March 23, 2017  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

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.
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.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 22, 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
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.
Birding at Plum Island, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 18, 2017 

A field trip to find special winter birds. At Plum Island, MA, March 25, 7 am - 4 pm. Sponsored by Stanton Bird Club.
Trump's "America First Budget"
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

The Office of Management and Budget today released the Trump Administration's 2018 bare-bones budget outline.
Top "Public Lands Enemies" in Congress
Publication - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

A Center for Biological Diversity report analyzed 132 bills that were introduced in Congress from 2011 to 2016, and identified the lawmakers who authored and cosponsored the greatest number of these bills. The list that emerged includes 9 members of the U.S. House of Representatives and 6 U.S. senators from 8 states.
Conservation and Management of Woodcock, Waterfowl, and Grouse, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Speaker: Kelsey Sullivan, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Perennial Vegetables for Maine, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 16, 2017 

Aaron Parker of Edgewood Nursery talks about perennial vegetables for Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 6:30 pm.
Don't let Trump make massive cuts to the EPA
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Trump aims to cut the EPA by more than 25%. Tell your Senators: Stop Trump from gutting our bedrock environmental protections.
Bats of the World, Mar 22
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 15, 2017 

Bats comprise nearly one-quarter of the world’s approximately 4,000 mammal species, yet humans continue to fear and misunderstand them. Chewonki presentation for K to 11 years old. At Patten Library, Bath, March 22, 4 pm.
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News Items
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.
Editorial: Republicans want to undo a rule that protects taxpayers and the environment
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

A regulation that protects taxpayers, improves the environment and could save corporations money sounds like a winning combination. But not with this Congress. The aim of the rule was to ensure as much methane as possible is captured and sent to a processing facility to become part of the nation’s natural gas supply. BLM estimates that about 375 billion cubic feet of natural gas were flared or leaked on public and tribal lands between 2009 and 2014. That’s enough gas to supply more than 5 million homes a year. It would be worth $330 million if processed and sold. The methane rule rollback was passed by the House last month. Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted for it. Rep. Chellie Pingree voted no. Fortunately, Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King oppose the rollback effort.
Two Oregon occupiers guilty of conspiracy in second trial
Reuters - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

Jason Patrick and Darryl Thorn were each found guilty of conspiring to prevent federal workers from doing their jobs at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in remote eastern Oregon. Duane Ehmer and Jake Ryan were cleared of those charges but found guilty of depredation of government property. Last October, another trial ended with the acquittal of anti-government activist Ammon Bundy and six of his followers, who cast their protest as a patriotic act of civil disobedience in opposition to U.S. government control over public lands in the West. Ammon Bundy, his brother Ryan and their father Cliven Bundy are in federal custody ahead of a trial scheduled to begin later this year over another armed standoff with federal officers in 2014 in Nevada.
Great reads about hunting, fishing, and more
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

I probably overwhelmed Kristina Wheelock, assistant librarian at Gardiner High School, when she asked for book recommendations. I’ve got bookshelves full of books about hunting, fishing, birding, wildlife, and the great outdoors. Some are very old, some just published, and lots in between. I plowed through my many books to give her the following recommendations.
Opinion: Pruitt ignoring science consensus could have dire consequences for Maine
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

I spent Valentine’s Day making a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., on behalf of my company, Mook Sea Farm, an oyster farm on the Damariscotta River to oppose Scott Pruitt’s nomination to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. I talked about almost being forced out of business in 1998 by illegal dumping of septic and chemical waste next to my hatchery. Mook Sea Farm would likely not have survived had it not been for the Clean Water Act. I also explained that the impact of carbon emissions suddenly became very real. Just maybe, by going to Washington I provided Sen. Susan Collins and Sen. Angus King with a story that will make the difference in convincing a Senate colleague that a healthy environment is good for business. ~ Bill Mook, Walpole
Letter: Legislature needs to vote to remove flame retardants
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 11, 2017 

Legislation would make it illegal to sell new furniture treated with flame retardants in Maine. The Department of Environmental Protection (incredibly) does not support this bill. The DEP is not considering the cost to Maine residents in relationship to the long-term health effects and resulting health expenses that many Maine residents will be saddled with if flame retardants continue to be used in Maine products. ~ Sally Wylie, Rockland
Opinion: Trump’s plans for industrial rebirth are a dead end
Bloomberg News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

President Donald Trump’s economic adviser, Peter Navarro, has vowed to restore U.S. manufacturing supremacy. This is no surprise — Trump’s election campaign emphasized the promise of a return to the industrial economy of the mid-20th century, before countries such as China supplanted the United States as the workshop of the world. But this push is unlikely to succeed. Changes in the U.S. industrial mix, and in technology itself, mean there’s no going back to the economy of yesteryear.
The Environmental Protection Agency —the Deep State’s Covert Resistance to Trump
Other - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Breitbart - EPA-ers seem to be girded for battle. A rogue Twitter account, AltEPA, billing itself as the “resistance,” has 382,000 followers—and there are many more such accounts in existence. It’s possible, of course, that some, perhaps most, of these accounts are fakes. But probably not all. In the meantime, some EPA people, long ago, developed their own “resistance strategies.”
Blog: Why your town has no inherent right to food sovereignty
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Several years back, a number of Maine towns passed ordinances declaring their own sovereignty when it came to food sales in their limits. Their goal was to exempt local farmers from having to deal with state and federal regulations. In the words of one advocate, it was to require the state to recognize the “inherent right of local municipalities.” Unfortunately, municipalities don’t have inherent rights. ~ Michael Cianchette
EPA chief’s remarks disputing climate science spark phone call overload
Washington Post - Friday, March 10, 2017 

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s phones have been ringing off the hook – literally – since he questioned the link between human activity and climate change. The calls to Pruitt’s main line, (202) 546-4700, reached such a high volume by Friday that agency officials created an impromptu call center, according to three agency employees. The officials asked for anonymity out of fear of retaliation.
Moosehead region stakeholders plan to boost economy, reverse declining population
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 10, 2017 

Faced with a declining and aging population and a stagnant economy, many stakeholders in the Moosehead Lake region are taking action to reverse these trends. Making changes to secure a better future over the next decade-plus was the subject of the Moosehead Lake Regional Master Plan Future Think Tank held Thursday and Friday at the Bartley Facility. Think tank facilitator David Beurle, CEO of the international consulting firm Future iQ, said at the beginning of Friday’s session that the region “is spiraling toward obscurity if you don’t do anything different than what you are doing. There’s a lot at stake with what happens now.”
LePage plan to outsource state park jobs questioned
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 10, 2017 

LePage administration proposals to outsource two dozen state park jobs and eliminate conservation-related positions received a chilly reception from some lawmakers and advocacy groups Friday. The administration wants to hire contractors to fill seasonal assistant park ranger jobs and laborer jobs at state parks. Conservation groups, meanwhile, said other aspects of LePage’s budget threaten to undermine the Land for Maine’s Future program, a frequent target of LePage’s in years past. The LePage administration also continues to shift management of the state’s public lands – including public reserved lands – from the Bureau of Parks and Lands to the Maine Forest Service.
New England's Ski Industry Prepares for a Changing Climate
Maine Public - Friday, March 10, 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.
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Maine fears lost lobster 
sales from Canadian exports

Photo: Maine Lobster Festival 1947

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