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
U.S. Forest Service Chief Resigns Amid Sexual Misconduct Allegations
National Public Radio - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

ony Tooke, the head of the U.S. Forest Service, resigned on Wednesday following accusations of sexual harassment. The resignation was effective immediately, and came days after PBS NewsHour reported that the U.S. Agriculture Department was investigating sexual misconduct complaints against him. The NewsHour report revealed a widespread culture of sexual harassment and assault within the agency, and retaliation against those who reported it.
It's Maine; it's winter; it snows
Maine Government News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

All State of Maine offices are closed on Thursday.
Maine hunters are still killing lots of moose
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

Maine moose hunters are still enjoying a high rate of success, although that is tempered by the fact that moose hunting permits have been reduced 50% due to a decline in the population, mostly due to ticks. Last year 73% of our moose hunters got their moose. 2,080 permits were issued, and 1,518 hunters were successful. Hunting success rates did vary widely depending on the area hunted.
Opinion: Maine companies want to use toxic soil in road construction. This is an unnecessary risk.
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

There is an effort to allow companies to bring soils from out of state contaminated with lead, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), asbestos and other toxic chemicals, treat them with an untested and unproven technology, and then use the treated contaminated soil as fill for constructing roads and parking lots throughout Maine. The Maine Legislature’s Environment and Natural Resources Committee is considering rules to do this, and we strongly urge legislators to reject these rules. ~ Nick Bennett, Natural Resources Council of Maine
10 ways to enjoy Maine during a snowstorm
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

You didn’t think we were done with snow this winter, did you? Before you despair over the lack of warm weather, use this opportunity to take part in some of Maine’s favorite winter pastimes before they’re gone for the year.
1. Stop complaining about the weather
2. Shovel your sidewalk
3. Make ice cream
4. Build a snow shelter
5. Enjoy the fresh pow
6. Take a hike
7. Dust off your snowshoes
8. Ride fat bikes
9. Rev your engine
10. Enjoy a night under the stars
Letter: PUC taking action
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 8, 2018 

In an editorial, the BDN criticized a Public Utilities Commission report to the Maine Legislature as not offering a “deeper analysis of the market” and described the residential competitive electricity provider market as “clearly broken.” In addition to past changes to the commission’s rules to strengthen consumer protection in this market, we will soon consider re-opening Chapter 305 to consider additional changes. The commission’s report was provided pursuant to specific direction from the Legislature. The ultimate policy decision to allow or prohibit competition in this market is not up to the PUC; it is up to the Legislature. ~ Mark Vannoy, Maine Public Utilities Commission
Trump official said scientists went ‘beyond their wheelhouse’ by writing climate change ‘dramatically’ shrank Montana glaciers
Washington Post - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

A U.S. Geological Survey study documenting how climate change has “dramatically reduced” glaciers came under fire from high-level Interior Department officials last May, according to a batch of newly released records under the Freedom of Information Act, as they questioned federal scientists’ description of the decline.
Sea Level Rise Will Rapidly Worsen Coastal Flooding in Coming Decades, NOAA Warns
Inside Climate News - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Coastal communities should expect much more frequent flooding in coming decades as sea levels rise, according to a new federal report. Many places that are dry now could flood every day by the end of the century. The report, published by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, projects the impact of sea level rise on coastal flooding along the nation's shorelines and says it's already having an effect, particularly on the East Coast.
Opponents speak out against prospect of oil drilling off Maine coast
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Opponents of a proposal by President Donald Trump to allow oil drilling off the East Coast met Wednesday to voice their concerns about the potential impact on Maine, prior to a public meeting on the topic. Roughly 80 people gathered in a room at the Augusta Civic Center to criticize Trump’s plan, saying it could pose a serious threat to Maine’s environment and economy.
Republican pressure may doom Atlantic offshore drilling
Other - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Tribune News Service - Facing mounting pressure from fellow Republicans who see little constituent support for drilling off the Atlantic Coast, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke could be backpedaling on the Trump administration’s initial plans to expand the program, Republican lawmakers said. If Zinke carves out exceptions for all the states that want them, the idea could be dead.
Portland withholds name of business seeking tax break for waterfront project
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Portland officials are withholding the name of a waterfront business that has asked for a property tax break. The City Council’s economic development committee met in closed session Tuesday to take up the request for the second time. But the agenda did not disclose the name of the applicant and city officials refused to provide the information on Wednesday, even though the request is being made for a project on the waterfront, where several developments have been reviewed or approved in recent years. Mayor Ethan Strimling says the public has a right to know, but a city spokeswoman says applicants can request and be granted confidentiality if disclosure would result in ‘significant detriment.’
Groups Oppose Exploratory Drilling Off Maine Coast
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

