May 23, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Drowning with Others, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

John Anderson, Professor of Ecology/Natural History at College of the Atlantic, argues for developing a broad coalition to help conserve Maine’s seabird islands from sea level rise. At Wells Reserve at Lajudholm, May 30, 6 pm.
Invasive fish, May 30
Event - Posted - Wednesday, May 23, 2018 

George Smith will discuss the impact invasive fish are having on Maine’s native fish. At Mount Vernon Community Center, May 30, 7 pm. Sponsored by 30 Mile Watershed Association.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Join the fight for Maine's clean energy future
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

In Maine, we are seeing the damaging effects of climate change firsthand: tick borne illnesses like Lyme disease are on the rise, the warming Gulf of Maine threatens our marine economy, air pollution drives up asthma rates for kids and adults, and extreme weather impacts our outdoor recreation and farming industries. The technology to turn off dirty fossil fuels already exists. What is standing in the way of our clean energy future? Politicians who are bought and paid for by the oil and gas industry. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, May 29 - Jul 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Maine State Library is offering a free reading and discussion group with copies of books available through the library. The series, Defining Wilderness: Defining Maine, runs for 5 sessions, May 29 - July 24, at the State Library in Augusta. Books to be discussed include "The Maine Woods" by Henry David Thoreau.
Bats, May 29
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

Biologist Trevor Peterson will speak about local species of bats. At Topsham Public Library, May 29, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
“Living within Limits” Teen Environmental Poster Contest
Announcement - Tuesday, May 22, 2018 

The Teen Library Council of the Patten Library in Bath and Brunswick-based Manomet are sponsoring an environmental poster contest for middle and high school students. Posters should promote actions that help sustain the planet and reduce our environmental footprint. Deadline: June 1.
Sign-Up to Count Fish at Nequasset
Announcement - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The annual alewife count at the Nequasset Fish Ladder in Woolwich is happening. Join the fun by signing up to count during any two 10 minute blocks within a two hour period.
Wilderness Under Siege, May 30
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Nationally known author and explorer George Wuerthner will discuss the challenges facing Wilderness, how people can better protect the Wildernesses in their backyards and around the country, and organizing against efforts to weaken or repeal the Wilderness Act. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, May 30, 6:30 pm.
Field Trip: Capt. Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

Explore two town-owned properties in Brunswick for breeding and migrant birds: Fitzgerald Preserve and Bay Bridge Wetland Park on the Androscoggin River. May 27, 6:30 – 11 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
White Mountains Centennial exhibition, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The Museums of the Bethel Historical Society host a preview reception of the new displays, “White Mountain National Forest: A Centennial Exhibition” and “The White Mountains: Alps of New England.” At Robinson House, Bethel, May 27, 2-5 pm.
Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic, May 27
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 20, 2018 

The first annual Farmer Talent Show & Open Mic will benefit the Market’s Harvest Bucks program, which increases access to fruit and vegetables for low-income households. At East Madison Grange, May 27, 5-8 pm.
Walk on the Wild Side, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Turner Public Library’s summer programming begins with a nature walk. At Androscoggin Riverlands State Park, May 26, 2 pm.
Edible (and Poisonous) Plants, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Tom Seymour, author, botanist and edible plant enthusiast, will introduce you to many of the edible and medicinal plants that can be found in Maine’s woods and fields. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 26, 10 am - noon.
Birding Extravaganza, May 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 19, 2018 

Ted Allen from Merrymeeting Audubon will lead birders through the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust’s Thorne Head Preserve in Bath, May 26, 8 am.
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News Items
New Farm Bill Contains Sneak Attack on the Environment With Toxic Pesticides
Other - Friday, May 11, 2018 

