January 24, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

CREA research projects, Jan 31
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

Presentations by local students about the treasures of the Cathance River Preserve. At Topsham Library, January 31, 6 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Saturday, January 21, 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
Burnt Mt. winter hike, Jan 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

A mid-winter, 6-mile hike to the 3595' summit of Burnt Mountain with outstanding views of Sugarloaf, Abraham, Crockers, and Bigelows. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Searching Science – Tide Pools, Jan 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 18, 2017 

Using this interactive traveling display, participants will dip their hands into the three zones of Maine’s rocky intertidal ecosystem and touch some of the ocean’s most magnificent species. At Patten Library, Bath, January 25, 4 pm.
Senators: Stop Scott Pruitt and Rex Tillerson
Action Alert - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

Secretary of State nominee and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is weakening because people are standing up and demanding Senators ask tough questions. Trump's EPA nominee Scott Pruitt is a fossil fuel industry puppet. He led a secret alliance with oil companies against climate action, gutted the agency responsible for oil oversight in Oklahoma and fully denies that climate change is real. A vote for Rex Tillerson or Scott Pruitt is a vote for climate denial. Maine's U.S. Senator Susan M. Collins hasn't made her position clear, and will be one of the crucial deciding votes. ~ 350.org
Association of Consulting Foresters, Jan 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 17, 2017 

The Association of Consulting Foresters will tour the Advanced Structures and Composite Center at the Univertisty of Maine at Orono, January 24, 3 pm. Re-assemble at 5 pm at the Plumb Creek Room in Nutting Hall to meet with forestry students.
Climate of Change Films, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 15, 2017 

The Island Institute presents four short films about the future of fisheries and the changing ocean. This free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Island Institute marine scientist Susie Arnold and UMaine Ph.D. student Sam Belknap. At UMaine, Orono, January 23, 5 pm
Liberal Cup Biathlon, Jan 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 15, 2017 

At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, January 29, 9 am - 2 pm, pre-register. Hosted by Midcoast Conservancy.
Portland Trails hike, Jan 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 14, 2017 

Hike the Fore River Sanctuary and a visit to Jewell Falls, Portland's only natural waterfall, then explore the network of Portland Trails behind the Evergreen Cemetery, January 21. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Cranberry Peak Snowshoe, Jan 21
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 14, 2017 

Snowshoe trek for experienced winter hikers with full winter gear to Cranberry Peak near Stratton, January 21. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
L.L.Bean adventure lecture series, Jan-Mar
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 12, 2017 

L.L.Bean talks run every Friday evening, January through March, at the L.L.Bean Flagship store in Freeport, 7-8 pm. The line-up of guest speakers includes experienced mountaineers, endurance paddlers, long-distance hikers and adventure racers.
Climate of Change Films, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 12, 2017 

The Island Institute presents four short films about the future of fisheries and the changing ocean. This free screening will be followed by a Q&A with Island Institute marine scientist Susie Arnold and UMaine Ph.D. student Sam Belknap. At College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, January 19, 6:30 pm.
Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument – What Comes Next? Jan 17
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 10, 2017 

Ryan Parker, Natural resources Council of Maine Environmental Policy Outreach Coordinator, will discuss Maine's new national monument. At Grace Episcopal Church, Bath, January 17, 12 pm. Sponsored by Bath Garden Club.
Canada's National Parks Free for 2017
Announcement - Monday, January 9, 2017 

Canada is celebrating its 150th Birthday by making all of its national parks completely free for the entire year of 2017. You can even have a free park pass delivered to you by Parks Canada.
Teen and Teacher Hog Island Scholarships
Announcement - Sunday, January 8, 2017 

Merrymeeting Audubon is offering summer scholarships for two programs at National Audubon’s Hog Island Camp in Bremen. One full scholarship is available for a high school student to attend “Coastal Maine Bird Studies for Teens,” a week-long program that begins June 18. A half scholarship is available for an area elementary or middle school teacher to attend “Sharing Nature: An Educator’s Week."
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News Items
Letter: Landfill expansion troubling
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 24, 2017 

