March 27, 2015
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 35,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Restore energy efficiency funding
Action Alert - Friday, March 27, 2015 

The Maine PUC voted 2-1 to permanently slash funding for energy-efficiency projects that a could cost Mainers $1 billion in increased energy costs over the next decade. ~ Emmie Theberge, Clean Energy Policy Advocate, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Vote for Best National Park Hikes
Action Alert - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

You can vote for Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in the unscientific poll by USA Today.
Fix LePage’s weak phthalates rule
Action Alert - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Another new study links toxic phthalates to lower sperm count in male babies. Yet, Gov. Paul LePage is blocking action to protect pregnant women from phthalates. Will you sign a petition telling lawmakers to step up where the Governor has failed? ~ Toxics Action Center
Natural Communities of Howard Hill, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Eric Doucette, Botanist, University of Maine, will discuss the natural communities of Howard Hill behind the Maine State Capitol building. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, April 2, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
The Human Significance of Climate Change, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Nearly everything we do is premised on the assumption that the world we know will endure into the future and provide a sustaining context for our activities. But today the future of a viable biosphere, and thus the purpose of our activities, is put into question. By accepting our small place within the inhuman forces of the biosphere, we may discover how to live with responsibility and serenity whatever may come. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Moulton Union, April 2, 12:30 pm.
Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species Need Help
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 

YES: LD 807, an Act to Amend Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List, would add species to the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species List. NO: LD 640 would weaken the Maine's Endangered and Threatened Species List by develop incidental take permits, which allow the killing or "take" of endangered species.
Thoreau Society and Thoreau Farm Trust Auction
Announcement - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 

Auction ends March 27.
Release voter-approved conservation funds
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 

For more than two decades, the Land for Maine's Future Program has helped citizens protect the character of their towns and open spaces. The program has protected working farms and forests, ocean access, trails for snowmobilers, hikers, and bikers, and pristine lakes, ponds, and rivers. But Governor LePage is currently withholding voter-approved conservation funds in an attempt to advance a proposal to increase logging on public lands. ~ Maine Conservation Alliance
Skiing to the North Pole, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 21, 2015 

Tyler Fish will present a multi-media lecture about his first American unsupported expedition to the North Pole. At LL Bean, Freeport, March 28, 7 pm.
It's Not Just Granite, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 19, 2015 

Bob Marvinney, Maine State Geologist, will discuss the geology of Howard Hill behind the Maine State Capitol building. Learn about the metamorphic rocks and granite that record over four hundred million years of Earth history. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 26, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Friendship in the Extremes, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 19, 2015 

Tyler Fish, with his friend John Huston, completed the first unsupported, unassisted American ski trek to the North Pole. In 2009, they skied 500 miles to the North Pole in 55 days. At Bates College, Lewiston, Muskie Archives, March 26, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Bates Outing Club.
An Evening with the Honey Bee, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

A film, honey tasting and Q&A session with local beekeepers. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 25, 7 pm. Presented by Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association.
Climate Change: Maine Wildlife in Trouble, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

A panel discussion to learn about the latest threats to Maine wildlife and plant species. At Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, Mar 25, 7 pm. Maine Audubon members $5; non-members $8.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

The Augusta Bird Club will present Amanda Mahaffey of the Forest Guild and Susan Gallo of Maine Audubon Society will discuss “Forestry for Maine Birds.” At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, March 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
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News Items
Maine lawmakers hear opposing arguments on bills to charge for disposable bags
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 23, 2015 

Lawmakers heard lengthy testimony Monday on bills that would make Maine the latest state to charge consumers for disposable plastic bags. The Legislature’s Environmental and Natural Resources Committee held the hearing roughly three weeks before Portland will begin requiring retailers to collect a nickel for each disposable plastic or paper bag customers take at the checkout counter. Scores of communities across the country charge bag fees as a way to encourage consumers to bring their own reusable bags and to reduce plastic pollution. Portland is the first Maine community to adopt a fee, although officials in several other municipalities are considering following the city’s lead. Three bills pending before the Legislature – L.D.s 325, 396 and 680 – would require retailers to collect 5 cents for each disposable plastic bag.
Coast Guard to break up ice on Penobscot River
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

