April 24, 2017  
Announcements               
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Types of Gardens and Library Resources, Apr 3
Event - Posted - Monday, March 27, 2017 

Speaker: Hazel Onsrud. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 3, 12 pm.
Winter Gardening Workshop – Pest and Disease Control, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 26, 2017 

Eric Sideman, Crop Specialist, Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, will share his knowledge about the common vegetable diseases and pests in your garden, and some organic options for their management and control. At St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Brunswick, April 2, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation.
Bike the future Park, Jul 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 12, 2015 

Bike approximately 4 miles (one way) on decommissioned logging roads into beautiful, remote Orin Falls at the Katahdin Woods and Waters Recreation Area — the land proposed to be our next national park. Meet at Wassataquoik Gate, July 19, 10 am. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
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News Items
Blog: The March for Science and the Fragmentation of the Opposition in the USA
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

The recent march for science that was initially inspired by the U.S. scientific community’s initiative to protest the scientific denials of President Trump’s administration and the potential cuts on scientific funding confirms the failure of the silo-driven opposition movements across the U.S. It would be empowering to see all active social advocacy groups abandon their silos; feminists, advocacy groups, and scientists. Transformational change is not just protesting for the sake of protesting, the impact would be to see the scientific community abandon their comfort zone and reach out to the masses, educating them about the importance of facts in their own decision making process. Science is clearly more powerful when it abandons the classroom and the lab, and when the message reaches millions instead of the few who read the prestigious scientific journals. ~ Stefano Tijerina
Boats might be hitting whales more often
Associated Press - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

A group of marine scientists says collisions of whales and boats off the New England coast may be more common than previously thought. The scientists focused on the humpback whale population in the southern Gulf of Maine. They found that almost 15 percent of the whales, which come to New England to feed every spring, had injuries or scarring consistent with at least one vessel strike.
Opinion: Maine’s heritage is its water; metal mining threatens this valuable resource
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

I cannot imagine our magnificent St. John River losing its beauty to become a contaminated, murky tan color. How awful to have to restrict our fishing and hunting to safeguard our health. So much of our heritage and culture lies within the splendor of the Allagash Wilderness Waterway. The huge risks of open pit mining are not worth the money. We must protect our water to ensure the health of the current generation and every generation to come. ~ Samantha Paradis, registered nurse, Frenchville and Belfast
Restriction in work visas leaves Maine tourism businesses scrambling
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

Every year, the Pentagoet Inn in Castine hires five or six kitchen workers and housekeepers – about a fifth of the staff – from Jamaica with H-2B visas, a tightly regulated seasonal foreign worker program heavily used by Maine’s hospitality sector in the summer tourism season. But because of a new restriction on the program, those workers, some of whom have been coming to work at the Pentagoet for years, haven’t been allowed into the country. If the program isn’t amended quickly, the inn expects to lose thousands of dollars in revenue and even worse, tarnish their guests’ experience.
Birders try to stem the decline of purple martins
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

Purple martins have been in decline in North America for the past half-century, according to the Purple Martin Conservation Association. Maine has seen a 5 percent annual loss in the purple martin population since 1960. “It’s pretty much dropped off a cliff and is basically down to nothing in a lot of New England states,” said Joe Siegrist, president of the association. The species has struggled because of the loss of old-growth forests, where the birds prefer to nest, and with the rise in the numbers of English house sparrows and European starlings, invasive species that compete with martins for (and often win) nesting sites. But now a group of birders at York County Audubon hopes to stem the decline in the purple martin population.
Column: There’s a vested interest in preparing for turkeys
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, April 23, 2017 

The sun has yet to show itself, but its rays have already illuminated the woods enough for turkeys to soon leave their night-time roost. One, not far away, has been serenading the dawn for 20 minutes. The decision is made to start calling, so I reach into my vest searching for the right call. I’ve had this vest long enough that I pretty much know where everything is, but that hasn’t always been the case. Breaking in a new vest is always a challenge, mostly because of the numerous and varied items turkey hunters carry. ~ Bob Humphrey
Defunct Madison mill churns with uncertainties amid hopes of a revival
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

There is a different sort of hum at the former Madison paper mill these days. Gone is the hot, loud blast of a giant paper machine rolling out 195,000 tons of paper annually after the mill closed in May 2016 and put about 215 people out of work. The hum amid the quiet industrial corridors of the mill and its offices now is all business – phone calls and walking tours with prospective buyers taking notes on the mill’s equipment and value. Everything is for sale.
Maine bats fighting for survival
Sun Journal - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

