February 25, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Camden Wings Leopold, Mar 4
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 25, 2018 

Christine Parrish, Jim Campbell, Lois Anne and friends will do an interactive reading of Aldo Leopold’s essays on woodcock, bird behavior and wilderness, with a few dramatic turns to keep it lively. At Camden Public Library, March 4, 2-3 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, February 24, 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
Lincolnville Reads Leopold, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Community members will read from their favorite Aldo Leopold essays and tell short personal stories related to them, punctuated by music and poems. Bring the right shoes for a nature walk. At Lincolnville Community Library, March 3, 2-4 pm.
Greenfire, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

This full-length documentary film explores Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career and traces how he shaped the modern conservation movement and continues to inspire projects all over the country that connect people and the land. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, March 2, 4:30 pm. Hosted by The Friends of Maine Coastal Islands.
Environmental Archaeology in Casco Bay Estuary, Mar 2
Event - Posted - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Nathan Hamilton, Associate Professor of Archaeology at USM, will discuss techniques for reconstructing past environments, resource use and cultural life ways. At L.L. Bean, Freeport, March 2, 7 pm.
NRCM's 2018 Legislative Priorities for Maine’s Environment
Publication - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

NRCM is are tracking more than 40 bills this year, with top attention focused on six bills that comprise the common agenda of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, a group of 34 organizations that come together each year around a set of priority bills.
The Transformative Land, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 20, 2018 

Michael Boardman, owner of Coyote Graphics, will share his experiences, photos and images of his artwork from his artist residency at Glacier Bay, Alaska. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, February 27, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Maine’s Foxes and Coyotes, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Lynn Halsall will speak about “Maine’s Wild Dogs — Foxes and Coyotes.” At Blue Hill Public Library, February 26, 7 pm.
Wild & Scenic Film Festival, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Monday, February 19, 2018 

Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour. At Lincoln Theater, Damariscotta, February 26, 7 pm, free, but tickets required. Hosted by Damariscotta River Association.
Growing, Gathering and Using Plants as Medicine, Feb 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, February 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Lucretia Woodruff is a mother of four children and farmer at Milkweed Farm. She has been growing and gathering medicinal herbs and vegetables for over 20 years. At St. Paul’s Church, Brunswick, February 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
The story of a company town, Feb 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 17, 2018 

Jamie Sayen will give a reading from his new book “You Had A Job For Life – story of a company town” about the paper mill town of Groveton, NH, a heartbreaking story of the decimation of industrial America. At Gulf of Maine Books, Brunswick, February 24, 3 pm.
History of Maine’s Forests, Mar 12
Event - Posted - Friday, February 16, 2018 

UMaine professor Richard Judd will talk about the history of Maine’s forests. At New England Region Council on Forest Engineering Workshop, University of Maine, Orono, March 12, 1 pm, $, pre-register by Feb 23.
Maple Sugaring for the Small Woodlot Owner, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Whether you want to tap two trees or twenty, this demonstration and tour will help get you started. At Simmons & Daughters Sugar House, Morrill, February 22, 2 pm.
Enduring Heights book talk, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

A book talk and signing will be held for the book Enduring Heights by John and Cynthia Orcutt. At Carrabassett Valley Public Library, February 22, 4:30 pm.
Round the World Birding, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 15, 2018 

Becky Marvil will share her photos and stories of bird species from around the globe. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, February 22, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
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News Items
Column: Pemmican, the nutritional trail food from the 1900s
Sun Journal - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Long-distant hikers and backpackers looking for that elusive silver bullet in selecting a highly nutritional trail food might want to take a closer look at pemmican, long known historically as the ultimate survival food. Insofar as I know, you can’t buy traditional pemmican from trail-food manufacturers, but you can make it yourself like your ancestors did. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Maine Voices: Former Sen. Boyle on leaving the race for governor
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

