March 29, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 29, 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
Transform Your Community: Permablitz, Apr 5
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 29, 2017 

Speaker: Heather Foran of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 5, 6:30 pm.
Types of Gardens and Library Resources, Apr 3
Event - Posted - Monday, March 27, 2017 

Speaker: Hazel Onsrud. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 3, 12 pm.
Winter Gardening Workshop – Pest and Disease Control, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Eric Sideman, Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will share his knowledge about the common vegetable diseases and pests in your garden, and some organic options for their management and control. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, April 2, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation.
Friends of Baxter State Park annual meeting, Apr 1
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 25, 2017 

Great food, guest speakers, the annual State of the Park Report from Director Jensen Bissell, updates on volunteer opportunities and trips for members, and some exciting news about new mountain models for Baxter State Park. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, April 1.
Edible Ornamentals, Mar 31
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

Speaker: Lisa Fernandez of The Resilience Hub. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 31, 12 pm.
State of Maine Sportsman’s Show, Mar 31-Apr 2
Event - Posted - Friday, March 24, 2017 

At Augusta Civic Center, March 31 - April 2.
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.
Hiking the Appalachian Trail, Mar 30
Announcement - Thursday, March 23, 2017 

At 2190-miles, hiking the Appalachian Trail is a daunting undertaking. Hear from the two hikers selected by Maine Public to hike the A.T. this summer, and from Maine Appalachian Trail Club experts to learn about its history, its upkeep, and what casual hikers should know about the trail. Maine Public Radio, March 30, 1 pm.
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.
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.
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News Items
Firefighters quell overnight blaze at former GNP mill site sought by developer
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

Several fire departments were battling a fire at the former Great Northern Paper Co. mill site on Monday near ongoing and controversial demolition work, officials and witnesses said. Witness James Willis, a Medway volunteer firefighter, said that the fire seemed to be at or near the large paper mill building and debris pile where workers for property owner North American Recovery Management of Boca Raton, Florida, were doing demolition work.
New England's Ski Industry Prepares for a Changing Climate
Maine Public - Monday, March 13, 2017 

For the first time in decades, the length of the U.S. ski season is shrinking. And as climate change curtails winter’s length, an industry transformation is under way: one expert says most ski mountains in southern New England could be out of business in 25 years unless they diversify their offerings. But ski areas in northern New England could benefit.
Collins and King urge Trumpsters not to slash NOAA
Maine Environmental News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) led a bipartisan letter to the Trump Administration urging reconsideration of proposed cuts to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) that would disproportionately affect coastal states like Maine. Their letter was cosigned by four bipartisan Senators, including U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME).
Blog: The Rebirth of Hubris
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

We appear to have reached the end of a 50-year era of environmental awareness, a time that had its coming of age on Earth Day 1970, and that spawned the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species acts, as well as the EPA, which is now itself on the endangered list. It was a bipartisan movement that arose out of concerns about pollution, threats to clean water and public health, and even the rapid disappearance of wilderness. It was an extraordinary effort to redefine mankind’s place in the natural world by recognizing the interdependence of the entire ecosystem instead of isolating and exalting its most powerful component. It led to significant progress in both cleaning up the messes we had made and suggesting new ways of thinking about the good life. It seems a long time ago. ~ James G. Blaine
Opinion: It’s time to get big money out of the State House, once and for all
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

Mainers expect our public officials to be accessible to their constituents, and government to be responsive to the average citizen. That’s why it’s so disturbing that we have a completely legal system the prioritizes access to public officials for lobbyists and corporations with the largest checkbooks, who crowd out the everyday citizen. The amount of money in politics has reached record levels. Six states have various bans on lobbyist contributions. Maine can be next. To maintain our state’s proud tradition of open, transparent, accessible and public-minded government, we need to get special interest money out of politics once and for all. ~ Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco
Lots of opinions shared in Sportsmen Say Surveys
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 13, 2017 

The opinions expressed in my Sportsmen Say Surveys are always interesting. Here are some responses.
Editorial: 3 ways to make Maine government more open
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

