December 1, 2015  
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Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Maine Grassroots Climate Action Conference, Dec 12
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 01, 2015 

This all-day event features presentations by Mainers working to develop community solar farms and create town solar programs, energy efficiency outreach, plastic bag bans, and community gardens in their local communities. Workshops on obtaining funding for these efforts, community organizing, etc. At UMaine at Augusta, December 12, 9:30 am - 4 pm.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to nearly 40,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
MST Poll: National Monument
Action Alert - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Maine Sunday Telegram Poll: Should the Obama administration designate more than 100,000 acres of forest land in the Katahdin region as a national monument?
The National Parks: An American Legacy
Publication - Saturday, November 28, 2015 

America’s national parks and historical sites are windows to our past, homes to some of our rarest plant and animal species, and places where every American can go to find inspiration, peace, and open space. As seen through the eyes of photographer Ian Shive, America’s national park system comes to life in this collection of more than 300 never-before-seen images.
Waterfowl Walk, Giant's Stairs, Dec 5
Event - Posted - Saturday, November 28, 2015 

Join John Berry to learn about waterfowl you can see from the Giant’s Stairs Trail on Bailey’s Island in Harpswell, Dec 5, 8:30-10:30 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon and Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
MOFGA Calendar
Event - Posted - Friday, November 27, 2015 

Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association upcoming events.
Go Wild: Restoring Maine's Wild Atlantic Salmon, Dec 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 26, 2015 

Dwayne Shaw, Director of Downeast Salmon Federation, will describe how DSF is fighting to restore the critically endangered wild Atlantic salmon to Maine's rivers east of the Penobscot. Artist Susie O'Keeffe will present a multimedia piece on the wild salmon of Southeast Alaska's ancient forests. At Frontier, Brunswick, Dec 3, 5:30 pm.
The Future of Maine Fisheries, Dec 2
Event - Posted - Wednesday, November 25, 2015 

Nicholas Record speaks about the collapse of the cod fishing in Maine. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, November 2, 4 pm.
Acadia National Park pass half-price sale
Announcement - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 

Annual entrance passes for Acadia National Park will be on sale at half-price from Dec. 1–31 at the park headquarters visitor center.
Emerson, Muir, Thoreau: A Photographic Trilogy of American Wildness, Dec 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 

Scot Miller will give a multi-media presentation titled "Emerson, Muir, Thoreau: A Photographic Trilogy of American Wildness" at University of Maine at Presque Isle, Dec 1, 7 pm.
Two-timing it on the Appalachian Trail, Dec 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, November 24, 2015 

Join Carey Kish as he describes in words and images his recent 189-day, 2,189-mile trek on the Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine. Discover how much the trail has changed since Kish first hiked it 38 years ago as an 18-year old kid fresh out of Bangor High School, and get tips for planning your own AT thru-hike. At Epic Sports, Bangor, Dec 1, 6 pm.
CREAtive Walk at CREA, Nov 29
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 22, 2015 

A special CREAtive Walk will take place with special guest Ananta Giri, a visiting poet/philosopher/professor from India. At Cathance River Nature Preserve, Topsham, Nov 29, 9 am.
Trails of History, Nov 27
Event - Posted - Friday, November 20, 2015 

Bar Harbor author Tom St. Germain rereleases his guide to Mount Desert Island’s hiking trails, “Trails of History,” At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, Nov 27, 7 pm.
Stop gutting funding of our conservation lands
Action Alert - Tuesday, November 17, 2015 

On Nov 18, the U.S. House Natural Resource Committee will discuss a proposal by Rep. Bishop (Utah) to gut the Land & Water Conservation Fund program, which is used to protect our National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, National Forests, historic sites, and the Appalachian Trail as well as local parks and recreation areas. It would also substantially cut Forest Legacy allocations. Maine has received more than $172 million for LWCF and Forest Legacy projects, which has leveraged millions more in state and private funds. Urge U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine to reject Bishop's proposal and to support LWCF Reauthorization (H.R. 1814).
Maine Farm, Fish and Food Innovation Challenge, Nov 22
Event - Posted - Sunday, November 15, 2015 

