May 22, 2018  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). We have posted summaries and links to over 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
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
Alewife Day, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

See the alewives swim upstream. Smoked fish, kid’s games, mills running, Machinery Hall open. At Maine Forest and Logging Museum, Bradley, May 26, 10 am - 1 pm, $3 per person ages 12+.
BPL Hiking Trail Resources & Info
Publication - Friday, May 18, 2018 

A list of hiking trails in Maine on state lands and more.
L.L. Bean Birding Festival, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Friday, May 18, 2018 

David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds, is featured speaker at the L.L.Bean Birding Festival, a weekend filled with free events, outings and activities for beginner and expert birders of all ages. At Freeport, etc, May 25-27.
Living Downstream, May 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 17, 2018 

Ecologist, author, and cancer survivor Dr. Sandra Steingraber, known for her ground-breaking book and documentary film "Living Downstream," will speak about how Rachel Carson is a model today for environmental champions who ground their activism in science. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, May 24, 5:30 pm, $24. Sponsored by the Environmental Health Strategy Center and Maine Audubon.
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News Items
Plant Blindness
Other - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

Native Plant Conservation Campaign - Although plants are the primary basis for life on earth, we do not protect them as we do animals. Few people realize that in almost every area of law and policy, plants receive inferior protection, attention and funding. Scientists refer to this phenomenon as Plant Blindness—the inability to recognize the importance of plants in the biosphere and in human affairs.
Keep an eye out for these 9 strange signs of spring
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

The more I’ve gotten to know spring in Maine, the more interesting it becomes. Aside from the mud and freak snow storms, it’s a time of truly strange occurrences, and most of those odd happenings have to do with the state’s diverse family of wildlife.
Proposal To Review Canada's Right Whale Protections Gets Chilly Reception
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

A group of Democratic senators says the U.S. government should audit the job Canada is doing to protect endangered whales. The senators, led by Sen. Edward Markey of Massachusetts, cite the dire status of North Atlantic right whales as a reason to put some pressure on Canada. The right whales number only about 450 and suffered through a year of 17 deaths in 2017, and 12 of the deaths were in Canada. The senators say NOAA should conduct a review of Canada's conservation standards, and consider prohibitions on Canadian seafood imports if they do not. The Canadian government and some U.S. scientists reacted coolly to the idea. A spokesperson for Canada's government says the country wants to avoid negative impacts on the countries' trade relationship.
Industry Sway Over EPA Is Stronger Now Than Under Reagan, Study Says
Inside Climate News - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

Under the Trump administration, the Environmental Protection Agency has veered so far from its foundational mission of protecting human health and the environment that it faces the highest risk in its 47-year history of being reshaped to serve industry rather than the American public, according to a new study in the American Journal of Public Health. The new study, based on interviews with current and former EPA staff and reviews of White House and EPA initiatives, concluded that the agency is now on the edge of "regulatory capture," when industry priorities determine policy rather than the public interest and impartial research.
Science textbooks are seriously under-representing climate change
Think Progress - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

A new study published this week in the journal Environmental Communication holds a worrying message for public understanding of climate science: less than four percent of the pages in the most popular introductory physics, biology, and chemistry books published between 2013 and 2015 were devoted to discussing climate change. The study adds to a growing body of analysis suggesting that the way climate change is taught to students — both at the K-12 and collegiate level — tends to minimize some of the most crucial components of climate science, like the scientific consensus around the issue.
Where Are The Best Places In Maine To Ride A Bike? There's Now An App For That
Maine Public - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

Maine biking enthusiasts will now have a new digital tool at their disposal for searching out favored rides throughout the state. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine will release the "Where to Ride" app Tuesday. MaryBeth Luce oversaw the project. She says the group worked with clubs to select the best routes in the state.
NOAA launches 2018 fisheries stock assessment website
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

NOAA Fisheries has posted information about plans, the process, and assessment histories for Atlantic herring, sea scallops, and summer flounder.
The Curse of the Saco River
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

According to the legend, the wife and infant son of Squando, chief of the Saco tribe, were traveling by canoe near the mouth of the river when they encountered three rowdy, drunken English sailors. The sailors allegedly made a few bets, then snatched the baby from his mother and threw him into the river to see if American-Indian babies were natural swimmers as some claimed they were. The mother rescued her baby, but he died a few days later. The grieving Squando, who was said to have great spiritual powers, put a curse on the Saco River, saying that every year after, three white people would drown in the river.
Blog: To escape the swamp, look to candidates who have served
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 1, 2018 

