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
Emily Sharood planned on doing graphic design, but organic mushroom farming drew her in
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Emily Sharood is the sales and marketing director at Mousam Valley Mushrooms, an organic mushroom farm in Springvale that she and her family started in 2011. Today they’re packing 3,000 pounds of mushrooms a week, mostly for the Maine and New England market, but she’s something of an accidental farmer.
From Maine Grains, sprouted wheat flour
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Maine Grains is collaborating with Buck Farms’ Maine Malt House in Mapleton to produce and sell sprouted wheat flour made from Maine-grown spring wheat. The malt house was already sprouting barley in order to make malted barley for brewers, which gave Maine Grains President Amber Lambke the idea to ask them to sprout wheat for bakers.
Climate scientist and Maine native prefers quiet of the woods, but is now making plenty of noise
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

After more than six years at the Department of Interior working to help Americans face the coming impacts of climate change, Joel Clement announced in newspapers across the country that he’d been reassigned by the Trump administration to a job in the department’s accounting office as retaliation for speaking out about climate change. He joined Twitter the same day he filed a whistleblower complaint against the government. Tweeter, noisemaker, and specifically whistleblower were not roles he was familiar with. He will speak twice in Maine this week on “Silencing Science: An Insider’s Take on the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Undermine Federal Climate Policy.”
Exorbitant power bills aren’t just a Maine thing
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

As Maine regulators search for the causes of skyrocketing electric bills, a review of shows that residents in at least 22 states – from Texas to Florida and Michigan to Massachusetts – also are up in arms over the high electric bills they received for power used in December and January. Unless the Maine Public Utilities Commission can identify widespread, technical problems, it could reach a conclusion that’s bound to be unpopular — that in most cases, the likely culprit was weather.
Harpswell boat-building program benefits kids, foundation
Forecaster - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

In mid-January, Flannery, a longtime woodworker and Cundy’s Harbor resident, launched a program for local children ages 6 and older known as “Harpswell Boat Builders.” It’s held at Ann Flannery’s workshop, where they’re building a wooden rowboat. When completed, Flannery said, it will be auctioned to benefit the Holbrook Community Foundation, for which she is a volunteer director. The nonprofit was formed in 2005 after a “for sale” sign on Holbrook Wharf inspired a dozen Cundy’s Harbor residents to organize and “save (the) working waterfront property from private residential development.” The foundation bought the property, which includes the commercial fishing wharf, seasonal store, seasonal snack bar and a historic house. “It’s all about keeping the waterfront working,” Flannery said.
Mount Desert Island – a small place with some big environmental goals
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Mount Desert Island is a long way from the corridors of power, and what’s happening in Augusta and Washington holds scant promise of fostering a healthier environment or economy. So a growing number of MDI residents are taking matters into their own hands. Two years ago, they formed A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), seeking to help MDI “become an epicenter of citizen engagement, environmental sustainability and economic vitality.” A big part of that vision is to make MDI energy-independent — relying solely on local, renewable power — by 2030.
Letter: Northern Maine land isn’t as ‘pristine’ as we claim
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

We have proclaimed the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and the North Woods as a pristine wilderness and sportsman’s paradise, teeming with native trout and wildlife of all kinds. Is that really true, or is it how it used to be? But the timber companies have cut all winter deer habitat and replaced summer range of all wildlife with planted spruce trees, which no animal will consume. They have sprayed tens of thousands of acres with herbicides, killing all green leaf and woody vegetation that all wildlife depend on as a food source. ~ Hilton Hafford, Allagash
Letter: Illogical to punish hybrid, e-car owners with highway fees
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Punishing drivers who have made the wise decision to do something about continuing to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is simply perverse. This is the start of the era where financing our highways must move off an excise tax on liquid fuels as the way we support them. The liquid fuel excise tax needs to be replaced by an actual mileage-based metric, possibly vehicle-weight-adjusted, through an annual fee based on actual use of the highways. Scientists and engineers have long established the actual factors in highway wear and tear. The amount of liquid fuel burned has nothing to do with it. ~ Hendrik D. Gideonse, Brooklin
Letter: South Portland could use allies in fight against tar-sands oil
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The recent, excellent article by Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard (“Portland, South Portland plan to fight against climate change,” March 4) made it clear what the future holds for Portland Harbor. Of the two cities, however, South Portland deserves the most credit for attempting to limit the effects of climate change. They have taken on the petroleum industry and the industry’s desire to burn every last drop of Canadian tar sands oil. So, it’s time that Portland and the surrounding communities begin to give verbal and financial support to South Portland. They all benefit from the draw that Portland Harbor is to this region. ~ Tom Mikulka, Elders for Future Generations, Cape Elizabeth
EPA getting pushback after easing up on pesticide rules
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Tribune News Service - A month after Scott Pruitt began leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he rejected an Obama-era recommendation from agency scientists to ban a widely used pesticide from use on food crops. That means farmers can continue to spray chlorpyrifos on crops ranging from corn to cranberries. The change was welcomed by farm groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which said farmers need access to the chemical to stop infestations. But environmentalists, who had been working for years to get the Obama administration to crack down on the pesticide, were outraged.
Acadia’s Ship Harbor ideal for hiking Maine coast in all four seasons
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