The final day of the Maine Farm, Fish and Food Innovation Challenge seeks to sustainable business models to get more Maine produced food and harvested fish to local and regional markets. Barton Seaver, Director of the Sustainable Seafood and Health Initiative at Harvard School of Public Health, will speak about Empowering Food Economies. At Bowdoin College, Kresge Auditorium, Brunswick, Nov 22, 2:15-3:45 pm.
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News Items
Madison Electric seeking bids on solar project
Morning Sentinel - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Madison Electric Works is the latest utility company to propose what would be the largest solar panel project in the state if it is built. The publicly owned utility company is seeking proposals for a 4-megawatt solar project to be located in the Madison Business Park. The company would buy power from the bid winner at a fixed price for between 20 and 30 years, eventually purchasing the solar facility. In addition to Madison, a group in Gouldsboro is working on developing solar projects that would exceed Bowdoin College’s 1.2-megawatt solar farm, which is the largest in the state. A plan for a 10- to 20-megawatt project in Winslow fell apart two weeks ago when the landowner and solar company couldn’t agree on contract terms.
World leaders tackle monumental problem: How to prevent Earth from overheating
Associated Press - Monday, November 30, 2015 

With dramatic vows to save future generations from an overheated planet, the largest gathering ever of world leaders began two weeks of talks Monday aimed at producing the most far-reaching pact yet to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and avert environmental havoc. Even before the gathering, more than 180 countries pledged to cut or curb their emissions, but scientific analyses show that much bigger reductions would be needed to limit man-made warming of the Earth to 3.8 degrees Fahrenheit over pre-industrial times, the internationally agreed-upon goal.
UNE says donated island will become ‘living laboratory’
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The University of New England has begun using an island two miles off the coast of Saco as a “living laboratory” to study ocean life and the effects of climate change thanks to a Portland real estate developer who gave the family property to the school. “It’s kind of a marine biology dream,” Barry Costa-Pierce, chairman of the UNE marine sciences department, said of Ram Island. “We plan on being a steward of a place that’s really special.” Donated by Art Girard, the one-acre island roughly doubles in size at low tide, Costa-Pierce said. The island and its surrounding waters are home to migrating songbirds, lounging harbor seals, lots of dogfish sharks and various intertidal flora and fauna, he said. Girard, whose family bought it for $140,000 in 1999, said Monday that the gift to the local university was “a match made in heaven.”
LePage to be featured speaker at ALEC policy summit
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Gov. Paul LePage will be a featured speaker this week at the American Legislative Exchange Council’s States and National Policy Summit in Arizona. The American Legislative Exchange Council, known by most as “ALEC,” has become increasingly influential as it has ramped up efforts to push a conservative national agenda in the states, including opposing efforts to fight climate change. The organization is funded heavily by the Koch brothers, who are among the nation’s top donors to conservative political campaigns and as such, regular targets for progressive groups and pundits.
Poliquin to submit bill limiting ability to designate national monuments
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin said he will submit legislation to Congress Monday that would limit President Barack Obama’s ability to designate national monuments without first receiving approval from host governors and state legislatures. Poliquin said for the first time that he opposes granting national monument status to 87,500 acres east of Baxter State Park, a move that he believes would draw significant opposition from Katahdin region residents who oppose making a national park and recreation area of the same parcel.
Heat Pumps Catching On, Even Gov. LePage Loves Them
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Maine is home to lots of big, beautiful old houses, that are expensive to heat in the winter and to keep cool during the warmer months. It's a problem at the Blaine House in Augusta, the official of residence of the governors of Maine for nearly a century. But now the Blaine House has has joined a growing number of homes and businesses that are turning new technology to cut down on heating costs. "The heating system was atrocious, costing somewheres around $40,000 a year, I'm told to heat the place," says LePage. "So we have cut that down by seventy five percent." Some 11,000 units have installed in maine this past year. Mike Stoddard, Executive Director of the Efficiency Maine, says the agency is offering a $500 rebate on the cost of buying and installing a heat pump system and the program is very popular.
EPA Admin Tours Maine Farm As Backdrop For Drinking Water Rules Explanation
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The Environmental Protection Administration chief was in Maine this morning, trying to re-assure Maine's smaller farmers that a new, clean water rule won't affect them. But national farm groups are saying they don't buy it.
Panel won’t recommend LePage’s timber harvest plan
Bangor Daily News - Monday, November 30, 2015 

