May 2, 2016  
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Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Wanted: brook trout anglers
Announcement - Wednesday, August 31, 2011 

Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, are seeking new volunteers to explore remote ponds with their rods and reels before the end of this year’s fishing season Sept. 30. The partners are looking for anglers willing to survey a total of 187 remote ponds for previously-undocumented populations of wild brook trout.
UMaine Center for Research on Sustainable Forests
Publication - Tuesday, August 30, 2011 

The University of Maine's Center for Research on Sustainable Forests has released its 2011 Annual Report.
Free Trees
Announcement - Monday, August 29, 2011 

Through the generosity of Dutton’s Greenhouse and Nursery, more than 1,000 trees, representing 75 different species, are being offered free of charge to municipalities, schools and non-profit organizations for community planting, according to Project Canopy officials. Two distribution dates in Sep and Oct will be set aside to pick up trees at Dutton’s Nursery in Morrill.
Most State Parks, Historic Sites Open
Announcement - Monday, August 29, 2011 

Maine state parks and historic sites sustained some damage to trees and shorefronts during Tropical Storm Irene, with no buildings or facilities damaged, according to officials with the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands. All but three parks opened on Monday.
Maine closing state parks and beaches
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

All coastal Maine state parks and several inland parks will be closed for day use on Sunday in anticipation of Hurricane Irene's arrival in the state, officials announced today.
White Mountain National Forest Closing
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

The USFS is issuing a closure order for the White Mountain National Forest due to potentially dangerous conditions caused by Hurricane Irene. The WMNF will close at 6 PM on Saturday, August 27 and will remain closed through Monday, August 29. All WMNF facilities will be CLOSED to the public including the trail system. This includes all backcountry shelters, which are being vacated. The Appalachian Mountain Club will also close all eight White Mountain Huts, Joe Dodge Lodge, and Highland Lodge.
Acadia National Park closing campgrounds
Announcement - Friday, August 26, 2011 

The National Park Service announced today that it will close the Blackwoods and Seawall Campgrounds at Acadia National Park at 10 a.m. on Sunday because of the predicted path of Hurricane Irene. The campgrounds will reopen when the storm has passed. In addition, the Duck Harbor Campground on Isle au Haut will close on Saturday at 11 a.m. and will reopen when conditions are safe.
Maine State House Watch: New EO mandates Gov. approve all new rules
Action Alert - Thursday, August 25, 2011 

On Aug 25, Gov. Paul LePage issued an executive order, which mandates that the Governor's Office sign off on each and every proposed rule change.
Woodcock Q&A, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

Chandler Woodcock, Commissioner of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, will lead a public question-and-answer session hosted by the Moosehead Lake Fisheries Coalition. Woodcock will answer questions about hunting, fishing and outdoors-related topics in Maine. At the Rockwood Community Center, Aug 26, 7-9 pm.
PRRT photojournalism workshop, Sep 17 & Oct 1
Announcement - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

The Penobscot River Restoration Trust is offering a free conservation photojournalism workshop Sep 17 and Oct 1, allowing a two week period in-between to go on a “photo shoot” focused on the river and the anticipated community benefits of the PRRT Project.
Pesticide Notification
Announcement - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

On September 28, the Maine agricultural pesticide notification registry will cease to exist. The law that created this registry was repealed by the Legislature in June. However, state law provides other options for notification about nearby pesticide spraying: (1) Self-Initiated Request for Notification; (2) Non-Agricultural Pesticide Notification Registry.
Lessons from puffins, terns, Aug 31
Event - Posted - Wednesday, August 24, 2011 

Susie Meadows, manager of Project Puffin, will discuss some of the factors limiting Maine seabird populations and will discuss how techniques developed by Project Puffin have led to the restoration of puffins and terns to historic nesting islands in the Gulf of Maine. At the Project Puffin Visitor Center, Rockland, Aug 31 at 5 pm.
Donn Fendler talk, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

On Aug 30, 5-6 PM, the Gardiner Public Library will host Donn Fendler as he discusses his experiences, which led to the book Lost on a Mountain in Maine by Joseph Egan.
Wildflowers, Aug 30
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 23, 2011 

Local botanists will talk about a variety of wildflowers appearing around the state this time of year and discuss their importance. At Cathance River Education Alliance, Topsham, Aug 30, 6:30 pm.
Wilton meeting to discuss open space, Aug 23
Event - Posted - Monday, August 22, 2011 

