March 17, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation Ski-A-Thon, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. In addition to being an excellent fundraiser, the Ski-A-Thon is a ton of fun. Fundraising goal: $380,000.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 16, 2018 

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 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
Solar Energy for ME, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, discuss expanding solar energy in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Resist Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State
Action Alert - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Trump just fired Rex Tillerson, one of the few people left in his cabinet who was willing to speak out against Vladimir Putin. But even more egregious is that Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk, to replace Tillerson.
Protect Maine from EPA budget cuts
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

There have been more than 90 of harmful amendments proposed that undermine federal safeguards to everything we rely on the EPA to protect: our air, water, climate, and wildlife.
Ask Congress to Oppose Anti-wolf Riders
Action Alert - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Congress will likely vote in the next two weeks on a 2018 spending bill for the Department of Interior. Because that legislation is likely to be broadly supported, anti-wolf legislators are using it as a vehicle to try to pass their otherwise unpopular attacks on wildlife. Email your senator or representative and ask that they persuade Leadership to strip these "riders" prior to the bill being voted on. ~ Endangered Species Coalition
What’s a woodlot and what do I do if I have one? Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Morten Moesswilde, District Forester with the Maine Forest Service, will talk about the most common considerations for landowners with 2 to 200 acres. At Belfast Library, March 19, 6 pm.
Powering Change: Saving Our Environment—and Saving Money, Mar 19
Event - Posted - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Panelists: Sophie Janeway, Climate and Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator, Natural Resources Council of Maine; Gary Friedmann, President, A Climate to Thrive; and Martha Dickinson, Ellsworth Green Plan Steering Committee. At Moore Community Centre, Ellsworth, March 19, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
Baxter State Park Visiting Artist
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Visiting Artists are asked to hold one evening program and one open studio with the public during their stay, and within one year to provide the Park with professional quality images, prints, or documents representative of their style and resulting from their experience. Dates: August 11-24, 2018. Applications due by April 20.
Help wanted: Baxter State Park Director
Announcement - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The Baxter State Park Authority seeks an active, experienced individual to serve as the Director.
Winter Family Fun Day, March 17 CANCELLED
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Ice fishing demo, wildlife exhibit, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, build a bird house, enjoy a bonfire-scavenger hunt, door prizes, & more. At Lily Bay State Park, March 17, 10 am - 3 pm.
Western Maine Fly Fishing Expo, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Theme: Women In Fly Fishing featuring panel discussions with prominent women in the fly fishing industry. At Gould Academy, Bethel, March 17, adults $5; kids under 16 free.
Winter Ecology Walk on Sears Island, Mar 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Enjoy a late winter walk on Sears Island with Maine Master Naturalist Cyrene Slegona while searching for animal tracks and signs of spring and observing the ever-changing beauty of the island. March 17, 10 am - noon.
Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, Mar 16-18
Event - Posted - Friday, March 9, 2018 

More than 120 exhibitors, demonstrations, talks and entertainment. At UMaine, Orono, March 16-18; adults and children 12 and older $8, weekend pass $12. Sponsored by Penobscot County Conservation Association.
Grazing Conference, Mar 16
Event - Posted - Friday, March 9, 2018 

At Kennebec Valley Community College, Hinckley, March 16, 9 am – 3:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Grass Farmers Network.
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News Items
CMP Proposes $214 Million Portland-Area Electricity Infrastructure Upgrade
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Central Maine Power wants ratepayers to invest $200 million or more in Portland-area electricity infrastructure. But some lawmakers and the state’s utility watchdog say the company is underestimating the potential for alternatives that could be much cheaper, and much better for the environment. Barry Hobbins, the state’s public advocate, says CMP is lowballing the alternatives and relying too heavily on the costly infrastructure needed to send bulk power long distances, often from polluting generators. He wants more emphasis on reducing demand on the regional grid through the use of localized resources such as solar power, grid-scale batteries, energy efficiency and high-tech load management.
Maine tribes, progressives slam AG Mills for ‘attacks’ on tribal fishing rights
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Two Indian tribes and several progressive groups assailed Attorney General Janet Mills on Tuesday for her role in a court fight over tribal water rights, highlighting a key challenge from the left that could harm her 2018 gubernatorial bid. The Democrat signed onto a brief supporting the state of Washington in its challenge to federal water regulations. In a Tuesday letter, leaders of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe joined more than 20 progressive groups — including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Conservation Voters and American Civil Liberties Union of Maine — to blast Mills for “attacks upon tribal fishing rights at home and well beyond Maine.”
Angus King Challenges Interior Secretary On Offshore Drilling
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine questioned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday on a proposal to open most of the coastal areas of the United States to exploratory drilling for gas and oil. King used a hearing on the Interior Department budget to press Zinke to pay attention to the opposition that’s coming from from the state of Maine. King asked Zinke to exempt Maine waters from consideration for drilling, as the secretary did for the state of Florida. Zinke made no promises.
Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?
New York Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A sweeping set of proposals has recently been put forward by elected officials hoping to take advantage of the Trump administration’s willingness to weaken the environmental protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act. By the time I arrived in late May, the team had spent the past three months rotating in and out of a muddy field camp. The team that week consisted of just two people: Mandy Peterson and Marcus Collado, a wildlife biologist from Maine who was easygoing but prone to turning morose. As the list of endangered animals worldwide grows longer, society may soon be faced with an impossible decision: which ones to take off life support.
Prospects strengthened for $1 billion CMP corridor project
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor. Action by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass transmission line likely will make an alternative proposal from Central Maine Power the default winner in a bid to supply vast amounts of hydroelectricity from Quebec to Massachusetts, according to a chief opponent of Northern Pass.
Zinke defends hiking park fees amid travel spending flap
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bristled Tuesday under questioning by Democrats about his travel spending as the Trump administration seeks deep cuts to conservation programs and fee increases at national parks. Zinke has proposed doubling entry fees during peak seasons at some of the nation’s most popular national parks to help make up for a backlog in needed maintenance. Meanwhile, he has proposed cutting the royalties paid by energy companies to drill for oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters. Zinke flashed with anger when pressed on whether he could justify increasing access fees for working Americans when he has been spending taxpayer money on chartered airplane flights.
Mike Pompeo is a Climate Change Skeptic and an Energy Realist
Breitbart News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Trump’s prospective new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a drastic improvement on his predecessor. For a start, being a skeptic, Pompeo is far less likely to undermine his president’s position on energy and climate change.
Trump’s Secretary of State pick is ‘the number 1 all time recipient of KOCH Industries $$’
Think Progress - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

