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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 06, 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
US Senate Considering Anti-Wildlife "Sportsman's Act"
Action Alert - Friday, March 06, 2015 

The so-called "Bipartisan Sportsmen's Act of 2015" is laden with anti-wildlife provisions, such as:
• Preventing the EPA from addressing lead contamination through ammunition.
• Allowing the import of 41 sport-hunted polar bear "trophies" from Canada.
• Requiring federal agencies to open up millions of acres of public lands to hunting and trapping, incuding of endangered and threatened species like wolves, grizzly bears, and wolverines.
• Directing public land managers to build or expand shooting ranges — major sources of environmental lead contamination.
Chickadee Checkoff on Chopping Block
Action Alert - Friday, March 06, 2015 

Governor LePage's budget proposes to eliminate Chickadee Checkoff, which revenues support important wildlife programs through Maine's Nongame and Endangered Wildlife Fund. ~ Jenn Burns Gray, Maine Audubon
Tell President Obama: Declare our nation’s parks and forests safe from fracking
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 03, 2015 

Oil and gas companies have expressed interest in fracking 12 million more acres of public lands and the Obama administration is on the fence whether to let them have it.
Organic Farming: Principles and Practices, Mar 18 & 25
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 01, 2015 

This two-part course is designed to provide farmers with a strong background in soils, weeds and pest management, enabling them to make good management decisions. At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, $75 individual; $30 additional person; $50 apprentice/student; FREE for journeypersons; $45 per single-day registration. Sponsored by Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Apply to be an Environmental Steward
Announcement - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The Maine Conservation Corps (MCC) is accepting applications for AmeriCorps Environmental Steward positions located throughout Maine for May 2015. MCC is dedicated to environmental education, outdoor recreation and conservation projects, volunteer opportunities, and developing career and leadership skills. Deadline March 30.
Big Night: Rise of the Frogs & Salamanders, Mar 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 

Dan Nein, Stantec Wildlife Biologist, will speak. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, March 11, 7 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Spring Growth: Farming in the Face of Climate Change, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 

MOFGA's 2015 Spring Growth Conference will focus on facing the challenges of climate change and land use change. The day-long event will feature a keynote by John Aber, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment at the University of New Hampshire, and a panel of farmers as well as Glen Koehler, UMaine Cooperative Extension associate scientist, discussing climate change adaptation and mitigation. At MOFGA's Common Ground Education Center, Unity, $50 individual; $75 couples; $25 students and apprentices.
Dive, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 

Dive is a short film rooted in a curiosity about the American’s habit of sending food strait to landfills and how many people could be fed off this waste. At Bath Freight Shed, March 7, 3 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham and Kennebec Estuary Land Trusts.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 25, 2015 

Cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, an ice fishing demo, tote sled rides, nature walks, and bonfire. The ski and snowshoe trailer will be on site for free equipment loans. At at Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, Mar 7, 10 am - 3 pm.
Eastern Maine Sportsmen’s Show, Mar 6-8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 24, 2015 

At University of Maine, Orono, March 6, 5-9 pm; March 7, 9 am-8 pm; March 8, 10 am-3 pm.
Maine Fishermen’s Forum, Mar 5-7
Event - Posted - Monday, February 23, 2015 

The 40th annual Maine Fishermen’s Forum offers three days of good eating, good talking, interesting seminars packed with information on the latest scientific and regulatory issues affecting the fishing industry and a trade show with more than 100 exhibitors. At Samoset Resort, Rockport, March 5-7.
World Wildlife Day, Mar 3
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 21, 2015 

The United Nations General Assembly has proclaimed 3 March, the anniversary of the adoption of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), as World Wildlife Day.
East-West Highway/Corridor Speak Out Opportunities, Mar 2-5
Action Alert - Friday, February 20, 2015 

The Maine Department of Transportation is looking to "Talk Transportation" and seek public input regarding any and all types of transportation issues during a series of regional public meetings throughout the state. Activists may use the opportunity to speak in opposition to the proposed East-West Highway/Corridor.
The Local Sustainable Food Scene, Mar 1
Event - Posted - Friday, February 20, 2015 