President Donald Trump’s 2016 promise to drain the swamp seems like a sick joke. Instead, we’re now mired in a deepening swamp. Trump gave more ethics waivers to lobbyists to work in his administration in his first four months than former President Barack Obama gave in eight years. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt, who’s committed numerous ethical violations since taking that post, has a history of accepting financial favors from corporations that gained from his decisions as a government official. To traverse and escape the deep swamp, citizens should scrutinize policies and assess candidates’ character, examining what office-seekers have done to help others. ~ Amy Fried
Letter: Shameful flip on solar bill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Even though I am not a constituent of Reps. Stacey Guerin, Matthew Harrington, Teresa Pierce, Matthew Pouliot and Abden Simmons, I cannot stay silent in the face of such blatant hypocrisy and cowardice. I hope their flip from initially supporting LD 1444, the solar bill, with a supposed “veto-proof” majority to upholding the anti-solar governor’s veto will be remembered by voters in their districts. Come November they should find themselves out of a job. ~ Jason Langle, Orono
Blog: Camp Directors Gather to Consider Diversity and Inclusion
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

When close to 80 Maine camp directors gathered Tuesday in Portland to discuss diversity and inclusion, they were challenged to consider the impact of differences and division, and to seek to “create balance in an unbalanced world.” ~ Kristine Snow Millard
Man gets prison time for illegally harvesting Virginia eels
Associated Press - Monday, November 6, 2017 

A New York seafood dealer has been sentenced to 1 ½ years behind bars for illegally trafficking more than $150,000 worth of baby eels from Virginia. Tommy Zhou was sentenced Friday in a federal Virginia court after he pleaded guilty in April. Prosecutors say Zhou obtained a Maine elver dealer license in 2013 and then used it to cover his illegal operation.
Offshore Wind Farms See Promise in Platforms That Float
New York Times - Thursday, September 29, 2016 

The University of Maine is undertaking an elaborate physics experiment meant to simulate conditions that full-scale floating wind turbines could face at an installation being planned about 10 miles off the Maine coast in up to 360 feet of water near tiny Monhegan Island. For nearly 18 months in 2013 and 2014, an operating version of the apparatus — one-eighth of scale — sat in the waters off Castine sending electricity to the grid. That proved the technology fundamentally worked and guided refinements to the design. Now, the UMaine team is using the data collected at the lab to confirm the final form, a crucial next step in bringing the technology to market.
Blog: Singing is an act of territorialism for birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, April 7, 2016 

Birds don’t think about much, mostly just food and sex. Despite the simplicity of such a life, bird communication can be quite complex. Birds are renowned for their vocal abilities, but they use lots of visual cues, too. Perhaps nothing is more obvious than the crests sported by many species. ~ Bob Duchesne
Marco Rubio Finds Common Ground With Armed Militia In Oregon
Climate Progress - Thursday, January 7, 2016 

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Marco Rubio (R) doesn’t like that militants are currently occupying a federal wildlife facility in Oregon. But he does like the militia’s main idea: Seizing and selling off America’s public lands. Rubio explained his position on the controversial occupation at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, now entering its fifth day. Rubio said that while he doesn’t support “lawless” activity, he does agree with the militia on its main point that federal public lands should be transferred to private ownership for activities like logging, coal mining, oil drilling, and farming. Rubio’s plan would essentially cause a free-for-all, where states can devastate national forests, parks, and other important wildlife and plantlife zones for temporary economic gain.
Editorial: Conflict over land preservation confirms where the public stands
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, December 16, 2015 

If Gov. Paul LePage’s yearslong barricade of Land for Maine’s Future has proven anything, it’s how popular the conservation program is among a broad cross-section of the state. When the governor held hostage the voter-approved bonds that fund the program, residents from across the political divide responded with one voice, united in their support for an initiative that has protected more than 550,000 acres for a variety of economic and recreational uses. That response should make it clear that the focus should be on strengthening and tightening the program, not obstructing or trying to dismantle it, as LePage has done for most of his time in office. The governor, not corruption or mismanagement, is the program’s true problem.
Opinion: This is Bar Harbor’s chance to become a solar success and example
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 19, 2015 