I entered the race for governor because I was fed up with a system that is rigged in favor of the wealthy and the special interests, who can afford big-time lobbyists. And it’s rigged against working families. The Cate Street debacle was too much to take. Cate Street was able to take millions of dollars of taxpayer money meant to create jobs in East Millinocket and pocket the cash instead. They left the community high and dry. That’s outrageous, and I wanted to be in a position to stop it from ever happening again. I’m still angry, but that’s not enough to sustain a statewide campaign. My campaign is over, but this is not the end. We have work to do to make sure the next person in the Blaine House is committed to bringing people together to solve the big problems facing our state. ~ Jim Boyle, Gorham, former state senator
Letter: LePage wrong with land trust attacks
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Gov. LePage’s recent scurrilous attacks – alleging that land trusts don’t pay property taxes – are wrong, as approximately 95 percent of Maine land trust properties are on town tax rolls. Great Works Regional Land Trust pays property taxes in all six towns in our service area, more than $97,000 over the past five years. We require fewer services from the towns than developments would for schools, public safety, roads, etc. and we provide many public benefits at no cost to taxpayers. Chief among these is public access for recreation to approximately 20 miles of trails. Statewide, voters have shown overwhelming support for conservation, appropriating funds to Land For Maine’s Future six times. The many public benefits of protecting open spaces are recognized and appreciated by the general population. ~ Michael Wright, Great Works Regional Land Trust, Berwick
Letter: Don’t tax electric vehicles
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 24, 2018 

Rep. Wayne Parry’s LD 1806 is an inequitable attempt to fix a broken road-financing system by slapping a tax on battery-electric vehicles and hybrids. All citizens benefit from roads whether they own a vehicle or not, regardless of how many miles they drive. Their heating fuel is delivered on our roads. Their electricity is maintained by road-bound trucks. Their police, fire and other emergency responders use the roads. Their online shopping arrives in vans. Taxing vehicles by fuel or fuel-efficiency is regressive. Before arbitrarily slapping a tax on electric vehicles and hybrids, maybe we can figure out exactly how much everyone actually should be contributing. ~ Geoffrey Marshall, Little Deer Isle
Democrat Jim Boyle withdraws from Maine governor’s race
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Jim Boyle, a former state senator from Gorham, announced Friday that he is dropping out of the Democratic race for governor. Boyle had announced his campaign for the Democratic nomination in July but struggled to gain traction in a crowded field of candidates. Boyle said in a statement announcing his withdrawal from the race. “Climate change threatens our state, our country and the world. We can’t wait any longer for policies that move us away from fossil fuels and toward a more sustainable future.”

Coast Guard preparing for new Kennebec River Ice-breaking effort
Kennebec Journal - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Sunday marks the end of the smelt season at Baker’s Smelt Camp in Pittston — just three days before the U.S. Coast Guard is expected to start its second ice-breaking mission on the Kennebec River this year. But camp owner Richard Potter said Friday he’s not sure whether the cutters will be able to make much headway. “We still have 32 inches down here,” Potter said. Out in the channel of the river, he said, the ice is about 22 inches thick.
Crashes involving deer quadruple in Aroostook County
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Vehicle crashes with deer have quadrupled in Aroostook County in the last five years as the animal’s population has grown in its northern range, according to Shawn Haskell, regional wildlife biologist with Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. Last winter a feeding operation in an area around the Allagash contributed to 100 deer crashes with logging trucks. The deer population is growing due to reduced coyote predation, supplemental feeding and “relatively mild winters,” Haskell said.
Higher demand, lower technology costs drive plans for indoor salmon farms
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Increased demand for sustainable seafood and reduced technology costs are stimulating growth in indoor aquaculture, including two Atlantic salmon farms planned for midcoast Maine. Portland-based Whole Oceans announced plans Thursday for a $250 million indoor farm at the site of the former Verso paper mill in Bucksport. The news came less than a month after Nordic Aquafarms, a Norwegian company, released plans for a $150 million indoor salmon farm in nearby Belfast.
‘How to be a better environmentalist’: professors, community activists weigh in
Bowdoin (College) Orient - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Bowdoin College students, faculty, staff and community members packed the Shannon Room last night to consider what types of environmental activism are most effective. The panel, titled “Consumerism, Activism, and Individualism: How to be a Better Environmentalist,” was planned by Lauren Hickey ’20 on behalf of the Office of Sustainability. The panel featured Associate Professor of Economics Erik Nelson, Executive Director of Maine Conservation Voters Maureen Drouin ’96, owner of Morning Glory Natural Foods Toby Tarpinian, and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Government Shana Starobin. All the panelists emphasized that individual and collective actions are not mutually exclusive and both may be important.
Tugboat sinks off coast of Kennebunkport, spills thousands of gallons of fuel
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

