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
Elver fishermen expect high price as stocks dry up
Associated Press - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Members of Maine’s baby-eel fishing industry are expecting high prices for the tiny fish this year because of a shortage on the international market, and sushi lovers could end up feeling the pinch. Maine is the only U.S. state with a significant fishery for baby eels, or elvers. The tiny, translucent eels are sold to Asian aquaculture companies to be raised to maturity for use as food. The eels sold for about $1,300 per pound at the docks last year, about on par with an ounce of gold, and are already one of the most lucrative fisheries in the country on a per-pound basis.
Blog: Save our Maine local rights!
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

State Senator Tom Saviello of Franklin is trying to have the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry OK a bill that would take away a town’s right to pass their own ordinances about using pesticides and place this in state control. The issue is not just a town’s right to pass safeguards against synthetic and chemical pesticides, but local control itself. ~ Bill Baker
Maine Giving Grants to Protect Forest Health
Associated Press - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The state of Maine's community forest program is awarding $75,000 in grants to local governments, non-profit groups and others to develop and maintain strategies that protect the woods. The Project Canopy program is divided into two kinds of grants. One is for planning and education and the other is for tree planting and maintenance. Project Canopy is funded by the USDA's Forest Service. It's designed to help communities support sustainable community forest management practices and improve awareness of the importance of trees and forests. Last year, municipalities received grants for projects such as tree plantings in downtowns and parks. Grant applications are due by April 6.
Column: The US is about to be the world’s top crude oil producer. Guess who didn’t see it coming.
Washington Post - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The authoritative International Energy Agency announced Monday that the United States will overtake Russia and Saudi Arabia as the world’s largest crude oil producer in five years. Rather than being at the mercy of foreign potentates, the United States may now be the world’s “swing” producer of crude. American independent producers, nimbler than the state-owned behemoths of the Middle East and Europe, can increase or decrease output rapidly in response to changing market signals. Energy pessimists were right that less dependence on foreign oil, and the vagaries of the OPEC-manipulated global market, could be achieved through technological innovation; what they failed to grasp was that the very oil-price volatility that concerned them so much created a huge incentive for innovation in the oil patch. ~ Charles Lane

Mimicking Trump, local officials use ‘fake news’ as a weapon
Associated Press - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

President Donald Trump’s campaign to discredit the news media has spread to officials at all levels of government, who are echoing his use of the term “fake news” as a weapon against unflattering stories. The governor of Maine is among the many politicians who have used the term in recent months in response to news reporting. It’s become ubiquitous as a signal to a politician’s supporters to ignore legitimate reporting and hard questions, as a smear of the beleaguered and dwindling local press corps, and as a way for conservatives to push back against what they call biased stories.
Conservation group on Trump national parks fix plan: Show us the money
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

America’s oldest national parks advocacy group wants to know where the money that a bipartisan U.S. Senate coalition, including Maine Sen. Angus King, proposes to use to eliminate an $11.93 billion National Park Service maintenance deficit will originate. The National Parks Conservation Association is waiting for details on how the initiative unveiled last week will generate as much as $18 billion to eliminate the maintenance backlog at national parks, spokeswoman Emily Douce said. Proponents said the money would come from revenue derived from the sale of energy produced on federal lands. The bill does not detail the funding sources.
Climate scientist and Maine native prefers quiet of the woods, but is now making plenty of noise
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

After more than six years at the Department of Interior working to help Americans face the coming impacts of climate change, Joel Clement announced in newspapers across the country that he’d been reassigned by the Trump administration to a job in the department’s accounting office as retaliation for speaking out about climate change. He joined Twitter the same day he filed a whistleblower complaint against the government. Tweeter, noisemaker, and specifically whistleblower were not roles he was familiar with. He will speak twice in Maine this week on “Silencing Science: An Insider’s Take on the Trump Administration’s Efforts to Undermine Federal Climate Policy.”
Exorbitant power bills aren’t just a Maine thing
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

As Maine regulators search for the causes of skyrocketing electric bills, a review of shows that residents in at least 22 states – from Texas to Florida and Michigan to Massachusetts – also are up in arms over the high electric bills they received for power used in December and January. Unless the Maine Public Utilities Commission can identify widespread, technical problems, it could reach a conclusion that’s bound to be unpopular — that in most cases, the likely culprit was weather.
Harpswell boat-building program benefits kids, foundation
Forecaster - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

