July 24, 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
Opinion: Here are 3 reasons why it’s time to stop burning forests for energy
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The assertion from stakeholders that advocate woody biomass as a carbon neutral renewable energy source is misleading and scientifically inaccurate. Maine has a golden opportunity to become a global leader in developing advanced carbon management practices that spur new industries and jobs in forestry, agriculture and environmental science. I implore Maine’s biomass industry stakeholders, policymakers and higher education systems to rethink their woody biomass policy positions and to help establish a biomass energy public forum that addresses the important environmental issues associated with using forest bioenergy. ~ Brett Leuenberger
Power plants, happy with high electric rates, fight natural gas expansion
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Almost everyone agrees that the cost of electricity in Maine and New England is too high. Almost everyone, that is, except the region’s power plant owners. They’ve recently stepped up their opposition to plans aimed at lowering wholesale natural gas prices by expanding pipeline capacity. These plans would pump more fuel to power plants when electricity demand peaks, increasing supply to gas-fired generators that now provide half of the region’s power. Don’t look for these power generators to be marching around with protest signs that denounce climate change, or raising their voices at town meetings where pipeline routes are debated. Their fight is being waged quietly in legal filings at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
New center in Carrabassett Valley brings outdoors to those with disabilities
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Since Albiston and her husband, Bruce, opened the new Adaptive Outdoor Education Center below Sugarloaf in December, it has been slowly introduced to dozens of Mainers with disabilities. The Albistons built the center with their own money, erecting a spacious lodge with a kitchen and several bunk rooms, a challenge course, and a yurt for meals, craft making and dancing. Their goal is to offer a center with outdoor activities and the necessary adaptive equipment for people with all disabilities, as well as a lodge where they can stay overnight to experience Maine’s mountains and lakes.
Ski industry experts voice concerns about Saddleback’s future if area remains idle
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

In the year since owners of Saddleback Mountain announced they might be forced to close the ski area outside Rangeley, two things are clear: Nobody knows when or if Saddleback will reopen. And the longer it sits idle, the harder it will be to rebuild the business. Saddleback drew between 80,000 and 100,000 skiers in its last few seasons of operation and was the third-largest employer in the winter in Franklin County with 350 employees.
Column: Exploring Bath’s Thorne Head Preserve
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

On a recent weekday afternoon, I steered off Route 1 and made my way to the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s signature property, the 96-acre Thorne Head Preserve in Bath. On the way to the head’s scenic overlook, you’ll pass through mixed woods, a marsh and a couple small vernal pools, where salamanders and frogs are likely to be enjoying the conserved land. The varied terrain and plant life – more than 100 plant species, according to KELT – attract deer, foxes, raccoons, mink and other wildlife. ~ Jake Christie
Column: Cranes find new breeding ground in Maine
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

In 2000 and 2001, Scott Melvin documented breeding by a pair of sandhill cranes at the southern end of Messalonskee Lake in Kennebec County. This exciting discovery was the first record of breeding by this species in the state. Multiple pairs now nest in this area. In addition, Maine birders have found other sandhill cranes in the late spring and summer. Locations include North Yarmouth, Auburn, Leeds, Chelsea, Manchester, Fryeburg, Smithfield, New Gloucester, Orland, Surry, Unity and Mount Desert Island. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Nestle draws from aquifer Mainers pay to keep pure
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

