September 20, 2017  
Announcements               
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
Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into Maine faces sentencing today
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border at Calais is due to be sentenced for money laundering. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle. Narwhals are medium-sized whales known for spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They are protected by the U.S. and Canada.
NOAA Funding Algal Bloom Research In Maine, 6 Other States
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Maine is among seven states where the federal government is funding a research project to try to better understand harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms can contaminate drinking water and have negative effects on the environment, wildlife and tourism. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing nearly $1.7 million for research projects about the blooms in Alaska, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. The Maine grant is nearly $250,000 for a project led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to increase the number of options available to states to monitor diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. DSP is a food safety threat for shellfish consumers.
Column: Lessons from years fighting for the environment
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

I am honored to be receiving an award at this year’s Evening for the Environment sponsored by the Maine Conservation Voters. The award is the 2017 Harrison L. Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to care for the nature of Maine and her wild places.” I am especially pleased to receive this award because it’s an important recognition that sportsmen and women share the same values and goals with environmentalists. We are all environmentalists. Here are lessons I learned during a lifetime of political activism. ~ George Smith:
Column: Ensure Portland’s waterfront has room for fishermen who make it special
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

There are four new waterfront projects in various stages of development that would bring thousands of people to Commercial Street. This is great news for Portland. But fishermen sees a time when there is no room for them. Developers and the tourism industry should help protect the area's marine character as their footprint quickly grows. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: Think before you litter Maine roadside
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

My wife and I and another couple recently took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However, when we crossed the international border from New Brunswick to Madawaska, we noticed a great change. it was the incredible amount of roadside trash. In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. I hope that those who read this letter at least think before you toss your Dunkin’ Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window. ~ Bob Bennett, South China
World’s problems stem from population growth
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Nations and people addressing environmental issues such as water pollution and global warming must soon face the fact that such efforts only address symptoms of the real problem, which is population growth. In my lifetime, world and U.S. population has tripled, creating demands for the food, energy and material goods whose production creates the environmental problems we face. Because of population growth, America continues to pave over and destroy the farmland, forests and waters essential to long-term survival. Immigration was needed when land and resources seemed unlimited, not now. We must increase productivity with zero population growth. ~ Tom Gillette, Jefferson
Maine recovers nearly all mussels affected by toxic algae
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Seafood dealers have recovered 98 percent of the mussels that were recalled after being harvested in an area of Down East Maine currently experiencing an algae bloom that produces a potentially deadly biotoxin. Officials estimate 58,480 pounds of mussels were affected by the recall initiated Friday.
LePage says ‘corporate greed’ driving up lumber prices in hurricanes’ wake
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is calling for a suspension of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to ease prices as families and businesses prepare to rebuild in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma – and with two more months of hurricane season to go. The Republican governor blames “corporate greed” for driving up costs, and says large lumber companies are in the position to “potentially price-gouge distressed Americans.” “We’ve tried to stay neutral. We have members on all sides. In general, what we’re in favor of is negotiating some sort of settlement quickly that’s equitable to all sides,” said Patrick Strauch, Maine Forest Products Council executive director.
Shareholders advance idea that selling Jay mill would shore up their finances
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opens up the possibility that the Verso paper mill in Jay may be sold, as the investor holding a majority of the shares is frustrated with the returns. The Androscoggin Mill, owned by Verso Corp., has faced difficulty in recent months. Verso is not alone in its struggles. Closures and layoffs have plagued the state’s paper industry in recent years. Five mills have closed in the last few years. [Editor: Actually seven Maine paper mills have closed in the past five years. Since 1997, sixteen Maine paper mills have shuttered.]
Maine DEP practices oil spill response in Richmond
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There was no oil spill Tuesday afternoon on the Kennebec River, but for several hours, members of the state’s hazardous materials cleanup teams pretended otherwise. Off the eastern shore of Swan Island, they used boats and anchors to stretch yellow barriers across the river, trying to protect sensitive shellfish habitats from the imaginary oil slick floating on the surface.
Study: New England Loses 65 Acres Of Forest Per Day To Development
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.
Maine expanding shellfish closure in wake of harmful bloom
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Maine regulators are expanding a shellfish harvesting ban along the state’s central and eastern coast that follows a harmful algae bloom. The bloom resulted in a recall of mussels last week. The state Department of Marine Resources has closed a section of the Penobscot River north of Stockton Springs and a section of Cobscook Bay south of Eastport to harvesting of shellfish. The state has also expanded a precautionary harvesting ban as far east as Calais, which is on the Canadian border. Harvesting had been suspended in Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island after mussels tested at elevated levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by an algae bloom. It can cause sickness, memory loss and brain damage in humans.
Photos: Common Ground Fair from old to new
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Every fall, upwards of 60,000 people descend on Unity for the Common Ground Country Fair in the spirit of celebrating agriculture in Maine. The fair reawakens the back-to-the-land movement with organic food enthusiasts, craftsman, wool spinners, sheep herding demonstrations and more. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association held its first Common Ground Country Fair at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in 1977. In 1996, the fair was moved to Unity, where it has been held since. This year’s Fair runs Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. Take a look through the Bangor Daily News archives as we remember fairs of the past, reminding us about the movement that changed Maine.
French president defends international cooperation at U.N.
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a ringing defense of global cooperation Tuesday, telling world leaders that solving major challenges otherwise will be reduced to “the survival of the fittest.” In his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, Macron vowed to press ahead with the Paris accord to combat global warming, although the United States has said it is withdrawing.
Hike: Trout Brook Mountain in Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Rising 1,767 feet above sea level on the north end of Baxter State Park, Trout Brook Mountain features a 3.3-mile loop hike that leads to great views of the nearby Traveler Mountains and Grand Lake Matagamon, as well some lesser mountains and bodies of water.
FocusMaine hires president, implements 10-year plan
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