President Trump was making good on a campaign promise when he announced his executive order directing the Interior Department to start the process to open coastal areas to drilling. His move would undo a ban on drilling put in place in the last year of President Obama’s Administration. Trump says the United States is missing out on jobs and economic growth by failing to maximize domestic oil and gas production. The President’s proposal has drawn support from energy companies, but many Mainers attending a meeting at the Augusta civic center weren’t buying the arguments put forth by the President.
Lawmakers, Fishermen & Environmentalists Oppose Trump's Plan to Expand Offshore Drilling to Maine
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

There was a meeting in Augusta on Wednesday to discuss the White House proposal to expand offshore drilling to Maine. The Federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management hosted it. Lawmakers, fishermen and environmentalists gathered in opposition to the plan. They provided an opportunity for residents to speak out against the president's plan to open Maine waters to oil and gas drilling. Their hope is that the Trump administration will exclude Maine from the plan, much like their decision to remove Florida's coastal waters from drilling because of its economic importance to that state.
Elected Officials, Business and Conservation Leaders, Fishermen and Women, and other Maine Residents Speak Out Against Offshore Oil Drilling in Maine
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Today at a news conference in Augusta. elected officials, business leaders, conservation leaders, fishermen and women and other Maine residents spoke out against a new plan to allow offshore oil drilling and exploration off the coast of Maine. The event was held in response to a Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) “public meeting” at the Augusta Civic Center today, which was designed to hide Mainers’ vocal opposition to oil drilling off the coast by avoiding an opportunity for citizens to speak at a microphone in an official hearing format.
LePage Vetoes Bill To Create Bar Harbor Port Authority
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Maine Republican Gov. Paul LePage is opposing a bill that critics claim could lead to a massive cruise ship pier in Bar Harbor. Tuesday LePage vetoed a bill to allow local voters to decide whether to create a port authority in Bar Harbor. The House and Senate strongly supported the bill. Some residents in the coastal town worry a port authority would lead to a cruise ship pier that could worsen congestion and quality of life.
Committee supports extending Pine Tree Development Zone tax havens until 2021
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

A bill to extend the life of a sometimes-controversial program that has created hundreds of tax havens for businesses in Maine is gaining traction in the Legislature. The measure, which keeps Pine Tree Development Zones in place for at least the next three years, was endorsed Tuesday by the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee. The law provides qualifying businesses with tax benefits, including income tax credits and sales tax exemptions on the purchase of business equipment, in exchange for the promise of new jobs. It is set to expire at the end of 2018. Last August, the Legislature’s watchdog agency told the committee it could not determine how many jobs, if any, the 14-year-old tax-break program had created. The tax breaks cost the state about $12 million a year in lost revenue. Another independent review found that the program’s costs exceed its benefits.
Angus King endorses Trump plan to pay for national park upkeep
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

A bipartisan bill backed by Maine Sen. Angus King proposes to generate up to $18 billion to eliminate the maintenance backlog at national parks. Following a blueprint created by President Donald Trump’s administration, the bill proposes to eliminate the National Park System’s $11.93 billion deferred maintenance deficit with revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters. King called the bill “a practical step to help clear the existing maintenance backlog” that would also protect the parks. About 330 million people visited the 417 National Park Service sites across the country in 2017. The service ​completed over $650 million in maintenance work last year.
Maine critics throw cold water on Trump administration’s offshore drilling plan
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Representatives with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management were in Augusta for an open house-style event to field questions about President Trump’s controversial offshore energy proposal for reopening 90 percent of the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards to oil and gas drilling. But the mere prospect of oil drilling in the Gulf of Maine or Georges Bank – and the accompanying environmental risks – was enough to draw more than 60 people to a pre-emptive event held before the bureau’s open house. Fishermen, environmentalists and lawmakers from Maine’s coast called on the Trump administration Wednesday to exclude the North Atlantic from the plan to potentially reopen much of the nation’s coastline to oil and gas exploration.
Historical Aroostook County timberland and wildlife habitat conserved
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