On June 2, Bar Harbor voters have an exciting opportunity to take a step toward putting the brakes on climate change. Article T on the town meeting agenda authorizes leasing town land and roofs as part of Community Solar Farms and Power Purchase Agreements for the purpose of providing power to the municipality. The change starts here and now. With our prominence as a popular tourist destination, Bar Harbor has an outsize influence on the rest of the state and the nation. By voting for this article we are saying that we care, that we can make a collective difference. ~ Gary Friedmann, Bar Harbor Town Council
Opinion: A new set of bold predictions
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 4, 2015 

In 2015, LePage will reduce the size of state government by 5 percent, he will succeed in further reducing municipal revenue sharing and he will change state law to permit municipalities to tax nonprofits. The Legislature will pass major welfare reform and reduce energy costs by welcoming in more natural gas and hydro. ~ Phil Harriman
Letter: Give deer the food they need and they will flourish
Kennebec Journal - Monday, April 28, 2014 

I read with interest the April 13 article about whitetail deer, “In northern Maine, deer herd shrinks despite efforts to rebuild it.” Anyone can look at Google satellite maps and know that very little of the Maine woods is untouched. The deer are being squeezed out of their natural habitat searching for food. They are vulnerable to predators and starvation because of the condition of the forest. The state cannot save the deer herd by pumping money into various programs. We just need to let some of the forest grow back, and the animals will survive on their own. ~ Betsy Laney, West Gardiner
Letter: Gubernatorial climate
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, December 10, 2013 

As we approach the gubernatorial election year in Maine, and in light of the “interesting” comments made by our governor on Dec. 5 regarding the profit potential in climate change, I am reminded of the election that put such a person into office. From all early indications, LePage’s tea party supporters will hold about the same sway next November, and with Eliot Cutler again as a wild card in the race, the potential for Maine to have another four years with a governor who has squeaked into office with a minority of the state’s voters behind him is not small. We have had three years to try to correct this significant weakness in our election system, and yet we will be going to the polls in November 2014 faced with the same problem. This is unpardonable. ~ Dana Williams, Belfast
Fabulous Find assists Great Works land trust
Seacoast Online - Monday, October 28, 2013 

Fabulous Find thrift store in Kittery gave a boost to conservation recently with proceeds from September sales. Store staff presented a check for $4,332 to Great Works Regional Land Trust to assist the trust's conservation projects and ongoing operations.
Diehard Mainers take advantage of extended woodcock season
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Wednesday, October 10, 2012 

For years, Maine bird hunters in search of woodcock had just 30 days — generally the month of October — to do so. After years of study and discussion, that all changed in 2011. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service extended the woodcock season from 30 to 45 days.
Opinion: Save the federal Land and Water Conservation Fund
Other - Friday, July 22, 2011 

The U.S. House Interior Appropriations Subcommittee has passed a bill devastating the crown jewel conservation program for America's public lands and waters — the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Created in 1965 to offset the environmental risks from offshore oil and gas development, the conservation fund uses money from federal oil and gas leases to protect environmentally sensitive lands and watersheds. Over the years, the fund has paid for the expansion of national, state and local parks as well as conservation easements. All of this is accomplished without spending any federal tax dollars. President Obama's budget for 2012 provided $900 million for the fund. Regrettably, the bill passed by the subcommittee cuts the budget figure by more than 93 percent to the lowest funding level in the program's 45-year history.
Fort Williams home to threatened rabbit
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 22, 2011 

Volunteers had an arboretum in mind as they cleared invasive plants from part of Fort Williams Park last fall. Little did they realize that their hard work would uncover evidence that the thick mass of plants was habitat for the endangered New England cottontail rabbit. The state Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife visited the site and confirmed that droppings were those of the New England cottontail. The rabbit was placed on Maine's list of threatened and endangered species in 2007 and is a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act. Officials from the town and the state are discussing what to do in response to the unintentional destruction of habitat.
Opinion: Amherst forest project to benefit people of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 10, 2010 

Just 20 miles east of Bangor, you can walk through deep forests, along bold ledges, streams and wetlands, and find your way to remote ponds named Half-Mile, Partridge, Indian Camp, Ducktail and Snowshoe. On a clear day, the view from Bald Bluff or Bald Mountain includes such landmarks as Cadillac Mountain and Mt. Katahdin. Thanks to more than six years of conservation planning led by the Forest Society of Maine and the town of Amherst, people of all ages will enjoy these places for generations to come.
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