Wilton residents are invited to participate in a discussion about municipal conservation commissions and their role in assisting towns to develop open space plans. It will be facilitated by conservation resources advisor, Marcel Polak, a land conservation consultant who is working for the Maine Association of Conservation Commissions. At the Wilton Town Office, Aug 23, 7 pm.
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News Items
Stonewall Kitchen: From farmers markets to $50 million company
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Portsmouth Herald - Twenty-five years ago, specialty food purveyor Stonewall Kitchen began building its reputation by selling jams like wild Maine blueberry and roasted garlic and onion at farmers markets. Today, the company flourishes by manufacturing about 360 different foods like chipotle aioli, wasabi horseradish cream sauce, fig and walnut butter and key lime curd. Those in turn are among the 2,000 products it offers in the York store alone. The company’s approach — combining what founder Jonathan King once called a “casual chic” mindset with a sense of discovery and smart employees who understand the mission — has allowed it to grow from a farmers market stand to a company worth “north of $50 million” today, Stiker said.
How a high school program is preserving seeds of the past for future generations
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

With more than 800 varieties in its seed bank, the Medomak Valley High School Heirloom Seed Project is the oldest and one of the largest high school-based seed-saving programs in the country. “We ship seeds all over the world,” said Neil Lash, Medomak horticulture professor and director of the program. “It is really an international project.” In any given year, Lash has between 20 and 30 students working with the seed project, which began in 1991 and grew out of a horticulture class that began 20 years earlier. The idea, Lash said, is to teach the students how to grow, collect, preserve and pass along heirloom seeds to the next generation of gardeners. What began in a classroom and single greenhouse has expanded into the current 2-acre garden, two greenhouses and an arboretum. “Our students are actually doing something about preserving biodiversity,” Lash said.
UMPI professor named Fulbright Scholar
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

A Caribou resident and professor of geology at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, Dr. Kevin McCartney has been offered a U.S. Fulbright Scholar Program grant, and will spend eight months in Poland to continue his research in the field of micropaleontology. McCartney’s research involves a group of organisms called silicoflagellates. He hopes by studying them, he can shed light on the history — and future — of the earth’s climate.
LePage’s frustration with job is evident
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

It was a tough week for Gov. Paul LePage, who appears to have reached a new level of frustration with the news media, the Legislature and a lack of progress on his key policy initiatives. Peter Steele, the governor’s communications director, said LePage remains relevant in Maine politics, noting his recent success in blocking the expansion of MaineCare for the sixth time and a solar power bill. Kenneth Palmer, a professor emeritus of political science at the University of Maine, said with a little more than two years left in his second and final term, LePage is approaching the point where most chief executives and governors become less relevant and less able to get things done.
Re-Fridge turns a cool profit for Bates College entrepreneur
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Mitch Newlin of Brunswick, a junior at Bates College in Lewiston, started a business that buys and sells used dorm refrigerators. Re-Fridge now serves 17 colleges and universities.
Bay State joins Maine fight to prevent European ban on North American lobster
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Massachusetts is joining Maine to fight a possible ban on North American lobster by the European Union. All 11 members of the Massachusetts congressional delegation sent a letter Friday to the Obama administration urging it to work with its European counterparts to continue the trans- Atlantic trade of lobsters. The delegation has joined Maine lawmakers to fight concerns raised by Sweden that the American crustacean poses an invasive threat to its own native lobster species. Maine lobstermen hauled 121 million pounds of lobster in 2015, worth $510 million, the largest lobster fishery in the nation. Massachusetts is second, hauling in more than 15 million pounds a year. In 2014, Massachusetts landings generated about $68 million.
Mild winter heats up efforts to protect Casco Bay’s clams
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Soft-shell clams are a summer tradition around Casco Bay, both for the tourists and residents who love steamers and for the clam diggers who turn long, backbreaking hours on the mud flats into cold, hard cash. But an infestation of invasive green crabs ravaged juvenile clam stocks in the past four years, adding to ecological changes, competition for coastal access and other pressures facing the state’s second most valuable fishery. Clam landings in the Casco Bay communities of Freeport, Harpswell and Brunswick plummeted to historic lows in 2015, and the scarcity of soft-shell clams contributed to all-time high prices. While some shellfish managers say clam populations have rebounded thanks to a few cold winters that killed off green crabs, harvesters are anxious that the mild winter this year could produce a resurgence of green crabs and throw the fragile industry into a tailspin.
Maine biologists work on a better brown trout strain
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Maine is not a hotbed for brown trout, which are stocked and not native. However, the state is working on changing that by trying to come up with a strain of hatchery-raised browns that are robust and more catchable, or at least more prolific. Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife biologist Francis Brautigam said the state has been working since 2003 to come up with a brood stock that will show better “field performance,” especially in terms of survival and abundance. IFW is testing a strain of brown trout from Massachusetts, another from Connecticut, and one created from eggs from different states. The study will continue until 2020 before biologists decide the best brood stock to use in Maine.
Column: Flickers and sapsuckers are back, alongside more hardy woodpeckers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Hairy woodpeckers and downy woodpeckers are common at feeders and in woodlands. Pileated woodpeckers are fairly common birds, seen less frequently than one would expect based on their crow-size bodies and raucous vocalizations. Red-bellied woodpeckers have been increasing in Maine over the past two decades and are now regularly seen. Our two three-toed woodpeckers – the black-backed and the American – are infrequently encountered. We have two other woodpeckers in Maine that are migratory. The first is the northern flicker. Our other migratory woodpecker is the yellow-bellied sapsucker. Flickers and sapsuckers, it’s good to have you back. ~ Herb Wilson
Column: It’s Worth the Trip: Midcoast gems, ready to enjoy
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

