February 7, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, February 05, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. I have posted summaries and links to 40,000 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. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend, Feb 12-14
Event - Posted - Friday, February 05, 2016 

Events all over the Great State of Maine.
The Maine Frontier: Through the Lens of Isaac Walton Simpson, Feb 12
Event - Posted - Friday, February 05, 2016 

This multimedia presentation combines the rare and historic photography of Isaac Simpson with archived films, oral histories, and live music by Sumner McKane and Joshua Robbins. At Frontier, Brunswick, Feb 12, 8 pm.
Help wanted: Summer Camp Environmental Educators
Announcement - Friday, February 05, 2016 

Seasonal camp educators will develop and teach natural history activities to summer day campers at Gilsland Farm Audubon Center’s 62-acre sanctuary in Falmouth.
A New National Park for Maine, Feb 11
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 04, 2016 

Ryan Parker will explain Elliotsville Plantation, Inc.’s proposal to create a National Park and National Recreation Area east of Baxter State Park. At First Universalist Church, Pittsfield, February 11, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
Eye of Newt and Lizard’s Leg, Feb 10
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 03, 2016 

Tropical ecologist Marty Crump will discuss our perceptions of amphibians and reptiles. At Colby College, Waterville, Olin Science Center, Feb 10, 7 pm.
Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food, Feb 10
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 03, 2016 

A traveling photo exhibit with Brendan Bullock’s photos with captions by Annie Murphy, which documents some of the people working to grow a resilient food system that serves all Mainers. At Frontier, Brunswick, through Feb 29. Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank will host a community discussion Feb 10, 6 pm.
Invasive Forest Pest Workshops
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 02, 2016 

Invasive Forest Pest Workshops are being offered in spring and summer 2016 by Maine Association of Conservation Districts to help landowners and users, landscape and forest professionals, and all residents of the state to (1) identify current and potential invasive forest pests and their host species, (2) understand the threats to our forests and woodlands posed by these pests, and (3) learn how to report suspected pest sightings or damage to trees that may be a result of pest infestations.
Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program
Announcement - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Friends of Baxter State Park invites current Maine high school sophomores and juniors to apply to participate in the 2016 Maine Youth Wilderness Leadership Program, which includes a nine-day wilderness experience in Baxter State Park, August 6-14. Application deadline is February 8.
Power, Trash and Bates Mill, Feb 8
Event - Posted - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Presentation of community-engaged research by Environmental Studies students. At Bates College, Lewiston, Commons 221/222, Feb 8, 12-1 pm.
In The Blood, Feb 5
Event - Posted - Friday, January 29, 2016 

By combining archived films, photographs, oral histories told by the men themselves, and live music by Sumner McKane and Joshua Robbins, "In The Blood" brings the Maine lumberman’s 19th century reality to life. At Frontier, Brunswick, Feb 5, 8 pm.
Acadians of the St. John Valley, Feb 4 & 6
Announcement - Thursday, January 28, 2016 

Maine Public television will broadcast an hour­long documentary, “Acadians of the St. John Valley,” for the first time on Feb 4 and 6 to all of Maine and the Maritimes.
Where does seafood come from? Feb 4
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 28, 2016 

Ed Robinson will talk about how seafood is harvested and produced. At Orr's Island Library, Harpswell, Feb 4, 7 pm.
Local Food, Local Hunger, Feb 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, January 27, 2016 

Greta Huff of Wiscasset's Morris Farm will address: What is food insecurity? How does it affect the people of Maine? How can we get rid of food insecurity in Maine? At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Thorne Hall, Hutchinson Room, Feb 3, 6:30 pm
Maine State Park Campground Reservations
Announcement - Monday, January 25, 2016 

Maine State Park reservations for 2016 will open February 1 for Sebago Lake State Park and February 8 for all other Maine state parks (except Baxter State Park).
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Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods, Editor, Maine Environmental News.
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News Items
New South Portland buffer proposal would block most propane depots
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