EcoWatch - If fish could wail, they would scream over the lethal powers granted to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in part of the draft farm bill recently rolled out by the House Agriculture Committee. The bill, passed out of committee by Chairman Mike Conaway (R-TX) on a party-line vote last month, desperately fails farmers and low-income families. It also contains a number of sneak attacks on the environment. One such provision would allow the EPA to approve new pesticides with no assessment of their potential impact on fish and wildlife covered under the Endangered Species Act.
Viral Facebook post claims Maine shelter euthanizations 'doubled'
WCSH-TV6 - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A viral Facebook post by a recently fired employee of the Greater Androscoggin Humane Society claims that euthanizations at the shelter "doubled" in the past six weeks. The former employee, Amanda Kimball, who was an Animal Care Team Leader, posted a lengthy status on her page on May 9, claiming that GAHS started euthanizing twice the number of animals since the former manager left. Kimball said while she can't verify her claim that kills were 'doubled,' she said she felt that the shelter euthanized more animals than needed to be.
The Blackly Survival Guide
Down East - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Everything you wanted to know — and more — about Maine’s most fearsome creature, the blackfly.
Upgrading National Monuments to National Parks makes economic sense
Maine Environmental News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A new report by Headwaters Economics investigates the potential economic effects of National Monuments redesignated National Parks. In the eight National Monuments redesignated as National Parks examined, visits increased by 21 percent, on average, in the five years after redesignation compared to the five previous years.
‘Red flag warning’ issued as Maine enters high risk for wildfires
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Dry, warm, windy weather Friday will create optimal conditions for wildfires to spread across Maine, according to the National Weather Service. A “Red Flag Warning,” issued for “critical fire weather conditions,” will stay in effect for the entire state from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. The alert also extends to New Hampshire.
Opinion: Maine is about to become a model for municipal trash disposal
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The Fiberight facility in Hampden will convert organic waste into high-value products and recover more recyclable materials to cleaner specification than traditional sorting facilities. Flexibility in its mix of products means that the Fiberight facility will be able to adapt to changing market conditions, providing it with added financial stability and opportunity for future growth. This transition to higher recycling and utilization of waste will provide this region affordable, sustainable and environmentally sound waste processing for the long term. ~ Chip Reeves, Municipal Review Committee
Column: Learning bird songs doesn’t have to be complicated
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Many people wish they knew what birds are making all that noise around the yard. Learning bird songs is a challenge for most folks, simply because there are so many birds singing so many songs. Hundreds of them. Fortunately, it’s not nearly the challenge it appears to be. The truth is, there are only a handful of birds making most of the noise, wherever you are right now. Maybe 10. Just learn one bird at a time. Pick out a noisy bird and learn it. Or select a likely song, and find the bird singing it. ~ Bob Duchesne
New Maine website is the Airbnb for outdoor adventures
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A new Maine-based business, Back40, is connecting adventure seekers with guides through a website that makes searching, booking and reviewing outdoor experiences easy. “We hope to reach a new market,” said Back40 founder and CEO Henry Gilbert of Portland. “Obviously there are plenty of people going on guided trips already, but there are a lot of digitally connected urban adventurers that don’t even know these experiences are here.”
Ticks that carry Lyme disease surviving even deep-freeze winters, research shows
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Mainers may have suffered through an extended winter and March snowstorms, but researchers believe the harsh season had little impact on the deer ticks that carry Lyme disease. As the weather has warmed this month – including some days when temperatures reached the 70s and 80s – the arachnids have emerged from a hibernation-like state under an insulating blanket of snow and leaves. The deer tick has emerged as a major public health threat, a carrier of Lyme and other bacterial diseases, such as anaplasmosis and babesiosis.
Letter: Keeping unrealistic gas-mileage standards will hurt U.S. farmers, ranchers
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency announced they’d revisit the former administration’s Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards. While many share the goal of reducing emissions, CAFE standards were developed as a one-size-fits-all approach, and can’t be achieved with our country’s current mix of vehicles. If left unaltered they’ll impact rural communities, forcing them into electric vehicles. ~ Sue McCrum, past president, American Agri-Women, Mars Hill
Letter: Article on ‘sloppy recycling’ lacked information needed to educate public
Portland Press Herald - Friday, May 11, 2018 