One might find the impending expansion of the Juniper Ridge Landfill surprising. The proposed expansion area sits atop four different watersheds, eight identified wetland areas and several vernal pools through which pollutants could potentially make their way into the Stillwater and Penobscot rivers. Landfills leak, and things go wrong. Everyone in Old Town and the surrounding areas have a lot to lose. ~ Casey Wilkins, Old Town
Climate activist from Maine killed in Florida while on barefoot US walk
Reuters - Monday, January 23, 2017 

Florida authorities were investigating on Monday the death of an activist who was struck by a car and killed over the weekend while on a campaign to walk barefoot across the United States to draw attention to climate change concerns. Mark Baumer, 33, was walking on the shoulder of a road in Walton County in north Florida on Saturday afternoon when the driver of a Buick SUV swerved out of her lane and struck him, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. He died at the scene. Charges were pending.
What can mackerel and an 1815 volcanic eruption say about climate change?
Associated Press - Monday, January 23, 2017 

A group of scientists and academics say the eruption of Mount Tambora half a world away in 1815 caused a cooled climate, which led to deaths of livestock and changed fish patterns in New England, leaving many people dependent on the mackerel, an edible fish that was less affected than many animals. The researchers assert that bit of history gives clues about what food security could be like in the modern era of climate change.
Mines have wrecked spectacular sport fisheries
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 23, 2017 

Speaking at the State House about his concern over mining in Maine, Macauley Lord said, “I can tell you that Maine has some of the best places to fish in the world....I’ve fished four rivers in the American West where mine wastes wrecked what were once spectacular sport fisheries. All four of these fisheries are recovering but slowly, and only after great cost to taxpayers, who’ve been forced to foot the bill for their rehabilitation." Macauley was speaking at a press conference hosted by the Environmental Priorities Coalition. The Coalition includes 34 environmental, conservation, and public health organizations, representing over 100,000 members.
Opinion: Maine needs an EPA head who we can count on to keep our air and water clean
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 23, 2017 

We stand at another great crossroads of public health and environmental emergency. The issue is climate change. When it comes to public health and the environment, Scott Pruitt has obstructed progress at every available opportunity. That is the very antithesis of an Environmental Protection Agency administrator’s job description. I urge Sen. Susan Collins to vote on behalf of all Mainers — especially the youngest generation, who have no voice in these matters and who will inherit the Maine we leave for them — and reject Pruitt’s nomination to head the Environmental Protection Agency. ~ Katie Magoun, Cumberland
Concept Renderings Show Controversial Cold Storage Warehouse on Portland’s Waterfront
Maine Public - Monday, January 23, 2017 

The Port Authority of Maine has given the City of Portland an architect’s conceptual renderings of a 120,000-square-foot cold storage shipping warehouse proposed for the city’s waterfront. The facility would be built by Americold, the world’s largest cold storage company, on land owned by the Port Authority of Maine. It would expand local capacity for preserving refrigerated and frozen products such as fish, lobster, blueberries and potatoes that Eimskip and other freight companies ship between the U.S., Canada and Iceland.
Cancer claims life of renown Passamaquoddy birch bark canoe maker
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 23, 2017 

David Moses Bridges, a Passamaquoddy tribal member widely known for his craftsmanship of birch bark canoes and baskets, passed away Friday at the age of 54.
Editorial: Collins should join King in opposing EPA nominee
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 23, 2017 

The question in Maine is not whether there is climate change, but what to do about it. That’s why the U.S. Senate should reject the nomination of Scott Pruitt to be the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency. We applaud Sen. Angus King for his principled stand against the Pruitt nomination, and we encourage Sen. Susan Collins to join him. The case against Pruitt became clear during his confirmation hearing last week. He doesn’t just represent a different view on what the EPA should do – he is opposed to the mission of the agency itself.
Land trusts focusing on universal access
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 requires accommodations in work places, government buildings, public buildings and commercial facilities that allow them to be accessed by those with physical disabilities. The law does not extend to hiking trails on private lands, such as land trust preserves. Yet providing outdoor paths that can be maneuvered by people using wheelchairs, walkers or canes is something more Maine outdoor conservation groups are trying to do.
Column: Annual bird counts include interesting lingerers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