President Donald Trump has officially fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and intends to nominate current CIA director Mike Pompeo in his place. Tillerson was the former CEO of ExxonMobil, which for decades was the number one funder of climate science disinformation until they were surpassed by the Koch brothers starting in 2005. Before Pompeo became CIA Director in 2017, he had for six years been a GOP House member from Kansas. In just four election cycles, 2010 through 2016, Pompeo received over $900,000 from the Koch brothers. He is also a Tea Party member and a major denier of climate science.
Mike Pompeo, Climate Policy Foe, Picked to Replace Tillerson as Secretary of State
Inside Climate News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

With Rex Tillerson's firing, President Donald Trump's new choice for Secretary of State—Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman currently serving as director of the CIA—signals a hardening stance against international engagement on climate change. Pompeo's career in business and politics was tightly intertwined with the oil magnate Koch brothers, and he has shown a deep disregard for climate science and the need to address the climate crisis. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said replacing Tillerson with Pompeo amounts to turning "our global diplomatic efforts over from Exxon to the Koch Brothers."
Saddleback buyer reportedly won’t ‘lose any sleep’ if resort doesn’t reopen
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The Australian developer who has entered into an agreement to buy Saddleback Mountain has reportedly told members of his staff that opening the mountain is not a primary goal for his company and the EB-5 visa program that gives foreign investors permanent residency is the reason his company is buying the idle ski resort.
Candidate for governor hopes to ski to victory
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Steve DeAngelis of Readfield is hoping to ski his way to victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Steve has been an exceptional teacher and cross-country ski coach at Maranacook High School. On March 24, Steve takes his campaign to northern Maine, where he will ski from Fort Kent to Millinocket. And you can ski with him.
Ready Seafood plans new lobster processing facility in Saco
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A new lobster processing facility will be built on 40 acres in Saco, a boon to the state’s limited processing operations. The company already has processing facilities in Scarborough and a holding facility in Portland. Last fall it announced plans to partner with the University of Maine in a research project to see if they can discover and test safe methods to toughen the shells of soft-shell lobsters, which would allow the crustaceans to be shipped greater distances for distribution. Although Maine leads the country in lobster landings, a great percentage of the catch has to be sent to Canada for processing.
New Maine lobster processing plant to be among largest in US, keep work in-state
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Maine fishermen catch more lobsters than anyone else in the U.S., but the state has a lack of facilities to process their meat for commercial use. Enter Ready Seafood Co. of Portland, which plans to change that with a new 40-acre campus in Saco, 18 miles south of Portland. The project could help alter the landscape of the North American lobster business, in which Americans typically send millions of pounds per year to Canada, which has far greater processing capacity than the U.S. The U.S. sent more than $200 million worth of lobsters to Canada last year alone.
Ryan Zinke’s trip to Pennsylvania may have violated the Hatch Act
Think Progress - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to a small town south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, less than three weeks before a special election, is drawing scrutiny to determine whether the official trip was really an opportunity to throw his support behind the Republican hoping to fill the open congressional seat. The request comes as Zinke faces ongoing investigations on multiple fronts, including his use of taxpayer money for personal and political travel as well as his potentially retaliatory reassignment of Department of the Interior professional staff.
Opinion: Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A handful of extremists are holding up Maine’s economic and energy future. They are blocking New England’s access to affordable, clean burning natural gas, keeping us captive to high energy prices during the recent bone-chilling weather. Because they have opposed projects like Access Northeast, we have a limited amount of natural gas available for regional electric generation on the coldest days. And delays to Atlantic Bridge deny us access to more cost-effective domestic natural gas supplies for our homes and businesses. ~ Dana Connors, Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Moose Images
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