U.S. Coast Guard officials are investigating the sinking of a tugboat off the coast of Kennebunkport, spilling thousands of gallons of diesel fuel offshore.
Plan To Try To Fix Scallop Dispute Up For Debate
Associated Press - Friday, February 23, 2018 

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is looking to tweak the scallop fishing rules in the Northern Gulf of Maine. Small-boat fishermen in the area have complained in recent years that they are being squeezed out of the fishery by bigger boats, which operate under a different set of rules. NOAA wants to make the rules more equitable by changing the way it divides the scallop fishing quota in the area, which is one of America's most fertile scalloping grounds. The government is taking comments until March 7. The Atlantic scallop fishing year begins on April 1.
Editorial: Maine whiffed on big chance to study electricity ripoff
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Hundreds of thousands of Mainers have been hurt by companies selling them electricity at a needless premium, by a market that promised lower prices through competition and hasn’t delivered. After more than five years of this experiment, a report issued last week by the Maine Public Utilities Commission confirmed what we already knew: Maine’s competitive electricity market has harmed customers and sucked at least $77 million out of Maine’s economy over five years. That’s unconscionable. If companies decline to tell customers which products are similar enough to compare on price, regulators need to step in and require that. If companies say they can’t abide by those kinds of restrictions because it would raise their costs and thus the costs to customers — a favored canard — regulators can go ahead and shut it down.
Democrats, Republicans Split On Hybrid, Electric Fee
Associated Press - Friday, February 23, 2018 

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to add an annual fee on electric and hybrid cars has divided Democrats and Republicans. A legislative panel voted 6-5 Thursday along party lines in favor of killing the bill. The LePage administration's proposed legislation would tack on a $250 fee for electric vehicles and a $150 fee for hybrids to pay for highway maintenance. The administration says owners of hybrids and electric vehicles pay less in gas taxes than other vehicle owners. The bill would provide some revenue but far short of the state's highway funding shortfall. Democratic Rep. Andrew McLean has offered an alternate plan to also increase the gas tax and vehicle registration fees.
Column: It’s time to start planning for spring birding festivals
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

I hear bird sounds that others don’t. It’s not a particularly useful superpower, but it does make me handy to have along at birding festivals. I’ll be guiding for three this spring. Over the weekend of May 18-20, Deer Isle and Stonington host the Wings, Waves, & Woods Festival. The Downeast Spring Birding Festival takes place over Memorial Day Weekend. The Acadia Birding Festival is May 31-June 3. ~ Bob Duchesne
Plan for giant Maine salmon farm spurs local concerns about smelly fish guts
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

As a Norwegian aquaculture firm tries to find enough groundwater to operate sustainably in Belfast for the next several decades, locals are full of questions ranging from how the company will control water quality to how they’ll keep all those fish guts from stinking up the place. The project, which would bring one of the world’s largest indoor aquaculture sites to Belfast, could cost up to $500 million and produce 33,000 tons of salmon each year. Americans consume about 500,000 tons of salmon each year, but about 95 percent of that is imported. Nordic says it won’t build on the site if it finds there isn’t enough sustainable fresh and salt water to fuel its operations without overextending local water resources.
Editorial: Projects put new spin on Maine’s old industries
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

LignaCLT Maine, a division of a North Carolina-based company, plans to manufacture cross-laminated timber. The forests that once were turned into pulp and paper may instead be used to support the next generation of buildings. There was also good news this week out of one of Maine’s other foundational industries. Nordic Aquafarms of Norway wants to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in Belfast, signaling an initial investment of $150 million. What’s old in Maine is new again, and we can’t embrace it soon enough.

Opinion: Trump’s proposed budget cuts threaten national parks
Portland Press Herald - Friday, February 23, 2018 

President Trump has called for a 17% cut in the annual operating budget of national parks, including Acadia. A reduction in funds could eliminate Acadia’s entire seasonal workforce. The loss of these employees would dramatically curtail or end routine visitor services, diminish resource protection and allow Acadia to deteriorate and fall into disrepair. The mission of the National Park Service – providing for public use and enjoyment while protecting park resources and values, now and for future generations – will suffer. Visitors to Acadia National Park annually spend over $274 million in the local economy and create nearly 4,200 jobs, with a cumulative impact of $333 million. Surely this nation is wealthy enough to fully fund our collective national heritage contained in America’s premier National Park Service. ~ Sheridan Steele, retired Acadia National Park Service superintendent
Letter: Reject hunting amendment
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 23, 2018 

