September 20, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Bar Harbor Pelagic Trip, Sep 17
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 10, 2017 

Maine Audubon’s annual fall pelagic trip out of Bar Harbor has long been a must-do outing for the region’s birders. At Bar Harbor, Sep 17, 6 am – 2 pm; meet at 5:30 am; Maine Audubon Members $135, Non-members $175.
Maine Drive Electric events, Sep 16 & 17, Oct 4
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 9, 2017 

Take a spin and get information about Electric Vehicles from multiple dealerships around Maine that carry electric cars. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
• Sep 16, 12-4 pm, Oxford Hills High School, South Paris
• Sep 17, 12-4 pm, South Portland Community Center
• Oct 4, 11:30 am-2:30 pm, Brunswick Landing
Conservation in the Hundred Mile Wilderness and Moosehead Region, Sep 15
Event - Posted - Friday, September 8, 2017 

Karin Tilberg, Deputy Executive Director of the Forest Society of Maine, and Simon Rucker, Executive Director of the Maine Appalachian Trail Land Trust, will talk about the array of conservation lands in the greater Moosehead Lake and Hundred Mile Wilderness regions. At Monson Historical Society, September 15, 7 pm.
Trails End Festival Paint Out, Sep 14-17
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 7, 2017 

North Light Gallery in Millinocket is calling for artists to participate in a paint out Sep 14-17, signing in anytime after Thursday, Sep 14, at 8 am, painting through the day Friday and then exhibiting your work in a pop up tent at North Light Gallery all day Saturday.
City Girl Walks the Pacific Crest Trail, Sep 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 7, 2017 

In 2010, starting on the Mexican border, Anne O'Regan backpacked north for 2,650 miles on the Pacific Crest Trail. Traveling through California, Oregon and Washington, she completed her thru-hike five months later in Canada. Anne will share tales from the trail. At Bangor Public Library, September 14, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Family Nature Night: Bats, Sep 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Kids (3+) learn about the adaptations that help bats navigate the dark, why they are important to people. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Sep 13, 5:30-7 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $15, Child Non-members $20.
Amphibians and Reptiles of Maine, Sep 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Matthew Chatfield will speak on amphibians and reptiles native to Maine. At University of Maine at Farmington, September 13, 7 pm. Sponsored by Western Maine Audubon.
Chasing climate change, Sep 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 6, 2017 

Geologists Nelia Dunbar and Bill McIntosh will discuss scientific research on volcanoes in Antarctica and insights into past and future climate change. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, September 13, 1 pm.
BikeMaine, Sep 9-16
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 2, 2017 

The theme for BikeMaine 2017 is Pathway to the Peaks. On September 9-16, 400 riders will peddle 335 miles, averaging 55 miles per day in western Maine.
Shorebirding Van Trip II, Sep 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 2, 2017 

Join naturalist Doug Hitchcox for a van trip to local shorebird hotspots. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Sep 9, 7-11 am; Maine Audubon Members $20, Non-members $30.
Open Lighthouse Day, Sep 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 2, 2017 

25 lighthouses will be open to the public throughout the state offering free entry for visitors. September 9.
Maine Marine Fare at Penobscot Marine Museum
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 2, 2017 

Penobscot Marine Museum hosts Maine Marine Fare in celebration of all the foods from the abundant waters of coastal Maine. The two day program includes talks and educational tastings, featuring fishermen, food producers, aquaculturists, researchers and scientists, and members of the food and hospitality trades. At Penobscot Marine Museum, Searsport, Sep 9-10.
Shorebirding Van Trip I, Sep 8
Event - Posted - Friday, September 1, 2017 

Join naturalist Doug Hitchcox for a van trip to local shorebird hotspots. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Sep 8, 7-11 am; Maine Audubon Members $20, Non-members $30.
Swan Island Outing, Sep 8
Event - Posted - Friday, September 1, 2017 

Leader: Jay Robbins. At Richmond, September 8, 9:15 am - 1 pm, $8. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Wild Edibles Walk, Sep 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 31, 2017 