Seth Kroeck, farmer and manager of the Crystal Spring Farm CSA, & Maina Handmaker, director of the proposed Food Shed in Brunswick will present an overview of the local and sustainable food movement. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, March 1, 2-3:03 pm. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
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News Items
Letter: Maine at crossroads
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

The Maine economy is at a crossroads. The old ways are gone. We can be bold and go for green economic growth, or we can fall back on old chestnuts such as an east-west highway, an effort that would set us back relative to the way the rest of the world is moving forward. The only thing in the way is ourselves. ~ Tod Cheney, Blue Hill
Letter: Stop mining rule change
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, February 28, 2015 

In 2012, LD 1853, a bill to weaken Maine’s metallic mineral mining rules, was approved by Maine Department of Environmental Protection and Board of Environmental Protection. Luckily, the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee rejected these weakened rules with LD 1772, directing the DEP to reformulate mining rules. LD 1772 was vetoed by Gov. Paul LePage, leaving the door open for another try. The same weak mining rules are back in the form of LD 146. Make your voice heard by sending comments to the Environmental and Natural Resources Committee. ~ Carole Boothroyd, Dover Foxcroft
Deer can survive cold, snow, but need a thaw
Mount Desert Islander - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Record snows and bitter cold temperatures pose serious survival challenges for the local deer population. But whether winter has a serious effect on the overall size of the deer herd depends in large part on another factor –spring – according to Maine state wildlife biologist Tom Schaeffer. “Winter’s a tough time, and even in a mild winter you expect some losses,” Schaeffer told the Islander this week. “But, if they break out of winter in either a normal or an early spring, they do surprisingly well.”
AG Mills orders wind power opposition group to replace leaders or disband
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

The statewide wind power opposition group Friends of Maine Mountains will have to shut down if it can’t restructure its five-member board of directors within four months, as part of a settlement with Maine’s attorney general. Chris O’Neil, public affairs director for the group, said the process of replacing board members — including himself — is under way and said the group will not shut down. In addition to replacing four of five members on its board of directors, the settlement requires the group to adopt stricter financial reporting requirements, specific conflict of interest provisions.
Price surge pushes Maine lobster catch value to all-time high
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Maine’s lobster catch brought in an estimated $456.9 million to fishermen in 2014, an all-time high that was driven by the largest one-year increase in price per pound in more than 50 years. The Department of Marine Resources this week released preliminary catch figures, showing average prices paid to fishermen jumped more than 25 percent — to $3.69 per pound — for the 2014 season. The average statewide price in 2013 was $2.90.
SolarCity and Google partner on $750 million solar fund, largest of its kind
Other - Friday, February 27, 2015 

SolarCity and Google liked their partnership that funded residential solar installations so much they’re doing it again — only bigger. The two Silicon Valley companies are teaming up on a fund expected to finance $750 million in residential solar projects across 14 states and the District of Columbia, which the companies say would be the largest nest egg of its kind. Google will put in $300 million, which the search giant said was its largest renewable-energy investment yet, topping the $280 million invested in a similar SolarCity fund in 2011.
Cate Street, GNP owe Millinocket $1.49 million in taxes
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

The corporations that bought and sold the last paper machine in Millinocket owe $1.49 million in late tax payments to the town and are seeking a $380,000 tax break, officials said this week. Town Manager Peggy Daigle said the nonpayment makes it “hard for us to operate as a town because we anticipate getting $1.3 million. Anything short of that will hurt us and our way to operate. We have to curtail spending to make up for this.”
Letter: Mining is destructive
Bangor Daily News - Friday, February 27, 2015 

Metallic mining will create an environmental disaster that will pose a major threat to Maine’s clean water. Last year, the Legislature overwhelmly defeated the proposed mining rules. Why is the same mining bill being considered again? The North Woods of Maine are a national treasure and are far more valuable to the people of Maine than any minerals beneath the mountains. It is the duty of Maine’s legislators to preserve Maine’s environment for future generations. ~ David Wood, Hallowell
Senator Collins Questions Secretary Pritzker, Maine Delegation Responds to Coalition for Fair Paper Imports' Petition
Other - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