A new fire code amendment proposed by municipal staff would effectively ban most companies from developing liquefied petroleum gas distribution facilities in the city, the City Council said Monday night. The new proposal is significantly different from a citizen-drafted fire code amendment that was submitted late last year and it would be more defensible against a likely court or regulatory challenge, the city’s lawyers said. The new proposal would block NGL Supply Terminal Co. from going further with its year-old proposal to build a $3 million propane depot at Rigby Yard, which was the goal of the citizen-drafted ordinance. But it wouldn’t prevent Pan Am Railways from establishing a propane depot at Rigby Yard under federal laws that allow railroads to operate without regard for local ordinances, councilors said.
Blog: “Outdoor” things to do when outdoors isn’t cooperating
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

The kids and I had a very serious meeting this weekend, took stock of our outdoors activities in recent weeks, and we came to an important conclusion: This winter is kind of a dud so far. So we have spent a lot of time trying to scrape together enough snow from the plow pile to throw snowballs. We’ve also stretched our imaginations a bit and tried to find new outdoor activities to do in this weird, boring not-quite-winter. Here are a few of our ideas. ~ Cherie Galyean
What can I shoot and when can I shoot it, Part 3
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Kill them all! Well, not really. But you can shoot red squirrels, woodchucks, and porcupines, anytime, anyplace, except on Sunday, without having to report that to the Maine Warden Service, as long as you have a hunting license. That’s really fortunate, because while talking to Corporal MacDonald, I confessed to shooting all three of those critters. If you don’t have a hunting license you cannot shoot those animals, or any others, except in the situations explained below.
NRCM Awards “Protecting the Nature of Maine” Grants to Middle Schools
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Monday, February 01, 2016 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine (NRCM) has awarded grants to eight Maine middle schools to fund projects that engage students in protecting Maine’s environment. These grants will help students establish nature trails, set up school-wide recycling initiatives, propagate and plant native plants on which endangered birds depend, and much more. Some of these grants provide funding for middle school classrooms and clubs to purchase materials and expand hands-on education opportunities.
Group Wants MDI to Go Fossil Fuel Free Within 15 Years
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, February 01, 2016 

It’s official — the United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization has confirmed what other agencies including NASA have said earlier: 2015 was the hottest year on record. The global surface temperature is 1 degree Celsius above the preindustrial era, which the agency says makes voluntary commitments reached in the Paris climate change talks still possible, but very difficult. And that’s why some cities and towns are taking action on their own. On Mount Desert Island, the goal is to become fossil fuel free in 15 years.
Wind power sales to southern NE could triple Maine’s capacity
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Southern New England states want to buy more renewable energy, and wind developers in Maine are lining up to sell it to them. Maine has New England’s biggest pipeline of wind projects in the works, and developers of nine projects have asked for long-term contracts with utilities in Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island. The projects altogether would add another 2,140 megawatts of wind power capacity in Maine. That’s about 3.5 times the capacity of Maine wind turbines online in November 2015.
LePage names former lobbyist as his chief legal counsel
Associated Press - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Gov. Paul LePage is appointing a former Pierce Atwood lobbyist to be his top lawyer. Avery Day, who most recently served as LePage’s policy adviser on land-use and environmental issues, will be LePage’s chief legal counsel. Day replaces Cynthia Montgomery, who is leaving her job to become a district court judge. Day had served as acting commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection. At Pierce Atwood, Day primarily worked as a lobbyist for businesses before state regulatory agencies and the Maine Legislature.
Maple Sap Running Early Due to Warm Spell
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, February 01, 2016 

The winter warm spell has maple sap running in some parts of the state — and syrup makers are on the go too, as they to try to capture an early taste of spring. But according to Kathryn Hopkins, a maple syrup expert at the University of Maine extension center, it has pretty much always been thus. “The seasons have been…eclectic lately,” she says. “They’ve been kind of all over the place — starting early, and last year it was actually very late, and if you go back through the record you can find early and late starts throughout history.”
First day of February continues warm trend of last 2 months
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

As the National Weather Service on Monday reported near record high average temperatures for the last two months in parts of Maine, February kicked off with temperatures in the 50s across the state. Millinocket set a new record for Feb. 1 with a high of 51, besting the previous record of 48 set on that date in 1913. The highest temperature registered in Maine on Monday was 59 in both Portland and Sanford. The first day of February continued the warm trend experienced across parts of Maine over the last two months. The combined December-January time period was the warmest on record in both the Caribou and Bangor areas by more than 2 degrees.
Officials: New Portland Rail Link Key to Reviving Port
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Monday, February 01, 2016 