Join Russ Cohen, wild edibles expert to learn about at least two dozen species of native edible plants. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, Sep 7, 4-7 pm; Maine Audubon Members, $15 Non-members $20,
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News Items
Mountie who smuggled narwhal tusks into Maine faces sentencing today
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

A retired Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer accused of smuggling narwhal tusks across the border at Calais is due to be sentenced for money laundering. Prosecutors say Gregory Logan, of St. John, New Brunswick, smuggled 250 tusks valued at $1.5 million to $3 million into Maine in false compartments in his vehicle. Narwhals are medium-sized whales known for spiral tusks that can grow longer than 8 feet. They are protected by the U.S. and Canada.
NOAA Funding Algal Bloom Research In Maine, 6 Other States
Associated Press - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Maine is among seven states where the federal government is funding a research project to try to better understand harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms can contaminate drinking water and have negative effects on the environment, wildlife and tourism. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is providing nearly $1.7 million for research projects about the blooms in Alaska, California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Ohio and Virginia. The Maine grant is nearly $250,000 for a project led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences and the Maine Department of Marine Resources to increase the number of options available to states to monitor diarrhetic shellfish poisoning toxins. DSP is a food safety threat for shellfish consumers.
Column: Lessons from years fighting for the environment
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

I am honored to be receiving an award at this year’s Evening for the Environment sponsored by the Maine Conservation Voters. The award is the 2017 Harrison L. Richardson Environmental Leadership Award for “writing, speaking, advocating, and inspiring all of us to care for the nature of Maine and her wild places.” I am especially pleased to receive this award because it’s an important recognition that sportsmen and women share the same values and goals with environmentalists. We are all environmentalists. Here are lessons I learned during a lifetime of political activism. ~ George Smith:
Column: Ensure Portland’s waterfront has room for fishermen who make it special
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

There are four new waterfront projects in various stages of development that would bring thousands of people to Commercial Street. This is great news for Portland. But fishermen sees a time when there is no room for them. Developers and the tourism industry should help protect the area's marine character as their footprint quickly grows. ~ Greg Kesich
Letter: Think before you litter Maine roadside
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

My wife and I and another couple recently took a road trip to the St. Lawrence River in Quebec to watch whales. We saw quite a few of these gentle creatures, ate well and enjoyed the beautiful scenery and great people. However, when we crossed the international border from New Brunswick to Madawaska, we noticed a great change. it was the incredible amount of roadside trash. In Canada, we saw hardly any roadside waste. The areas in which we traveled are just as rural, just as economically challenged and just as beautiful as our own state. I hope that those who read this letter at least think before you toss your Dunkin’ Donuts wrapper or Bud Light can out the window. ~ Bob Bennett, South China
World’s problems stem from population growth
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, September 20, 2017 