A long article in the May 4 paper was about ecomaine’s need for the public’s help in correcting “sloppy recycling,” which is costing ecomaine time and money in its total recycling effort. Residential mixed paper was mentioned as the main culprit in sloppy recycling. My hope was that the article would include a list of what sloppy residential mixed paper is comprised of, leading to public knowledge and assistance for ecomaine and the environment. Perhaps that list will be published sometime soon. ~ Linda Petersen, Wells
Letter: Climate activism on the rise
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

The recent editorial about climate change’s effects in Maine was refreshing since that huge threat gets little to no regular coverage elsewhere. Why is there radio silence on this critical issue? Because oil companies might get their feelings and bottom lines hurt. We should prepare for rising seas, but we should also continue to push for cuts in carbon emissions. The activism skills young are developing will serve our planet and our society well. The climate won’t wait. Clean air, clean water are good for all.~ Hayden Foreman, Blue Hill
Letter: Climate action needed
Bangor Daily News - Friday, May 11, 2018 

It’s hard to deny that climate change is affecting us in Maine, with our lobster industry threatened by increasingly warmer, more acidic coastal waters, our winter sports affected by a shorter season and less predictable snow cover, with wildlife and humans affected by ticks and tick-borne illnesses, with cyclone bombs and flooding as sea levels rise. The problem is too much carbon released into the atmosphere through the burning of fossil fuels. The solution — reduce carbon emissions. We need to address climate change at the state and national levels of government for serious solutions to occur. Ask each candidate, “What are you planning to do about climate change?” Let’s make sure our representatives will pass legislation to mitigate climate change. ~ Dorothy Lippincott, Hampden
Analysis: 490,000 Pounds of Toxic Pesticides Sprayed on National Wildlife Refuges
Center for Biological Diversity - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

America’s national wildlife refuges are being doused with hundreds of thousands of pounds of dangerous agricultural pesticides every year, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis by the Center for Biological Diversity. The report, No Refuge, reveals that an estimated 490,000 pounds of pesticides were dumped on commodity crops like corn, soybeans and sorghum grown in national wildlife refuges in 2016, the most recent year for which data are available. The analysis was conducted with records obtained by the Center under the Freedom of Information Act.
Protecting Bowdoinham's Pork Point Farmland
Other - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Kennebec Estuary Land Trust has raised the final amount for its crowdfunding campaign to conserve farmland along Bowdoinham's Pork Point. At 80 acres and stretching along the Kennebec and Abagadasett Rivers on Merrymeeting Bay, the land contains prime farmland soil types. They are key to the region’s high agricultural productivity and are critical to a farmer’s livelihood. The shorefront, an exemplary freshwater tidal marsh, is recognized as crucial habitat for tidal waterfowl and wading birds.
Scott Pruitt Plans to Radically Alter How Clean Air Standards Are Set
Inside Climate News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Under the law, the standards, setting uniform goals for breathable air, are supposed to be reviewed periodically asking only one question: whether they are protective enough to ensure the health of even the most vulnerable people, based on the best available science. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said Thursday he wants to radically revise how basic, health-based national air quality standards are set, giving more weight to the economic costs of achieving them and taking into account their impacts on energy development.
Where’s the Money, Secretary Zinke?
Sierra Club - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

