News & Notes


Action Alert: Final Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Listening Session in Orono Thursday

Posted on: Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

 

nps

This month, the National Park Service (NPS) has hosted a series of public discussions on the future of the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. The first three sessions held in Stacyville, Medway, and Millinocket drew approximately 340 participants.

You still have a chance to share your hopes, ideas, and concerns for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument at the fourth listening session to be held this Thursday in Orono.

Listening Session in Orono
When: September 29, 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Where: DP Corbett Building, University of Maine, Orono
Directions: Interactive Map or Description
Parking is available in CCA Commuter Lot

If you can not attend a listening session but would like to provide input, you can share your ideas and questions with NPS by sending your comments by email to:
[email protected]

or by mail to:
PO Box 446
Patten, Maine 04765

All input shared during the listening sessions and write-in comments received by October 10, 2016, will be compiled and made publicly available on the monument website:www.nps.gov/kaww

NPS will also host open house hours at the welcome desks at 200 Penobscot Avenue, Millinocket, Wednesdays 2:00 – 6:00 pm and Lumbermen’s Museum, Patten, Saturdays 10:00 am – 1:00 pm through Columbus Day weekend.

Your input will help inform a management plan for the new monument that will establish the overarching vision for the public lands and guide the direction of future work and activities. Thank you for making your voice heard on this important issue.

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

MEDIA RELEASE: Maine Audubon and CMP Cut Ribbon on New Electric Vehicle Charging Station

Posted on: Monday, September 26th, 2016

MEDIA RELEASE

For Immediate Release

September 26, 2016

Contact: Jeremy Cluchey, Director of Communications
[email protected]
207-781-2330 x222

Sara J. Burns, president and CEO of CMP, and Maine Audubon Executive Director Ole Amundsen III at the ribbon cutting ceremony unveiling a new Level 2 electric vehicle charging station at Maine Audubon’s Falmouth headquarters at Gilsland Farm.

Maine Audubon Executive Director Ole Amundsen III and Central Maine Power Company (CMP) President and CEO Sara J. Burns cut the ribbon on a new electric vehicle charging station at Maine Audubon’s Gilsland Farm headquarters in Falmouth today.

The Level 2 electric vehicle charging station, provided through CMP’s Plug-In Electric Vehicle (PEV) Grant Program, underscores Maine Audubon’s commitment to building a culture of stewardship for Maine’s wildlife and habitat. Electric vehicles reduce carbon emissions, which helps to mitigate the effects of climate change on Maine’s wildlife and habitat.

“People come to Maine Audubon’s sanctuaries to escape the hustle and bustle, experience nature, and learn about Maine’s wildlife and habitat,” said Amundsen. “This electric vehicle charging station underscores our commitment to environmental stewardship. It also adds a new dimension to something visitors to Gilsland Farm have long understood: it is the perfect place to recharge.”

“We have always felt that our responsibilities go beyond providing safe, reliable power delivery to Maine homes and businesses,” said Burns. “We want to be a good neighbor in the communities we serve, and that includes showing respect for the environment and minimizing our carbon footprint as we do our work.”

Visitors to Gilsland Farm can see Maine Audubon’s six solar arrays mounted on trackers, which together with arrays on the Education Center building comprise 168 panels capable of producing 74,000 kWh annually. The panels are provided and maintained by ReVision Energy. In a typical year, solar generation at Gilsland Farm offsets over 100,000 pounds of carbon, and covers more than 80% of Maine Audubon’s electricity needs.

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Maine Audubon is building a culture of stewardship for wildlife and habitat in Maine.Through a science-based approach to conservation, education, and advocacy, Maine Audubon advances wildlife and habitat conservation in the state. Our citizen science programs connect Maine people to engaging volunteer opportunities that make meaningful contributions to conservation research. The largest Maine-based wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon has eight centers and wildlife sanctuaries and serves over 50,000 people annually.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.

 

 

Conservation & GIS Manager

Posted on: Wednesday, September 21st, 2016

Location: Falmouth, Maine
Department: Conservation
Immediate Supervisor: Sally Stockwell, Director of Conservation

Purpose of the Position:
Lead the organization’s conservation projects that focus on conserving, restoring, and reconnecting high value wildlife habitats in Maine and across the region, and engage other professionals and the public in activities that support this work. Work closely with other state and federal agencies and organizations to develop and advocate for public policies and programs that protect native wildlife and wildlife habitat.  Manage Maine Audubon’s (MA) GIS computers and software, and provide GIS mapping services for conservation projects and other organizational-wide analysis and activities.