Maine’s Freedom of Access Act provides the cornerstone for strong journalism and an informed electorate, and should be vigorously defended. With Sunshine Week upon us, it’s a good time to remember what open access means to Maine and point out where the state can continue to improve:
• Publicize contract awards
• Increase understanding of the state budget
• Follow the spirit of the law
Blog: LePage finally brings hope back to Maine
Bangor Metro - Monday, March 13, 2017 

A glorious wave of optimism has swept across Maine’s political class with the growing speculation that Paul LePage may actually resign his governorship. ~ Lance Dutson, Republican communications consultant
Amid Cold and Snow, Maine Officials Look Ahead to Tourism Season
Maine Public - Monday, March 13, 2017 

The annual Governor's Conference on Tourism opens Tuesday in Augusta. Steve Lyons, the state's acting director of tourism and film, says tourism is a part of the Maine economy that continues to grow, and change. Direct tourism expenditures total nearly $6 billion. It supports about 100,000 jobs each year. And tourism also generates about $600 million in total state and local taxes.
Letter: LePage seems determined to ruin state parks system
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 13, 2017 

First Gov. LePage weakened the stand-alone Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands and dumped it into the Department of Agriculture, where this busy department has been forced to allow it to languish. Now, he is trying to eliminate important positions and at the same time go to some contract services. Seasonal workers do more than mow the lawn. They help locate a lost child, guide an ambulance, answer visitor questions and so much more. Our parks are our escape valve from our pressured lives and help restore us. We ask our legislators to please look at these issues, decline contract services, fill vacant positions and preserve our parks. ~ Sandra and Ole Jaeger, Georgetown
Letter: North Woods monument an asset
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 13, 2017 

The Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument is as great an asset to America as are Yellowstone, Yosemite and other national treasures. As the world population increases, the pressure to overdevelop the Maine wilderness is becoming a reality. People worked tirelessly to establish the Sieur De Monts National Monument, which later became Acadia National Park. Gov. Paul LePage is completely wrong in attempting to get President Donald Trump to rescind the executive order that created the monument. LePage’s vision for Maine is shortsighted and biased. His views are not in the best interest of residents of Maine. ~ Robert Chaplin, Bar Harbor
Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce
Washington Post - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce. The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including environmental programs.
As demand for herring soars, catch declines in Maine
Associated Press - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

Maine's iconic lobster fishery is healthy, having set records for volume and value in 2016. But the fishery for herring, a small schooling fish that lobsters love to eat, is another story. Herring is suddenly the second-most valuable fishery in the state, and Maine’s most valuable species of fish, bringing in $19 million at the docks in 2016. It’s also the most popular bait used in lobster traps, and the climb in value corresponds with demand from the hungry lobster fishery and a drop in catch of herring off New England. Scientists and fishermen are trying to figure out why Maine’s Atlantic herring catch – the largest in the nation – has fallen.
Winslow city officials divided over tax relief for farmers
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

A first-in-the-state support program for farmers has caused a debate between some members of the Town Council and the agricultural commission on how much tax relief to hand out. At a Town Council meeting Feb. 21, councilor Ken Fletcher proposed amending the Voluntary Municipal Farm Support Program to include a framework that would limit relief. However, the co-chair of the agriculture commission, which manages the applications for the program, said it needs to remain flexible to work. The council ultimately voted to table decisions on the first two recommendations for the program from the town’s agricultural commission at the meeting.
Trump’s proposed EPA cuts would damage Maine’s environment and economy, critics fear
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

The Trump administration’s proposal to impose deep cuts on the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget is raising fears that it would devastate Maine’s environment and undermine its economy. The preliminary White House plan would trim the EPA’s budget by 25 percent. It would cut nearly a third of state grant programs that fund the cleanup of abandoned industrial sites as well as protect air and water quality, and it would eliminate grants that help Maine and other states mitigate radon, conduct beach water quality tests and buy cleaner school buses.
Despite making it a priority, LePage remains stymied on lowering energy costs
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

