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
Tributary Brewing taps special brew for clean water March 16
Seacoast Online - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Tributary Brewing Company will kick off its 4th annual Community Charity Beer Initiative on Friday, March 16 from 6 to 8 p.m. The recipient of this year’s fundraiser is Community Water Justice, a network of front-line struggles in Maine determined to secure rights and accessibility to ground water through education and action for future generations. This is the fourth year Tod Mott, founder and brewer of Tributary Brewing Company, has crafted this special beer to raise funds for an organization that works to promote the preservation and conservation of clean water in Maine. Previous recepients have included the Surfrider Foundation, Great Works Regional Land Trust, Kittery Land Trust and the Wells Reserve at Laudholm Trust.
What it Takes to Get Maine Lobster On Tables Around the World
Maine Public - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Of all Maine's export products, one of the most logistically challenging is Homarus americanus. Fresh Maine lobster is now in demand all over the world, but it takes a lot of work to deliver the product to the other side of the planet while it's still fresh. One lobster dealer has found a way to do it.
Electricity sellers use Facebook to cash in on complaints about surging CMP bills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 9, 2018 

A pack of electricity salespeople are using prolific media coverage of a wintertime spike in electricity bills from Central Maine Power Co. to hawk contracts for a company that cost Maine customers about $280,000 more than the standard rate in 2015 and 2016. One such salesman, for Dallas-based Ambit Energy, even managed to appear in a television news segment about CMP complaints, without disclosing his financial ties to the company. He and other Ambit sales consultants then used the segment to promote Ambit’s offerings on Facebook.
A cautionary look at rabbits as pets
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 9, 2018 

With Easter just around the corner, rabbits are everywhere in the form of chocolate treats, plush toys and other thematic giftables. Bunnies are an iconic symbol of the candy-filled holiday, but no toy or sweet can rival the absolute cuteness of a real live rabbit. Rabbits make for quiet, charismatic, adorable pets, but Maine rabbit enthusiasts warn people against gifting these cute little creatures on impulse. There may be more to pet bunnies than you think.
Letter: Use different wind turbine design to reduce the bird kill
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Gov. LePage recently imposed a moratorium on new wind energy projects in western and coastal Maine, on coastal islands and along significant avian migratory pathways. The Obama administration’s revised rule allow wind turbines to kill or injure up to 4,200 bald eagles a year. Meanwhile, bats, which are already decimated by white nose syndrome, are being killed at much higher numbers than originally thought. A possible safer option is horizontal axis wind turbine technology. These are much lower and quieter, cost less to build, transport and install, and can generate 7 to 50 megawatts of power compared to 3 or so megawatts for large, conventional turbines. Let’s get wind technology right this time. ~ Brad Kaake, Hollis Center
Letter: Wilderness depleted
Sun Journal - Friday, March 9, 2018 

It seems that when the land in Northern Maine changed hands, so did the respect for the wildlife and environment. The diverse native forests and wildlife habitat are being replaced with farms of softwood trees. The Allagash Wilderness Waterway and the North Maine woods are thought of as a sportsman’s paradise, teeming with native trout and wildlife of all kinds. Is that true, or is it how it used to be? Timber companies have cut winter deer habitat in many areas and replaced the summer range of wildlife with planted spruce trees, which no animal will consume. Thousands of acres have been sprayed with herbicides. As a hunter, fisherman, registered Maine Guide and logger, I have seen, first-hand, the results. Where are the environmentalists, the animal rights people, the state and federal departments who protect the wildlife and the environment? ~ Hilton Hafford, Allagash
Letter: Conservation congressman needed
Ellsworth American - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Lately, powerful industries are successfully taking revenge against “inconvenient” environmental protection laws passed over the past half-century. Thanks to White House appointments, coal, oil, natural gas, uranium mining and other extracting corporations have their own “lobbyists” serving as interior secretary, director of the Environmental Protection Agency and the head of Consumer Protection.
Opinion: Women rock in Maine conservation
Maine Environmental News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

On International Women’s Day, here is a shout out to all the women providing leadership on conservation fronts in Maine. ~ Jym St. Pierre
Climate skeptic oversaw sprawling review of agency policy
E&E/Greenwire - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

A longtime federal employee who sees "good news" in rising greenhouse gases was tasked early in the Trump administration with retooling the Interior Department's public positions on climate change, according to documents released under the Freedom of Information Act. Indur Goklany, a senior adviser in the Office of Policy Analysis with connections to the Heartland Institute, a libertarian group that promotes the rejection of mainstream science, began volunteering to revise agency webpages and policies right after President Trump's inauguration. His ideas included deleting almost all references to climate change.
States' rights rancher and lawbreaker Ryan Bundy to run for governor
Reuters - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Ryan Bundy, who was at the forefront of two armed confrontations between right-wing militia activists and the U.S. government over the past four years, said on Thursday he planned to run for Nevada governor on a states’ rights platform.
South Portland seeks pier expansion ideas from fishermen, aquaculture operators
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Local lobstermen, scallop fishermen and aquaculture operators have been invited to weigh in on the possible redevelopment and expansion of the city-owned Portland Street Pier. Some city officials see an economic development opportunity for the long-neglected municipal pier, particularly in aquaculture, as the farming of mussels, oysters and other shellfish increases in nutrient-rich Casco Bay.
Verso posts $30 million loss for 2017 as it invests in Jay mill
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Verso Corp. reported a $30 million net loss in 2017, but expects sales to improve this year thanks, in part, to increased production of specialty products at its paper mill in Jay. The company had a “difficult start” to 2017, but had a strong turnaround in the second half of the year and is in a better cash position than before, CEO Christopher DiSantis said during an investor call Thursday.
Low Numbers of Endangered Whales Sparks Debate About Whether Lobster Industry Threatens Species
Maine Public - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

