applauds Patagonia for opposing Utah Republican Gov. Gary Herbert’s signing of a bill urging Trump to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument. St. Clair led the campaign that culminated with President Barack Obama’s executive order creating the 87,563-acre monument east of Baxter State Park on Aug. 24. Obama signed an order creating the 1.35 million-acre Utah monument on Dec. 28. The Bears Ears designation is opposed by the Utah Legislature, which wrote the resolution Herbert signed. Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s effort, a letter to Trump seeking to have him reverse Obama’s order creating the monument in Maine, is opposed by most of the state’s federal delegation and has seemingly drawn little support, St. Clair said.
Trump’s proposed NOAA cuts imperil Wells Reserve in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 9, 2017 

The Wells Reserve at Laudholm could become a casualty of a Trump administration plan to slash the budget of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The proposed cuts – which would scrap the Sea Grant program and cut funding for fisheries management, weather prediction and satellite operations – also would eliminate funding for the nation’s 29 National Estuarine Research Reserves, including Wells Reserve in southern Maine and the Great Bay National Estuarine Reserve in southern New Hampshire.
Governing is hard, the methane edition
Bloomberg News - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

Republicans in Congress are learning the difficult truth that legislating is different when you have your fingers on the controls. Consider the Congressional Review Act vote to repeal BLM’s venting and flaring rule. The oil and gas industry hates it, the House passed it and President Trump would love to sign it. So what’s the hold up? The measure is facing push back from moderate Republicans, including Maine’s Susan Collins. “I do not,” she said, when asked if she supported the measure.
New bill proposes contractor training, certifications to reduce lead poisoning
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

Seeking to reduce the instances of Mainers getting lead poisoning due to careless renovations, a lawmaker introduced a proposal on Tuesday to require EPA training and certification in lead-safe removal methods for contractors working on older buildings. Sen. Nathan Libby, a Democrat from Lewiston — which has the most severe lead paint problem in the state — introduced his bill to make renovations in Maine safer. His legislation requires EPA training and certification in lead-safe removal methods for at least one person on contracting crews that perform maintenance or renovation work on buildings built before 1978, when lead paint was still legal to use.
Climate change goosed odds of freakishly hot February
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

A freakishly balmy February broke more than 11,700 local daily records for warmth in the United States, but it didn’t quite beat 1954 for the warmest February on record, climate scientists said. The average temperature last month was 41.2 degrees – 7.3 degrees warmer than normal but three-tenths a degree behind the record, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported Wednesday.
Australian company fined for cruelty for killing lobster with saw
Washington Post - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

An Australian seafood company was recently convicted of animal cruelty for killing a lobster. The problem was not actually taking the life of the lobster. It’s that the lobster was killed in a way deemed to be unnecessarily – and illegally – brutal. According to the Guardian, workers at Nicholas Seafoods were seen by investigators “butchering and dismembering lobsters with a band saw, without adequately stunning or killing them.”
I’ll present on my upcoming book at Orono sportsmen’s show this weekend
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

I’m coming out with my first hiking guidebook this June, published through Down East Books in partnership with the Bangor Daily News. This weekend, at the 79th Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show in Orono, I’ll be giving a presentation on the book, which is entitled “Family-Friendly Hikes in Maine” and features 35 of my favorite nature trails scattered throughout the state.
Republican Renegades On Climate
National Public Radio - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

The Trump administration has moved quickly to reverse some of the previous administration’s energy and climate policies. But not all Republicans are on the same page when it comes to climate. Those on the so-called eco-right say action is needed to promote clean energy and prevent climate disruption. On today’s program we hear how Republican renegades find climate solutions in conservative principles, and what we can do when climate denial isn’t just present in the halls of government, but actually controls the levers of power.
Proposal to Protect Maine Farm Animals Likely to Fail
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

A proposal designed to protect farm animals in Maine from animal cruelty appears likely to fail. Ellsworth attorney and animal welfare advocate Christina Perkins made the proposal. She wants to remove a clause from state law that allows farmers to use adherence to best management practices as a defense against charges of animal cruelty. Perkins says the law should be changed because animals should be treated the same way whether they are kept on a farm, in a shelter or in someone's backyard. But the Legislature's agriculture committee gave the proposal a chilly reception on Feb. 28, with the panel voting against passage.
Launchpad program will help small business owners
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

The Island Institute’s economic development programming focuses on the idea that interlinked, strong and diverse businesses will make island and remote coastal communities not only sustainable, but help them thrive. We recently rolled out our Island and Coastal Business Launchpad program—a comprehensive suite of small business support services that include small business counseling, professional development grants, loans and financial and digital literacy trainings.
Your takeout order could be harming the environment; Bangor is considering a way to fix it
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

