March 22, 2018  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Beyond the Apple: Tree Crops for Maine, Mar 11
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 4, 2018 

Aaron Parker is the owner of Edgewood Nursery, specializing in unusual edibles, including minor fruits, medicinal herbs, perennial vegetables and permaculture plants; and Edgewood Landscapes focusing on edible landscapes and sustainable practices. At St. Paul's Church, Brunswick, March 11, 2-3:30 pm, $5 donation. Sponsored by Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust.
Maine legislators oppose offshore drilling...but where's the gov?
Action Alert - Friday, March 2, 2018 

The Maine State Legislature has enacted a resolution opposing offshore drilling and asking the President and Congress to remove Maine waters from Trump's plan. All four members of Maine's congressional delegation came out against the plan. That leaves Gov. LePage who has supported offshore drilling along Maine's coast and made himself an ally of big oil. LePage chairs the Outer Continental Shelf Governor’s Coalition, which is little more than a direct line to policy makers for extremely well financed lobbyists seeking to expand offshore drilling. Ask LePage to oppose offshore drilling. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Fuel-efficient Vehicles
Action Alert - Friday, March 2, 2018 

LD 1806 would impose an arbitrary, inequitable annual surcharge on hybrid and electric vehicle owners. Pollution from cars and trucks generates the largest share of carbon pollution in Maine — about 40 percent. This bill would deter Maine people from making a significant contribution toward mitigating climate change. Ask your legislators to oppose LD 1806 and instead to consider fair funding mechanisms for increasing transportation infrastructure funding, and to encourage investments in technologies proven to reduce reliance on polluting fossil fuels. ~ Maine Audubon
Allagash Tails, Mar 9-10
Event - Posted - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Learn about the Allagash, Maine's Wild River, with Tim Caverly, author of "Allagash Tails.” At Pine Street School, Presque Isle, March 9-10.
Savvy Gardening, Mar 8
Event - Posted - Friday, March 2, 2018 

Lynne Holland shares how to make the most of your garden growing space. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, March 8, 12 pm.
Help wanted: MOFGA Executive Director
Announcement - Friday, March 2, 2018 

The Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association has launched a search for its next Executive Director.
March film series fetes conservation icons, Mar 8-29
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 1, 2018 

The Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge offers a film series about conservation heroes and heroines Thursdays beginning March 8. Films will be shown at 11:30 am and 2 pm at the Visitor Center in Rockland. Admission is free. The series opens March 8 with “Arctic Dance: The Mardy Murie Story" (1999). Upcoming films: March 15, “Rachel Carson's Silent Spring” (1993); March 22, “America’s Darling: The Story of Jay N. Ding Darling” (2012); and March 29, “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” (2011).
Speak out against offshore drilling off of Maine's coast
Action Alert - Thursday, March 1, 2018 

What: Public hearing for the Trump Administration's offshore drilling plan
When: Wednesday, March 7, 3-7 pm; come for any or all of it
Where: Augusta Civic Center
~ Maine Conservation Voters
Backcountry Skiing and Avalanche Safety, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Presentation on backcountry skiing and avalanche safety with Al Mandell of Acadia Mountain Guides. At Patagonia Outlet, Freeport, March 7, 6:30 pm.
Biodiversity in Maine, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Learn about biodiversity in Maine, why it matters for people and wildlife, and how it is threatened locally by invasive plants and animals. At Harpswell Heritage Land Trust, March 7, 5:30 pm.
Clearing the Air about Air Pollution, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Steve Norton, Professor Emeritus in the School of Earth and Climate Sciences at UMaine, will discuss what soil surveys, lake and peat sediments can reveal about climate change. At Belfast Library, March 7, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Sears Island.
Offshore Drilling public meetings, Mar 7
Action Alert - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

The Trump Administration wants to open nearly all coastal waters to oil and gas drilling, including the coast of Maine.
• Bureau of Ocean Energy Management public meeting at Augusta Civic Center, March 7, 3-7 pm. Arrive at any time.
• Environmental news conference at Augusta Civic Center, March 7, 2 pm, followed by environmental public hearing.
• Submit written comments to BOEM before March 9.
Mushrooms at Home, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Mike McNally, mushroom enthusiast and member of the Maine Mycological Association, will speak about many types of mushrooms you can grow at home with very little effort. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 7, 6:30 pm
Oil and gas drilling public meeting, Mar 7
Action Alert - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has rescheduled meetings for the public to weigh in on Trump’s five-year oil and gas drilling plan. At Augusta Civic Center, open-house format, drop in anytime, March 7, 3-7 pm.
Allagash Tails, Mar 7
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 28, 2018 