FocusMaine has hired its first president, Kimberly Hamilton, to help implement the Portland-based economic development group’s 10-year plan to help create jobs and increase worker capacity in Maine, the group said Tuesday. Hamilton is chief impact officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Previously, she served in a variety of senior roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other policy and research organizations. She will start at FocusMaine in late October. FocusMaine said it has begun the initial phase of its plan to create sustainable job growth in three of Maine’s key economic sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals.
Report: Rural Maine is still in a deep depression
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

According to a new report released Tuesday by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, the performance of the state's Gross Domestic Product in recent years demonstrates the extent to which Maine's economy has stalled out. Maine's GDP had yet to recover to pre-recession levels. The state has effectively suffered through three further recessions since the Great Recession of 2007-09. The result is an economy that underwent fitful periods of growth, followed by backsliding. Maine’s economy is still smaller than before the Great Recession. In the Greater Portland area, economic growth has been slow but consistent since 2009. Elsewhere, however, the economy has been in freefall.
Opinion: One last summer hike to clear the mind
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Whenever you feel as though the world is on fire, take a walk into the woods and delight in the nuances of nature. Let your brain relax as you navigate the twisting trails and climb the steep terrain. Take in the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind, squirrels scurrying from tree to tree, a single acorn knocking against branches as it sails to the ground. Stop to admire how the setting sun looks as it cuts through the trees and illuminates circles of the forest floor. Relish the feeling of the wind cooling the sweat beading at the back of your neck. ~ Emily Higginbotham, copy editor, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
NRCM warns: Lawsuit likely if commercial logging permitted in national monument
Mainebiz - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, served notice to the Trump administration that allowing "commercial logging" in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would "almost certainly trigger a lawsuit." The warning is in response to a leaked report from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to President Donald Trump advising that the executive order that created Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be amended to promote "active timber management." Active timber management typically refers to cutting trees for commercial wood sales for uses such as the manufacture of wood pellets, paper goods and housing materials.
Trump threatens ‘total destruction’ of North Korea during U.N. address
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

President Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the “total destruction”‘ of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons. [Editor: Nuclear war could ruin your day, even in Maine.]
I’ll bet you don’t know what gleaning is
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

You may not know what gleaning is, but you’ll want to participate in Maine gleaning day, just one of the many interesting and exciting projects in the new fall edition of the Sustainable Maine quarterly newsletter, a project of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. You will most certainly want to participate in Maine Gleaning Day, scheduled for October 14.
Opinion: It’s time to wake up to the climate change threat and take steps to mitigate its effects
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There are clear steps that Mainers can take to address the crisis of climate change and mitigate our impact on the environment, all while creating new “green” jobs that will drive our future economy. First, we can increase our investment in energy efficiency. Second, we need to grow our own energy. Third, Maine must play a leadership role in the mitigation of climate change through carbon capture and sequestration. Fourth, Maine can grow more food. ~ Jonathan Fulford, candidate, 2nd Congressional District
Birders flock from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this rare visitor
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A fork-tailed flycatcher, a bird usually found in South America and last seen in the state 5 years ago, has spent several days at Maine Audubon in Falmouth. The flycatcher – a black-and-white bird with an extremely long and brilliantly forked tail – should have been emigrating south from Central America to summer in its home range instead of flying north to Maine, said Maine Audubon Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, who spent the day showing the bird to visitors. But sometimes birds get turned around and go in the opposite direction.
Editorial: Leaked report feeds sense of uncertainty on Katahdin Woods and Waters
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Uncertainty is the biggest danger of the destructive and unnecessary process that has been unleashed on the Katahdin region by the Trump administration and its allies here in Maine. Tentative steps toward expanding the outdoor recreation economy in an area that has been devastated by the loss of papermaking, its core industry, will be set back again by politicians who want to thump their chests. Vague promises about logging the 87,000 acres – less than 1 percent of the 17.8 million-acre forest that surrounds it – won’t save many jobs in the increasingly mechanized forest products industry. But even before a single tree is felled, the word is out to potential visitors and people who want to host them that there could be nothing to see after a very long drive.
Letter: Improve Portland waterfront for current users, not developers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

I was so glad to read that commercial fishermen are protesting the development planned for the Portland waterfront. Not only are fishermen and marine-related businesses affected, but all of the islanders in Casco Bay are as well. I fail to understand why our city officials insist upon building up this area. The congestion on Commercial Street is horrendous now. Imagine what it will be like when more hotels, condominiums and the new Wex headquarters, with its 450-plus employees, come into the mix. I say, “Leave the waterfront for small business and the people who live and use this area.” ~ Betty Thompson, South Portland and Cliff Island
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