After years of planning and millions of dollars in public and private investment, freight trains are now carrying shipping containers loaded on the Portland waterfront to other parts of New England. State officials see the rail link as key to reviving the port, which was among the largest on the East Coast a century ago but had fallen in past decades. Maine has three deep-water ports and the state is currently upgrading or planning to upgrade all of them. In Searsport, the state wants to deepen the ship channel and the area around its pier so larger ships can be accommodated. The plan has drawn opposition locally from lobstermen, among others. In Eastport, plans for rebuilding the breakwater there had to be accelerated after part of it collapsed in Dec. 2014.
Maine hosts visitors from China for fish talk
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

As part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Leadership Program, the Maine Department of Marine Resources hosted visitors from the People’s Republic of China’s State Oceanic Administration on Jan. 28.
Land for Maine’s Future Program gets glowing report from LePage staffer
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Calling the Land for Maine’s Future Program corrupt and insisting it only served the rich, Governor Paul LePage ordered an investigation of the program by Jonathon LaBonte, his Director of the Office of Management and Budget. And what a surprise (at least for the Governor): LaBonte’s report was very very positive. Another report from the Land for Maine’s Future Coalition, titled “Stronger Than Ever,” also made a very strong statement.
New program helps farmers get on the land in Washington County
Maine Farmland Trust - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Maine Farmland Trust is piloting a new program in Washington County to help farmers purchase farmland. The Land Access Loan Program uniquely combines business planning assistance with the opportunity to obtain financing for a land purchase. “The program aims to help grow the farming community in Washington County by attracting new farmers to the area and helping established farmers increase their land base.” explains Erica Buswell, project manager in land protection and farmland access at Maine Farmland Trust. After a pilot phase, the program will be expanded statewide.
Parsonsfield releases new song inspired by Mount Katahdin
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Capping off a unique collaboration, the band, Parsonsfield, is releasing a new song written and recorded in the shadows of Mount Katahdin. Parsonsfield wrote the song, KTAADN, while staying at Katahdin Woods & Waters Recreation Area, east of Baxter State Park in October. The song is the result of a program, known as a Songscape, that pairs talented bands with public land groups for a week of immersion in protected landscapes.
Warm winter in The County brings out unusual birds
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

The Aroostook Birders’ annual Christmas bird counts, a part of the Audubon’s nation citizen science project, produced good turnout to help understand a curious winter, according to Bill Sheehan, the club’s president and a water specialist at the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Field observations by nine volunteers in Caribou and Limestone on Dec. 19 found 3,400 individual birds from 33 species, including the first ring-necked pheasant ever seen in the annual bird count, the first great horned owl and the first glaucous gull, an Arctic bird that salvages food from landfills, among other places.
Plan for former mill complex to bring new life to ‘ghost town’
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

A century ago, the small Waldo County farming community of Thorndike was a bustling town on the railroad line with an active grain mill, a department store, a cheese factory, an inn, a theater and even an automobile dealership. Today, “It’s a ghost town.” But Diana Prizio and a group of residents have a dream. It involves the three downtown buildings that make up the former OJ Farwell & Sons store and grain mill, a complex that the group of seven local writers, artists, craftspeople, builders and historians purchased in the summer of 2015. The plan is to create a “storytelling museum” and a store that will supply “products for a healthy homestead” to the community, such as seeds, hand tools, hardware, pottery and fabric. Additionally, the group wants to create workshops where people can come and learn new skills or use skills they already have to make things.
One of the warmest starts to February on record, but still weeks of possible snow ahead
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

While folks in Iowa are hoping to beat a blizzard before their caucuses, here in Maine our snow is rapidly vanishing or already gone. Winter just can’t seem to gain a foothold this year and the reality is it may never do so here in New England. With temperatures into the 50s this afternoon, along with some sunshine, the feeling of spring (including the occasional flying insect) will abound. This is among the top 5 warmest starts to February on record.
Airplane float manufacturer gets back in the air with new products
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Levi Guimond didn’t think he’d ever again work at PK Floats when it closed three years ago. The owner of the business, Alton Bouchard, had just died, and the people who made the place go were coping with the loss and the need to get new jobs. Yet as of last week, the company had regained its Federal Aviation Administration certification to build airplane floats, had already built or sold half the 20 sets of floats planned for 2016 and was in the process of expanding its product line to include airplane snow-skis and two new kinds of airplane floats, according to Patrick McGowan, a former Maine conservation commissioner, who is president of the company.
Maine Turnpike use, revenues zoom to best year ever
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