Learn about the Allagash, Maine's Wild River, with Tim Caverly, author of "Allagash Tails.” At Stratton Elementary School, March 7, 12:30 pm.
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News Items
Canadian military helicopters to train over White Mountain National Forest
Sun Journal - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

The Royal Canadian Air Force announced it will have the 450 Tactical Helicopter Squadron performing drills from March 23 to 27 in the White Mountain National Forest. The flying exercise — called Viking Alpine — will be during daylight hours and will consist of overflights, landings and takeoffs.
Maine's Elver Fishery Scheduled To Open Thursday
Atlantic Salmon Federation - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Spring is in the air and baby eels are in the rivers. Or at least that's what Maine fishermen hope. The state's big-money baby eel fishery is scheduled to get started on Thursday. Fishermen seek the eels, called elvers, in rivers and streams so they can be sold to Asian aquaculture companies as seed stock. The elvers are frequently worth more than $1,000 per pound, and this year is expected to be especially lucrative because of supply issues elsewhere in the world. Maine is the only state in the U.S. with a significant elver fishery.
Allagash senator wants more attention on challenges of rural agriculture
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Legislation aimed at providing lawmakers with a broader understanding of economic challenges facing farmers and producers in far-flung corners of the state has been approved by committee and will next head to the Senate floor. Introduced as emergency legislation, LD1747, To Establish a Task Force to Examine Agricultural Issues, is sponsored by Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, who says the issues facing the state’s farmers need attention year-round.
Owner Plans To Rebuild Historic Chesuncook Lake House Destroyed In Fire
Maine Public - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

A fire that leveled a 150-year-old inn on a remote lake over the weekend has torn out a long and storied chapter of Maine history. The Chesuncook Lake House first served as a base camp for loggers, and then as a wilderness retreat for outdoor enthusiasts wanting to experience the North Woods as they were at the turn of the century. David Surprenant says he and his wife have decided that they will rebuild.
Study: Warming Arctic could be fueling nor’easter storms
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

The two nor’easters that together dumped more than two feet of snow throughout much of Maine in the past week — and more than three feet in some areas — could have been fueled by warming temperatures in the Arctic, according to a new scientific study. As periods of warmer winter weather occur in and around the Arctic Ocean, cold air gets displaced and moves further south, where it encounters comparatively warmer air and produces blizzards or other winter storms, the study’s authors say.
Column: Land trusts should be celebrated, not attacked
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, March 21, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage’s misguided and inaccurate attacks on Maine’s land trusts may be an attempt to divert us from how much he has hurt local government and caused significant increases in our property taxes. The governor has tried for years to eliminate revenue sharing, which gives towns a small portion of the state’s income tax revenue. He hasn’t succeeded, but he has managed to reduce payments to municipalities by $602 million. e’s cut state school funding by $500 million. And despite the fact that we voted many years ago, in a statewide referendum, to have the state fund 55 percent of our school costs, the state has been short of that goal to the tune of $1.3 billion. Look in the mirror, Gov. LePage, and you will see the real problem. It is, most definitely, not our land trusts and wonderful conservation lands. ~ George Smith
Conference to tackle ‘future of land conservation in Maine’
Mainebiz - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, is using the 35th anniversary of its annual Maine Land Conservation Conference this week to explore a different format and dig into some themes in more depth. MCHT President Tim Glidden said he expects nearly 400 of the state's land conservation leaders to gather on Thursday at the Samoset Resort in Rockport as part of a two-day conference designed to explore the future of land conservation in Maine.
LePage Blasts Committee Over Written Request For Timber Harvesting Information
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee sent a letter last week seeking answers to 26 questions about the sale of wood harvested from public lands and asking for some very specific information on sales to some mills. The governor sent a blistering letter in response to the committee denying any improprieties, and appeared before the committee personally to denounce some of its members.
Cleanup of 1,800 gallons of spilled fuel underway at Belgrade store
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