A legislative commission won’t recommend Gov. Paul LePage’s proposal to fund energy upgrades for low-income Mainers with revenue from increased timber harvesting on public land. It wasn’t among suggestions in a draft of a report to be presented to a legislative committee this month by a panel formed to study the state’s Public Reserved Lands Management Fund, making LePage’s plan unlikely to advance in 2016. The commission cited the opinion of Maine Attorney General Janet Mills, who has said that taking $5 million from the fund — which had a $7 million balance in July and contains money from sales of timber on state property — for that purpose may not hold up if challenged in court.
EPA chief meets with Maine farmers amid controversy over water quality rules
Portland Press Herald - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Gina McCarthy, the top administrator of the EPA, met with a small group of farmers and other interested parties gathered at Westbrook’s Smiling Hill Farm on Monday. McCarthy came to Maine at the invitation of U.S. Sen. Angus King less than a month after the Senate passed a resolution to scrap new rules intended to protect smaller streams, tributaries and wetlands because of concerns that the rules could subject farmers and developers to costly new permitting and regulations. While President Obama has vowed to veto the resolution, a federal court has suspended the rules as lawsuits against the EPA proceed.
Some 150 World Leaders Gather In Paris For U.N. Climate Conference
National Public Radio - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Nearly 150 world leaders are gathered near Paris for what is being billed as a last-chance summit to avoid catastrophic climate change. This is the biggest diplomatic meeting in France since 1948. During his opening speech, President Obama said that "no nation — large or small, wealthy or poor — is immune" to the effects of climate change.
Opinion: Obama’s power plan power grab
Washington Post - Monday, November 30, 2015 

It would obviously be irresponsible for an outgoing president to purport to sign the American people up to international commitments based on a domestic energy plan that is likely illegal, that half the states have sued to halt, that Congress has voted to reject and that his successor could do away with in a few months’ time. But that’s just what President Barack Obama is proposing to do at the United Nations climate conference in Paris this week. ~ Mitch McConnell (R), majority leader, U.S. Senate
Kyoto Treaty Fizzled, But Climate Talkers Insist Paris Is Different
National Public Radio - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Delegates from nearly 200 nations are in Paris to negotiate a new agreement to curb global warming. The first such meeting took place 18 years ago in Kyoto, Japan — a conference that produced the first international treaty aimed at slowing climate change. That attempt failed. Scientists say the planet is closer than ever to a climate catastrophe. So this time, the climatocracy has devised a radically new approach, requesting all countries to come up with voluntary limits on greenhouse gasses. The new plan also offers poorer countries cash to help offset their costs.
Leaders of warming Earth meet in Paris to cut emissions
Associated Press - Monday, November 30, 2015 

Addressing the twin threats of global warming and extremist violence, 151 world leaders kicked off two weeks of high-stakes climate talks outside Paris on Monday, saying that by striking an ambitious deal to cut emissions that are warming the planet they can show terrorists what countries can do when they stand together.
Editorial: Weyco-Plum Creek merger will cement arrogance
Other - Monday, November 30, 2015 

The Daily Astorian (WA) - Studying a map of Weyerhaeuser and Plum Creek’s timberland ownership is like trying to read tea leaves in an effort to discern the future of forest communities. Across large swaths of rural America, the proposed merger of these huge landowners will have very tangible consequences. Post-merger, the combined company will be the nation’s largest private landowner. Weyerhaeuser is already so big it effectively doesn’t care what anybody thinks. The long history of concentrating land ownership in fewer hands strongly suggests that such arrogance will be further cemented by this marriage between two giants of America’s corporate “landed gentry.” There will a relentless focus on the bottom line, forest access will be restricted, workers will be squeezed and state legislatures will comply with what Weyco wants.
Letter: Maine would benefit from reduction in carbon emissions
Kennebec Journal - Monday, November 30, 2015 

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree’s Nov. 12 column, “Pingree: We can’t afford to be blindsided by ocean acidification,” concerning acidification’s current and future effect on the Gulf of Maine, was insightful and thought provoking. She called for more study of the problem. While I agree that more study of the impacts and of potential remedies is justified, there is more we can and should do. Ocean acidification is the direct result of carbon emissions from fossil fuel. A carbon fee and dividend program would send a clear economic message that other forms of energy are preferable and less damaging to the gulf, as well as to public health and the climate. ~ Andrews Tolman, Readfield
The Forks hopes a rebound in the deer population brings in the big bucks
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Call it luck. Or maybe it’s back-to-back mild winters a few years ago after several brutal ones. Maybe it’s the large, organized coyote kill. Or the local deer-feeding program. Or a change in forest practices. Maybe it’s all of the above, but one thing appears to be true: The deer herd in The Forks region, where the Kennebec River meets the Dead River in northern Somerset County, appears to be rebounding, locals say. The rebound is not only in deer numbers, but also in an increase of mature, big deer.
New initiative will allot billions to pursuing clean energy innovations
Associated Press - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Government and business leaders are banking on clean energy technology to fight global warming, kicking off this week’s high-stakes climate change negotiations by pledging tens of billions of dollars for research and development. The “ambitious” multibillion-dollar effort to develop clean energies initially involves eight countries: France, the U.S., India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Australia, Canada and Norway. These countries would pledge to double their spending on low or no-carbon energy.
‘No Planet B,’ marchers worldwide tell leaders before UN climate summit
Reuters - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

