March 22, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Beekeeping & Pollinators, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2018 

Find out why pollinators are failing to thrive. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 29, 6 pm.
Green Fire, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2018 

A film about Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time. At Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge Visitor Center, Rockland, March 29, 11:30 am and 2 pm, free.
Community Conservation film, Mar 29
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 22, 2018 

Mark Ireland’s documentary profiles four land trusts in different regions of Maine, demonstrating the variety of efforts to make conserved lands available to all community members. Following the screening, Q&A with the filmmaker and local land trusts leaders. At UMaine, Orono, March 29, 7 pm. Presented by Bangor, Brewer, and Orono Land Trusts.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to over 50,000 news articles and announcements. We 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 our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
Going Solo: Women in the Woods, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Alexandra Conover Bennett, Jennifer Dumont, and Aislinn Sarnacki will discuss their outdoor experiences and what it’s like to embark on remote adventures, alone. At Greenville Town Office, March 28, 6 p.m. Hosted by Moosehead Trails.
Four-Season Gardening, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Learn from the UMaine Cooperative Extension how to enjoy our gardens all year round. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 27, 12 pm.
Help wanted: Organizing Director
Announcement - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Maine Conservation Voters/Maine Conservation Alliance, two statewide, nonpartisan, nonprofit organizations, are seeking a shared full-time Organizing Director to build and manage grassroots organizing and field programs.
How to Participate in the Maine Bird Atlas, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Rich MacDonald will talk about the history of the Maine Bird Atlas and how you can participate. At Blue Hill Library, March 26, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Growing More Crops in Less Space, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 18, 2018 

Workshop leader Will Bonsai is director of the Scattered Project. He is best known for his work in preserving crop diversity. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, March 25, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation Ski-A-Thon, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Maine Adaptive Sports & Recreation promotes year-round education and training for individuals with disabilities to develop skills, enhance independence, and provide enjoyment through active recreation. In addition to being an excellent fundraiser, the Ski-A-Thon is a ton of fun. Fundraising goal: $380,000.
Stand up for Federal Bird Conservation Funding
Action Alert - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

The proposed federal budget would gut major programs and protections for birds and their habitats. One-third of migratory bird species have already lost significant populations as threats to wildlife increase. Tell your U.S. Senators and U.S. Representative to make protecting migratory birds a priority in the federal budget. ~ American Bird Conservancy
Earth Hour, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 17, 2018 

Join millions of people around the world—along with businesses, cities, and landmarks—who will turn off lights in celebration of Earth Hour. March 24, from 8:30 - 9:30 am local time.
Lessons from Avian Haven, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Laura Suomi-Lecker will discuss Avian Haven in Freedom, which was established in 1999 as a bird rehabilitation center dedicated to the return of injured and orphaned wild birds of all species to their natural environment. In 2017, they admitted over 2,500 birds from all over the state with varying degrees of injuries or illnesses. At Blue Hill Library, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Chapter of Maine Audubon.
Solar Energy for ME, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Friday, March 16, 2018 

Dylan Voorhees, Climate & Clean Energy Director for the Natural Resource Council of Maine, and Rep. Seth Berry, House Chair of the Maine Legislature's Committee on Energy, Utilities and Technology, discuss expanding solar energy in Maine. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 23, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Resist Mike Pompeo’s confirmation as Secretary of State
Action Alert - Thursday, March 15, 2018 

Trump just fired Rex Tillerson, one of the few people left in his cabinet who was willing to speak out against Vladimir Putin. But even more egregious is that Trump nominated Mike Pompeo, a xenophobic, pro-torture, climate-denying war hawk, to replace Tillerson.
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News Items
Maine island’s plan to build its own energy grid could change the game for remote communities
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 5, 2018 

Isle au Haut residents plan to install a sophisticated microgrid this spring that could eventually end their reliance on expensive power and heating fuel from the mainland. Islands, out of necessity, have become the outposts for trying new technologies, especially renewable ones like wind and solar, in combination with batteries or backup diesel generators. Their creative, often lower cost solutions for sustainable energy, could change the game for remote communities everywhere, experts said.
Maine seeks 1,000 volunteers to create statewide bird atlas
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 5, 2018 

The Maine Bird Atlas is a multi-year project to map out birds throughout the entire state in order to help officials make key management decisions. This will be Maine’s second breeding bird atlas. The first was completed 35 years ago and is long overdue.
What’s happening to the lobster babies? Portland dealer will pay to get an answer
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 5, 2018 

Scientists want to know why the number of lobster babies in the Gulf of Maine is declining when their numbers at every other stage of their life cycle remain high. That question is considered so important to the future of Maine’s $1.5 billion lobster industry that one of Maine’s 200 lobster dealers – Ready Seafood of Portland – is funding a university study to investigate what some scientists call the big disconnect. The babies may be eaten by new predators, like black sea bass, showing up in rapidly warming waters. They may be growing so big during longer summers that scientists mistake fast-growing babies for small-fry juveniles. Or maybe the Gulf of Maine lobster nursery has gotten bigger, or in this case, deeper.
More activist scientists seek congressional seats
Washington Post - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