State-led cleanup efforts continued this week in the wake of the estimated 1,800 gallons of super-unleaded fuel that spilled when a vehicle struck a gasoline pump at Christy’s Country Store in Belgrade during a recent snowstorm.
LePage veto survives House, killing Bar Harbor port authority bill
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine House of Representatives on Tuesday sustained Gov. Paul LePage’s veto of a bill that would have given Bar Harbor voters permission to form a port authority. The House’s 81-63 vote on Tuesday in support of LD 1400 lacked the two-thirds majority needed to override LePage’s veto. As they have consistently done during the 128th Legislature, House Republicans stood by the Republican governor.
All-Electric Bus Takes A Spin Around Portland
Maine Public - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

An all-electric bus drove around downtown Portland at lunchtime Tuesday. The Greater Portland Metro Bus system and the Shuttlebus-Zoom bus system serving Biddeford, Saco and Old Orchard Beach are considering ordering a few with funding from a federal grant.
Opinion: The Trump budget is a threat to Maine’s environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Trump administration’s proposed budget cuts are a direct threat to Maine’s environmental resources, economy and the public health of our residents. The president proposed dramatic cuts to nearly every agency working to protect the environment, particularly funding for renewable energy and environmental science programs focused on climate change and air pollution research. Here in Maine, we would lose about $4 million per year from cuts to the multipurpose and brownfield grants alone. Other programs that benefit Maine such as the Environmental Education Grants Program, Wells National Estuary Program and the UMaine Sea Grant Program would be eliminated in the proposed budget. ~ Shri A. Verrill, habitat restoration manager, Downeast Salmon Federation, Surry; and Dr. Irit Altman, marine ecologist, Portland
Ski: Hadlock Loop in Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Hadlock Loop is one of several cross-country skiing routes in Acadia National Park. Measuring 4.2 miles round trip from the Brown Mountain Parking Area, the route passes near the eastern shore of Upper Hadlock Pond, then climbs gradually and travels along the lower elevations of Parkman Mountain, Bald Peak and Penobscot Mountain. Along the way, the route crosses over three beautiful stone bridges, the last of which gives a great view of Hadlock Falls.
Maine receives $11.5 Million for Sportsmen & Conservation
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

U.S. Department of the Interior - Today, the U.S. Department of the Interior announced $11,574,458 in funding to Maine to support critical state conservation and outdoor recreation projects. The announcement is part of $1.1 billion in annual national funding going to state wildlife agencies from revenues generated by the Pittman-Robertson Wildlife Restoration and Dingell-Johnson Sport Fish Restoration acts. To date, more than $20.2 billion in funds have been distributed to U.S. states and territories. Maine apportionments include $3,519,175 in Sport Fish Restoration funds and $8,055,283 in Wildlife Restoration funds.
Regulators vote to launch investigation of CMP’s billing, metering systems
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

The Maine Public Utilities Commission said Tuesday it would launch a formal investigation into Central Maine Power’s billing and metering systems following customer complaints about skyrocketing bills and poor quality service. PUC Chairman Mark Vannoy and Commissioners R. Bruce Williamson and Randall Davis agreed to start a “technical forensic audit” to look expressly at metering and billing issues that have arisen over the past several months.
Coastal tour highlights risks of BP's plans to offshore drill Nova Scotia
Other - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Today kicks off the start of a 3 day, hard hitting coastal tour on the risks of offshore drilling Nova Scotia. The Council of Canadians is coordinating this tour because Minister McKenna recently approved BP—the same company behind the oil spill disaster in the Gulf of Mexico 8 years ago—to drill up to 7 exploratory wells off the coast of Nova Scotia. They are planning to drilling up to twice the depth of the well involved in the Deepwater Horizon disaster, significantly increasing the risks of the project. Antonia Juhasz, investigative journalist, energy analyst and author of "Black Tide: the Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill," Antonia recently wrote: “As Nova Scotia residents and elected officials review both BP’s plans and the Canadian government’s ability to regulate them, it may be helpful to consider the view from your closest U.S. neighbours, who, barely one month ago, expressed virulent opposition to just such drilling in their own waters..."
Maine trio completes Appalachian Trail’s remote 100-Mile Wilderness in winter
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