LD 11, a proposed constitutional amendment for a right to hunt and fish, currently being considered by the Maine Legislature, is a solution in search of a problem. Why are the activities of hunting, trapping and fishing being considered for a uniquely elevated status above all other hobbies that Mainers participate in? Nobody is trying to stop people from doing them. Citizens have placed wildlife issues on the state ballot to try to regulate certain methods that society feels violate the ethics of sportsmanship or fair chase, but not ban hunting altogether. There is just no evidence that this is a problem at all. Our legislators should reject this ill-advised solution in search of a problem and vote no on LD 11. ~ Wendy Andresen, Camden
Grant funds could finish off visitors’ center, other Bond Brook Recreation Area amenities in Augusta
Kennebec Journal - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The first phase of improvements to Bond Brook Recreation Area could be completed using $50,000 in grant funding. The money is expected to help finish off projects begun at the city-owned area located roughly between the Augusta State Airport, Mount Vernon Avenue, Bond Brook and the urban area of the city, including the visitors’ center building, trail signs and trail development. Last year the city received a $50,000 grant from Friends of Maine’s Mountains to be used for capital improvements to the 300-acre recreation area featuring trails for hiking, mountain biking, skiing, snowshoeing, birding and other nonmotorized recreational uses.
ConEdison Withdraws from UMaine Energy Contract
Maine Public - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

In a letter to the University of Maine's Office of Procurement, the general manager for ConEdison Solutions says the decision to withdraw was prompted by uncertainty over its ability to lease power-generating assets in the former Expera Mill in Old Town. Without that guarantee, the company was unable to provide a firm pricing offer or deliver a plan. There are 14 remaining respondents that expressed interest in developing proposals.
Madison landowner closes snowmobile trail after pregnant cow shot
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

A Madison landowner who allowed the local snowmobile club to maintain a trail across part of his property has closed the trail after one of his pregnant cows was shot and killed last week. “They shot her between the eyes,” landowner Clayton Tibbetts said Thursday from his River Road farm. “It had to have been at close range." The shooting and the trail closure were met with shock and dismay from the Abnaki Sno Riders, the local snowmobile club, which maintained the trail for members and for the public to enjoy, club secretary LeeAnne Newton said. “The fact that someone used the snowmobile trail to access Mr. Tibbetts’ property and then proceed to deliberately kill his pregnant cow is very disturbing,” Newton said.
Yurts and tents could sprout on Casco Bay island, as campground wins key approval
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Portland’s Historic Preservation Board has given its blessing to a 21-site campground on the southern side of House Island, where Fort Scammell is located.
Regulators to take closer look at complaints of overbilling by CMP
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilitites Commission will consider launching an investigation into alleged overbilling of customers by Central Maine Power Co. at a meeting Tuesday. Kiera Reardon, consumer adviser with the Maine Public Advocate’s Office, told the Portland Press Herald in early February that she had fielded more than a dozen complaints about inexplicably high CMP bills in the preceding week, on top of others the office received after consumers got their bills in January.
Maine lands second major salmon farm, this time at shuttered paper mill
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Maine suddenly finds itself at the heart of a fledgling U.S. industry, as a second company pushes to build a huge land-based aquafarm to feed a growing appetite for Atlantic salmon. Whole Oceans, a Maine-based company that has been working behind the scenes for six years to find a place to build an indoor aquaculture facility, signed an agreement Thursday to purchase most of the former Verso paper mill site in Bucksport. Just last month, Norwegian seafood producer Nordic Aquafarms, announced plans to build one of the world’s largest land-based salmon farms in Belfast. Together, the companies expect to produce about 53,000 tons of fish each year.
Popular Maine farm says someone shot pregnant goat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 22, 2018 

Scarborough police confirm that they received a report from Smiling Hill Farm that the body of Ava, a 5-year-old pregnant Toggenburg doe, was discovered Sunday morning during the animal’s regular morning feeding. The approximately 500-acre family-run dairy farm has long been a popular family destination, selling ice cream and letting children play and pet the animals. Warren Knight, a member of the family that has owned and operated the farm since the early 18th century, wrote that “the goat was shot in a fenced pen on the Scarborough side of Smiling Hill Farm."
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