I was so looking forward to your Poland Spring article (“Poland Spring reaches high water mark,” June 26). I was flabbergasted when I was only into the second paragraph and read: “Bottled water is merely a different version of something that every American connected to a municipal water system already gets for free.” Really? Water from our tap is not free. We not only pay for the water (sometimes in higher rent), but we pay even more for its disposal, and that is the very reason why it is unfair and unjust to allow commercial enterprises to suck water out of our aquifers without reimbursing the people of Maine for the costs we have incurred keeping it pristine. ~ Bradford Norris, Cape Elizabeth
Letter: Collins, King should lead effort for monument
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Having worked in the forest products industry, I had hoped the Maine Forest Products Council had this vision of balance, but they do not. This national monument is a healthy balance: beautiful land nested in three watersheds; with panorama that perfectly exemplifies interior Maine, culturally and historically rich, preserved, shared and managed in iconic national monument designation – most certainly desirable to those who live in concrete jungles and to those who live here. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King should be leading the support for the Maine Woods National Monument. ~ Georgia Manzo, Millinocket
Letter: Monument not a good idea
Sun Journal - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The proposed Maine North Woods National Monument [sic] includes some 186,000 [sic] acres of mostly clear-cut and a river that runs through it. As proposed, it would abut Baxter State Park. I have read stories about how the proposed park would create thousands of jobs, but they would be only seasonal. Those who support the idea of a monument are businesses — they would be the ones to reap the harvest. The majority of local people are being ignored. ~ Jean Arsenault, Mexico
Portland researchers are trying to rebuild Massachusetts’ loon population
Associated Press - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

Once found throughout Massachusetts, common loons began returning in the 1970s, but the state still only has 45 breeding pairs. The Biodiversity Research Institute in Portland is working to increase the population.
Column: Boucher boats among the best around
Sun Journal - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

If you look closely, especially in the garages, barns and back workshops of Maine people, you will discover people making things with their hands, talented, creative people with the gift of true craftsmanship. Pete Boucher from Hampden is one of those people. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Federal government will help fund removal of Whitefield dam
Associated Press - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

The federal government will pay nearly $400,000 to help remove an aging dam on the Sheepscott River to allow imperiled fish species such as the Atlantic salmon to pass through. The removal of the Cooper Dam in Whitefield will allow species such as the salmon and herring to return to their natural habitat. The project is especially important because of New England’s current lobster bait shortage. Herring are key lobster bait fish. NOAA is giving the grant money to the Atlantic Salmon Federation. It will help finance a dam removal project that will cost nearly $800,000 in total. The project will be finished by 2018.
Letter: Time for Sen. Angus King to support monument
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

U.S. Sen. Angus King held a public meeting in May in Orono that more than 1,200 supporters of the proposed national monument in the Katahdin region attended. I was there and saw many of my friends, neighbors and relatives join in the standing ovations for King and the director of the National Park Service. That was nearly two months ago, and King has yet to make any public statement of support for the proposed national monument. I run a business on Main Street in Millinocket. Most days, even in the height of summer now, Main Street is dead. I am happy that King is working to get federal assistance for the forest products industry in Maine. But when is he going to publicly support the proposed national monument? It, too, will bring people and jobs to our region. ~ Jaime Renaud, Millinocket
Maine's notable tourist attractions
Mainebiz - Friday, July 22, 2016 

Ranked by 2015 attendance:
1. Acadia National Park, 2.81 million
2. Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens, 146,000
Approximately $10 million available for fisheries projects
Other - Friday, July 22, 2016 

NOAA Fisheries is announcing the availability of approximately $10 million in funding for projects focusing on sustainable fisheries and coastal fishing communities.
Brook trout specialist tells it like it is
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, July 22, 2016 

“Our instream habitat around the state is the pits.” Those were the words of Merry Gallagher, brook trout specialist and fisheries research biologist for Maine’s Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, explaining that, in the days of floating logs down our brooks and streams, those waters were straightened out by bulldozers and dynamite, and a lot of the structure, including boulders, was removed. Merry also expressed concern about climate change, reporting that “In many areas for brook trout, we are exceeding the thermal tolerance of these fish.”
Portland plans stormwater retention pond in Baxter Woods
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

A city plan to clear part of Baxter Woods park to build a stormwater retention pond would help reduce pollution in Casco Bay, but at least one abutter has raised concerns about the project’s impacts. The city plans to cut down a couple dozen nonnative Norway maple trees and clear invasive plants from the work site, but will not remove native species, said city arborist Jeff Tarling. The area was disturbed when the city built the existing storm water basin in the 1980s, and part of the project will be to restore the area to its native state, Tarling added.
State law blocks northern Maine businesses from energy cost reduction aid
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