More cars and trucks whizzed through tollbooths on the Maine Turnpike in 2015 than in any year in its 69-year history, a strong indication that the state’s economy is returning to pre-recession strength. As a result, the Maine Turnpike Authority is considering advancing by several years a road-widening project that could expand the turnpike to six lanes through the Portland area and at least as far north as Falmouth.
Editorial: Report on Land for Maine’s Future doesn’t back up governor’s claims
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Of all the insults Gov. LePage has leveled at the Land for Maine’s Future program, the most damaging is that it is “corrupt.” For months now, the governor has made this claim, along with other, less inflammatory opinions, adding that an investigation would show he was right to withhold voter-approved land bonds. However, the report concluding that eight-month review does not support any of the governor’s claims. Nowhere does it show that the deals made through the program involve inflated land values, nor does it prove that sales through the program benefit only “wealthy” conservation organizations and landowners, or that municipalities are unduly harmed when conservation land is taken off the tax rolls. LePage said the debate over LMF has been a distraction from the state’s real priorities. But it was the governor who started this, and forced so many people to spend so much time and energy defending the program against baseless claims.
Opinion: Pesticide ordinance would have Portland flourishing responsibly
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Portlanders are environmentally conscious. We compost so much that we support two for-profit composting companies. We regularly leave our cars behind to take the bus, walk and bike (even in winter). And we undertook a successful campaign in 2014 to preserve park space. Portland was one of the first cities to sign the U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement and was named a top Green City by Organic Gardening magazine. The city has a waiting list for spots in its organic community gardens, and Portland schools are a state leader in sourcing Maine food. Yet there is one area where the city falls far short of residents’ eco-expectations, and that is the city’s lack of regulation surrounding synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. ~ Avery Yale Kamila, Portland Protectors
Letter: Verso bankruptcy, Wal-Mart closures spark reflection
Portland Press Herald - Monday, February 01, 2016 

Verso has filed for bankruptcy protection and Wal-Mart is closing 154 stores. What is the impact? Lawyers’ salaries will go up. Senior managers will be transferred to good jobs, given generous exit packages. Poor people will lose the work that they have survived on for years. Rural citizens will lose access to quality food, after the 800-pound gorilla had already destroyed all the local grocery stores. Municipalities and states will have to respond to the impact, ranging from spikes in social service needs to addiction and its consequences and individual financial failure. I have an MBA and believe that business is the only functional solution (not government, not nonprofits – for all their best intentions). But good business practice used to encompass fairness, local concern and “lifting all boats.” I think we must be going mad. ~ Mac McCabe, Portland
Letter: Time for national park
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

It is time to move forward to establish a national park or a national monument in the Katahdin region. There is no downside to the proposed park. Removing 150,000 acres from timbering will have no effect on the future of the forest products industry in the area. The park can only help the local economy. I have canoed the East Branch of the Penobscot River and hiked the International Appalachian Trail through the proposed park. The East Branch is one of Maine’s great canoe rivers. The International Appalachian Trail passes through magnificent old growth forests and over mountain lookouts. A large majority of Maine residents support the park, including 67 percent of residents in the 2nd Congressional District. Sen. Angus King could break the logjam with a little courage and a few simple words of support. ~ Jon Luoma, Alna
Letter: National park will draw people to Millinocket
Bangor Daily News - Monday, February 01, 2016 

In December, Millinocket hosted a marathon. The town warmly welcomed all of us runners. Next December, Millinocket will host this race again, and it is already so popular that registration had to be cut off at 1,000 participants. I hope the enthusiasm for this marathon can be transferred to enthusiasm for a national park in the area. A national park in this region will draw thousands of visitors from around the world. I implore Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins to help humanity and to be leaders in bringing a new national park to Maine. ~ Melissa Ossanna, Bar Harbor
From winter festival to summer camping, Schoodic offers lots to do
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Schoodic Peninsula has long been the quieter side of Acadia National Park, across Frenchman Bay and a world away from the summer hubbub of Bar Harbor. But increasingly, the only section of the park on the mainland is becoming a four-season draw for educators, students, citizen scientists, researchers, birders, families with young children, artists and others.
Current  Archive      Page: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 ...