The U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday that it is sending three ships to break ice in order to mitigate potential ice jam flooding on the Penobscot River near Bangor on Tuesday. “The cold temperatures this winter created a lot more ice than normal,” Lt. David Bourbeau, chief of waterways management at Coast Guard Sector Northern New England, said. “The ice breakers really have their work cut out for them, but it’s important we get the waterway open so that runoff has somewhere to flow when the ice starts melting and before a major rain event,” he said.
As oil trains roll across America, volunteer firefighters face big risk
Reuters - Monday, March 23, 2015 

Nearly two years after a crude oil train derailed, exploded and killed 47 people in the Lac-Megantic, Quebec, in 2013, there are no uniform U.S. standards for oil train safety procedures, and training varies widely across the country, according to interviews with firefighters and experts in oil train derailments and training.
Maine Lawmakers Considering Plastic Bag Controls
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, March 23, 2015 

Lawmakers are considering several bills that would discourage consumers from using plastic bags provided by retailers. Among the ideas is charging a fee for the bags. The legislation drew strong support from several groups, including a number of high school students. But it was opposed by the LePage administration and some business groups, such as the Maine Grocers Association. They want recycling of the plastic bags, not fees on their use.
Oil train disaster fund grows with Irving contribution
Associated Press - Monday, March 23, 2015 

A proposed settlement fund for victims of a fiery oil train derailment that killed 47 people across the border in Quebec has grown to $270 million with a contribution from Irving Oil, a bankruptcy trustee said Monday. A court filing Friday in Canada identified 22 parties who have agreed to contribute, including Irving, which previously balked but now says it’s providing $60 million to the fund.
Lincoln tissue mill finishes nearly $10 million in improvements
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

The startup last month of a new $6 million turbine and condenser system leaves Lincoln Paper and Tissue LLC a nearly self-sufficient electricity generator, capping nearly $10 million in improvements undertaken over the last year, its co-owner said Monday. The energy efficiency improvements, plus the installation of about $3 million in new pulping equipment and pulp conveyors in August, have mill co-owners Keith Van Scotter and John Wissman feeling bullish about the mill’s prospects for continued survival in a very tough manufacturing market.
Feds to probe what Maine mill owners call unfair Canadian paper subsidies
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

Federal trade officials have launched an investigation of Canadian government subsidies to the Port Hawkesbury Paper mill, which two paper companies with mills in Maine argue unfairly undercut and damaged their business. The U.S. Department of Commerce has recommended opening an investigation of 28 instances of government help to the Canadian mill in response to a petition from Verso Paper Corp. and Madison Paper Industries, working together as The Coalition for Fair Paper Imports. The companies are seeking to have a duty imposed on Canadian imports of supercalendered paper, an uncoated but glossy paper used for magazines, catalogs, flyers and other printed material.
Lamey-Wellehan President Jim Wellehan creates a legacy of advocacy and fairness
Mainebiz - Monday, March 23, 2015 

Ask Jim Wellehan what it means to be a business leader, and for his initial response, you likely won't hear him mention Lamey-Wellehan, his 100-year-old, Auburn-based family retail shoe business. Instead, he'll bring up a word that means a great deal to him: community. "Jim has just been a great voice for the environment in the business community for years now," says Natural Resources Council of Maine Executive Director Lisa Pohlmann. "They have done amazing things in their business," including an effort led by Kathy in 1994 to reduce 95% of the company's solid waste.
Grant will help Dixmont create community forest
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

“Why does Dixmont need a community forest, when you already have so many trees?” asked 15-year-old Conor Thompson as he was snowshoeing with Mike and Judy Dann in their woodlot recently. Judy, Dixmont’s First Select Person, had just mentioned that the town Conservation Commission had been awarded a Project Canopy grant to create the Dixmont Town Forest. Dann explained that although Dixmont is heavily forested and has a proud heritage of commercial and family forest activity, the newly funded project is designed to raise awareness of the importance of wisely and sustainably managing local forestland.
Lobsters and loons top moose and brook trout on Maine license plates
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 23, 2015 