In a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing today, Senator Susan Collins questioned Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker regarding the ongoing, unfair subsidies received by the Port Hawkesbury paper mill in Canada. In response to Senator Collins’ questions, Secretary Pritzker reaffirmed her commitment to enforcing international trade obligations and committed to keeping the Maine delegation updated about their investigations into the matter.
Warden apprehends cat-eating Orono bobcat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The hungry bobcat that became the subject of a trap and relocation effort was captured Thursday night and was being taken to a more suitable location by a game warden, a Maine State Police dispatcher confirmed. State wildlife officials had been trying to trap and relocate it to a more suitable location after it ate at least one neighborhood pet.
Millinocket hires new town manager
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The Town Council voted 5-1 on Thursday to hire Millinocket native John Davis as the new town manager. The 59-year-old Davis will leave his job as Frenchville’s town manager on March 31 to succeed retiring Town Manager Peggy Daigle on April 3. Daigle has held the job for almost two years. Millinocket’s economy has suffered for the last 20 years from the contraction of the state’s papermaking industry, a decline exacerbated by the closure of a Katahdin Avenue paper mill in 2008 and the East Millinocket mill last year. Davis served as Millinocket’s Town Council chairman from November 2004 until taking the Frenchville position. He was re-elected to the council in 2009.
Maine lobster fishermen hauled record catch in 2014
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Last year represented another year of historic landings and improved value for lobster caught by Maine fishermen, the Maine Department of Marine Resources says. Maine lobster fishermen landed over 120 million pounds with a record overall value of $456 million, according to preliminary landings data compiled by the department. The 123,676,100 pounds of lobster that were landed represented an improvement of 79 cents per pound over 2013 lobster prices, which were $2.90 per pound.
Medway leaders to endorse national park plan with letter to congressional delegates
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Town leaders will draft a letter to Maine’s congressional delegation endorsing the 150,000-acre North Woods national park and recreation area proposed by Lucas St. Clair. The Board of Selectmen voted 4-0 on Monday to draft the endorsement letter, saying that the park would be a tonic for the struggling Katahdin region economy. Selectman Rob Farrington was absent. “You have to do something for the area. It is not getting any businesses,” Selectman Darrell Lyons said Thursday. “Tourism is the only thing that will create jobs.”
Column: Dreaming of a white…birding fest?
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

At the rate winter is going, this year’s Down East Spring Birding Festival may be conducted on snowshoes. Washington County has had so much snow, residents are leaving the house through the second-floor window. Nonetheless, festival season has already started, and the early bird gets the worm. Registration is open for Maine’s three premier festivals. ~ Bob Duchesne
Let’s make sure Maine’s citizen initiatives really come from Maine citizens
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Dave Trahan, executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, led the way in support of a bill he drafted. The SAM bill includes a number of new steps petition gatherers would have to take, including posting a $2000 bond for each circulator receiving over $2500 in compensation. The bill would also require circulators to register with the Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices and to disclose to the commission information regarding the person’s place of residence, employment history, compensation, number of signatures gathered in a month and petitions circulated and to wear an identification bade when collecting signatures.
Irving-owned companies at odds over Canada pipeline plan
Reuters - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Two companies owned by the billionaire Irving family in eastern Canada appear at odds over some of the details of the country’s largest oil pipeline project, which one of them backs. Forestry company J.D. Irving filed a notice with Canadian regulators this week, saying it was “vitally concerned” about how TransCanada Corp’s proposed Alberta-to-New Brunswick pipeline would affect its operations. J.D. Irving is owned by the same family as Irving Oil, which is a key backer of the Energy East pipeline. The massive project is seen as Canada’s best hope of exporting its vast oil sands reserves to overseas markets. J.D. Irving is one of North America’s largest landholders, with more than 5 million acres in New Brunswick and Maine.
Opinion: We’re forcing the Penobscot Nation to fight for ‘home’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

