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
Letter: Climate change is real
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 

After the most recent events here in Maine with the dramatic waves and ocean levels rising, I think we can all agree global warming is in fact a real threat, although President Donald Trump and head of the Environmental Protection Agency Scott Pruitt will say differently. Camp Ellis Beach in Saco was severely damaged and Kennebunk beach was closed off, as was Wells Beach. Our environment is changing and these changes are caused by us. We need to keep the Clean Power Plan, we need to keep progress going forward. Most importantly, we need to keep the EPA fully funded. ~ Briana Germoglia, Kennebunk
Letter: Gun action needed
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 14, 2018 

Our children shout, “Enough is enough.” They are not burdened by political prejudice. Three cheers for these brave young patriots. They demand action: raise the age for gun ownership to 21; require a safety course for all gun owners just as we do for hunters; reduce the legal clip size to that of a traditional hunting rifle; make bump stocks illegal; require universal background checks for the sale of any firearm; outlaw semiautomatic weapons, such as the AR-15; keep weapons away from those who don’t have the mental capacity to use them correctly; and ensure better data gathering and sharing among law enforcement agencies. ~ Ray Owen, Orono [Former Maine Inland Fish & Wildlife Commissioner]
House passes bill to fix territorial, jurisdictional problems around Acadia
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A bill to fix a series of territorial and jurisdictional problems at and around Acadia National Park passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a unanimous voice vote Tuesday evening. The bill and an identical measure in the Senate have the support of Maine’s entire four-member congressional delegation and resolves rules about how and where the park can expand and allows clammers and wormers to work tidal flats next to park land. The House bill omits an earlier provision that would have directed the park to give $350,000 to a consortium of Mount Desert Island town governments to subsidize trash disposal – a move that park proponents have said would cripple the park’s next budget.
Conservation trust buys more than 3,000 acres in Amity area
The County - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A Forest City-based conservation trust has acquired a substantial parcel of land along the headwaters of the Chiputneticook Lakes system that officials say will be preserved for traditional recreation uses.
Arthur Wheaton, president of the Woodie Wheaton Land Trust, said that all of the 3,053 acres acquired under its Headwaters Project are within the East Grand Lake Watershed. The acreage borders 9.4 miles of Monument Stream in Amity, and includes both forested uplands and extensive wetlands along Greenleaf and Glendenning brooks. Abutting the southern border are another 7,486 acres the trust originally acquired as part of its East Grand Watershed Initiative.
Maine’s Small Ski Areas Get Boost From Late-Season Snow
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Maine ski operators, particularly smaller ones, are enthusiastically embracing the back-to-back blizzards this month. Even a short drought can leave some mountains struggling for the rest of the season to recoup their losses. Only two weeks ago, parts of Maine were reporting temperatures in the upper 50s. That wasn’t making ski area operators like Bill Whitcomb, who runs New Hermon Mountain Ski Area near Bangor, at all happy. But this week’s snowstorm has put a smile on his face.
22 National Science Academies Urge Government Action on Climate Change
Inside Climate News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

