October 25, 2016  
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
Komic Releaf: 2016 Comedy Wildlife Photography Award Finalists
Other - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Have fun dreaming up your own captions.
Scientists across globe mourn loss of respected UMaine climate researcher
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Climate change researchers around the world are mourning a well-respected University of Maine scientist who was killed in a snowmobile crash in Antarctica over the weekend. Gordon Hamilton, 50, was conducting National Science Foundation-funded field research with the university’s Climate Change Institute on Saturday, Oct. 22, when the snowmobile he was operating struck a crevasse. The scientists said Hamilton’s work and influence won’t soon be forgotten. “My great hope is that one of Gordon’s memorials will be a greater attention and understanding of climate change,” said one colleague.
Maine wind loses, solar wins in regional clean energy bids
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

A panel from Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island announced Tuesday that it picked Ranger Solar among its winning bidders, though it’s not clear whether the company’s two projects proposed in Maine will be part of negotiations. The company proposed a 50-megawatt solar array at the Sanford Airport and an 80-megawatt array on 250 acres in Farmington. Many other bidders who had proposed projects in Maine did not make the cut. Notably, that includes two massive transmission proposals to access wind farms in western Maine and in Aroostook County.
State board slashes funds to Augusta land project targeted by LePage
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

The Land for Maine’s Future Board voted Tuesday to slash state funding to a controversial Augusta land conservation project that has been in Gov. Paul LePage’s cross hairs for more than a year. Reversing course on an earlier decision, five members of the land conservation board – all either appointed by LePage or who work for him – voted to reduce the state’s contribution to the $1.2 million Howard Hill project from $337,500 to $163,500. The lone dissenting board member, Neil Piper, said, “If the object is to kill the bond program totally, then this is a good step in that direction."
Interview: Portland tree guy Asher Woodworth explains his ‘magical’ intentions
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Portland artist Asher Woodworth, 30, was arrested on Monday for blocking traffic in downtown Portland while dressed as a tree. A trained dancer, Woodworth said that his intention was to give Portlanders pause as they went about the normally mundane act of driving through an intersection. Video of his performance and subsequent arrest quickly captured attention internationally. Here’s what he had to say about the performance and his run-in with the law.
Wind power dealt a blow as Maine transmission projects lose out
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Ambitious plans to build wind farms in northern and western Maine representing billions of dollars of investment were dealt a blow on Tuesday, after a coalition of utilities and state agencies in southern New England failed to select any Maine-based wind or transmission projects to meet the region’s clean-energy goals. Two large-scale solar electric projects, proposed by Ranger Solar of Yarmouth and slated for Sanford and Farmington, did make the initial cut, however.
New National Wildlife Refuge to Protect Northeast Shrubland
Maine Public - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

The rare New England cottontail rabbit and other shrubland species are getting some new help from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The agency is focusing on 15,000 acres of land in six northeastern states, including 2,800 acres in Maine, to be included in a new Great Thickets National Wildlife Refuge.
Water retesting shows lead level mysteriously drops at central Maine school
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Results from a second round of testing for lead levels in the water at Benton Elementary School have brought good news but still plenty of questions. “All of the sites are well below the action level and well below what they were before,” Jeff LaCasse, general manager of the Kennebec Water District, said Tuesday of the second round of testing results. “Which has us a little confused, but it’s good news.”
Report: Maine voters find common ground on clean energy, National Monument
Mainebiz - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

A new public opinion survey of likely Maine voters released on Tuesday by the Natural Resources Council of Maine shows strong, bipartisan support for the new national monument, solar power and other clean energy development, the Land for Maine's Future Program and protection for the state's environment. Some highlights:
• 72% support the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument
• 61% support higher priority on solar power
• 62% oppose phasing out Maine's "net metering" policy
• 80% support new Land for Maine's Future funding
• 75% oppose weakening Maine's mining rules
• 70% believe global warming will harm Maine people
• 70% think Maine's environmental laws have worked
• 77% support requiring Northeast power plants to decrease carbon pollution
• 79% oppose rollbacks of environmental protections
Hike: Hills to Sea Trail in Belfast
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