The five-plus-century-old practice of state and federal encroachment and entitlement to the Penobscot River and all Native-reserved territory made me stop and contemplate, seriously, on what it must feel like to lose my home — and it feels like abject sadness. Ours is also a mobile society. We are immigrants. The Penobscot Nation understands “home” on a much deeper level. It is not just the living family that reflects home; home includes family who have crossed over. Home means rites and rituals, ceremony, stories, language, culture maintained and passed down. Home means the grounds and waters and trees and mountains where past, present and future intersect. ~ Dr. Cheryl Robertson, Orono
Ocean scientists report ‘unprecedented’ spike in sea level off Portland several years ago
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Sea levels off Portland rose by 5 inches during 2009 and 2010 as part of what researchers called an “unprecedented” two-year spike resulting from changes in ocean circulation that are tied to rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. They said extreme fluctuations in sea level are likely to occur more frequently, given the rate of climate change, which raises the threat of more frequent flooding, erosion and damage to homes and property along the coast.
Response from Dept. of Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry to Article on Changes in Maine's Forestry Practices
Free Press - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

This paper's recent piece, "Maine's Top Forestry Expert Debunks the Claim That It's Good Forestry to Overcut for 20 Years," takes a chainsaw to the highly technical and complicated subject of how Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry (DACF) experts apply forest practices to promote the long-term health and vibrancy of Maine forests. Rather than present readers with balanced information to further a valuable public discussion, the writer ignored virtually all of the data, reports and perspective DACF professionals provided her regarding the 2014 harvest on Public Lands under the DACF's Annual Allowable Cut.
Officials trying to trap, relocate cat-eating Orono bobcat
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

A hungry bobcat that’s eaten at least one neighborhood pet has drawn the attention of state wildlife officials, who are trying to trap and relocate it to a more suitable location. Maine Game Warden Jim Fahey said he heard reports of a bobcat in the area of North Main Avenue, Crosby Street and Park Street, not far from the back entrance to the University of Maine campus.
South Portland may preserve controversial lot as open space
Forecaster - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

City councilors and citizens took the first steps Monday night toward deciding what to do with the 2.3-acre parcel of city land at the corner of Main and Westbrook Streets. Most options they discussed, including creation of a conservation easement, eventually would preserve the property as open space.
NOAA, fishing industry find rare common ground on cod actions
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Gloucester Daily Times- The period for public comment ends Monday on the fishing sectors’ proposal to trade cod allocation for the elimination of some restrictive elements of the emergency cod measures NOAA Fisheries instituted last November in the Gulf of Maine. Barring comment that will sway NOAA to a different conclusion, a coalition of industry stakeholders and sector managers seem to have done something extraordinary: convince the federal fisheries management regulator to reconsider a policy deemed by fishermen to be overly restrictive, dangerous and economically unfair.
Spanish company that owns CMP buying another utility serving Northeast
Associated Press - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Spain’s leading electricity and natural gas company, Iberdrola, will buy the northeastern U.S. utility UIL Holdings Corp. in a deal valued at about $3 billion, the companies said Thursday. The combined company will serve 3.1 million electric and natural gas customers in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New York.
Opinion: Yet another environmental concern
Times Record - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Our governor thinks the melting Arctic is a godsend for future Maine prosperity, providing new shorter shipping lanes across the top of the world. Our Independent senator thinks it’s a great resource availing opportunity and defense advantage. Neither has spoken to the inevitable environmental dangers. Shipping itself is fraught with negative environmental impacts. Antarctica is still protected against environmental exploitation by a soon elapsing international treaty. The Arctic is currently being legally repositioned for impending “development.” Our polar environments were perfectly fine when mankind knew its place within a natural balance, taking only enough resources to co-exist. Who would have ever thought that wordplay on “Noah” and “NOAA” could be the punchline of such a humorless and desperate environmental non-joke played out over a single lifetime? As a great absurdist once observed, “So funny I forgot to laugh.” ~ Gary Anderson
Letter: Brunswick’s waters are for everyone
Times Record - Thursday, February 26, 2015 

Once again we witness how intelligent, well-meaning committee members create strange and unfair new rules, this time on the matter of boat mooring regulations. How does this happen? Now Brunswick shorefront property owners can have a mooring, or even the three they have now, but those of us who don’t own at least 100 feet of shorefront (where did that come from?) are denied this right. Creation of this privileged class of landowners who have exclusive rights to moor in the waters shared by ALL is misguided, wrong and un-democratic. ~ William Van Twisk, Brunswick
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Semi-veggie diet effectively lowers heart disease, stroke risk
American Heart Association - A pro-vegetarian diet that emphasizes a higher proportion of plant-based foods compared to animal-based foods may help lower the risks of dying from heart disease and stroke by up to 20 percent, according to a large-scale study. Researchers suggest that substituting some of the meat in your diet with vegetables may be a simple way to lower the risk of heart-related death.
3/4/2015 11:00:00 PM