At the end of February, three Maine men set out on snowshoes to hike the 100-Mile Wilderness, the most remote section of the Appalachian Trail stretching about 100 miles from Monson to Baxter State Park. David Koorits of Kittery, Brian Threlkeld of Portland and Greg Bell of Gray completed the arduous journey, over mountains and across half-frozen streams, in nine days, a feat very few hikers accomplish in the winter.
Decline In Hunters Threatens How U.S. Pays For Conservation
National Public Radio - Tuesday, March 20, 2018 

Only about 5 percent of Americans, 16 years old and older, actually hunt. That's half of what it was 50 years ago and the decline is expected to accelerate over the next decade. Meanwhile other wildlife-centered activities, like birdwatching, hiking and photography, are rapidly growing, as American society and attitudes towards wildlife change. The shift is being welcomed by some who morally oppose the sport, but it's also leading to a crisis. State wildlife agencies and the country's wildlife conservation system are heavily dependent on sportsmen for funding.
Southern Maine bus services consider cleaning up their act with electric vehicles
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Greater Portland Metro and ShuttleBus-Zoom may come together to bring the first electric-powered buses to Maine. The two bus systems are considering whether to jointly apply for state and federal grants to replace up to a half-dozen aging diesel buses in their fleets with electric ones. Electric buses are more expensive to buy than diesel but run cheaper, cleaner and more quietly.
Foundation that tried to buy Saddleback is still meeting in case deal crumbles
Associated Press - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The foundation that once raised money to buy the idle Saddleback ski area is working to position itself in the event a deal with the current purchaser falls through. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation’s board said Monday that Wolfe Tone has replaced Peter Stein, who stepped down recently. The Saddleback Mountain Foundation is not actively engaged in negotiations with the mountain’s owner. But the foundation continues to meet regularly.
Subsidized wood-to-energy firm fell far short on wood purchases, state says
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 19, 2018 

One of two firms getting millions in taxpayer dollars to generate electricity from Maine wood purchased less than half of the wood it promised and fell short on other investment goals, according to a state report. Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission suggested in a report issued Friday that the three-member regulatory body reduce a subsidy payment to the company Stored Solar by 20 percent, to a little more than $1.2 million in taxpayer funds. That’s about $320,000 less than Stored Solar requested under a state bailout program for two companies that burn low-grade wood to generate electricity.
Madison farmer whose cow was fatally shot reopens snowmobile trail
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

A local farmer has agreed to reopen a portion of a snowmobile trail on his land that he closed last month after one of his pregnant Angus cows was shot and killed, he believes, from the trail. The cow killer has yet to be identified. Clayton Tibbetts apparently has relented.
Mitchell family donates $100,000 to Waterville riverwalk to honor deceased family members
Morning Sentinel - Monday, March 19, 2018 

Former U.S. Sen. George J. Mitchell, his sister Barbara Mitchell Atkins, brother John Mitchell, and their families are donating $100,000 to help build a $1.5 million riverwalk at Head of Falls on the Kennebec River where the siblings lived in their youth. The city plans to name the future gazebo in the park for the Mitchells, who are donating the funds to honor George, Barbara and John’s siblings, the late Robert and Paul Mitchell, as well as their parents, George and Mary Mitchell.
Did Maine Rep Janice Cooper Attempt to Besmirch Maine Citizens at LD 1810 Public Hearing?
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, March 19, 2018 

On March 18, at a public hearing on LD 1810, An Act To Amend the Laws Governing Expedited Permitting for Wind Energy Development, Chris O'Neil, on behalf of the citizen-funded 501c3 nonprofit organization Friends of Maine's Mountains, gave testimony which called for "repealing the Wind Act ten years and countless disappointing results after it was hastily enacted." In response, state representative Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth) had only one question: “What are your funding sources?” Ms. Cooper's question was asked to perhaps create an impression that Mr. O'Neil was simply up there at the behest of the oil and gas industries. She was not interested in asking anything about the FMM testimony and no one else at the hearing was asked who gave them money. This is what happens when good citizens are scoffed at, ridiculed and besmirched by those who take the oath of office to represent them.
Norway moving forward to get LED streetlights
Sun Journal - Monday, March 19, 2018 

The Board of Selectmen has voted to have Town Manager Dennis Lajoie write to RealTerm Energy advising that officials want to move forward with switching to LED streetlights. RealTerm Energy specializes in LED conversions for municipalities. Among its projects are conversions in Wells, Biddeford, South Portland, Falmouth, Rockland and Mount Desert.
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