With a possible maritime disaster in its past, a big undeveloped harbor and sprawling pink granite, the Ship Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park epitomizes a lot about hiking Maine coast. We’ve often walked the Ship Harbor Trail over the past two decades, but for the first time this past year, we did it once in spring, summer, autumn and winter. We wanted to experience how a single trail changes with the weather and the seasons.
Making America Toxic Again
Other - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Mother Jones - In an administration full of deregulators, Scott Pruitt stands out, bringing to the Environmental Protection Agency the anti-Washington playbook he developed with industry in Oklahoma. In December 2017, the White House trumpeted presidential accomplishments from Trump’s first year—a list dominated by handouts to the energy industry. Pruitt’s fingerprints were everywhere, from “exiting the Paris climate agreement” to “ending the war on coal.” It’s an agenda that taps directly into the right-wing populism that was integral to Trump’s success—and a corporate donor base that will be vital to Pruitt’s future. Pruitt's old friends speculate about which office he would set his sights on next: Attorney General? Senator? A governor’s race? The White House?
New report endorses the conservation success of Maine land trusts
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

In 2017, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry was authorized to “conduct a study of the financial and nonfinancial aspects of conserved lands owned by nonprofit conservation organizations, including property taxes paid, community benefits realized and value of lands to the State’s economy.” The ACF Committee’s findings are detailed in a Study of Conserved Lands Owned by Nonprofit Organizations. According to the report, "the ACF Committee finds that land trust organizations provide a great value to the people of Maine.”
Food sovereignty continues to pick up steam around the state
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Forty-five towns around Maine have expressed interest in the local food ordinance with some placing it on town meeting agendas this spring. Approved by the legislature last summer, the law allows towns to adopt an ordinance granting it the authority to regulate the direct, producer-to-consumer exchanges, food processing and distribution free from state regulatory control. Signed by Gov. Paul LePage in June, the law was amended in October to exclude meat and poultry products after the United States Department of Agriculture stepped in saying if the state failed to regulate those products, the federal government would take over those food inspection programs.
Letter: Lost respect for nature
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

When the land in northern Maine changed hands so did the respect for the wildlife and environment. Timber companies have cut all winter deer habitat and replaced summer range with planted spruce trees, which no animal will consume. They have sprayed tens of thousands of acres with herbicides, killing all green leaf and woody vegetation, which all wildlife depend on as a food source. This practice is widespread, including within a stones throw of tributaries of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Sportsmen will not come to see spruce plantations when that is all there is left. ~ Hilton Hafford, Allagash
Stopping by woods and breathing in deeply
Boston Globe - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Few activities go by a name that is as comprehensive as “forest bathing.” The practice encourages immersion in the natural world, a mindful meditation that embraces our surroundings rather than excluding them. Forest bathing, said Nadine Mazzola, is “connecting with the healing powers of simply being in nature, slowing down, and allowing ourselves to use our senses, not our minds. Typically, [it includes] a leisurely stroll of about a mile with pauses along the way to notice, reflect, sit, or wander.”
Wayne officials, solar farm reach landmark agreement about tax value
Kennebec Journal - Friday, March 9, 2018 

