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
Audubon: Number of Loons in Maine Holding Steady
Associated Press - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Maine Audubon says the results of its annual loon count last year showed a population that appears to be holding steady. Maine has the largest common loon population in the eastern U.S. The bird's range has shrunk in the United States, and it faces threats such as environmental pollution. The number of adult loons estimated for 2017 is "virtually unchanged'' from the previous two years at about 2,800. The group says there are also about 450 loon chicks, and the estimated number of chicks has climbed in three consecutive years.
Orrington man has paddled his kayak in Maine waters for 301 straight months
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Larry Merrill was about five years into what has become a 25-year habit before he even realized that he’d paddled his kayak each month — in Maine — no matter the conditions. On Saturday, Merrill, now 73 years old, pushed his personal streak forward another notch, as he headed out on Sedgeunkedunk Stream for a brisk morning paddle. That outing marked the 301st consecutive month that he’d paddled for at least 20 minutes on Maine water. And though some might think he’s a bit odd, he says paddling in the cold is actually pretty pleasant.
Interior’s Zinke: No friend of the animals
Other - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

Salon - Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has taken aim at iconic animals like the bald eagle and the elephant with his policies and pressured subordinates at a National Park to reopen the park’s lakes to motorized boats after invasive zebra mussels were found in the state. Zinke put a grizzly bear and a stuffed bobcat in his office. One of Zinke’s backers in getting the job was Donald Trump Jr., an avid hunter who was photographed in 2012 holding the bloody tail of a dead elephant.
Letter: More people are turning to watching wildlife than trying to trap it
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

About two-thirds more people come to this state every year to watch a live moose than to kill a moose in the annual hunting permit lottery. All across this country, more people are turning to camping, hiking and wildlife watching as opposed to hunting or trapping wildlife. People should be very concerned about L.D. 11, which would enshrine the right to hunt and fish into the Maine Constitution. Lobbied for by the NRA, it would make wildlife their own private rather than a public resource. L.D. 11 would eliminate the citizen petition process with regard to wildlife and forever silence the public on wildlife management issues. ~ Val Philbrick, Scarborough
Letter: Pollution reduction’s significant, but more needs to be done
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

The Maine Legislature has unanimously reauthorized Maine’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. In a time when our federal government is heading in the wrong direction on fossil fuels, this is a good step. However, this is a regional plan. The New England states are at the end of the “tailpipe” of pollution from Western states. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby carbon fee and dividend would impose a nationwide fee on fossil fuel production that rises yearly on a per-ton basis. The money collected would be distributed directly to the American people in a monthly check. All Mainers should contact their representatives and urge them to stop the greenhouse gas threat. ~ Karen Tolstrup, Kennebunk
Letter: Don’t tax ‘green’ vehicles
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 13, 2018 

I have no electric or hybrid vehicles, but the tax on these vehicles being debated in the Legislature is unfair. Those who buy these “green vehicles” buy them to save money and the environment. They should not have to take what they have saved to finance the Department of Transportation. Instead, the state police could pull over rusty gas guzzlers bearing unbelievable inspection stickers (which if I can count 30 out of every 100 cars I pass). These vehicles are hazardous to all of us on the road. Collect fines and taxes from these, not those who obey the law whose only crime is being eco-friendly. ~ John Fox, Newport
In winter, Johnny’s Selected Seeds just blossoms
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 12, 2018 

On the day before the big nor’easter last week, workers at Johnny’s Selected Seeds were scurrying about inside a huge shipping warehouse, filling seed orders that will go to gardeners – and thawed soil – around the world. The number of employees in the shipping department inside the fulfillment center in Winslow swelled from 10 to 70 as an additional 60 seasonal workers keep up with the work that begins the first of the year, warehouse supervisor Steve Mott said.
New government climate change report outlines projected impact on states, country
Washington Post - Monday, March 12, 2018 

The country’s top independent scientific advisory body, the U.S. National Academies, has largely approved a major climate report being prepared by scientists within the Trump administration – suggesting that another key government document could soon emerge that contradicts President Donald Trump’s skepticism about climate change and humans’ role in driving it. The draft report says U.S. temperatures will rise markedly in coming decades, accompanied by many other attendant effects. It predicts that Northeastern fisheries will be stressed by warmer ocean waters.
Beyond Beauty
Yankee Magazine - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Nature photographer Jerry Monkman creates art that’s also a call to action.
Ghosts of the Northern Forest
Yankee Magazine - Monday, March 12, 2018 

From the heart of moose country, a story about who wins and who loses in our rapidly changing climate.
Two Voices, One Message
Yankee Magazine - Monday, March 12, 2018 

As Vermont scholars from very different eras, George Perkins Marsh and Bill McKibben share common ground in trying to save the planet.
Green Milestones
Yankee Magazine - Monday, March 12, 2018 

A look at some of New England’s most memorable contributions to the conservation movement, from Walden to Project Puffin.
Rising Seas
Yankee Magazine - Monday, March 12, 2018 