White-nose syndrome has killed 80 to 90 percent of the state's hibernating bats. For most of 2011, Acadia National Park thought it had dodged a bullet. White-nose syndrome was spreading across the country and millions of bats were dying. That December, Acadia's bats should have been safely tucked away in their caves, asleep for the winter. They weren't. The loss of bats in the environment can affect Maine's ecosystem, which relies on them to eat billions of moths, beetles, mosquitoes, flies and other insects that come out at night. Without bats to keep them in check, those bugs can plague crops and forests, and spread disease to animals and humans, though no one yet knows to what extent.
Heirloom apple trees get a start on Earth Day in Unity
Morning Sentinel - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

On Earth Day this Saturday, a few dozen people gathered at the 10 acres of terraced grounds that was formerly a muddy gravel pit. They each took a tree, each with a name that can’t be found in most stores, and planted it along the rows. This is the fourth spring planting for the orchard near the grounds of the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association.
Hundreds rally across Maine in international March for Science
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

A local version of the worldwide March for Science drew hundreds of scientists and those who support their work to the University of Maine campus on Saturday. Similar protests took place in Portland, Machias and Sanford, which were among the 600 communities in the United States and abroad that held pro-science rallies in conjunction with the national March for Science in Washington, D.C. The protests, which fell on Earth Day, were sparked by deep cuts President Donald Trump has proposed for science and research budgets and by what many see as a growing disregard for evidence-based knowledge.
More Than 1,000 March Statewide in Support of Science
Maine Public - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

A global effort to promote science and scientific research produced ripples Saturday in Maine, where marches and demonstrations were held in six communities. About 1,000 people walked in Portland to support investment in evidence-based scientific projects and the teaching of science and math in local school departments. In Orono, more than 300 gathered in front of Fogler Library on the University of Maine campus to oppose what some say are increasing tendencies by government officials to dismiss proven scientific theory that clashes with partisan political goals. Other rallies or marches were held in Gouldsboro, Machias, Sanford and Unity. Science supporters are preparing to stage another rally next Saturday when the People’s Climate March will be held in Augusta.
About 1,000 join March for Science in downtown Portland
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

About a thousand people marched up Congress Street from City Hall to Congress Square Park on Saturday morning to express their support for science and scientific research. One of more than 600 simultaneous events held around the globe to support the March for Science in Washington, the Portland gathering featured speeches, an array of signs – many of them humorous – and a lot of scientists. It was one of six such rallies in Maine, the others slated for Gouldsboro, Orono, Sanford, Machias and Unity.
If not for Earth Day, imagine a silent spring in Acadia National Park
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Saturday, April 22, 2017 

As millions around the world mark Earth Day, imagine what Acadia National Park would be like without the banning of DDT, the Clean Air and Endangered Species Acts, or any of the other changes since that first massive showing of environmental activism in 1970. On this Earth Day and beyond, whether you’re marching for science in Washington on April 22 or for climate change action in Bar Harbor on April 29, or you’re volunteering for the Friends of Acadia’s annual roadside clean-up later this month, just imagine what a silent spring in Acadia would be like.
UMaine System marks Earth Day with new investment policy
Mainebiz - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine's public universities marked Earth Day 2017 by announcing today a new investment policy linked to sustainability. The universities also released a report that shows the seven-campus UMaine System has achieved a 34% decline in carbon emissions over the last decade. The announcement coincides with a host of public environment-related events at the various UMaine campuses today in anticipation of the 47th annual Earth Day on April 22.
Moose permits for 2017 are cut just 3 percent
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 21, 2017 

The Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife’s Advisory Council Friday voted 8-0 to reduce moose permits by less than 3 percent to 2,080 for the coming season, after three straight years of significant permit cuts. After a winter when there was less moose mortality in the state’s moose-collar study, the herd appears to have fared well from winter ticks, said Maine Moose Biologist Lee Kantar.
Maine Birders Treated to 2 Extremely Rare Sightings
Maine Public - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine’s birdwatching community is aflutter over the sighting this week of two species never before seen in Maine — one that usually hangs out in Mexico and the other in Europe. The first rare bird was caught on camera Monday thanks to an international user of a well-placed webcam at an osprey nest on Hog Island, in Bremen. Two days later another birder driving through Newcastle spotted a fieldfare thrush that’s native to Europe. Hitchcox says it’s similar to the American robin, and this is the first time it’s been seen in Maine.
Proposal Would Ban State From Investing in Companies With Dakota Pipeline Ties
Maine Public - Friday, April 21, 2017 