News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Stadiums Score with Farm-to-Game Eats
By Jodi Helmer - Golden 1 Center in Sacramento and Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta – both under construction – plan to emphasize local foods. In Atlanta, raised beds will produce fruits and vegetables for Falcons fans; in Sacramento, 90 percent of the foods served in the concessions at Golden 1 Center will be sourced from more than 750 local farmers, ranchers, and artisanal food producers within a 150-mile radius of the stadium.
2/4/2016 11:00:00 PM

This Company Might be Setting a New Bar for Transparency in Food
By Rachel Cernansky - The Real Co. is launching a new “Single Origin Verified” label to tell consumers exactly where their food comes from and who made it.
2/3/2016 11:00:00 PM

To Feed the World, Tap Into Organic's Potential: Study
By Andrea Germanos - A new review of four decades of science has come to this conclusion: organic agriculture has a key role to play in feeding the world.
2/3/2016 11:00:00 PM

Are Bee-Killing Pesticides Impacting Our Health?
By Elizabeth Grossman - What do we know about the human health effects of neonicotinoids? Astonishingly little. Here’s why scientists say that isn’t good enough.
2/2/2016 11:00:00 PM

With Zika Virus, Widespread Pesticide Spraying Not the Long-Term Solution, says Entomologist
Speaking to The Guardian, a leading Kenyan entomologist warns that spraying pesticides will fail to deal with the Zika virus. Just recently the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus a public health emergency over growing concerns that the virus is linked with microcephaly. Aerial and ground applications of pesticides have long been used for mosquito control, but many believe that these methods fail to sufficiently control mosquito populations, promote resistance and kill other species that would have acted as a natural predator to mosquitoes.
2/2/2016 11:00:00 PM

How Smuckers and Similac Navigate Non-GMO vs. Organic Brand Strategies
By Michal Clements - Organic has been a food trend for many years, and most food brands have a market strategy perspective on the issue, ranging from actively dismissing organic to embracing it wholeheartedly. Just as the “natural” market starts to settle down, a new popular trend has emerged: Non-GMO.
2/2/2016 11:00:00 PM

Senate Looks to Classify Biomass as Renewable, Carbon Neutral
By Fred Bever - An energy bill that hit the floor of the U.S. Senate this week could provide assistance to the biomass energy industry. U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King of Maine are backing an amendment that supports the classification of biomass as a renewable resource – a move that’s drawing fire from some environmental groups.
2/2/2016 11:00:00 PM

Belfast councilors decide against use of pesticides in park
By Abigail Curtis - City councilors have unanimously supported the creation of a public labyrinth walking path at Belfast Common and decided against the use of pesticides in the same park.
2/2/2016 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

Color Me Green

Unless your child wishes to create something special, save the paper – encourage him or her to exerci...

2/7/2016 4:00:45 AM

Buy Local

Buying locally produced items cuts down on the amount of global warming pollution needed to transport the i...

2/6/2016 4:00:08 AM

Plastic and Foam Containers Have an Impact, in Maine and Globally

Do you know that the plastic bag you innocently accept when the cashier hands you your groceries could actu...

2/5/2016 1:09:02 PM

Clean Fruits & Veggies, Naturally

For a safe, easy way to remove bacteria, pour a few tablespoons of distilled white vinegar into a spray bot...

2/5/2016 4:00:55 AM

Why Fiberight Would Take Maine in Wrong Direction on Waste

By Sarah Lakeman, Special to the BDN Bangor Daily News op-ed As we head into 2016, many Mainers are talking...

2/4/2016 9:57:45 AM

Better Padding

Make and use notepads from used paper. You’ll save trees and cut down on pollution—and keep a few mor...

2/4/2016 4:00:58 AM

Thursday, February 11: A New National Park for Maine, Pittsfield

Join NRCM’s Ryan Parker at the Mid-Maine Community Forum, held at the First Universalist Church of Pittsfie...

2/3/2016 7:14:40 PM

LePage has Nothing to Show for His Monthslong Tirade Against Land for Maine’s Future

By The BDN Editorial Board Bangor Daily News editorial The Land for Maine’s Future ship that Gov. Paul LePa...

2/3/2016 2:27:40 PM

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