In mid-January, Flannery, a longtime woodworker and Cundy’s Harbor resident, launched a program for local children ages 6 and older known as “Harpswell Boat Builders.” It’s held at Ann Flannery’s workshop, where they’re building a wooden rowboat. When completed, Flannery said, it will be auctioned to benefit the Holbrook Community Foundation, for which she is a volunteer director. The nonprofit was formed in 2005 after a “for sale” sign on Holbrook Wharf inspired a dozen Cundy’s Harbor residents to organize and “save (the) working waterfront property from private residential development.” The foundation bought the property, which includes the commercial fishing wharf, seasonal store, seasonal snack bar and a historic house. “It’s all about keeping the waterfront working,” Flannery said.
UNE student center designed with glass to keep birds safe
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

In September 2016, Adrienne Bowie sent a petition with 1,300 student signatures to then University of New England President Danielle Ripich. The petitioners asked Ripich to modify construction plans for the school’s new student center by adding bird-protection windows at a cost of $200,000. Ripich decided that the university should add the windows to a building already outfitted with several green and sustainable features. Bird-proof glass is not only a first for the university, but likely for any building in Maine.
Emily Sharood planned on doing graphic design, but organic mushroom farming drew her in
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Emily Sharood is the sales and marketing director at Mousam Valley Mushrooms, an organic mushroom farm in Springvale that she and her family started in 2011. Today they’re packing 3,000 pounds of mushrooms a week, mostly for the Maine and New England market, but she’s something of an accidental farmer.
From Maine Grains, sprouted wheat flour
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Maine Grains is collaborating with Buck Farms’ Maine Malt House in Mapleton to produce and sell sprouted wheat flour made from Maine-grown spring wheat. The malt house was already sprouting barley in order to make malted barley for brewers, which gave Maine Grains President Amber Lambke the idea to ask them to sprout wheat for bakers.
Mount Desert Island – a small place with some big environmental goals
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Mount Desert Island is a long way from the corridors of power, and what’s happening in Augusta and Washington holds scant promise of fostering a healthier environment or economy. So a growing number of MDI residents are taking matters into their own hands. Two years ago, they formed A Climate to Thrive (ACTT), seeking to help MDI “become an epicenter of citizen engagement, environmental sustainability and economic vitality.” A big part of that vision is to make MDI energy-independent — relying solely on local, renewable power — by 2030.
Letter: Northern Maine land isn’t as ‘pristine’ as we claim
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

We have proclaimed the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and the North Woods as a pristine wilderness and sportsman’s paradise, teeming with native trout and wildlife of all kinds. Is that really true, or is it how it used to be? But the timber companies have cut all winter deer habitat and replaced summer range of all wildlife with planted spruce trees, which no animal will consume. They have sprayed tens of thousands of acres with herbicides, killing all green leaf and woody vegetation that all wildlife depend on as a food source. ~ Hilton Hafford, Allagash
Letter: Illogical to punish hybrid, e-car owners with highway fees
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

Punishing drivers who have made the wise decision to do something about continuing to pump greenhouse gases into the atmosphere is simply perverse. This is the start of the era where financing our highways must move off an excise tax on liquid fuels as the way we support them. The liquid fuel excise tax needs to be replaced by an actual mileage-based metric, possibly vehicle-weight-adjusted, through an annual fee based on actual use of the highways. Scientists and engineers have long established the actual factors in highway wear and tear. The amount of liquid fuel burned has nothing to do with it. ~ Hendrik D. Gideonse, Brooklin
Letter: South Portland could use allies in fight against tar-sands oil
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 11, 2018 

The recent, excellent article by Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard (“Portland, South Portland plan to fight against climate change,” March 4) made it clear what the future holds for Portland Harbor. Of the two cities, however, South Portland deserves the most credit for attempting to limit the effects of climate change. They have taken on the petroleum industry and the industry’s desire to burn every last drop of Canadian tar sands oil. So, it’s time that Portland and the surrounding communities begin to give verbal and financial support to South Portland. They all benefit from the draw that Portland Harbor is to this region. ~ Tom Mikulka, Elders for Future Generations, Cape Elizabeth
EPA getting pushback after easing up on pesticide rules
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Tribune News Service - A month after Scott Pruitt began leading the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, he rejected an Obama-era recommendation from agency scientists to ban a widely used pesticide from use on food crops. That means farmers can continue to spray chlorpyrifos on crops ranging from corn to cranberries. The change was welcomed by farm groups and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which said farmers need access to the chemical to stop infestations. But environmentalists, who had been working for years to get the Obama administration to crack down on the pesticide, were outraged.
Acadia’s Ship Harbor ideal for hiking Maine coast in all four seasons
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