There are nine Maine license plates for which car owners pay extra in order to fund particular programs. Of those, 43,337 have the conservation “loon” plate, 27,348 have the lobster plate and 24,717 have the sportsman plate. While the sportsman’s plate has grown in popularity over the past five years, rising from 11,409 plates to 24,717 currently on cars, the loon plate has declined significantly from 53,753 in 2010 to 43,337 today. The loon plate was created in the early 1990s as a source of money for nongame and endangered and threatened wildlife. In 1998 the plate raised a high of $617,484, but by 2009 that had declined by 50% to $316,148. The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife issued a statement not long ago that said this decline, “threatens matching federal dollars and puts in peril several biologists positions.”
Letter: Time to stop moose hunt?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

It is amazing to us that we live in a state that shoots one of its prime tourist attractions. Chris Young, a Moosehead guide, is right when he says we need to pay attention to the moose herd and not increase permits in his area. Moose are declining all over their usual habitat — Minnesota, New Hampshire — and there is no reason to believe Maine will not be next. ~ Bob and Hope MacDonald, Millinocket
Letter: Clean air threat
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 23, 2015 

As physician, I am truly dismayed U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin voted in favor of The Secret Science Reform Act of 2015 and The EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2015. These bills would undermine public health, transparency and the credibility of our scientific leaders when it comes to clean air safeguards. I can only hope that in the future, Poliquin will prioritize the health and well-being of his constituents ahead of party politics and the business interests of big polluters. ~ Paul Shapero, Bangor
Project to conserve Maine State House backdrop in limbo
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

A project that would preserve the wooded backdrop to the Maine State House has a problem in the Maine State House. Howard Hill is caught in a political battle: Gov. Paul LePage’s administration says the governor doesn’t want to sell $11.4 million in voter-approved bonds as he tries to gain support for a plan that would increase the amount of timber harvested on state land to pay for energy efficiency programs. Last year, the Land for Maine’s Future approved $9.1 million in funding for 30 projects across the state that encompass nearly 50,000 acres and protect deer wintering areas, forestland, campsites, water supplies, farms, sportsman access and more. Among them was the Kennebec Land Trust’s proposed project on Howard Hill, which would transfer to the city of Augusta 164 acres of privately owned property running from Capitol Street in Augusta to the Hallowell city line.
Mainers brave cold weather, biting winds for maple Sunday
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Despite chilly temperatures, strong winds and little to no sap running in central Maine, sugar shacks were full of people asking questions and filling long lines in wait to buy Maine maple syrup. “We hope for warm days and cold nights,” said Bill Spaulding, an employee at Kinney’s Sugarhouse in Knox. Spaulding led groups of tour groups bundled up in hats, scarves and heavy jackets around the farm’s sugarbush, which uses nearly 9,000 taps to produce syrup.
Opinion: Let’s celebrate the success of public lands forestry, not ruin it
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

The LePage administration’s proposed merger of Maine’s Bureau of Public Lands with the Maine Forest Service, along with its proposal to increase timber harvests on public lands, is a serious threat to the bureau’s long legacy of excellent forestry in Maine. It should die a quick death in the Maine Legislature. The rationale offered to support these misguided proposals is not supported by the facts, and it falsely paints a negative picture of what truly has been a remarkable success story in stewarding Maine’s public forests. ~ Robert S. Seymour, Professor of Forest Resources, UMaine
Public land becomes epicenter in state fight
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