As some of the world's biggest polluters resist efforts to address climate change—most glaringly, the United States—thousands of scientists from countries that make up the Commonwealth of Nations say their governments need to take bolder steps to lower greenhouse gas emissions. On Monday, the national science academies of 22 Commonwealth countries, including from the UK, Canada, India and Australia, issued a "Consensus Statement on Climate Change," declaring that the "Commonwealth has the potential, and the responsibility, to help drive meaningful global efforts and outcomes that protect ourselves, our children and our planet."
Boyne to assume ownership of Sugarloaf, Sunday River, other ski resorts
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Michigan-based Boyne Resorts has reached an agreement to assume outright ownership of six ski resorts it is operating under long-term lease agreements, including Loon Mountain in New Hampshire; and Sugarloaf and Sunday River in Maine.
CMP Proposes $214 Million Portland-Area Electricity Infrastructure Upgrade
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Central Maine Power wants ratepayers to invest $200 million or more in Portland-area electricity infrastructure. But some lawmakers and the state’s utility watchdog say the company is underestimating the potential for alternatives that could be much cheaper, and much better for the environment. Barry Hobbins, the state’s public advocate, says CMP is lowballing the alternatives and relying too heavily on the costly infrastructure needed to send bulk power long distances, often from polluting generators. He wants more emphasis on reducing demand on the regional grid through the use of localized resources such as solar power, grid-scale batteries, energy efficiency and high-tech load management.
Maine tribes, progressives slam AG Mills for ‘attacks’ on tribal fishing rights
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Two Indian tribes and several progressive groups assailed Attorney General Janet Mills on Tuesday for her role in a court fight over tribal water rights, highlighting a key challenge from the left that could harm her 2018 gubernatorial bid. The Democrat signed onto a brief supporting the state of Washington in its challenge to federal water regulations. In a Tuesday letter, leaders of the Penobscot Nation and Passamaquoddy Tribe joined more than 20 progressive groups — including the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Conservation Voters and American Civil Liberties Union of Maine — to blast Mills for “attacks upon tribal fishing rights at home and well beyond Maine.”
Angus King Challenges Interior Secretary On Offshore Drilling
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine questioned Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on Tuesday on a proposal to open most of the coastal areas of the United States to exploratory drilling for gas and oil. King used a hearing on the Interior Department budget to press Zinke to pay attention to the opposition that’s coming from from the state of Maine. King asked Zinke to exempt Maine waters from consideration for drilling, as the secretary did for the state of Florida. Zinke made no promises.
Should Some Species Be Allowed to Die Out?
New York Times - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A sweeping set of proposals has recently been put forward by elected officials hoping to take advantage of the Trump administration’s willingness to weaken the environmental protections afforded by the Endangered Species Act. By the time I arrived in late May, the team had spent the past three months rotating in and out of a muddy field camp. The team that week consisted of just two people: Mandy Peterson and Marcus Collado, a wildlife biologist from Maine who was easygoing but prone to turning morose. As the list of endangered animals worldwide grows longer, society may soon be faced with an impossible decision: which ones to take off life support.
Prospects strengthened for $1 billion CMP corridor project
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The proposal to build a $950 million power line through western Maine received a major boost on Monday, when a decision by a regulatory board in New Hampshire mortally wounded the project’s competitor. Action by the New Hampshire Site Evaluation Committee to delay its final decision on the Northern Pass transmission line likely will make an alternative proposal from Central Maine Power the default winner in a bid to supply vast amounts of hydroelectricity from Quebec to Massachusetts, according to a chief opponent of Northern Pass.
Zinke defends hiking park fees amid travel spending flap
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke bristled Tuesday under questioning by Democrats about his travel spending as the Trump administration seeks deep cuts to conservation programs and fee increases at national parks. Zinke has proposed doubling entry fees during peak seasons at some of the nation’s most popular national parks to help make up for a backlog in needed maintenance. Meanwhile, he has proposed cutting the royalties paid by energy companies to drill for oil and natural gas on public lands and offshore waters. Zinke flashed with anger when pressed on whether he could justify increasing access fees for working Americans when he has been spending taxpayer money on chartered airplane flights.
Mike Pompeo is a Climate Change Skeptic and an Energy Realist
Breitbart News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Trump’s prospective new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is a drastic improvement on his predecessor. For a start, being a skeptic, Pompeo is far less likely to undermine his president’s position on energy and climate change.
Trump’s Secretary of State pick is ‘the number 1 all time recipient of KOCH Industries $$’
Think Progress - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

President Donald Trump has officially fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and intends to nominate current CIA director Mike Pompeo in his place. Tillerson was the former CEO of ExxonMobil, which for decades was the number one funder of climate science disinformation until they were surpassed by the Koch brothers starting in 2005. Before Pompeo became CIA Director in 2017, he had for six years been a GOP House member from Kansas. In just four election cycles, 2010 through 2016, Pompeo received over $900,000 from the Koch brothers. He is also a Tea Party member and a major denier of climate science.
Mike Pompeo, Climate Policy Foe, Picked to Replace Tillerson as Secretary of State
Inside Climate News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