One of the great things about Maine is you don’t have to assault the 4,000-footers in the western Longfellow Mountains, or scramble the headlands along the Down East coast, or stroll the miles of beach between Portland and Kittery to really get a taste of the state and enjoy fabulous outdoor summer fun. Here are three special destinations in the midcoast that are well worth the trip and can be knocked off in one memorable day: Beech Hill Preserve in Rockport, Fernald’s Neck Preserve in Lincolnville, and Tanglewood in Camden Hills State Park. ~ John Christie
Column: Watch and learn, then take advantage for a successful turkey hunt
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Often the biggest decision you’ll make during turkey season is where you’ll begin the day. Most folks have a good idea before they strike out, but the best-laid plans of hunters often go astray and your first stop may not be your last. You might want to consider planning out your entire day. ~ Bob Humphrey
Opinion: Passenger train service to L-A a no-go
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

Enough already! Is railroad history at Brunswick about to repeat itself at Lewiston-Auburn? Both cities have joined Maine Department of Transportation in funding a $500,000 study of a potential passenger-service extension from Portland, as was done with Amtrak’s Downeaster route to Brunswick. ~ George Betke Jr.
Letter: Utah national monument is inspiring model for Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

In an op-ed about the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument in Utah the president of the Escalante-Boulder Chamber of Commerce points to the creation of the national monument as a reason why the small town is thriving. That’s the kind of story I would like to see from Millinocket, East Millinocket, Medway, Patten, Mount Chase or any other town in the Katahdin region. And that’s why I support the creation of a national monument as a first step to a national park and national recreation area near my hometown. We could have our own asset like that. All we have to do is say “yes.”, Avern Danforth, Millinocket
Letter: Passenger rail service to Brunswick is major boon
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 01, 2016 

There is a legitimate concern regarding the cost-ridership ratio of the Downeaster service to Brunswick. However, before rushing to judgment consider: More economical, self-propelled diesel equipment could be used for rail service in Maine. Demand will grow as additional frequencies are added to the schedule. Construction of the Brunswick layover facility will alter the schedule so that all five Downeaster trains will originate and terminate in Brunswick. The service has resulted in millions of dollars in private investment. Expansion of passenger rail also provides greater mobility choices for millennials and seniors, cuts costs, eases traffic congestion, reduces pollution, mitigates climate change, and creates future growth opportunities that generate new jobs. ~ Richard Rudolph, Rail Users’ Network, Portland, and Jack Sutton, Maine Rail Group, Belgrade


Column: Safety tips for hunting turkeys
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

In most Wildlife Management Districts, spring turkey hunting in Maine begins a half hour before sunrise on May 2. There is a special Youth Day that is held April 30th. There is probably no better way to introduce a youngster to hunting than in the turkey woods. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Disobedience
350.org - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Disobedience is a new film about a new phase of the climate movement: courageous action that is being taken on the front lines of the climate crisis on every continent, led by regular people fed up with the power and pollution of the fossil fuel industry.
Melt of vast underwater glaciers worries scientists
Washington Post - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Meltwater on the top of an ice sheet finds its way to beneath the surface, further speeding ice loss. Much about the planet’s future will depend on processes that humans today cannot directly observe – because they are occurring hundreds of miles below the sea surface where enormous marine glaciers, in Greenland and Antarctica, simultaneously touch the ocean and the seafloor. The more we learn about this crucial yet inscrutable place, the more worrying it seems.
Regulators scale back at-sea cod monitors in New England
Associated Press - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