The 117th Christmas Bird Count is now over. I will discuss the highlights of some of the Maine counts concentrating on changes in regularly wintering birds, the arrival of unpredictable invaders and records of lingering birds whose wintering areas are well to our south. A rarity or two may pop up as well. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: Deer herd was prepared for a rough winter
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

Thanks to a bumper crop of acorns, deer went into winter in great shape. That should provide something of a buffer against their two greatest weather challenges: deep cold and deep snow. We had plenty of both in December, but last year ended on a somewhat positive note and things already have turned further in the deer’s favor. In the end, I guess animals have the right idea. There’s nothing we can do about the weather, so we may as well ignore it and go on about our business. Sooner or later spring will come again. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: When it comes to trees and shrubs, go native
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

Lois Berg Stack, who worked for 30 years as an ornamental horticulture specialist, retired from the University of Maine Cooperative Extension in January. I’ve held onto the notes from a 15-minute talk on New England’s indigenous fruiting trees and shrubs that Stack gave in February 2015 at New England Grows. Now is a good time to make use of these notes, both because she is retiring and because I want to keep emphasizing how important native plants are to supporting native wildlife, which evolved along with these plants. ~ Tom Atwell
Column: Climate change deniers aim to silence science
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

As Maine has struggled to build a 21st century economy, we’ve been painfully slow to accept how the world is changing around us. The Gulf of Maine is warming faster than almost any place on the planet. Sea levels in New England could rise by as much as 10.5 feet by 2100, or twice what was earlier predicted. That would put many parts of our coastline under water. Warming climates force everything to migrate north: plants, trees, animals, insects, diseases and people. The most immediate and compelling challenge we face is that our political leadership, in Maine and in the White House, just doesn’t get it. ~ Alan Caron
Letter: Sens. Collins, King urged to oppose Trump EPA pick
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 22, 2017 

The president wants someone to head the Environmental Protection Agency who has a clear record of opposing the agency and of denying climate change. Some people see an upside to climate change because it’s melting Arctic sea ice. They say Maine businesses will thrive through expanded shipping. But since the ice-turned-to-water has to go somewhere, what happens when our ports flood? And when rising costs of storm cleanup wreak havoc on our economy, what then? Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King, please remember responsibilities implied in “Dirigo.” Maine needs you to lead the opposition to Scott Pruitt as head of the EPA. ~ Elizabeth Parsons, Maine Episcopal Network for Justice
Thousands converge on Augusta for Women’s March on Maine rally
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

Thousands of people converged Saturday behind the Maine State House for causes as big as civil rights and as individual as wanting to be heard. The Women’s March on Maine, one of hundreds of events related to the Women’s March on Washington a day after the inauguration Friday of President Donald Trump, drew people from varied backgrounds from across the state for two hours to hear a slate of speakers, chant, show support and bang on drums. Joining others at the microphone was Maureen Drouin, executive director of Maine Conservation Voters.
Column: Caution is the key to staying safe on ice
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

Each year about this time, the Maine Warden Service urges us to use extreme caution before venturing out onto any ice that may be covering Maine’s waterways. This is timely advice. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Editorial: Scientists, fishermen can set the stage for a new way to protect the Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

It can seem as if fishermen and scientists are talking about two different Gulfs of Maine when they discuss the size of the cod population. Scientists document a groundfish stock in perpetual decline with an outlook that doesn’t seem to have changed much in response to increasingly restrictive limits on the amount fishermen can catch. Fishermen, meanwhile, report something different. It’s our hope that the Northeast Fisheries Science Center’s collaboration with Gulf of Maine fishermen represents an early step toward a more nuanced, participatory and successful management structure for fisheries in a diverse Gulf of Maine — a structure in which fishermen can have more faith.
Letter: LePage’s meddling in Kennebunk town business was inappropriate
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 21, 2017 