In an effort to reduce the volume of plastic littering, Bangor city councilors are mulling a proposed law banning local merchants from selling food and drinks in Styrofoam cups or containers. If passed, Bangor would join Portland, South Portland and Brunswick in banning polystyrene. A bill to impose such a ban statewide recently received pushback from several groups, including the Maine Restaurant Association, Maine Grocers and Food Producers Association and state agencies including the Maine Department of Environmental Protection.
Out-of-state scallop boats threaten survival of Maine fishermen
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

After years of waiting for the northern Gulf of Maine scallop population to flourish, small-boat fishermen from Maine say federal mismanagement of scallop stocks in the area could result in larger boats based out of state wiping them out. Mary Beth Tooley of Rockland, is chair of the New England Fishery Management Council’s scallop committee. She said that while some have characterized the issue as a rivalry between smaller boats based in Maine and larger boats based elsewhere, the most important objective is to make sure the resource is sustainably managed.
Letter: Monument draws visitors to Katahdin region
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 8, 2017 

The Katahdin region is in the beginning stages of resurgence thanks to the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The governor’s opposition to the monument is beyond me. The monument already is getting new people up to the region, where they are spending money at local businesses while they explore this incredibly beautiful area. I encourage Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins and Reps. Bruce Poliquin and Chellie Pingree to stand up to any attempt to damage the economic and recreational benefits helping local businesses and Mainers who want to enjoy them. ~ Roger Renfrew, Skowhegan
Franklin Commissioners approve support of trail gazetteer with TIF funds
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

The High Peaks Alliance is in the process of creating a gazetteer for the region, creating hard copy and digital maps to encourage trail development and discussion between communities, landowners, conservation and recreation organizations. The Maine's High Peaks Gazetteer would include aerial photographs, town lines, landowner parcels as well as roads, trails and natural resources. The information could be easily shared and could be used to "communicate with stakeholders, increase collaboration, establish priorities and identify shared objectives." The gazetteer would allow for more efficient trail development and integration. The maps would encompass both motorized and non-motorized trails.
Fish hatchery study wins support at legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

LD 471 create a Hatchery Commission to study DIF&W’s fish production facilities and issue recommendations next year. Stocked fish do very little for our economy. Anglers do not come to Maine to catch hatchery fish.
Study: Curbing climate change crucial to oceans’ survival
Washington Post - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

More than half the world’s oceans could suffer multiple symptoms of climate change over the next 15 years, including rising temperatures, acidification, lower oxygen levels and decreasing food supplies, new research suggests. By midcentury, without significant efforts to reduce warming, more than 80 percent could be ailing. The study, published Tuesday in the journal Nature Communications, uses computer models to examine how oceans would fare over the next century under a business-as-usual trajectory and a more moderate scenario in which the mitigation efforts promised under the Paris Agreement come into effect. In both scenarios, large swaths of the ocean will be altered by climate change.
Rumford votes overwhelmingly for water-extraction moratorium
Sun Journal - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Rumford residents overwhelmingly voted Tuesday night for a 180-day moratorium on large-scale water-extraction projects.
EPA intends to roll back regulations to raise fuel efficiency of new vehicles
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

The Trump administration is moving to roll back federal fuel-economy requirements that would have forced automakers to increase significantly the efficiency of new cars and trucks, a key part of former President Barack Obama’s strategy to combat global warming.
Unity College project aims to restore American chestnut tree
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

The American chestnut is classified as a tree of special concern in Maine because of the devastating effects of a blight accidentally imported to the East Coast more than 100 years ago. Unity College is partnering with The American Chestnut Foundation and the New England Forestry Foundation on a project to restore the American chestnut tree around central Maine by growing seeds that are disease-resistant.
Demolition of aging China mill will lead to passageway for fish
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Work has begun to dismantle and demolish an aging mill straddling the dividing line between Palermo and China, an effort that a conservation group says ultimately will result in drawing a robust migration of river herring and alewives. Once the mill is down, the Atlantic Salmon Federation will move forward with a purchasing agreement for the property and the remaining dam. The federation plans to repair the dam and install a passageway that will allow migratory fish to travel through the Sheepscot River watershed to Branch Pond.
Bill to allow deer-baiting shot down in committee
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

A legislative committee voted Tuesday against endorsing a bill that would have ended the state’s prohibition on using bait to hunt deer in Maine. “My concern is this could really hurt the pride of hunting in Maine,” said Sen. Scott Cyrway, R-Kennebec, the committee’s co-chair. “Hunting should be somewhat of a challenge. It could create problems down the road with the Humane Society (of the United States) ripping these things apart." Six other deer bills were defeated unanimously.
Conditions complicate gift of land in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, March 7, 2017 

Augusta’s acquisition of 164-acre Howard Hill requires officials to sign a project agreement an attorney warns could possibly commit the city to spend money to stay in compliance with all current and future Land for Maine’s Future rules, regulations and policies. City Manager William Bridgeo said he continues to believe the positive benefits of the Howard Hill acquisition justify some assumption of risk the state might someday require some unanticipated city funding for the property.
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