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
Maine Observer: Thoughts on the road not taken…anymore
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Flagstaff Road is still there, and when I come across it, I’m always surprised. There’s nothing anyone can use it for, this road in these dense Maine woods. I find myself contemplating how it all got this way. The people there were made for the town, and the town was made for them. The water tasted good; the weather felt good, and Bigelow Mountain hung above the horizon like an heirloom tapestry. Neighbors there had the feel of family, without all that need for patience. What had it been like for each of them, that very last time they drove in this direction, leaving their hometown forever? What were they thinking, all those families? ~ Fred Cheney, Bowdoinham
Column: Shawnee Peak celebrates 80th anniversary
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Since its founding in 1938 as Pleasant Mountain, the Bridgton slopes have been a keystone in Maine’s ski history. ~ Josh Christie
Letter: St. Clair shows skills
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

To merit the goodwill of folks on both sides of the aisle, a representative of the people ought to be comfortable speaking with those who disagree with him. Lucas St. Clair possesses this ability in abundance. During his pivotal role in the creation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, St. Clair demonstrated a knack for explaining his position to many opponents. ~ Paul Corrigan, Millinocket
Report: Bottled Water Companies Rely on "Predatory" Tactics for Sales
Other - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

In its new report "Take Back the Tap," Food and Water Watch researchers look at the booming business of bottled water, which surpassed soda in sales in 2016. The group finds nearly 64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal taps and that it cost almost 2,000 times as much as tap water and four times as much as gasoline. Patty Lovera, food and water policy director with Food and Water Watch, says bottled water companies target demographics through advertising, especially immigrant communities.
Suicides prompt outreach to Northeast dairy farmers
Associated Press - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

A glut of milk has them facing a fourth year of payments well below the cost of production. Accompanying the routine payments and price forecasts sent to some Northeast dairy farmers last month were a list of mental health services and the number of a suicide prevention hotline.
Maine Says It's Time to Kill Rash-Causing Caterpillars
Associated Press - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

State entomologists say it's time for Maine property owners to remove a species of invasive caterpillar from trees where they can be reached. The state has worked to control the spread of browntail moth caterpillars, which cause a rash that resembles poison ivy. The caterpillars spend winter webbed in leaves on oak and apple trees. Property owners should look for bright white silk tying a few leaves to the tips of apple and oak tree branches, clip out the web and destroy it by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water and soaking it overnight. Browntail moth caterpillars are found from the New Hampshire border to Deer Isle and parts of inland Maine.
Kennebec Land Trust 2018 Lyceum to focus on amphibians, reptiles
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

The Kennebec Land Trust has announced the dates and speakers for its 16th annual Lyceum lecture series and walks. This year’s program focuses on “Maine’s Amphibians and Reptiles.”
High energy bills getting you down? You’re not alone
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

There are some things you can do to help decrease the pain the next time you open up a utility bill. Many folks have been reaching out to energy auditors to find and plug holes in their homes that are letting heat leak out. And scores of Mainers, galvanized by sticker shock, have been jumping on social media sites to compare high bills, share their tales of financial woe and brainstorm possible short or long-term solutions to the problem.
Letter: Scarborough should protect town land
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

Despite overwhelming opposition, the Scarborough Town Council is poised to gift to a litigious abutter a $1 million piece of town land, complete with 142-year-old public right of way to the beach. Their spin: Protecting the land could be expensive and “we could lose”; we get an easement and increased tax revenue, so it’s a “win-win.” The reality: We could and should win, the land will be taxed at a small fraction of its value and an easement on private property can be extinguished. The town of Scarborough should be protecting this land at all cost, to the Superior Court level if necessary. ~ John Fox, Scarborough
Letter: Reject hunting amendment
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

Mainers who care about their rights should have serious concerns about a right that’s threatened by LD 11, legislation that seeks to amend the Maine Constitution to establish the right to hunt and fish. Mainers already have the right to hunt and fish, and putting this redundant “right” in our Constitution is a solution in search of a problem. LD 11 would remove one of the few tools — citizen initiatives — that residents have to enact reform on wildlife management methods that society may no longer find acceptable, humane, effective or sportsmanlike. It’s a right we can’t afford to lose. ~ Don Loprieno, Bistrol
Legal expert champions public's access to Maine's beaches
Mainebiz - Friday, March 2, 2018 

An expert on land use and environmental law is urging Maine's highest court to reexamine two controversial rulings from the late 1980s restricting public access to beaches. Commonly known as the Bell cases, they limited public use rights on intertidal lands, the area above water at low tide and submerged at high tide, and found that the sandy area in dispute was privately owned. The rulings stem from an action brought by 45 owners of property in Wells above Moody Beach, invoking an ordinance from the 17th century when Maine belonged to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Orlando Delogu, professor emeritus at the UMaine School of Law, disagrees, arguing in a new book that Maine's beaches are public property and it's high time the Bell cases are overturned.
GOP Pushes 80 Anti-Environment Riders, Dark Money Rule Changes in Spending Bill
Inside Climate News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Congressional Republicans are planning a two-fisted assault on climate and other environmental policies as they push a must-pass spending package for the current fiscal year, which is already half over. In a perennial ritual on Capitol Hill, they have laden the legislation with more than 80 anti-environment riders. At the same time, they are pushing provisions this year that could turn on the spigots for a new flow of dark money into elections.
U.S. Forest Service chief under investigation after complaints of sexual misconduct
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

PBS - The U.S. Forest Service has confirmed that the United States Department of Agriculture, its parent agency, has “engaged an independent investigator” to look into complaints against Chief Tony Tooke. News of this investigation comes as the Forest Service is dealing with allegations of a broader culture of harassment and retaliation within its ranks, as detailed in an investigation published by the PBS NewsHour this week.
Forest Service acknowledges ‘we have more work to do’ to address sexual harassment
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