The rising activism among scientists is a turnaround for a group that has traditionally seen politics as “grimy and grubby.” Many of these candidates have been recruited by 314 Action, a political action committee founded in 2016 to support policymakers who have scientific or technical backgrounds. Scientists are scarce in Congress. Only one member has a doctoral degree in science. A few others have undergraduate science degrees. Fourteen members of Congress are physicians, 12 of whom are Republicans. By contrast, there are 7 radio talk-show hosts and 200-plus lawyers.
Maine fishermen, environmentalists join in opposition to offshore drilling
Associated Press - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Fishing groups, environmentalists, politicians and tourism advocates plan to use a pair of tailored public hearings this week to oppose the Trump administration’s proposal to vastly expand offshore drilling in the Atlantic and other ocean waters. The meeting in Maine is part of nearly two dozen “open houses” put on by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management nationwide. Unlike a traditional hearing, the public will meet one-on-one with bureau officials and submit written comments. Republican Paul LePage is the only governor on the Atlantic Coast to support President Trump’s proposal. Maine state lawmakers passed a resolution calling on Trump to leave Maine out of his plan. And Maine’s congressional delegation has voiced bipartisan opposition.
Climate change could ravage waterfront by 2100, so Portland and South Portland plan to fight back
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Based on the latest tidal trends, NOAA predicts that by the year 2100, Commercial Street in Portland and Willard Beach in South Portland will be under at least a foot of seawater at high tide on a calm day. Add a little wind and weather and accelerated glacial melting, and the sea level in Casco Bay could rise as much as 6 to 10 feet in the same period. Municipal officials in Portland and South Portland are taking note and taking action.
We wrote about taking down a beloved tree, and readers told us they can relate
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

A few weeks ago, I wrote a story for the Maine Sunday Telegram about a difficult decision I made this winter to cut down a beautiful red maple tree that had stood by my home for a century. The outpouring of kind letters from readers that I got in response was heartening. What was especially striking was how many of you have your own often deeply felt and moving stories about trees you’ve loved.
Maine Observer: Thoughts on the road not taken…anymore
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Flagstaff Road is still there, and when I come across it, I’m always surprised. There’s nothing anyone can use it for, this road in these dense Maine woods. I find myself contemplating how it all got this way. The people there were made for the town, and the town was made for them. The water tasted good; the weather felt good, and Bigelow Mountain hung above the horizon like an heirloom tapestry. Neighbors there had the feel of family, without all that need for patience. What had it been like for each of them, that very last time they drove in this direction, leaving their hometown forever? What were they thinking, all those families? ~ Fred Cheney, Bowdoinham
Column: Shawnee Peak celebrates 80th anniversary
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Since its founding in 1938 as Pleasant Mountain, the Bridgton slopes have been a keystone in Maine’s ski history. ~ Josh Christie
Letter: St. Clair shows skills
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

To merit the goodwill of folks on both sides of the aisle, a representative of the people ought to be comfortable speaking with those who disagree with him. Lucas St. Clair possesses this ability in abundance. During his pivotal role in the creation of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, St. Clair demonstrated a knack for explaining his position to many opponents. ~ Paul Corrigan, Millinocket
Report: Bottled Water Companies Rely on "Predatory" Tactics for Sales
Other - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

In its new report "Take Back the Tap," Food and Water Watch researchers look at the booming business of bottled water, which surpassed soda in sales in 2016. The group finds nearly 64 percent of bottled water comes from municipal taps and that it cost almost 2,000 times as much as tap water and four times as much as gasoline. Patty Lovera, food and water policy director with Food and Water Watch, says bottled water companies target demographics through advertising, especially immigrant communities.
Suicides prompt outreach to Northeast dairy farmers
Associated Press - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

A glut of milk has them facing a fourth year of payments well below the cost of production. Accompanying the routine payments and price forecasts sent to some Northeast dairy farmers last month were a list of mental health services and the number of a suicide prevention hotline.
Maine Says It's Time to Kill Rash-Causing Caterpillars
Associated Press - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

State entomologists say it's time for Maine property owners to remove a species of invasive caterpillar from trees where they can be reached. The state has worked to control the spread of browntail moth caterpillars, which cause a rash that resembles poison ivy. The caterpillars spend winter webbed in leaves on oak and apple trees. Property owners should look for bright white silk tying a few leaves to the tips of apple and oak tree branches, clip out the web and destroy it by dropping it in a bucket of soapy water and soaking it overnight. Browntail moth caterpillars are found from the New Hampshire border to Deer Isle and parts of inland Maine.
Kennebec Land Trust 2018 Lyceum to focus on amphibians, reptiles
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

The Kennebec Land Trust has announced the dates and speakers for its 16th annual Lyceum lecture series and walks. This year’s program focuses on “Maine’s Amphibians and Reptiles.”
High energy bills getting you down? You’re not alone
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

There are some things you can do to help decrease the pain the next time you open up a utility bill. Many folks have been reaching out to energy auditors to find and plug holes in their homes that are letting heat leak out. And scores of Mainers, galvanized by sticker shock, have been jumping on social media sites to compare high bills, share their tales of financial woe and brainstorm possible short or long-term solutions to the problem.
Letter: Scarborough should protect town land
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