Jane Goodall and Steven Druker Expose US Government Fraud over GMOs
In a new book, American public interest attorney Steven Druker reveals how the US government and leading scientific institutions have systematically misrepresented the facts about GMOs and the scientific research that casts doubt on their safety. The book, Altered Genes, Twisted Truth, features a foreword by the renowned primatologist Dame Jane Goodall, hailing it as “without doubt one of the most important books of the last 50 years”.
3/3/2015 11:00:00 PM

'Cow-Free Milk:' A False Solution to Industry Agriculture
By Kerstin Lindgren - Sometimes technological advances come about to answer the wrong question. But what happens when you ask the right question but technology is the wrong tool? You get Muufri. If you don’t feel comfortable drinking milk from a cow but do feel comfortable drinking milk that a few guys made in the lab on summer vacation, then Muufri is for you.
3/3/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine chef Brian Hill is living the dream
By Peggy Grodinsky - The owner of Francine Bistro and Shepherd's Pie, a six-time nominee for Best Chef: Northeast, talks rock 'n' roll and the magic of a really good restaurant.
3/3/2015 11:00:00 PM

New CCOF Certification Seal Highlights Non-GMO Status of Organic Food
CCOF – the nation’s leader in organic certification, advocacy, and education – offers a new “Non-GMO & More” seal for its certified members. The seal underscores the prohibition of GMOs in organic and recognizes the many contributions of organic to a healthier world.
3/1/2015 11:00:00 PM

A New Generation of Dairy Farmers
By Andrew Amelinkx - In third grade, Sarah Chase was asked what she wanted to be when she grew up. Her answer: a dairy farmer and the president. While the second quest has yet to come to fruition, she did indeed grow up to be a dairy farmer. And she isn’t alone.
3/1/2015 11:00:00 PM

Maine Farmland Trust establishes new program, announces fellow
Amanda Beal, a sustainable food policy advocate and consultant who grew up on a Maine dairy farm and is widely respected within Maine’s agricultural community, will serve as MFT’s inaugural Fellow. Amanda is a past president of MOFGA.
3/1/2015 11:00:00 PM

Appeals court to hear case on EPA role in bee die-off
By Tiffany Stecker - The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed last week to hear the first case to challenge U.S. EPA's role in the massive loss of bees in the last decade. The case will be heard on April 14 in San Francisco.
3/1/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

PUC Study: Solar Power Delivers Economic Return
By Susan Sharon, MPBN Staff MPBN news story AUGUSTA, Maine – A new study by the Maine Public Utilities C...
3/6/2015 12:45:03 PM

New Life to Old Coffee Cans
Reuse old coffee cans to store nails, small hardware, coins, or even to keep the t.p. dry in the outhouse at y...
3/6/2015 4:00:34 AM

Medway, East Millinocket Selectmen Finalizing List of National Park Requirements
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff Bangor Daily News news story MEDWAY, Maine — Medway’s Board of Selectmen wants...
3/5/2015 7:51:25 AM

Keep an Open Flow
If your heat comes from a monitor or baseboard, make sure it’s operating as efficiently as possible. Cle...
3/5/2015 4:00:18 AM

Senate Fails to Override Obama Veto of Keystone XL Pipeline
It’s the latest chapter in the struggle between Republicans and the president over energy policy. By Din...
3/4/2015 2:38:16 PM

South Portland Hires Boston Law Firm to Defend Clear Skies Ordinance
by Alex Acquisto, The Forecaster staff The Forecaster news story SOUTH PORTLAND — The Boston law firm Foley Ho...
3/4/2015 11:13:57 AM

Majority of Mainers Oppose Weakened Mining Rules
NRCM just completed an showing that Maine people, particularly from Aroostook County, overwhelming spoke out i...
3/4/2015 11:09:34 AM

Don’t Sit Idle
Unless the temperatures are well below zero, your car only needs to warm up for about thirty seconds. If your ...
3/4/2015 4:00:27 AM
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