More than half a million people from Australia to Paraguay joined the biggest day of climate change activism in history Sunday, telling world leaders gathering for a summit in Paris there is “No Planet B” in the fight against global warming. An estimated 10,000 people joined arms to form a human chain through Paris along the 2-mile route of the banned march. About 683,000 people attended more than 2,000 rallies around the world. All sides say pledges made in Paris will be insufficient to limit a rise in global temperatures to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels, widely viewed as a threshold for dangerous changes in the planet’s climate system.
Worldwide climate rallies draw tens of thousands
Associated Press - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Tens of thousands of people have taken part in rallies around the world on Sunday, calling on leaders to halt climate change on the eve of a major conference in Paris. Because of a state of emergency in France imposed after the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, many of the rallies are taking place outside the country.
Chatting About the Ethics of Wildlife Management
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

After my recent blog on the ethics of wildlife management, I got a call from Bob Duchesne. Bob is a birding tour guide, Legislator, and host of the weekly radio show Bob Duchesne’s Wild Maine. Bob suggested that we sit down and discuss some of the issues that my blog raised for him. I think we both had an enjoyable time and I am happy to share with you the show that ran on Saturday morning November 28. You can listen to our chat.
Test your deer knowledge with this quiz
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

The firearm hunting season for deer is over, which means that some of us have had plenty of time to sit in the woods and ponder questions like, “How fast do a mature buck’s antlers grow?” “Is freewill an illusion?” and “Will I ever get my deer?” You might think that you know a lot about deer — where to find them, what they eat, how they move — but are you a real expert? Outdoor Hub built this quiz designed to test just that. It also has a “hard edition,” in case you ace this one.
A national park or a national monument? North Woods groups shift focus
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Unable to convince members of Maine's congressional delegation to introduce legislation for a North Woods national park, supporters are now hoping President Obama will use his authority to designate a national monument as a step toward eventual park status.
Gorham resident Jock Robie makes compost with the help of several thousand worms
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

Worm composting, or vermiculture, makes the world a better place in many ways. Most immediately, it keeps food scraps, which are mostly water, out of the solid-waste system – which in Greater Portland is an electricity-producing incinerator, where wet food scraps hinder the process. Even better, it’s an easy-to-use method of getting rid of your food waste, and it produces a fertilizer that makes your plants grow like crazy.
Community college links culinary and agriculture programs for farm-to-table focus
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

In the rolling hills of central Maine, the farm fields are brown and full of stubble. But in the high tunnels at Kennebec Valley Community College, late-autumn crops are thriving. Katherine Creswell, the college’s farm manager, shows off the bounty. At the college’s new culinary school, the freezers have been packed with the farm’s summer harvest to get the students through their winter cooking classes. Kennebec Valley is one of the last of Maine’s community colleges to offer a culinary arts program. But it is the first in the state to have its own certified organic farm and a two-year degree in sustainable agriculture. Last fall, the college linked the two programs, creating the “Center for Farm-to-Table Innovation” at its new Harold Alfond Campus.
Rising sea levels should be a wake-up call
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, November 29, 2015 

From the vantage point of Maine’s rocky coast, rising seas may seem like a prospect remote in space and time. Yet the water is moving in. Even for those not caught this fall in Portland’s thigh-high Bayside flood, when a deluge coincided with one of the year’s highest “king tides,” the images from that day represented a wake-up call. Some scientists have dubbed the international climate talks that begin Monday in Paris “humanity’s last chance saloon” – the final opportunity to reset our course and prevent a world of calamitous flooding, drought, displacement and economic devastation. Even if negotiators succeed in securing strong international agreements there, we are entering uncharted waters. We have set forces in motion that are going to reshape the face of the Earth for centuries to come.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Winter farmers markets expand across Maine
By Kathleen Pierce - Frost may be glittering in the grass, but that doesn’t mean you can’t eat fresh and healthy during the coldest months of the year. And you can support your local grower, too.
11/28/2015 11:00:00 PM