Nations and people addressing environmental issues such as water pollution and global warming must soon face the fact that such efforts only address symptoms of the real problem, which is population growth. In my lifetime, world and U.S. population has tripled, creating demands for the food, energy and material goods whose production creates the environmental problems we face. Because of population growth, America continues to pave over and destroy the farmland, forests and waters essential to long-term survival. Immigration was needed when land and resources seemed unlimited, not now. We must increase productivity with zero population growth. ~ Tom Gillette, Jefferson
Maine recovers nearly all mussels affected by toxic algae
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Seafood dealers have recovered 98 percent of the mussels that were recalled after being harvested in an area of Down East Maine currently experiencing an algae bloom that produces a potentially deadly biotoxin. Officials estimate 58,480 pounds of mussels were affected by the recall initiated Friday.
LePage says ‘corporate greed’ driving up lumber prices in hurricanes’ wake
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Gov. Paul LePage is calling for a suspension of tariffs on Canadian softwood lumber to ease prices as families and businesses prepare to rebuild in the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey and Irma – and with two more months of hurricane season to go. The Republican governor blames “corporate greed” for driving up costs, and says large lumber companies are in the position to “potentially price-gouge distressed Americans.” “We’ve tried to stay neutral. We have members on all sides. In general, what we’re in favor of is negotiating some sort of settlement quickly that’s equitable to all sides,” said Patrick Strauch, Maine Forest Products Council executive director.
Shareholders advance idea that selling Jay mill would shore up their finances
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission opens up the possibility that the Verso paper mill in Jay may be sold, as the investor holding a majority of the shares is frustrated with the returns. The Androscoggin Mill, owned by Verso Corp., has faced difficulty in recent months. Verso is not alone in its struggles. Closures and layoffs have plagued the state’s paper industry in recent years. Five mills have closed in the last few years. [Editor: Actually seven Maine paper mills have closed in the past five years. Since 1997, sixteen Maine paper mills have shuttered.]
Maine DEP practices oil spill response in Richmond
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There was no oil spill Tuesday afternoon on the Kennebec River, but for several hours, members of the state’s hazardous materials cleanup teams pretended otherwise. Off the eastern shore of Swan Island, they used boats and anchors to stretch yellow barriers across the river, trying to protect sensitive shellfish habitats from the imaginary oil slick floating on the surface.
Study: New England Loses 65 Acres Of Forest Per Day To Development
Maine Public - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A new wave of forest loss is underway in New England, at a rate of 65 acres a day. That's the conclusion of a new regionwide study spearheaded by a Harvard University forest research group. And the authors say New England could lose more than a million acres of forest cover over the next half-century.
Maine expanding shellfish closure in wake of harmful bloom
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Maine regulators are expanding a shellfish harvesting ban along the state’s central and eastern coast that follows a harmful algae bloom. The bloom resulted in a recall of mussels last week. The state Department of Marine Resources has closed a section of the Penobscot River north of Stockton Springs and a section of Cobscook Bay south of Eastport to harvesting of shellfish. The state has also expanded a precautionary harvesting ban as far east as Calais, which is on the Canadian border. Harvesting had been suspended in Frenchman Bay east of Mount Desert Island after mussels tested at elevated levels of domoic acid, a neurotoxin produced by an algae bloom. It can cause sickness, memory loss and brain damage in humans.
Photos: Common Ground Fair from old to new
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Every fall, upwards of 60,000 people descend on Unity for the Common Ground Country Fair in the spirit of celebrating agriculture in Maine. The fair reawakens the back-to-the-land movement with organic food enthusiasts, craftsman, wool spinners, sheep herding demonstrations and more. The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association held its first Common Ground Country Fair at the Litchfield Fairgrounds in 1977. In 1996, the fair was moved to Unity, where it has been held since. This year’s Fair runs Sept. 22 through Sept. 24. Take a look through the Bangor Daily News archives as we remember fairs of the past, reminding us about the movement that changed Maine.
French president defends international cooperation at U.N.
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

French President Emmanuel Macron issued a ringing defense of global cooperation Tuesday, telling world leaders that solving major challenges otherwise will be reduced to “the survival of the fittest.” In his first appearance at the U.N. General Assembly, Macron vowed to press ahead with the Paris accord to combat global warming, although the United States has said it is withdrawing.
Hike: Trout Brook Mountain in Baxter State Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Rising 1,767 feet above sea level on the north end of Baxter State Park, Trout Brook Mountain features a 3.3-mile loop hike that leads to great views of the nearby Traveler Mountains and Grand Lake Matagamon, as well some lesser mountains and bodies of water.
FocusMaine hires president, implements 10-year plan
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

FocusMaine has hired its first president, Kimberly Hamilton, to help implement the Portland-based economic development group’s 10-year plan to help create jobs and increase worker capacity in Maine, the group said Tuesday. Hamilton is chief impact officer at Feeding America, the nation’s largest hunger-relief organization. Previously, she served in a variety of senior roles at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other policy and research organizations. She will start at FocusMaine in late October. FocusMaine said it has begun the initial phase of its plan to create sustainable job growth in three of Maine’s key economic sectors: agriculture, aquaculture and biopharmaceuticals.
Report: Rural Maine is still in a deep depression
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