A group of Maine residents who built a solar farm two years ago in Wayne have settled a dispute with the town over how much their project is worth, reducing the taxes they’ll owe on the investment and avoiding further legal costs for both sides. The settlement could serve as a precedent for other communities that are trying to determine their value, according to Kristin Collins, an attorney for the owners of the Wayne farm. Meanwhile, both Collins and a Wayne official said state lawmakers might need to consider legislative changes if they want to encourage future solar development and give local governments the ability to determine its value accurately.
Three honored by ecomaine for environmental commitment
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Allagash Brewing Co., Ruth’s Reusable Resources and David Pope, a science teacher at Massabesic Middle School in Waterboro have been given top eco-excellence awards by regional solid waste company ecomaine. The three winners were among 18 individuals, nonprofit groups and businesses recognized for their commitment to sustainability in 2017, ecomaine said. Ecomaine is a nonprofit waste-to-energy and recycling company based in Portland that services 73 towns and cities in southern Maine.
Groups clash over NH hydropower project as Maine competitor waits in the wings
Associated Press - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Groups supporting and opposing the Northern Pass hydropower project in New Hampshire filed statements Friday in advance of a state committee’s meeting next week on whether it should rehear the project. The Site Evaluation Committee rejected Eversource’s project last month over concerns about potential negative impacts. If the Northern Pass project fails to ultimately win New Hampshire approval, the Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources has announced it will begin negotiating with a team led by Central Maine Power Co. for a $950 million project through Maine as an alternative.
There’s a lot of confusion at the Department of the Interior
Grist - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Last week, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke postponed the sale of more than 4,000 acres of leases near Chaco Canyon, a sacred tribal site, after protests from indigenous activists. And on Monday, the Interior withdrew 17,300 acres from an oil and natural gas lease auction in Zinke’s home state of Montana. Zinke’s proposed policy to open nearly all U.S. coastal waters to offshore drilling has sparked bipartisan resistance in coastal states. As a result, he’s already exempted Florida. These actions are probably not enough to make his hero, Teddy Roosevelt, proud. But at least Zinke is drawing the line somewhere.
The EPA is riddled with conflicts of interest,
Grist - Friday, March 9, 2018 

President Trump has a rule for former lobbyists and lawyers in his administration: They’re supposed to recuse themselves from issues that they worked on for private clients in the last two years. An AP analysis published Wednesday shows that one of Trump’s top lawyers, Don McGahn, issued 24 “ethics waivers” permitting some of those staffers to circumvent that rule. At least three of those people are now working at the EPA on matters that directly have to do with their previous employers. The analysis also found that a third of Trump’s EPA appointees worked for industries that answer directly to the EPA.
Foundation donates historic hunting lodge and acreage to Unity College
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 9, 2018 

A historic hunting lodge and more than 150 acres in the Somerset County town of Moose River have been donated to Unity College, one of the largest gifts the private college has ever received. The multimillion-dollar gift includes 16 buildings, including the 7,500-square-foot Sky Lodge, built in 1929, rental cabins, a swimming pool, an antique auto museum and a model railroad museum. It was a gift of the Couri Foundation, founded by Elaine and John Couri in 1988. Unity plans to continue to operate the property as a business, hosting events such as retreats, weddings and conferences. Students will use it for seminars, retreats, research and hands-on training in running a business.
A new midcoast program is teaching kids fat tire biking, Nordic skiing and more
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Cross-country skiing is just one of several outdoor activities on the docket for the new after-school program offered by Sundog Outdoor Expeditions, established in 2017 by the new Midcoast Outdoor Leadership Initiative. The program launched this past fall, and so far has attracted participants from 16 towns in Knox and Waldo counties.
Congress Looks to Address Neglected Upkeep at National Parks
Public News Service - Friday, March 9, 2018 

National parks in Maine and other states would get some much needed upkeep under a new bill in Congress. The National Park Restoration Act would help address the national parks maintenance backlog, through money raised from energy production on federal lands. It's estimated that in 2016, visitors spent more than $275 million in the gateway communities to Maine's four national parks, generating over 4,500 jobs. But in 2017, the maintenance backlog in the Maine parks topped $60 million. Marcia Argust, project director with The Pew Charitable Trusts' "Restore America's Parks" program, says with this legislation, Congress now has a number of bipartisan initiatives that would provide funds to fix national parks.
Opinion: Conserving land for the benefit of all
Ellsworth American - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Land conservation in Maine has benefited from bipartisan support for decades. As a local land conservation organization serving the public from the Union River east to the Hancock County line, Frenchman Bay Conservancy welcomes the opportunity to share the benefits that our organization provides to our communities, with the generous support from roughly 900 members. Now in our 31st year of operation, FBC has conserved 7,400 acres, and we maintain over 25 miles of trail where access is free and open to the public year-round. ~ Aaron Dority, Frenchman Bay Conservancy
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