The state, along with the Maine Public Employees Retirement System, would be banned from doing business with any bank or company that is involved in the Dakota Access pipeline under a bill being considered by the Legislature. Dawn Neptune Adams, a member of the Penobscot Nation, argued the state should do what is right. “I’m asking you to divest Maine’s money from any bank which would support the Dakota Access pipeline,” she says. But representatives of the state retirement system questioned the constitutionality of the bill in testimony before the Appropriations Committee, and the state treasurer also raised concerns about the proposal.
Report: Maine propping up unsustainable biomass power industry
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Taxpayers and ratepayers have doled out more than a quarter of a billion dollars over the past decade to prop up Maine’s biomass power industry, which cannot compete economically without subsidies and is among the state’s top polluters, according to a new report. The Partnership for Policy Integrity argues that while Maine’s biomass industry has received over $250 million in subsidies and grants since 2008, the payments have done little to stop the bleeding of jobs and tax revenue from an industry that generates electricity too dirty to be eligible for clean energy subsidies in some neighboring states, and too expensive to compete with alternatives in the free market.
No more money needed to save Maine’s moose
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, April 21, 2017 

The legislature’s Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee unanimously killed my proposed legislation, sponsored by Rep. Peter Lyford, to direct more money to initiatives to save Maine’s moose herd. And I can’t really blame them, because the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department told the committee it didn’t need more money for moose research and management. Several things about this discussion at the legislature surprised me.
UMaine System to consider environmental, social factors in making investments
Portland Press Herald - Friday, April 21, 2017 

After three years of students pressing the University of Maine System to divest from fossil fuels, system officials have taken a step in that direction by telling investment managers to consider environmental, social and governance factors when deciding where to invest the system’s $287 million portfolio. Board of trustees member Karl Turner said Friday that the policy change will not necessarily eliminate fossil fuel holdings, but it “will weed out the worst offenders.”
Marine Patrol Officer Matthew Wyman honored for professional excellence
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Friday, April 21, 2017 

Maine Marine Patrol Officer Matthew Wyman has received the 2017 Northeast Conservation Law Enforcement Chief’s Award. The award, presented April 10 at the Northeast Fish and Wildlife Conference, honors a law enforcement official for professional excellence. The Conference assembles regional natural resources professionals in many fields including law enforcement. Officer Wyman was recognized for his depth of skill and knowledge and for his painstaking investigation of violations that threaten Maine’s valuable marine resources.
Editorial: Trump actions are cause for alarm on Earth Day
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 21, 2017 

On Earth Day most years, we can celebrate the progress that has been made cleaning up our waters and clearing our air. This year is different. A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the country’s environmental policies. President Donald Trump, through his rhetoric and executive orders, has made it clear he favors the interests of those who pollute over the interests of everybody else who have to live with the consequences of air pollution and climate change. There is cause for alarm, not celebration, this Earth Day. Reducing the United States’ consumption of fossil fuels makes economic and environmental sense.
Some USDA scientists say their work has been tampered with — maybe for political reasons
Washington Post - Friday, April 21, 2017 

A recent survey of the U.S. Agriculture Department’s scientists by the agency’s inspector general, nearly 10 percent said their research has been tampered with or altered by superiors “for reasons other than technical merit,” possibly because of political considerations.
Opinion: Tomorrow, I’ll be marching for science; above all, I’ll be marching for truth
Bangor Daily News - Friday, April 21, 2017 

The March for Science takes place in Washington, D.C., on Saturday with satellite marches across the country, including four in Maine. We will be marching for science, and most of us will be marching for the environment, too, because that day is also the 47th anniversary of Earth Day. Along with my fellow scientists, I have worried deeply about the election and its aftermath when “alternative facts” have become the “phrase du jour.” Objective truth is such a holy grail for scientists that it has long been difficult for us to accept the language and process of politics. However, with the sowing of seeds of doubt around scientific consensus, we can no longer be silent and marching can make a difference. ~ Malcolm Hunter, Professor of Conservation Biology, UMaine
Maine Eel Harvesters on Track to Hit Quota
Associated Press - Friday, April 21, 2017 

The pace of Maine's season for baby eel fishing has intensified to the point where fishermen are on target to reach their quota. Maine's baby eels, called elvers, are an important piece of the worldwide sushi market. They are raised to maturity by Asian aquaculture companies that use them as food. Fishermen are only allowed to harvest elvers from rivers and streams for about 11 weeks a year. This year's season started slow, possibly due to the cold spring. But state fishing regulators say fishermen have now harvested about 40 percent of their nearly 10,000 pound quota. The season ends June 7. The state says Maine elvers are selling for $1,366 per pound, which is slightly less than last year's price. Elvers sometimes sell for more than $2,000 per pound.
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