Despite overwhelming opposition, the Scarborough Town Council is poised to gift to a litigious abutter a $1 million piece of town land, complete with 142-year-old public right of way to the beach. Their spin: Protecting the land could be expensive and “we could lose”; we get an easement and increased tax revenue, so it’s a “win-win.” The reality: We could and should win, the land will be taxed at a small fraction of its value and an easement on private property can be extinguished. The town of Scarborough should be protecting this land at all cost, to the Superior Court level if necessary. ~ John Fox, Scarborough
Letter: Reject hunting amendment
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 3, 2018 

Mainers who care about their rights should have serious concerns about a right that’s threatened by LD 11, legislation that seeks to amend the Maine Constitution to establish the right to hunt and fish. Mainers already have the right to hunt and fish, and putting this redundant “right” in our Constitution is a solution in search of a problem. LD 11 would remove one of the few tools — citizen initiatives — that residents have to enact reform on wildlife management methods that society may no longer find acceptable, humane, effective or sportsmanlike. It’s a right we can’t afford to lose. ~ Don Loprieno, Bistrol
Legal expert champions public's access to Maine's beaches
Mainebiz - Friday, March 2, 2018 

An expert on land use and environmental law is urging Maine's highest court to reexamine two controversial rulings from the late 1980s restricting public access to beaches. Commonly known as the Bell cases, they limited public use rights on intertidal lands, the area above water at low tide and submerged at high tide, and found that the sandy area in dispute was privately owned. The rulings stem from an action brought by 45 owners of property in Wells above Moody Beach, invoking an ordinance from the 17th century when Maine belonged to the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Orlando Delogu, professor emeritus at the UMaine School of Law, disagrees, arguing in a new book that Maine's beaches are public property and it's high time the Bell cases are overturned.
GOP Pushes 80 Anti-Environment Riders, Dark Money Rule Changes in Spending Bill
Inside Climate News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Congressional Republicans are planning a two-fisted assault on climate and other environmental policies as they push a must-pass spending package for the current fiscal year, which is already half over. In a perennial ritual on Capitol Hill, they have laden the legislation with more than 80 anti-environment riders. At the same time, they are pushing provisions this year that could turn on the spigots for a new flow of dark money into elections.
U.S. Forest Service chief under investigation after complaints of sexual misconduct
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

PBS - The U.S. Forest Service has confirmed that the United States Department of Agriculture, its parent agency, has “engaged an independent investigator” to look into complaints against Chief Tony Tooke. News of this investigation comes as the Forest Service is dealing with allegations of a broader culture of harassment and retaliation within its ranks, as detailed in an investigation published by the PBS NewsHour this week.
Forest Service acknowledges ‘we have more work to do’ to address sexual harassment
Other - Friday, March 2, 2018 

PBS - A day after a PBS NewsHour investigation revealed a culture of sexual harassment, assault and retaliation within the U.S. Forest Service, the agency is telling employees that “we acknowledge that we have more work to do.”
Lobstermen pack meeting concerning right whales, possible gear changes
Courier-Gazette - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Lobstermen from all over the state packed the Rockport Room at the Samoset Resort to overflowing Friday to hear about the potential for ropeless fishing and use of break-away lines to help save the endangered right whale. Right whales are endangered and on the brink of extinction. They are down to about 450 animals worldwide. In 2017 only five new whales were born to the species and 17 died. Scientists say the cause of their deaths is almost always human in origin, either ship strikes or entanglement in fishing gear. Amy Knowlton of the New England Aquarium advocated using ropes with strength of no more than 1,700 pounds. One way to achieve this is to braid short lengths of weaker line, called "sleeves" because they are hollow, into the ropes, used at intervals of every 40 feet. A whale entangled in this gear could break out of it.
Pruitt Denying Science (again)
Progress Report - Friday, March 2, 2018 

In recently uncovered radio interviews from 2005, current Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Scott Pruitt stated that he believes evolution—a basic foundation of modern science—is an unproven theory. “There aren’t sufficient scientific facts to establish the theory of evolution,” said then-Oklahoma state Senator Pruitt. These interviews bring further attention to Pruitt at a time when he is already under public scrutiny for misuse of taxpayer dollars. In his one-year tenure as EPA Administrator, Pruitt has undermined scientific research at the agency and systematically worked to destroy as many environmental safeguards as possible, including basic rules to protect children's health.
Mud season closure of Carriage Roads in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 2, 2018 

The carriage roads in Acadia National Park are closed indefinitely to all users until the roads dry out and become firm enough to prevent damage to their gravel surface.
Pollard quits Democrats, plans independent bid for King's U.S. Senate seat
Sun Journal - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Instead of seeking Democratic backing for his U.S. Senate race, Portland construction company owner Benjamin Pollard said Friday he plans to run as an independent. Pollard’s decision clears the field for educator Zak Ringelstein, the only remaining Democratic challenger to U.S. Sen. Angus King, a first-term independent who is seeking re-election. On the Republican side in the race, state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn is trying to fend off a last-minute challenge from Max Linn of Bar Harbor.
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