Community college links culinary and agriculture programs for farm-to-table focus
By Meredith Goad - Kennebec Valley students cook with produce and meats raised on the college's certified organic farm, the first program of its kind in Maine.
11/28/2015 11:00:00 PM

Multi-toxin resistance enables pink bollworm survival on Bt cotton
In an attempt to counter pest resistance to Bt crops, many growers have switched from GM crops that produce one Bt toxin to those producing two or more Bt toxins that kill the same pest. The idea behind such “pyramid” crops is that insects resistant to one toxin are killed by another. But in a laboratory study, researchers produced rapid resistance in pink bollworms to two-toxin Bt cotton.
11/27/2015 11:00:00 PM

Tallest chestnut tree in North America found in Maine
By Nick McCrea - Lovell, Maine: The tallest chestnut tree in North America has been discovered in a small Maine town near the New Hampshire border, and the American Chestnut Foundation expects to make the measurement official Wednesday. At 115 feet in height, it’s believed to be a full 20 feet taller than its next closest known competitor.
11/27/2015 11:00:00 PM

GM soy produces less than non-GMO – university study
By Claire Robinson - Monsanto’s Intacta RR2 PRO soybeans are outperformed by non-GM soybeans in the major soy-producing regions of Brazil, according to new scientific study reported in Valor Econômico. Intacta soybeans contain genes for tolerance to glyphosate herbicide and a Bt insecticidal toxin.
11/26/2015 11:00:00 PM

Jobs will outnumber grads in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources or environment
From 2015 to 2020 there will be 57,900 average annual openings for graduates with bachelor’s or higher degrees in food, agriculture, renewable natural resources, or the environment, says a report by Purdue University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But not enough graduates are expected to be experts in those fields, says the report.
11/26/2015 11:00:00 PM

Open Season Is Seen in Gene Editing of Animals
By Amy Harmon - Sioux Center, Iowa: Other than the few small luxuries afforded them, like private access to a large patch of grass, there was nothing to mark the two hornless dairy calves born last spring at a breeding facility here as early specimens in a new era of humanity’s dominion over nature. But unlike a vast majority of their dairy brethren, these calves, both bulls, will never sprout horns.
11/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Report Release: Outsmarting Nature?
Paris - Some of the world’s largest agro-industrial corporations will be flying the flag for ‘climate-smart agriculture’ at the upcoming Climate Summit. They will claim that hi-tech crops and intensive industrial agriculture are needed to rescue farmers (and the hungry) from a warming world – a claim widely dismissed by peasant movements and civil society groups. A new report today from ETC Group and Heinrich Böll Foundation uncovers plans to use a clutch of extreme biotechnology approaches known as Synthetic Biology to move forward this industrial ‘climate-smart’ agenda.
11/25/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

A National Park or a National Monument? North Woods Groups Shift Focus

Unable to convince members of Maine’s congressional delegation to introduce legislation for a North W...

11/30/2015 2:29:58 PM

Don’t Buy New Clothes

Most people don’t realize that an average of 10 to 15 percent of fabric used to make new clothes is d...

11/30/2015 4:00:15 AM

List and Save

Make your grocery list before you leave the house as a way to avoid buying items you really don’t nee...

11/29/2015 5:29:47 PM

Reusable Thanksgiving

Hosting Thanksgiving? Skip disposable utensils and show off your special china. Cloth napkins add warmth an...

11/27/2015 4:00:20 AM

Stock Up on Reusables

Get ready for those Thanksgiving leftovers with plenty of earth-friendly reusable containers. To view more ...

11/26/2015 4:00:25 AM

Pan of Attack

Don’t wash that mountain of Thanksgiving dishes under continuously running hot water. Instead, fill a...

11/25/2015 4:00:33 AM

My Maine This Week: Bill Amos

This photo, titled, “Selfie on Tumbledown Mountain,” was the winner of our “I Love Our Ma...

11/24/2015 8:45:25 AM

Get Crafty

Rather than waste money and resources on a holiday centerpiece you may not use again, make your own using p...

11/24/2015 4:00:39 AM
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