With a possible maritime disaster in its past, a big undeveloped harbor and sprawling pink granite, the Ship Harbor Trail in Acadia National Park epitomizes a lot about hiking Maine coast. We’ve often walked the Ship Harbor Trail over the past two decades, but for the first time this past year, we did it once in spring, summer, autumn and winter. We wanted to experience how a single trail changes with the weather and the seasons.
Making America Toxic Again
Other - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Mother Jones - In an administration full of deregulators, Scott Pruitt stands out, bringing to the Environmental Protection Agency the anti-Washington playbook he developed with industry in Oklahoma. In December 2017, the White House trumpeted presidential accomplishments from Trump’s first year—a list dominated by handouts to the energy industry. Pruitt’s fingerprints were everywhere, from “exiting the Paris climate agreement” to “ending the war on coal.” It’s an agenda that taps directly into the right-wing populism that was integral to Trump’s success—and a corporate donor base that will be vital to Pruitt’s future. Pruitt's old friends speculate about which office he would set his sights on next: Attorney General? Senator? A governor’s race? The White House?
New report endorses the conservation success of Maine land trusts
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

In 2017, the Maine Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry was authorized to “conduct a study of the financial and nonfinancial aspects of conserved lands owned by nonprofit conservation organizations, including property taxes paid, community benefits realized and value of lands to the State’s economy.” The ACF Committee’s findings are detailed in a Study of Conserved Lands Owned by Nonprofit Organizations. According to the report, "the ACF Committee finds that land trust organizations provide a great value to the people of Maine.”
Food sovereignty continues to pick up steam around the state
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

Forty-five towns around Maine have expressed interest in the local food ordinance with some placing it on town meeting agendas this spring. Approved by the legislature last summer, the law allows towns to adopt an ordinance granting it the authority to regulate the direct, producer-to-consumer exchanges, food processing and distribution free from state regulatory control. Signed by Gov. Paul LePage in June, the law was amended in October to exclude meat and poultry products after the United States Department of Agriculture stepped in saying if the state failed to regulate those products, the federal government would take over those food inspection programs.
Letter: Lost respect for nature
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 10, 2018 

When the land in northern Maine changed hands so did the respect for the wildlife and environment. Timber companies have cut all winter deer habitat and replaced summer range with planted spruce trees, which no animal will consume. They have sprayed tens of thousands of acres with herbicides, killing all green leaf and woody vegetation, which all wildlife depend on as a food source. This practice is widespread, including within a stones throw of tributaries of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. Sportsmen will not come to see spruce plantations when that is all there is left. ~ Hilton Hafford, Allagash
Stopping by woods and breathing in deeply
Boston Globe - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Few activities go by a name that is as comprehensive as “forest bathing.” The practice encourages immersion in the natural world, a mindful meditation that embraces our surroundings rather than excluding them. Forest bathing, said Nadine Mazzola, is “connecting with the healing powers of simply being in nature, slowing down, and allowing ourselves to use our senses, not our minds. Typically, [it includes] a leisurely stroll of about a mile with pauses along the way to notice, reflect, sit, or wander.”
Wayne officials, solar farm reach landmark agreement about tax value
Kennebec Journal - Friday, March 9, 2018 

A group of Maine residents who built a solar farm two years ago in Wayne have settled a dispute with the town over how much their project is worth, reducing the taxes they’ll owe on the investment and avoiding further legal costs for both sides. The settlement could serve as a precedent for other communities that are trying to determine their value, according to Kristin Collins, an attorney for the owners of the Wayne farm. Meanwhile, both Collins and a Wayne official said state lawmakers might need to consider legislative changes if they want to encourage future solar development and give local governments the ability to determine its value accurately.
Three honored by ecomaine for environmental commitment
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 9, 2018 

Allagash Brewing Co., Ruth’s Reusable Resources and David Pope, a science teacher at Massabesic Middle School in Waterboro have been given top eco-excellence awards by regional solid waste company ecomaine. The three winners were among 18 individuals, nonprofit groups and businesses recognized for their commitment to sustainability in 2017, ecomaine said. Ecomaine is a nonprofit waste-to-energy and recycling company based in Portland that services 73 towns and cities in southern Maine.
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