BDN reporter Aislinn Sarnacki explores the easternmost section of the new Hills to Sea Trail, a 46-mile trail that spans from Unity to Belfast. The construction of this trail began in 2013 and wrapped up in September of 2016. Marked with blue blazes and signs, this trail crosses conserved land and the private property of more than 60 landowners who have agreed to allow the trail on their land. The trail is open to foot traffic year round.
Opinion: A Trump presidency would be a disaster for animals
Other - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

According to the Humane Society Legislative Fund, a Trump presidency would be an immense and critical threat to animals, given the power of the presidency in shaping animal welfare policy. Trump's sons, who are at the center of his campaign and act as surrogates for the candidate on hunting and wildlife issues, made headlines for shooting some of the rarest animals in the world as trophies. Donald Jr. has been floated as a possible Interior Secretary in charge of hundreds of millions of acres of federal lands, wildlife law enforcement, international treaties on trade and conservation, and import policies for wild animal parts and trophies.
Trump Jr. vows protection for 2nd Amendment rights
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Donald Trump Jr. visited with about 175 voters Tuesday at a gun shop in Gray, where he affirmed that the 2nd Amendment right to bear arms would be protected if his father, Republican nominee Donald Trump, wins election to the White House. The younger Trump also spoke of his love of hunting and fishing, explaining that teaching children to hunt and fish and use firearms would help keep them out of trouble while building character qualities like discipline and patience. Trump Jr., who has five children, didn’t take questions from local media.
Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge to be created
Other - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Following an extensive public process, and with overwhelming public support, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has finalized the creation of Great Thicket National Wildlife Refuge, dedicated to conserving and managing shrubland and young forests for wildlife in New England and eastern New York for American woodcock, New England cottontails, monarch butterflies and other wildlife. The agency will be working with landowners, including in Maine, to acquire up to 15,000 acres through various methods, including conservation easements, donations, or fee-title acquisition. This process is expected to take decades.
A man dressed as a tree was arrested in Portland, and people can’t stop making tree puns
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

A man standing in traffic dressed as a tree was arrested Monday in Portland. Social media jokesters wasted no time. Here are the best/worst comments we saw.
Fish kill spurs demand that feds tie dam licensing to safeguards
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

In response to a recent massive fish kill in Ellsworth at a hydroelectric dam, a Maine conservation group is demanding that the federal government not renew the operating license of Leonard Lake Dam unless it does more to protect migrating fish. Dwayne Shaw, executive director of Downeast Salmon Federation, said the fish kill at Leonard Lake Dam proves that hydropower facilities are not environmentally friendly unless they include proper safeguards against harming fish species whose populations already have declined because of human activity.
Maine paper mills to get bulk of $3M in aid from carbon auction cash
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, October 25, 2016 

Maine paper makers will get more than half of a new $3 million fund to give special energy cost rebates to large Maine manufacturers connected to the New England power grid. In the coming year, Verso, Sappi and Catalyst will share about $1.5 million of the fund, supported by proceeds from a regional auction of carbon dioxide emissions credits that emitting electricity generators are required to buy. Paper packaging maker Huhtamaki, in Waterville, will get about 12 percent of the funds, or $365,457, over the next year. The program sets aside $3 million each year through 2019, with regulators deciding each year which “energy-intensive manufacturers” are awarded the money.
Taking Down Dams and Letting the Fish Flow
New York Times - Monday, October 24, 2016 

Shad, alewives, blueback herring and other migratory fish once were plentiful on the Penobscot River. Three enormous dams erected in the Penobscot, starting in the 1830s, changed all that, preventing migratory fish from reaching their breeding grounds. The populations all but collapsed. The Penobscot River Restoration Project, a consortium of government and tribal agencies, conservation groups and hydropower companies, spent $60 million to remove the first two dams and to install a fish lift at the next dam upstream. Since then, fish have been rushing back into the Penobscot, Maine’s largest river.
Blog: Fall looks like winter in the alpine zone
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 24, 2016 

The thing about fall in the mountains is that it can look and feel like fall at the base of the mountain. But, as you climb in elevation fall can quickly start to look a bit like winter. This was exactly the adventure we experienced yesterday while hiking Burnt Mountain. ~ Jlynn Frazier
Westbrook councilors vote down building moratorium
Portland Press Herald - Monday, October 24, 2016 