On Tuesday night, Gov. LePage surprised Kennebunk residents by showing up at a meeting of our Board of Selectmen and the Kennebunk Light & Power District Board of Trustees. The purpose of the meeting was to address dam relicensing on the Mousam River. Gov. LePage wasted valuable agenda time giving what appeared to be an extemporaneous, rambling speech that included irrelevancies on EBT cards and drug busts. His rant on federal government overreach was predictable and oh-so-tired. Mainers should be aware that their governor opted to cast aside a night of working on pressing state business in Augusta for meddling in a town’s business. It was offensive and inappropriate of him to voice partisan opinion at what was supposed to be a composed evening of fact-finding. ~ Susan A. Bloomfield, West Kennebunk
Getting Trumped
Maine Environmental News - Friday, January 20, 2017 

It remains to be seen how Donald J. Trump actually governs as U.S. President, but his run for the office should not come as a surprise. It was predictable. Indeed, it was predicted by prophets, playwrights, cartoonists, moviemakers, insightful historians, and others who could see that societies often turn to braggadocious demagogues in troubled times. Here are a few relevant, and alarming, statements predicting that a wannabe strongman afflicted with manipulative, blinding ego, such as Trump (and in at least one case, Trump himself), would emerge high in our political system catapulted by scapegoating minorities, spreading misplaced fear, and pushing false promises during a time of turmoil.
Backyard Farms names new chief for tomato growing
Morning Sentinel - Friday, January 20, 2017 

Backyard Farms has named a new head grower to oversee the company’s 42-acre greenhouse operation. Tony Stevens will be in charge of the tomato growing operation in Madison. He has 18 years of greenhouse growing experience, according to a news release from the company.
Backyard Farms also is marking 10 years of operation in Madison. Backyard Farms, which is the largest commercial grower of year-round tomatoes in New England, produces 25 million to 30 million pounds of tomatoes annually from about 600,000 plants.
Down East marine research lab expansion to begin this summer
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 20, 2017 

Having secured about $5 million in funding for the project, the University of Maine System announced Friday that it is moving ahead with a major expansion of a local applied marine research and education facility. Work on adding 8,500 square feet of added laboratory space, along with mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, is expected to get underway this summer, Dianne Tilton, executive director of Downeast Institute, said Thursday. The project also will include short-term housing for visiting scientists and students, a small visitors center and office space.
White House website scrubs reference to climate change moments after Trump takes oath
Washington Post - Friday, January 20, 2017 

Just moments after President Donald Trump took the oath of office Friday, the official White House website was transformed into a set of policy pledges that offered the broad contours of the Trump administration’s top priorities – including fierce support for gun owners’ rights and the seeming immediate elimination of the White House’s policy page on climate change. Trump vowed to eliminate “harmful and unnecessary policies” such as the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the United States rule.
Down East salmon also served during inauguration
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 20, 2017 

Maine lobster wasn’t the only Pine Tree State delicacy consumed by revelers at the inauguration of Donald Trump. Farm-raised salmon from Eastport also made the menu. Atlantic salmon raised at the Cooke Aquaculture farm in Eastport were hand selected and shipped to Washington, D.C., where they were smoked and served Thursday by the executive chef of the Blair House where Trump spent the night before his inauguration.
Lobster blood could be the next best thing to help treat warts, shingles
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 20, 2017 

Lobster industry researchers in Maine say they’ve determined that uncooked lobster hemolymph, or blood, has medicinal properties that can be used to treat viruses that cause warts and shingles. They have developed a lobster blood-based retail skin care cream called LobsteRx. The product, developed by Lobster Unlimited LLC is patented but not yet available in stores. The researchers, Bob Bayer and Cathy Billings, work for the Lobster Institute at UMaine, but Lobster Unlimited, which includes a handful of other partners, is an independent venture not affiliated with the university.
Blueberry Processor Reaches $103,613 Settlement With EPA
Associated Press - Friday, January 20, 2017 

A Maine blueberry processor has agreed to pay a $103,613 settlement to resolve federal concerns over its handling of a chemical used in refrigeration. The settlement agreed upon by Hancock Foods and the Environmental Protection Agency resolves questions surrounding the blueberry processor's handling of anhydrous ammonia and its failure to timely report a release of the chemical.
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Climate Change Deniers Aim to Silence Science

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Collins Should Join King in Opposing EPA Nominee

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