With Rex Tillerson's firing, President Donald Trump's new choice for Secretary of State—Mike Pompeo, a former Kansas congressman currently serving as director of the CIA—signals a hardening stance against international engagement on climate change. Pompeo's career in business and politics was tightly intertwined with the oil magnate Koch brothers, and he has shown a deep disregard for climate science and the need to address the climate crisis. Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune said replacing Tillerson with Pompeo amounts to turning "our global diplomatic efforts over from Exxon to the Koch Brothers."
Saddleback buyer reportedly won’t ‘lose any sleep’ if resort doesn’t reopen
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The Australian developer who has entered into an agreement to buy Saddleback Mountain has reportedly told members of his staff that opening the mountain is not a primary goal for his company and the EB-5 visa program that gives foreign investors permanent residency is the reason his company is buying the idle ski resort.
Candidate for governor hopes to ski to victory
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Steve DeAngelis of Readfield is hoping to ski his way to victory in the Democratic gubernatorial primary. Steve has been an exceptional teacher and cross-country ski coach at Maranacook High School. On March 24, Steve takes his campaign to northern Maine, where he will ski from Fort Kent to Millinocket. And you can ski with him.
Ready Seafood plans new lobster processing facility in Saco
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A new lobster processing facility will be built on 40 acres in Saco, a boon to the state’s limited processing operations. The company already has processing facilities in Scarborough and a holding facility in Portland. Last fall it announced plans to partner with the University of Maine in a research project to see if they can discover and test safe methods to toughen the shells of soft-shell lobsters, which would allow the crustaceans to be shipped greater distances for distribution. Although Maine leads the country in lobster landings, a great percentage of the catch has to be sent to Canada for processing.
New Maine lobster processing plant to be among largest in US, keep work in-state
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Maine fishermen catch more lobsters than anyone else in the U.S., but the state has a lack of facilities to process their meat for commercial use. Enter Ready Seafood Co. of Portland, which plans to change that with a new 40-acre campus in Saco, 18 miles south of Portland. The project could help alter the landscape of the North American lobster business, in which Americans typically send millions of pounds per year to Canada, which has far greater processing capacity than the U.S. The U.S. sent more than $200 million worth of lobsters to Canada last year alone.
Ryan Zinke’s trip to Pennsylvania may have violated the Hatch Act
Think Progress - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke’s visit to a small town south of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, less than three weeks before a special election, is drawing scrutiny to determine whether the official trip was really an opportunity to throw his support behind the Republican hoping to fill the open congressional seat. The request comes as Zinke faces ongoing investigations on multiple fronts, including his use of taxpayer money for personal and political travel as well as his potentially retaliatory reassignment of Department of the Interior professional staff.
Opinion: Maine needs new natural gas capacity to control our energy costs
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

A handful of extremists are holding up Maine’s economic and energy future. They are blocking New England’s access to affordable, clean burning natural gas, keeping us captive to high energy prices during the recent bone-chilling weather. Because they have opposed projects like Access Northeast, we have a limited amount of natural gas available for regional electric generation on the coldest days. And delays to Atlantic Bridge deny us access to more cost-effective domestic natural gas supplies for our homes and businesses. ~ Dana Connors, Maine State Chamber of Commerce
Moose Images
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

What does a New England moose look like? Yankee readers shared their best moose images.
America's Last Vast Forest
Other - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

With its inception nearly two years ago the Maine Mountain Collaborative has identified the Maine Appalachian Corridor as a vital wildlife and forest region providing habitat resilience in the face of climate change. The Collaborative has convened leading scientists and distilled the latest research on the importance of this Maine mountain region. It has also advanced current thinking on conservation-minded private investment and sustainable forest management techniques. The Collaborative is working to bring attention to the region’s national ecological significance, as well as its exceptional recreational, economic and cultural importance.
Blog: An Immigrant, an Artist and an American Mythmaker
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Two hundred years ago 17-year-old Thomas Cole emigrated from England to the United States, where he would revolutionize painting in his new country by creating “wild landscapes that were unmistakably American.” Born at the onset of the industrial revolution, Cole discovered in the American wilderness an antidote to the polluted rivers, poisoned air, and exploited working people that he had witnessed in the land of his birth. He wanted his art to offer an alternative vision to what he saw as his adoptive country’s reckless embrace of destructive progress. At those times in our history when politicians seek to divide us and speculators greedily divvy up the public landscape, Cole’s images remind us that nature’s value cannot be determine solely in dollars and awe is not only for ordnance. ~ James G. Blaine
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