The Trump administration is well-stocked with grifters, but Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke still often manages to stand out. Between burning tens of thousands of dollars on expensive helicopter flights, insisting on a security detail while on a European vacation, and possibly violating the Hatch Act, Zinke has become known for profligate spending. But when it comes to his department’s spending, Zinke is more stingy. On Thursday, Senate appropriators grilled Zinke on his budget request for fiscal year 2019, which is about $2 billion less than the enacted budget for 2018. Republicans and Democrats alike were concerned about the skinny budget, which allots $18 million to jump-start the largest reorganization of the Interior Department in history while slashing funding mechanisms like the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
'Adopt-a-plotters' keep Cape Elizabeth park gardens green
Forecaster - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Maintaining the beauty of Fort Williams Park is no small task. It takes the dedication of town staff, the courtesy of visitors and the generosity of many volunteers. When it comes to the park’s 70-80 garden plots, it takes upwards of 50 people. These volunteers, along with two seasonal part-time landscape gardeners, Alex Donka and Allysun West, participate in the park’s Adopt-A-Plot program. The intent, coordinator Tom Atwell said, is to keep the gardens free of invasive plants, such as bittersweet and Japanese knotweed.
Pruitt opens Clean Air Act to challenges
Associated Press - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency chief Scott Pruitt on Thursday announced a major shift in enforcement of the landmark Clean Air Act to include feedback from state and local governments and others on the economic impact of federal pollution limits. The initiative sets the stage for potential legal battles over how the United States enforces the 48-year-old law combating air pollution. Federal law and U.S. Supreme Court decisions require the EPA to focus on public health – not costs – in setting limits for smog, soot and other pollutants under the Clean Air Act.
Penobscot Nation, UMaine sign MOU for tribe's cultural heritage
WABI-TV5 - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

After a decade of focused collaboration, officials from the University of Maine and the Penobscot Nation took a major step forward Thursday afternoon. They signed a Memorandum of Understanding, formalizing the work they've done to manage the tribe's cultural heritage. The event was held in the Hudson Museum, where several Penobscot artifacts were on display. Officials say among the goals of the agreement will be integrating the tribe's perspective into research processes and implementing Penobscot language on signage on campus.
Blog: National Travel and Tourism Week Travel Then and Now
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

The week of May 6-12 is officially designated to be National Travel and Tourism Week. Here are some of my reflections on the changing dynamics of lodging properties in travel and tourism.
• The way tourists find their accommodations has changed
• The market is flooded with options for travelers
• Economy choices are coming into their own
• Airbnb has changed the lodging platform by adding experiences
• Travel Associations have to create ways to help us all live together peacefully
• Property Management Systems is one of the most beneficial business development for lodgings
~ Kristen Bifulco
Near the heart of downtown Bangor, a quiet spot to cast a line
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

A soft breeze blew upstream on the Kenduskeag Stream on Wednesday evening — not enough to scatter the swarms of non-biting blackflies and mosquitoes, but just enough to carry the sweet scent of cigar smoke along the stream bed. As fishing scents go, cigar smoke is among the classics, of course; generations of Mainers wouldn’t think of heading into the woods in search of trout without a few stogies on hand, just to drive those pesky flies away. But on this day, we weren’t in the woods at all. In fact, we were a half mile or so from the bustle of downtown Bangor.
Farmington plans Arbor Week events
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Arbor Week, organized by the Conservation Committee to celebrate Farmington's designation as a Tree City, will begin on May 20 this year, running until May 26. As it is the 40th celebration for Farmington, the event should be a source of pride for the town, said Conservation Committee Chair Bill Haslam.
Pair of Lawsuits Seek to Bolster Protections for Right Whale
Other - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

In one of the lawsuits filed Monday, the Conservation Law Foundation says partial passage on April 9 of New England’s Omnibus Essential Fish Habitat Amendment failed to meet some of its goals, like minimizing the impact of fishing gear on fish habitats. CLF says the amendment opened up more than 3,000 square miles of once protected ocean in the Northwest Atlantic Ocean to commercial fishing activities known to destroy fish habitats.
Islesboro residents fear for future of island community after steep ferry fee increase
Republican Journal - Thursday, May 10, 2018 

Islesboro residents are painting a grim picture of the future of the commuter island community following a steeper than expected increase in their state ferry ticket prices. While an increase was expected, the approved rates represent a 118-percent jump in the cost of round-trip tickets for a vehicle and driver, residents say, which could lead to an exodus of year-round residents.
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