The Westbrook City Council killed an effort to enact a six-month stay on housing development. Alarmed by the rapid pace of residential construction in Westbrook, residents collected more than 400 signatures in favor of a 180-day moratorium on subdivisions of more than 10 housing units. The measure came to a first vote Monday night, failing on a 3-3 tie vote. Without a majority, the moratorium will not proceed. With competitive races for mayor and several council seats on the Nov. 8 ballot, however, the issue could return anew after the election.
Opinion: Investing in Maine downtowns — like Waterville’s — restores our sense of possibility
Bangor Daily News - Monday, October 24, 2016 

Around the country, communities that once thrived through manufacturing have been facing decline. It’s a story we have been reminded of during the presidential election, but in reality, it was never far from our minds in Maine. Waterville is one of those cities. Together, Colby College and the Harold Alfond Foundation, along with other generous partners, have established a model for revival. Last week, we announced a $20-million commitment—a $10 million gift from the foundation and a $10 million investment from the college—to create a downtown development fund in support of strategic investments to transform the downtown into a thriving city center. ~ David Greene, president of Colby College, and Greg Powell, board chairman of the Harold Alfond Foundation
Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Kolbert talks climate change at Bates
Sun Journal - Monday, October 24, 2016 

In exploring everything from the demise of Central American frogs to dying coral reefs across the globe, Elizabeth Kolbert has shouldered the role of trying to warn everyone else about something scientists already know: that human activity is wiping out an astonishing array of species. Speaking at Bates College on Monday, the Pulitzer Prize-winning writer called it “a strange, sad world that we are creating. We are killers. We are driving more and more species to the brink of extinction” and beyond.
Large Maine Companies to Get Millions Back in Cap-and-Trade Payments
Maine Public - Monday, October 24, 2016 

Sixteen of Maine’s biggest manufacturers, from Verso Paper to Jackson Laboratories, are in line to get millions of dollars from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, or RGGI. The payments are seen by some as equitable payback for the millions the companies have shelled out for the cap and trade program. In the past, proceeds from auctioning RGGI credits, about $10 million a year, have historically gone to Efficiency Maine. The money is then used to encourage investments in residential, commercial and industrial energy efficiency initiatives. But earlier this year, Gov. Paul LePage and lawmakers decided to shunt a little more than a quarter of the funds directly to businesses. Others that will benefit include Sappi North America, Irving Products, and Huhtamaki Inc.
Man Dressed as Tree Arrested for Blocking Portland Traffic
Associated Press - Monday, October 24, 2016 

Police say they’ve arrested a man dressed as a tree in Portland for blocking traffic. The man did not respond to officers when they warned him against obstructing traffic in a busy intersection in the city’s downtown. A friend of the man says he was attempting to study the city’s traffic patterns. The man appeared to be dressed as a pine tree or other type of evergreen.
Robin Mayer seeks House District 90 seat
Wiscasset Newspaper - Monday, October 24, 2016 

Robin Mayer is the chairman of the Board of Selectmen in Damariscotta. She also runs a small business that works with state governments to improve highway safety. She is running as a Republican in State House District 90. On energy, Mayer said she is concerned about the offshore wind project off Monhegan. The large turbines are “yesterday’s technology.” Regarding fisheries, she is concerned about the condition of the Gulf of Maine and said the state should use its resources to do what it can about it. On farming, Mayer said there are too many regulations for small farmers. She is concerned about pesticides and bees. On the environment, Mayer said, “We are really sitting on a powder keg” regarding issues of warming and sea level rise. “More pressure should be put on the federal government from all the states.”
New trail section possible in Gardiner
Kennebec Journal - Monday, October 24, 2016 

For years, Gardiner residents have been walking along a stretch on the northern bank of the Cobboseecontee Stream from a point across from 261 Harrison Ave. stretching downstream for about a half-mile to the Paper Mill dam. The informal path gives residents a close-up view of wildlife like the ospreys who nest in the area and the eagles that fly overhead. This week, elected city officials are being asked to formalize the arrangement by creating a public path on the city-owned land. If that happens, another section of trail in the city’s Cobbossee Corridor will be completed at no cost to city taxpayers.
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