What does a New England moose look like? Yankee readers shared their best moose images.
America's Last Vast Forest
Other - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

With its inception nearly two years ago the Maine Mountain Collaborative has identified the Maine Appalachian Corridor as a vital wildlife and forest region providing habitat resilience in the face of climate change. The Collaborative has convened leading scientists and distilled the latest research on the importance of this Maine mountain region. It has also advanced current thinking on conservation-minded private investment and sustainable forest management techniques. The Collaborative is working to bring attention to the region’s national ecological significance, as well as its exceptional recreational, economic and cultural importance.
Blog: An Immigrant, an Artist and an American Mythmaker
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Two hundred years ago 17-year-old Thomas Cole emigrated from England to the United States, where he would revolutionize painting in his new country by creating “wild landscapes that were unmistakably American.” Born at the onset of the industrial revolution, Cole discovered in the American wilderness an antidote to the polluted rivers, poisoned air, and exploited working people that he had witnessed in the land of his birth. He wanted his art to offer an alternative vision to what he saw as his adoptive country’s reckless embrace of destructive progress. At those times in our history when politicians seek to divide us and speculators greedily divvy up the public landscape, Cole’s images remind us that nature’s value cannot be determine solely in dollars and awe is not only for ordnance. ~ James G. Blaine
Audubon: Number of Loons in Maine Holding Steady
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Maine Audubon says the results of its annual loon count last year showed a population that appears to be holding steady. Maine has the largest common loon population in the eastern U.S. The bird's range has shrunk in the United States, and it faces threats such as environmental pollution. The number of adult loons estimated for 2017 is "virtually unchanged'' from the previous two years at about 2,800. The group says there are also about 450 loon chicks, and the estimated number of chicks has climbed in three consecutive years.
Orrington man has paddled his kayak in Maine waters for 301 straight months
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Larry Merrill was about five years into what has become a 25-year habit before he even realized that he’d paddled his kayak each month — in Maine — no matter the conditions. On Saturday, Merrill, now 73 years old, pushed his personal streak forward another notch, as he headed out on Sedgeunkedunk Stream for a brisk morning paddle. That outing marked the 301st consecutive month that he’d paddled for at least 20 minutes on Maine water. And though some might think he’s a bit odd, he says paddling in the cold is actually pretty pleasant.
Interior’s Zinke: No friend of the animals
Other - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Salon - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken aim at iconic animals like the bald eagle and the elephant with his policies and pressured subordinates at a National Park to reopen the park’s lakes to motorized boats after invasive zebra mussels were found in the state. Zinke put a grizzly bear and a stuffed bobcat in his office. One of Zinke’s backers in getting the job was Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter who was photographed in 2012 holding the bloody tail of a dead elephant.
Letter: Don’t tax ‘green’ vehicles
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

I have no electric or hybrid vehicles, but the tax on these vehicles being debated in the Legislature is unfair. Those who buy these “green vehicles” buy them to save money and the environment. They should not have to take what they have saved to finance the Department of Transportation. Instead, the state police could pull over rusty gas guzzlers bearing unbelievable inspection stickers (which if I can count 30 out of every 100 cars I pass). These vehicles are hazardous to all of us on the road. Collect fines and taxes from these, not those who obey the law whose only crime is being eco-friendly. ~ John Fox, Newport
Letter: More people are turning to watching wildlife than trying to trap it
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

About two-thirds more people come to this state every year to watch a live moose than to kill a moose in the annual hunting permit lottery. All across this country, more people are turning to camping, hiking and wildlife watching as opposed to hunting or trapping wildlife. People should be very concerned about L.D. 11, which would enshrine the right to hunt and fish into the Maine Constitution. Lobbied for by the NRA, it would make wildlife their own private rather than a public resource. L.D. 11 would eliminate the citizen petition process with regard to wildlife and forever silence the public on wildlife management issues. ~ Val Philbrick, Scarborough
Letter: Pollution reduction’s significant, but more needs to be done
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The Maine Legislature has unanimously reauthorized Maine’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In a time when our federal government is heading in the wrong direction on fossil fuels, this is a good step. However, this is a regional plan. The New England states are at the end of the “tailpipe” of pollution from Western states. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby carbon fee and dividend would impose a nationwide fee on fossil fuel production that rises yearly on a per-ton basis. The money collected would be distributed directly to the American people in a monthly check. All Mainers should contact their representatives and urge them to stop the greenhouse gas threat. ~ Karen Tolstrup, Kennebunk
In winter, Johnny’s Selected Seeds just blossoms
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 12, 2018 

On the day before the big nor’easter last week, workers at Johnny’s Selected Seeds were scurrying about inside a huge shipping warehouse, filling seed orders that will go to gardeners – and thawed soil – around the world. The number of employees in the shipping department inside the fulfillment center in Winslow swelled from 10 to 70 as an additional 60 seasonal workers keep up with the work that begins the first of the year, warehouse supervisor Steve Mott said.
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