New England was built on the coast. Its fate will depend upon how well we adapt to a future that can no longer be denied.
Attorney General Janet Mills lambasts the Trump administration's proposal for offshore oil and gas drilling
Maine Government News - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Attorney General Janet Mills severely criticized the Trump administration's proposal to drill for oil and gas off the Atlantic shore this week. In comments filed with Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, Attorney General Mills claimed that in granting Florida a waiver from the drilling proposal because of the impact on that state's coastal tourism economy, the Trump administration purposefully ignored the equally important impact on Maine's tourism economy.
Researchers concerned about health of Maine lake after algal bloom
Associated Press - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Researchers in Maine say a lake’s recent algal blooms are prompting concerns over the health of the body of water. Beginning in May, water quality tests will begin at Highland Lake in Windham and Falmouth, after a mysterious algal bloom has reappeared every July for the last four summers. Officials say there is no evidence that this bloom is toxic, but it causes a pervasive and noticeable cloudiness in the water.
Bears move into cottage to spend the winter
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Bears make themselves at home in a comfy cottage. They fish, enjoy evening fires, and even invite lots of other critters to join them. OK, you’ve probably figured out I’m writing about a wonderful new children’s book. The illustrations in kids’ books today are amazing, and you will be delighted and entertained by Karel Hayes’ drawings in The Spring Visitors, published by Down East Books.
Canadian firm looking for signs of mine potential in northern Maine
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Since last December, Wolfden Resources geologist Art Hamilton has been studying drilling samples from 500-million-year-old volcanic rock near Pickett Mountain in northeastern Penobscot County. Through the end of the year Hamilton and Wolfden’s team of contractors will be taking more than 32,000 feet of 2½-inch diameter core samples of the Pickett Mountain deposit to determine whether it is economically feasible to develop what would be the state’s first large-scale metal mining operation in about five decades.
After 25 years of term limits, Maine still has plenty of career politicians
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 12, 2018 

Maine enacted legislative term limits in 1993, when 67 percent of voters endorsed the measure proposed through a citizen-initiated referendum. But 25 years later, the politician it targeted is still in office, candidates with legislative service dating to the 1970s are running and Maine’s citizen legislature is populated by elected officials who would have a hard time disputing that the label “career politician” fits them. Being a legislator is a part-time job, but it’s one that some State House regulars have held for decades.
Letter: Climate action needed
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 12, 2018 

There are great stores of frozen methane in the shallow Arctic Ocean and vast permafrost regions that are beginning to thaw. If a fraction were to release, it would push up global temperatures. Ppollution causes 9 million deaths each year at a cost of $4.6 billion. Environmental degradation and climate change have initiated what is already called the sixth and greatest extinction because it is happening so fast and by so many drivers. We might consider putting the brakes on releasing any more carbon and learn how we can live more locally and simply. Is there really any sane alternative to not trying? Besides, who can say that, while life is magnificent and sacred, our civilization with all the wars and inequity is so fine? ~ Peter Baldwin, Brooks
Maine Audubon shares 2017 Loon Count results & gears up for 35th year
Maine Audubon - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Last July 15, 1,377 people participated in the 34th annual Maine Audubon Loon Count, once again providing reliable survey data that Maine Audubon can use to estimate the size of the population and look at trends over time. Despite bad weather, counters tallied 1,816 adults and 182 chicks on 311 lakes across the state. The group projects a statewide population of 2,817 adult Common Loons and 453 chicks. The 35th Annual Loon Count will happen on the morning of July 21, 2018.
Public forum will review health of Highland Lake
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Beginning in May, researchers will launch extensive testing of water quality in Highland Lake on the Windham-Falmouth town line. Their goal is to determine the cause of a bloom of blue-green algae that has appeared every July for the last four summers. The mysterious bloom has prompted the towns to study their zoning ordinances and has disrupted development in the watershed.
Dueling Paths To Addressing The National Park Service's Maintenance Backlog
National Parks Traveler - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The National Park Service's nearly $12 billion maintenance backlog didn't materialize overnight, but rather has been growing for nearly two decades. It's been puzzled together by the need for the Park Service to care for all the buildings, roads, trails, and campgrounds within the system as well as address safety and health matters that can impact visitors and park employees. There currently are at least three proposals for tackling that backlog, each with its own unique nuances. Moving forward, there seems so far to be a lack of interest in Congress overall to address the backlog.
Maple syrup producers hoping to tap out second season
Associated Press - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The annual maple season got off to another early start with warmups in parts of New England, and producers are hopeful the recent cold and snow will extend it. “The fear is that it’s so warm that the season will end soon,” said Michael Bryant, of Hilltop Boilers Maple Syrup in Newfield, in southern Maine.
Baxter State Park seeking help to identify snowmobile outlaws
Maine Environmental News - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Baxter State Park is seeking help from the public in identifying two individuals who ignored posted trail closures and entered several restricted areas of the park on snowmobiles around 10:30 AM on Friday, March 9. These actions caused excessive rutting and damage to the Roaring Brook road trail which is a vital hauling trail and required most of a day to repair.
Endangered animals could get life-saving boost from oil, gas funds under new bill
USA Today - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Thousands of wildlife species are slinking, trotting and hopping toward endangerment. A new bill making its way through Congress, the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act, could give them a much-needed reprieve by using an innovative source of revenue to save their habitats: oil and gas royalties. Forces such as overdevelopment, human population growth and climate change have rapidly sped up the pace at which species are threatened by extinction. One of the clearest and most graphic examples is in the plight of the moose in Maine and New Hampshire, said Collin O’Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation. Clusters of winter ticks are attaching themselves to moose cows and calves and sucking them dry of blood, killing off about 70% of the moose calves in those states.

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