In many ways, Nahmakanta Public Reserved Land epitomizes the multiple-use philosophy that has guided Maine’s management of more than a half-million acres of state-owned land for decades. But there is growing debate about whether Gov. Paul LePage wants to tilt that balance more toward timber harvesting and away from outdoor recreation. The outcome of the political fight over the public reserved lands could have major implications for conservation projects statewide and the future of the popular program that helped protect Nahmakanta plus dozens of other parcels in Maine.
Maine tanner belongs to a rare breed
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Greg McNally is living his dream, surrounded by animal pelts and skulls. An avid hunter who used to travel from Connecticut to Maine to hunt, McNally visualized living in the North Woods and hunting right outside his door, but it was only a dream. Until he won the lottery.
Maine’s back-to-the-landers take whimsical approach to farm names
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Ever since back-to-the-landers got the urge to plunge their hands into the dirt, the task of choosing a farm name has become laden with meaning. These young farmers got as creative in naming their plots of land as they did in naming their children Blossom and Rainbow. Today the quest for the perfect name – one that expresses the beauty of the landscape and the values of the landowner – continues, especially among small organic farmers looking to put their own creative footprint on the land.
Column: No patience or respect for Humane Society's tenacity
Sun Journal - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

The following history is important because it defines our enemy: the Humane Society of the United States. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Column: Robins, squirrels and skunks: Sure signs of spring
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

After Maine’s record cold and snow this winter, astute observers have noticed signs of warming trends. Sure, despite the spring equinox last Thursday, we’ll endure cold snaps and snowstorms in late March and maybe early April, but the new season has begun in earnest. It’s just a matter of looking at nature and truly seeing. ~ Ken Allen
Column: There’s a bit of urban renewal on the Freedom Trail
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Spring weather arrives a bit earlier for our Massachusetts neighbors, and that’s good enough reason to head south to Boston for a fun day of urban adventuring. The historic Freedom Trail is an excellent way to see on foot what I consider to be the best of Boston. ~ Carey Kish
Column: Plenty of action in final weeks at the slopes
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

There’s no denying it any longer, the end of ski season is quickly approaching. The signs have all been here for weeks now, from warming temperatures to longer days to melting snow. Despite snow on the ground in Maine and covered trails at the mountains, a number of resorts will soon be closing up shop for the season, some as soon as next week. This isn’t to say there aren’t things to do in ski country, however. ~ Josh Christie
Editorial: A done deal gets undone by PUC efficiency vote
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Let’s be clear: This is not about a missing word. When the Maine Public Utilities Commission voted 2-1 last week to slash a scheduled increase in the budget for energy-efficiency projects, the commissioners were not hung up on an apparent drafting error that left the word “and” out of one sentence. Commissioners Mark Vannoy and Carlisle J.T. McLean were not confused. They were carrying out a long-term policy priority of the governor who appointed them.
Opinion: Hunting bill reflects legislative unfairness
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

On March 5, a bill titled “An Act to Designate a Youth Bear Hunting Day” (L.D. 399) was the subject of a hearing before the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee in Augusta. Perhaps the purpose of the bill was to promote bonding between parent and child — after all, youth is a time when important values can be taught. But that can be done in ways other than by killing an animal: canoeing up a stream, hiking the Appalachian Trail, perhaps an overnight camping trip. More likely, it was an attempt to introduce a new generation to hunting. ~ Don Loprieno, Bristol
Letter: Raw milk produced correctly offers benefits
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 22, 2015 

Pasteurization is not about killing bacteria, minerals and vitamins only but foremost about killing the enzymes that represent vital forces. Nothing else happens in milk depleted of enzymes during the pasteurization (including heat-treating) process. Enzymes in raw milk work like catalysts of chemical reactions. Once left open without a refrigerator, pasteurized milk decays, unlike raw milk, which nicely sours and, if forgotten on the counter, changes to a delicious curd substance. Just strain the whey to get the best cream cheese of your life. No heat, no acid required. ~ Maria King, Liberty
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Popular weedkiller deemed carcinogenic: Herbicide may cause cancer, World Health Organization says.
By Ismat Sarah Mangla - The active ingredient in Roundup, one of the world's most popular weed killers – and the most commonly used one in the United States – has been declared a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the WHO, released the results of its review of five herbicides and pesticides on Friday.
3/20/2015 11:00:00 PM