PBS - A day after a PBS NewsHour investigation revealed a culture of sexual harassment, assault and retaliation within the U.S. Forest Service, the agency is telling employees that “we acknowledge that we have more work to do.”
Lobstermen pack meeting concerning right whales, possible gear changes
Courier-Gazette - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Lobstermen from all over the state packed the Rockport Room at the Samoset Resort to overflowing Friday to hear about the potential for ropeless fishing and use of break-away lines to help save the endangered right whale. Right whales are endangered and on the brink of extinction. They are down to about 450 animals worldwide. In 2017 only five new whales were born to the species and 17 died. Scientists say the cause of their deaths is almost always human in origin, either ship strikes or entanglement in fishing gear. Amy Knowlton of the New England Aquarium advocated using ropes with strength of no more than 1,700 pounds. One way to achieve this is to braid short lengths of weaker line, called "sleeves" because they are hollow, into the ropes, used at intervals of every 40 feet. A whale entangled in this gear could break out of it.
Pruitt Denying Science (again)
Progress Report - Friday, March 2, 2018 

In recently uncovered radio interviews from 2005, current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt stated that he believes evolution—a basic foundation of modern science—is an unproven theory. “There aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution,” said then-Oklahoma state Senator Pruitt. These interviews bring further attention to Pruitt at a time when he is already under public scrutiny for misuse of taxpayer dollars. In his one-year tenure as EPA Administrator, Pruitt has undermined scientific research at the agency and systematically worked to destroy as many environmental safeguards as possible, including basic rules to protect children's health.
Mud season closure of Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

The carriage roads in Acadia National Park are closed indefinitely to all users until the roads dry out and become firm enough to prevent damage to their gravel surface.
Pollard quits Democrats, plans independent bid for King's U.S. Senate seat
Sun Journal - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Instead of seeking Democratic backing for his U.S. Senate race, Portland construction company owner Benjamin Pollard said Friday he plans to run as an independent. Pollard’s decision clears the field for educator Zak Ringelstein, the only remaining Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Angus King, a first-term independent who is seeking re-election. On the Republican side in the race, state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn is trying to fend off a last-minute challenge from Max Linn of Bar Harbor.
Lobster supply chain contributes $1B to Maine economy each year, study finds
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

A new economic study shows that the lobster supply chain in Maine contributes $1 billion to the state’s economy each year and generates 4,000 jobs throughout the state. That is on top of the income that lobstermen earn when they bring their catch to shore and sell it, which in 2017 was $433 million statewide.
Drop In Maine Lobster Harvest Has Industry Preparing For Change
Maine Public - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Maine's lobster harvest dropped more than 15 percent last year, according to data just released by the state Department of Marine Resources. But even if the haul was down, it's still the sixth highest on record. Lobstermen knew from early in 2017 that the catch would probably fall off from the previous year, when they brought in a record 131 million pounds of the valuable crustacean. One bright spot among 21 commercially-harvested marine species: the scallop fishery, which, after severe depletion through the early 2000s, bounced back last year to levels not seen in more than two decades
Wind Power Proposals Surpass Natural Gas Plans
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Connecticut Public Radio - The manager of New England's power grid says for the first time ever, there are more proposals for new wind power projects than there are for natural gas. But getting those wind turbines up and running is a totally different ballgame. About half of those new proposed wind projects would be onshore — in northern parts of New England. But here's the problem: many don't have a way to plug into the grid. Gordon van Welie, CEO of ISO New England, the regional grid manager, said offshore wind could be more promising. It's easier to connect, ocean winds are steadier, and prices are dropping.
Offshore drilling [basically everywhere]
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Greenpeace - In 2016, President Obama protected most of our waters from the risk of oil spills and to avoid locking us into more climate chaos? The Trump administration has proposed a 5-year plan for offshore drilling in nearly all of America’s coastal waters. Roughly 90 percent of America’s coastline would be open to fossil fuel-driven plunder, putting our coastal communities, marine wildlife, public health, and the climate at great risk. Fortunately, the law mandates a comment period during which citizens can express their opinions of this reprehensible plan. That period ends on Friday, March 9.
Sure, monkfish look scary, but they’re darn tasty – so says your friendly fishing industry
Associated Press - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Now serving sea monsters. That’s the message from members of the fishing industry, environmentalists and regulators who are trying to persuade U.S. consumers to eat more of a particularly weird-looking creature from the deep – monkfish.
Size and value of Maine lobster haul fall sharply in 2017
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 2, 2018 

After a string of record breaking harvests, the Maine lobster industry saw both its value and volume fall sharply in 2017. Landings declined 16 percent, from 130.8 million pounds in 2016 to 110.8 million pounds in 2017, and the boat value of the statewide catch fell 18.6 percent, from $533.1 million in 2016 to $433.8 million in 2017, according to the Maine Department of Marine Resources, which released its annual catch data at the Maine Fisherman’s Forum in Rockport today. That translates into 20 million pounds less of lobster, and $99.3 million to be split among the state’s lobster fleet.
Column: Berry-eating woodpecker spices up a winter day
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

I was stopped at a light in Old Town. A crow-sized shadow crossed the road, and landed in a crabapple tree in front of a convenience store. I was instantly alert. The behavior seemed unusual. This bird wasn’t likely to be a crow. Crows don’t often land in small, flimsy fruit trees. Furthermore, crows swoop down from above. This bird had crossed the road on a low, flat trajectory, and it had the stiff-winged, undulating flight of a… Pileated woodpecker! There it was, clinging to a twig, gulping down berries. In all my life, I had never before seen such a thing. ~ Bob Duchesne
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