After six years in office, Gov. Paul LePage's accomplishments on energy are mixed. He has helped keep electric rates essentially flat, opposing measures that could make them higher than they might otherwise be. At the same time, he has largely failed to advance policies that actually lower the price of energy – his often-stated goal. His prospects for making progress lowering prices look even worse this year.
New England power grid’s ample capacity proves dire predictions wrong
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

Dire predictions that power plant closures in New England would strain electricity supply so far are proving to be wrong. An auction conducted last month by the region’s grid operator to meet demand in 2021 attracted more than enough power, and at the lowest prices since 2013. Upgrades at existing plants have the area's grid operator pointing to 'a market that works.'
How a Van Buren-based vegetable processor went from triumph to shut down
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

The bad news arrived right around Labor Day. Northern Girl’s customer Whole Foods, which had been buying nearly 3,000 pounds of its fresh harvest medley every week – cleaned, cubed and ready to be roasted and served up in the grocer’s tempting hot, prepared foods area – would not be placing any more orders with the Van Buren-based vegetable processor for those organic root vegetables from Aroostook County. Northern Girl never quite recovered from that, or the rest of a sales year that was “tumultuous.”
Dan Devereaux watches over the waters in Brunswick
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

When it comes to marine issues in Brunswick, Marine Warden Dan Devereaux has a special expertise. He’s in his 18th year on the job, for one thing. And he’s wedded to his work. We talked about how he landed the job and what he’s done with it.
Column: Patagonia founder takes on Gov. LePage over monument
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, the outdoor apparel and equipment company, says Gov. Paul LePage’s opposition to Maine’s Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and his plea to President Trump to send back the recent gift addressed to the American public because of states rights, is “baloney.”
Letter: LePage needs to lead on locally made solar power
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 12, 2017 

My household has reduced fuel oil consumption by 85 percent since installing heat pumps. I’d love to be able to generate my own electricity to operate the heat pumps by installing solar panels. If Maine had any leadership at the gubernatorial level, or even less mindless opposition, we would have a solar policy that could truly benefit the state. It is inane to assert we should build expensive transmission lines to bring hydropower all the way from Quebec, then pay whatever cost they demand for the power, rather than make every effort to generate our own power locally from wind, solar and tidal sources. ~ Ann Morrill, South Portland
Federal Endangered Species Act targeted for constraints
Washington Post - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

The federal Endangered Species Act has been called the world’s gold standard for environmental protection. Passed in 1973, it strengthened earlier federal protections for animals that had been nearly wiped out by humans, including bald eagles, humpback whales and California condors. But the act has faced opposition from those who believe it unfairly protects animals that sometimes poach livestock and that it unfairly restricts land use. Here are eight species that would probably have disappeared already were it not for the Endangered Species Act.
Column: Hunting? Leave the drones at home
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

There was a day in the life of a deer hunter when his technological aids were limited to a functional deer rifle, a hunting knife, a good compass, and, perhaps, a topo map. That all changed with the dawning of satellite technology and all of the gizmo spinoffs that have followed. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Fragile Cadillac ecology focus of protection efforts by alpine group, others
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

Cadillac is tough as granite, yet the alpine zone of Acadia National Park’s tallest mountain is fragile as eggshells. With the approximately 3 million visitors a year to the park, and Acadia’s highest peak a must-see stop, it’s a constant battle to protect the bald summit and ridge, and the special Cadillac ecology. One recent victory in the conservation battle: Fixing a couple of sections of the popular Cadillac South Ridge Trail, which had become eroded and could turn into a muddy mess, tempting hikers to trample rare alpine plants.
With mills struggling, a Maine lumber firm is building a biomass plant
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

The shuttering and shrinking of paper mills has forced businesses across the forest products industry to take a fresh look at their approach. At Robbins Lumber, a 136-year-old family-owned sawmill in Searsmont, the upheaval is prompting a big investment to become not just a lumber producer, but an energy producer. The company is building a $36 million, 8.5 megawatt biomass plant, with capacity to sell about 7.5 megawatts to Central Maine Power.
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