According to a new report released Tuesday by the Maine Center for Economic Policy, the performance of the state's Gross Domestic Product in recent years demonstrates the extent to which Maine's economy has stalled out. Maine's GDP had yet to recover to pre-recession levels. The state has effectively suffered through three further recessions since the Great Recession of 2007-09. The result is an economy that underwent fitful periods of growth, followed by backsliding. Maine’s economy is still smaller than before the Great Recession. In the Greater Portland area, economic growth has been slow but consistent since 2009. Elsewhere, however, the economy has been in freefall.
Opinion: One last summer hike to clear the mind
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Whenever you feel as though the world is on fire, take a walk into the woods and delight in the nuances of nature. Let your brain relax as you navigate the twisting trails and climb the steep terrain. Take in the sounds of the leaves rustling in the wind, squirrels scurrying from tree to tree, a single acorn knocking against branches as it sails to the ground. Stop to admire how the setting sun looks as it cuts through the trees and illuminates circles of the forest floor. Relish the feeling of the wind cooling the sweat beading at the back of your neck. ~ Emily Higginbotham, copy editor, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel
NRCM warns: Lawsuit likely if commercial logging permitted in national monument
Mainebiz - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Lisa Pohlmann, executive director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, served notice to the Trump administration that allowing "commercial logging" in the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument would "almost certainly trigger a lawsuit." The warning is in response to a leaked report from Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to President Donald Trump advising that the executive order that created Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument be amended to promote "active timber management." Active timber management typically refers to cutting trees for commercial wood sales for uses such as the manufacture of wood pellets, paper goods and housing materials.
Trump threatens ‘total destruction’ of North Korea during U.N. address
Associated Press - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

President Trump, in a combative debut speech to the U.N. General Assembly, threatened the “total destruction”‘ of North Korea if it does not abandon its drive toward nuclear weapons. [Editor: Nuclear war could ruin your day, even in Maine.]
I’ll bet you don’t know what gleaning is
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

You may not know what gleaning is, but you’ll want to participate in Maine gleaning day, just one of the many interesting and exciting projects in the new fall edition of the Sustainable Maine quarterly newsletter, a project of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. You will most certainly want to participate in Maine Gleaning Day, scheduled for October 14.
Opinion: It’s time to wake up to the climate change threat and take steps to mitigate its effects
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

There are clear steps that Mainers can take to address the crisis of climate change and mitigate our impact on the environment, all while creating new “green” jobs that will drive our future economy. First, we can increase our investment in energy efficiency. Second, we need to grow our own energy. Third, Maine must play a leadership role in the mitigation of climate change through carbon capture and sequestration. Fourth, Maine can grow more food. ~ Jonathan Fulford, candidate, 2nd Congressional District
Birders flock from far and wide to catch a glimpse of this rare visitor
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

A fork-tailed flycatcher, a bird usually found in South America and last seen in the state 5 years ago, has spent several days at Maine Audubon in Falmouth. The flycatcher – a black-and-white bird with an extremely long and brilliantly forked tail – should have been emigrating south from Central America to summer in its home range instead of flying north to Maine, said Maine Audubon Naturalist Doug Hitchcox, who spent the day showing the bird to visitors. But sometimes birds get turned around and go in the opposite direction.
Editorial: Leaked report feeds sense of uncertainty on Katahdin Woods and Waters
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

Uncertainty is the biggest danger of the destructive and unnecessary process that has been unleashed on the Katahdin region by the Trump administration and its allies here in Maine. Tentative steps toward expanding the outdoor recreation economy in an area that has been devastated by the loss of papermaking, its core industry, will be set back again by politicians who want to thump their chests. Vague promises about logging the 87,000 acres – less than 1 percent of the 17.8 million-acre forest that surrounds it – won’t save many jobs in the increasingly mechanized forest products industry. But even before a single tree is felled, the word is out to potential visitors and people who want to host them that there could be nothing to see after a very long drive.
Letter: Improve Portland waterfront for current users, not developers
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, September 19, 2017 

I was so glad to read that commercial fishermen are protesting the development planned for the Portland waterfront. Not only are fishermen and marine-related businesses affected, but all of the islanders in Casco Bay are as well. I fail to understand why our city officials insist upon building up this area. The congestion on Commercial Street is horrendous now. Imagine what it will be like when more hotels, condominiums and the new Wex headquarters, with its 450-plus employees, come into the mix. I say, “Leave the waterfront for small business and the people who live and use this area.” ~ Betty Thompson, South Portland and Cliff Island
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