The amount of at-sea monitoring that New England’s cod fishermen will be required to submit to will be reduced in the coming fishing year, federal regulators have decided. At-sea monitors are workers who collect data on fishing trips that helps inform fishing regulations. The government shifted the cost of paying for the monitors from itself to fishermen in the New England groundfishery earlier this year in a decision that riled the industry.
State to extend multiuse Sunrise Trail into central Ellsworth
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

The Down East Sunrise Trail soon will be a little bit longer and a whole lot closer to the city’s main commercial strip. The State has awarded a contract to extend the western end of the multiuse trail, which stretches more than 80 miles from Hancock to Pembroke. The project will lengthen the trail by approximately 2 miles west from Washington Junction in Hancock into Ellsworth, bringing it within a few yards of the central thoroughfare that guides scores of tourist vehicles every summer to and from Mount Desert Island and Acadia National Park. Trail riders with all-terrain vehicles or snowmobiles, which usually are hauled around on trailers towed behind pickup trucks, will be encouraged to continue parking at the existing trailhead at Washington Junction.
This week’s wacky wildlife news from afar
Maine Environmental News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

Believe it or not.
Opinion: Elephants won’t forget that a long crusade on their behalf began here
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

On Sunday in Providence, Rhode Island, Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus is scheduled to have its last performance using elephants. The 146-year-old tradition, which has been deeply ingrained in our culture, will end. The end of this tradition brings much joy and relief among many in the animal protection movement. It has been a long, hard battle, one in which Maine was very much a part. Win each battle to end cruelty, no matter how seemingly insignificant, and animal advocates will win the war to bring animal protection into mainstream thinking. ~ Robert Fisk Jr., Maine Friends of Animals
Letter: LePage lacks business sense
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

After following Gov. Paul LePage for several years, I would not bet the farm on his business ability. In 2013, the Maine Public Utilities Commission finalized an initial agreement with Statoil to develop an offshore wind power project on the Maine coast. Statoil was to invest $120 million in the project and Maine ratepayers were supposed to contribute to this effort. Maine was poised to become first state in the nation to develop offshore wind power. LePage pressured the Legislature to change the rules in the bidding process, favoring instead UMaine. Shortly afterward, Statoil withdrew its Maine project. By chasing Statoil away from Maine, LePage managed to deprive Maine people of badly needed jobs and investment dollars. When mills close, he blames others, usually with an angry tirade. ~ Robert D. Tweedie, Westfield
Letter: I-395/Route 9 connector sad
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 30, 2016 

It is sad to think of what our currently peaceful neighborhood will be like once the I-395/Route 9 connector is built. It is sad that we wasted years with public meetings with the Department of Transportation, which promised the towns and residents a voice in how and where this connector would be built, or not built. It is sad that we taxpayers will be dishing out $61 million or more for a road when the state can’t keep up with repairs to the roads and bridges we already have. It is sad that since this project started in 2000 traffic patterns, mill closings and other changes in our area do not change a thing. It is sad that more people don’t check out the truth. It’s just plain sad. ~ Carol and Vinal Smith, Brewer
Electric vehicle chargers ‘the next logical step’ for inn that aims to be sustainable
Kennebec Journal - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Scott Cowger said he and his partner, Vince Hannan, have a deep-rooted philosophy about being “green” and sustainable at their Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center. As part of their mission to continue to be environmentally friendly innkeepers, they installed two electric vehicle chargers Thursday. “We did a wind turbine, then solar, and put in LED lighting throughout the inn several years ago,” Cowger said. “This was the next logical step.” Cowger, a former Democratic state legislator, said businesses and individuals have a responsibility to help fight climate change by minimizing their footprints and impacts. In November 2005, the inn was named the state’s first “environmental leader” green lodging inn by the Department of Environmental Protection.
127th Maine Legislature wrap-up of environmental issues
Maine Environmental News - Friday, April 29, 2016 

Here is a summary of what happened with key bills on environmental and conservation issues dealt with by the 127th Maine Legislature. It is based on information from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine Environmental Priorities Coalition, Maine Legislative Information Office, and other sources.
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