New Report Highlights Crops with High Pesticide Residues and Benefits of Organic
A new pesticide residue report just out requires context for those wishing to use their purchasing power to protect health, the environment, and those who grow and harvest our food. For consumers who care about the environment, farmworkers, and want to reduce pesticides in their diet, organic agriculture continues to be the best choice.
3/19/2015 11:00:00 PM

Roundup is endocrine disruptor in human cells at levels allowed in drinking water
Roundup is an endocrine disruptor and is toxic to human cells in vitro (tested in culture dishes in the laboratory) at levels permitted in drinking water in Australia, a new study has found. This is the first study to examine the effects of glyphosate and Roundup on progesterone production by human female cells in an in vitro system that models key aspects of reproduction in women.
3/19/2015 11:00:00 PM

'Growing Local' focuses on farming in USA's oldest state Screening of film at Alfred Town Hall provokes discussion about costs, potential
By Chris Hull - The more than two dozen people who attended the March 12 screening of the film “Growing Local” at the Alfred Town Hall were reminded that Maine is a graying state. The film highlighted two family farms and the relationship between an older generation of farmers looking to retire and a younger generation looking to continue the farming tradition. Featured in the film are Richard and Adam Beal, a father and son from Rocky Ridge Organic Dairy in Litchfield.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

Pesticides in produce
Consumer Reports' new guidelines show you how to make the best choices for your health – and for the environment.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

Portland poised as leader in improving local food economy
By Kathleen Pierce - An economics professor, Michael Hillard, at the University of Southern Maine led a daylong conference Monday titled “Scaling up to Local,” which examined ways Maine farmers, fresh-food purveyors, politicians and institutions can work together to strengthen this system.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

How Maine’s vast pastureland can help farmers grow revenue
By Rick Kersbergen - Maine is seeing a surge in small farms, with more than 1,000 farms added in the last 10 years, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

VIEW FROM AWAY: A costly farm bill
Remember how backers of the 2014 farm bill promised that it would reform costly and wasteful agriculture subsidies and save taxpayers money? And remember how the critics of the bill said it was basically a scheme to repackage and perpetuate the old system, potentially at a higher cost? Well, it turns out that the critics were right, according to the first comprehensive estimate of the bill’s impact.
3/17/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

200 Maine Businesses Sign Letter Backing National Park Concept
By The Associated Press Portland Press Herald news story   BANGOR — A group of more than 200 Maine busine...
3/27/2015 8:31:04 AM

Businesses Announce Support for Proposed Park
By Erin Thomas, Fox 22 staff reporter Fox22 news story BANGOR – Hundreds of businesses from Central and ...
3/27/2015 8:27:53 AM

Businesses Show Support for National Park Proposal
By Kayla Binette, WCSH6 Staff WCSH6 news story   BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — More than 200 busine...
3/27/2015 8:21:25 AM

Strimling and Harriman Discuss Proposed National Park, Sen. Willette, Adj. General Campbell
By Chris Facchini, WSCH Staff WCSH6 news story   BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The following is a t...
3/27/2015 8:18:24 AM

Businesses Announce Support for Proposed National Park
By John Krinjak, WABI staff WABI news story   Business owners gathered in Bangor today to announce their ...
3/27/2015 8:12:31 AM

200 Maine Businesses Endorse Proposed Katahdin-area National Park
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff writer Bangor Daily News story BANGOR, Maine — More than 200 businesses from a...
3/27/2015 8:03:11 AM

Supporters of New National Park in Maine say Idea Gaining Momentum
By Jennifer Mitchell, MPBN staff writer MPBN news story     AUGUSTA, Maine – Supporters of a p...
3/27/2015 7:54:59 AM

This Old Rag
Cut up ripped or worn-out clothing to use as rags in the kitchen or garage, or use them to dress and stuff a s...
3/27/2015 4:00:04 AM
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