Aroostook and Washington counties will see no money from a new $3 million program to reduce power rates for “energy intensive” manufacturers, after regulators ruled the program only includes parts of the state that pay a premium on electricity to help reduce carbon emissions. Maine regulators issued an order Wednesday finding the program created by the last Legislature would remain limited to the regional ISO-New England grid. The final bill that passed was amended from a version proposed by LePage, who lambasted changes to his bill. “The...suffers the same fate that afflicts most energy bills in Maine. Environmental groups try to spend more money and lobbyists carve out provisions for the biggest businesses,” LePage wrote.
Report: Maine Falling Behind on Solar Capacity
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

Advocates for solar power say Maine is falling behind most other states in its ranking for solar capacity. Environment Maine today released its fourth annual report on solar energy in Maine. Owen Mansfield is a campaign organizer for the group. "In this year's ranking, Maine dropped to 27th in per capita solar capacity, and 34th in total solar capacity," Mansfield says. Mansfield says the state needs to enact policies to support solar power, such as tax credits and rebates. Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill this year that sought to expand solar energy through revised regulations.
Committee endorses Portland’s solar power plans
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

A Portland City Council committee has endorsed plans to build a solar power array on top of a former landfill on Ocean Avenue. The Council’s Energy and Sustainability Committee voted 3-0 in favor of the plans during a meeting Wednesday. The proposal will next go to the full City Council for consideration. The proposed Ocean Avenue project would require an initial city investment of about $25,000 per year. City officials expect the investment to be paid back in 10 years through energy savings. The city estimates the solar panels could generate 660 kW of renewable energy, enough to power City Hall and Merrill Auditorium.
Maine photographer publishes collection of baby animals
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

Roger Stevens Jr. has been taking photographs that illustrate Maine’s abundant wildlife and natural beauty for years, selling them at craft fairs and gatherings around the state. Two years ago he decided to branch out and published a book that gave readers an inside look at the lives of foxes. In June, Stevens, who lives in Lincoln and worked at the local paper mill for 21 years until pursuing a career as a photographer 17 years ago, published his fifth book, “Babes in the Woods and Waters.” His latest offering includes more than 50 painfully cute photos of baby animals, including moose, raccoons, skunks, bears and others.
Portland gets federal funding to fight lead poisoning
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

The city of Portland has been awarded a total of $1.8 million to reduce the risk of lead poisoning related to the city’s aging housing units. The money, from a Lead Based Paint Hazard Control grant and Healthy Homes Supplemental funding, will be used to reduce lead hazards in 80 housing units occupied by low-income families with children.
Trails of history, adventures in Acadia, run through Orono
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

Carrying a map of Maine’s Ice Age Trail that he helped create, Harold W. Borns, Jr., shared some incredible stories about Acadia National Park geology during a recent Centennial event at the Dirigo Pines Retirement Community. His friend Joan Netland brought some amazing memories from decades ago, of adventures in Acadia when she was a young woman.
Moosehead Marine Museum reaps $10,000 grant
Mainebiz - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

The Moosehead Marine Museum in Greenville has received a $10,000 grant from the Piscataquis Fund of the Maine Community Foundation to upgrade its collections database. The centerpiece of the museum's collection is the steamboat Katahdin, according to Liz Cannell, museum executive director. It draws 7,500 visitors to the region annually to cruise Moosehead Lake and visit the shoreside museum, which houses some 1,700 artifacts, photographs and items of memorabilia from the lake's steamboating past. When the project is complete, visitors and researchers will be able to access the combined catalogs from both the museum and the Moosehead Historical Society.
Maine officials ask public to practice good hygiene at agricultural fairs
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 21, 2016 

With the busy agricultural fair season approaching, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the state’s Department of Agriculture are warning the public to use good hygiene and judgment when attending fairs. The public is urged to stay home if sick, wash hands before and after touching animals and wash hands prior to consuming food. Officials recommend washing hands with soap and water rather than sanitizing gels if possible. Practicing good hygiene will reduce the risk of gastrointestinal illness, such as salmonella, the release states. The warning comes in the wake of the death of one child and the sickening of another by E. coli last year.
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