The Woodie Wheaton Land Trust has completed a major land acquisition within the East Grand Lake watershed that will conserve 3,053 acres along the headwaters of the Chiputneticook Lakes system. The parcel of land included in The Headwaters Project borders 9.4 miles of Monument Stream in Amity, and includes forested uplands and riparian wetlands along Greenleaf and Glendenning brooks. In the south, the land abuts another parcel of 7,486 acres that was originally acquired as part of the East Grand Watershed initiative and which has subsequently been conveyed to the Maine Bureau of Public Lands.
Maine wildlife biologists propose 20 percent increase in moose permits
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Maine wildlife biologists on Wednesday proposed increasing moose permits for the 2018 fall hunt by 20 percent after gathering encouraging data on the herd’s survival this winter in northern Maine. The proposal would raise moose permits to 2,500 from last year’s allotment of 2,080 – a reversal after four years of sharp decline. Moose-permit allocations had plunged from 4,085 in 2013, largely because of concerns about moose survival rates due to winter-tick infestation.
Maine Food Insider: If it's mud season in Maine, it's maple syrup season
Mainebiz - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

It's not spring that signals the sugar shacks are in operation, but mud season. The recent weather has been just right over much of central and southern Maine to produce maple syrup, Kathryn Hopkins of the University of Maine Cooperative Extension said Tuesday.
Zinke Partners with ​Congress on Bipartisan Bill to Fix Our National Parks
Other - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Today, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke​ joined ​​several members of Congress​, including Angus King (I-ME)​, to introduce a bipartisan bill to rebuild ​America's National Park​s. The proposed ​bill would​ use up to $18 billion in revenue derived from energy produced on federal lands and waters to​ establish a special fund within the Treasury specifically for “National Park Restoration.” “For more than a century, our national parks have inspired and amazed countless visitors,” said Senator King. “Unfortunately, these parks don’t take care of themselves – they need maintenance to ensure that future generations can experience the same wonder that so many Americans already have. This bill is a practical step to help clear the existing maintenance backlog, and protect these treasured lands for years to come.”
Mainers Hold Alternative to Federal Offshore-Oil Meeting
Other - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

PNS - Environmental groups say a federal public meeting today on a proposal to allow oil and gas drilling in Atlantic waters isn't really a hearing. The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is holding an open house where the public can meet one-on-one with officials and file written comments electronically. Gov. Paul LePage is the only Atlantic Coast governor supporting the drilling plan. Environmentalists, public officials and community groups are holding their own event at the Augusta Civic Center to explain their opposition. That event will begin with a news conference outlining the threats drilling could pose to Maine's environment, fisheries and tourism. It will be followed by an actual public hearing. BOEM is accepting written public comments on the proposed development plan through March 9.
Declining dairy prices spur concerns about farmer suicides
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

The challenging financial reality for dairy farmers has been going on for years. In fact, some dairy experts have said that no matter how hard farmers work, it seems they can’t get ahead. Amanda Beal, president of Belfast-based nonprofit organization Maine Farmland Trust, grew up on a Maine dairy farm and believes strongly that dairy farmers are resilient. “But the reality is that they bear the brunt of a dysfunctional federal pricing system that doesn’t take the cost of production into account,” she said. “This has been going on for a long, long time and is at the heart of why we continue to lose commercial dairy farms in Maine.”
Maine's Moose Hunters Had High Success Rate in 2017
Associated Press - Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Maine wildlife officials say 73 percent of moose hunters were successful in "harvesting" their quarry during last year's hunt. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife says 1,518 hunters succeeded in getting their moose last year, when 2,080 moose permits were issued. The success rate was slightly more than the 71 percent success rate hunters have had over the past five years. Bear hunters are successful only about 25 percent of the time and deer hunters only succeed 15 to 20 percent of the time. The number of moose permits offered by the state has trended downward in recent years.
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