The population of the endangered North Atlantic right whale took a big hit last year with a record number found dead in Canadian waters from ship strikes and entanglements. With this year's calving season ending and no new births observed, an ongoing debate over whether Maine's lobster industry poses a mortal threat to the species is gaining new urgency.
Soil and water conservation district hosts renovating old apple trees workshop
Piscataquis Observer - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

On March 3, the Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District hosted Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association Orchard Specialist CJ Walke for a renovating old apple trees workshop. This in-demand and hands-on workshop was enjoyed by 30 participants, who spent the day learning how to maintain older trees and work step-by-step to bring them back into production.
Nearly Half of Trump’s EPA Appointees Have Industry Ties
Other - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

The Intellectualist - It appears safe to say at this point that President Donald Trump has far from kept his campaign promise to 'drain the swamp' in Washington, and proof of his failure can be found in those the president has brought in to run the Environmental Protection Agency -- nearly half of whom have connections to the industries they are tasked with regulating.
Energy Secretary Rick Perry says moving from fossil fuels to renewables is ‘immoral’
Think Progress - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Energy Secretary Rick Perry said on Wednesday that it was “immoral” to help poor nations shift off of fossil fuels. “Look those people in the eyes that are starving and tell them you can’t have electricity,” said Perry in remarks after his big speech to the oil and gas industry in Houston. “Because as a society we decided fossil fuels were bad. I think that is immoral.” First, despite being in charge of a $2 billion clean energy program, Perry seems completely unaware that solar and wind are now cheaper sources of electricity than fossil fuels. Second, what’s immoral is not shifting away from dirty fossil fuels, but blindly sticking with them. Finally, there’s climate change, a subject Perry conspicuously never mentioned in his speech.
A spat is brewing over how wood harvested from Maine land is milled
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

One of Gov. Paul LePage’s legislative antagonists is leading a drive to learn more about the administration’s allocation of wood from Maine’s public lands, raising concerns of retribution against two mill owners that the state forester denies. The owners of four Maine mills didn’t get as much wood as they wanted in February, but the state says it was because of another mill’s emergency need. Sen. Tom Saviello, R-Wilton, the co-chair of the Legislature’s forestry committee, initiated an inquiry on Tuesday. It came after Pleasant River Lumbers, which employs 300 people at mills in Sanford, Dover-Foxcroft, Jackman and Hancock, recently got less spruce and fir wood from public land than it expected.
Maine’s sea urchin harvest about average in 2017
Associated Press - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Regulators say Maine fishermen’s sea urchin harvest was about in line with recent averages in 2017. Fishermen in Maine and other states harvest sea urchins for their roe, which is used as food. The Maine Department of Marine Resources says fishermen in the state harvested a little less than 2 million pounds of urchins last year. Maine fishermen have harvested 1.9 million to 2.1 million pounds of urchins every year since 2012. The fishery went through a boom in harvest in the 1990s that was followed by a sharp decline in the 2000s. The fishery was worth about $6.1 million last year.
U.S. Forest Service Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
National Public Radio - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

ony Tooke, the head of the U.S. Forest Service, resigned on Wednesday following accusations of sexual harassment. The resignation was effective immediately, and came days after PBS NewsHour reported that the U.S. Agriculture Department was investigating sexual misconduct complaints against him. The NewsHour report revealed a widespread culture of sexual harassment and assault within the agency, and retaliation against those who reported it.
It's Maine; it's winter; it snows
Maine Government News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

All State of Maine offices are closed on Thursday.
Maine hunters are still killing lots of moose
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Maine moose hunters are still enjoying a high rate of success, although that is tempered by the fact that moose hunting permits have been reduced 50% due to a decline in the population, mostly due to ticks. Last year 73% of our moose hunters got their moose. 2,080 permits were issued, and 1,518 hunters were successful. Hunting success rates did vary widely depending on the area hunted.
Opinion: Maine companies want to use toxic soil in road construction. This is an unnecessary risk.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

There is an effort to allow companies to bring soils from out of state contaminated with lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and other toxic chemicals, treat them with an untested and unproven technology, and then use the treated contaminated soil as fill for constructing roads and parking lots throughout Maine. The Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee is considering rules to do this, and we strongly urge legislators to reject these rules. ~ Nick Bennett, Natural Resources Council of Maine
10 ways to enjoy Maine during a snowstorm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

You didn’t think we were done with snow this winter, did you? Before you despair over the lack of warm weather, use this opportunity to take part in some of Maine’s favorite winter pastimes before they’re gone for the year.
1. Stop complaining about the weather
2. Shovel your sidewalk
3. Make ice cream
4. Build a snow shelter
5. Enjoy the fresh pow
6. Take a hike
7. Dust off your snowshoes
8. Ride fat bikes
9. Rev your engine
10. Enjoy a night under the stars
Letter: PUC taking action
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

In an editorial, the BDN criticized a Public Utilities Commission report to the Maine Legislature as not offering a “deeper analysis of the market” and described the residential competitive electricity provider market as “clearly broken.” In addition to past changes to the commission’s rules to strengthen consumer protection in this market, we will soon consider re-opening Chapter 305 to consider additional changes. The commission’s report was provided pursuant to specific direction from the Legislature. The ultimate policy decision to allow or prohibit competition in this market is not up to the PUC; it is up to the Legislature. ~ Mark Vannoy, Maine Public Utilities Commission
Trump official said scientists went ‘beyond their wheelhouse’ by writing climate change ‘dramatically’ shrank Montana glaciers
Washington Post - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

A U.S. Geological Survey study documenting how climate change has “dramatically reduced” glaciers came under fire from high-level Interior Department officials last May, according to a batch of newly released records under the Freedom of Information Act, as they questioned federal scientists’ description of the decline.
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