Essential Functions:

  • Lead the organization’s programs to conserve, restore and reconnect high value wildlife habitats.  These programs are centered around the Beginning with Habitat program and currently include efforts to improve both aquatic and terrestrial connections through the Stream Smart, Wildlife Road Watch, and Habitat Highways programs.
  • Maintain MA’s GIS hardware and software, stay current with GIS training, and provide GIS services for organization as needed.  Also supervise a GIS volunteer.
  • Develop new conservation projects and work with Executive Director and Director of Conservation, conservation staff and grant writer to write proposals and prepare grant reports for such projects.
  • Prepare and deliver expert testimony before Maine Legislature, Land Use Planning Commission, Board of Environmental Protection, or other as needed.
  • Review and comment on state significant or precedent-setting development proposals that may have adverse effects on high value habitat or rare, threatened or endangered species.
  • Conduct research and prepare technical information sheets or reports and public guides on current and sometimes controversial policy issues.
  • Prepare and give presentations and other outreach activities and materials for the public and other professionals on a variety of conservation topics.
  • Collaborate with other Maine Audubon staff to complete other organizational conservation projects as needed.
  • Prepare, regularly review, and monitor annual project and grant budgets.
  • Actively participate in All Staff and Conservation Department monthly meetings.
  • Occasionally attend conferences for professional and program development purposes.

Relationships:
Internal:  Reports to the Director of Conservation and occasionally supervises seasonal biologists and interns and volunteers.  Coordinates policy positions with other Maine Audubon staff, including, staff lobbyist.  Works with Maine Audubon staff to present programs for the public and provide conservation content for education programs.  Works with Maine Audubon staff to produce reports and outreach materials, answer media calls, and prepare op-eds, press releases and materials for Habitat.

External:  Partners and collaborates with staff of various state and federal agencies and nonprofit and for-profit organizations.  Engages and works with Maine Audubon chapter leaders and members and National Audubon and various National Audubon state offices where appropriate.  Engages volunteer citizen scientists and activists in program and policy work.

Equipment:
Printer/copier/scanner; digital projector and laptop for PowerPoint presentations; GIS hardware, software and printer; calculator; telephone; cell phone; remote cameras; etc.

Qualifications:

  • Master’s Degree in ecology, conservation biology, forestry, natural resource management or similar field.
  • Professional experience with GIS is required.
  • Knowledge of Maine wildlife conservation issues and methods of landscape scale conservation planning is preferred.
  • Ability to connect with people essential; understanding how to effectively communicate and motivate them to participate and “move people to action” desirable.
  • Demonstrated experience in producing maps and graphics that are compelling and explain complex topics to a variety of public audiences.
  • Ability to work cooperatively with a diverse group of people and build long-lasting relationships with volunteers and other environmental organizations and agencies.
  • Solid organizational skills and ability to manage multiple projects concurrently.
  • Objective and balanced approach to research, writing and communications.
  • Excellent communication skills – speaking and writing a must. Clear, credible communications, verbal, written and graphic.

Physical Requirements:
Ability to walk over rough terrain with a full day pack to conduct field work required.  Also ability to lift and carry field equipment, digital equipment, and presentation materials and equipment up to 50 pounds.

To Apply:
Please send cover letter and resume to Conservation & GIS Manager search, Maine Audubon, 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth, ME 04105 or email to [email protected] with “Conservation & GIS Manager” in the subject line. Application deadline is October 7, 2016. Maine Audubon is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Help the Brook Trout Survey Reach Its 2016 Goal!

Posted on: Monday, September 19th, 2016

The Brook Trout Survey Project needs your help. We still need adventurous anglers to explore 25 new ponds from our survey list before the end of September.

The Brook Trout Survey Project recruits volunteer anglers to identify previously undocumented wild brook trout populations in remote Maine ponds. Maine brook trout are a special resource, and we need to know where they are before we can protect and manage them appropriately. The information collected by volunteer anglers, verified by biologists, will help inform future fisheries management decisions.

Because it is critical we learn about the trout population in these ponds, we are offering a special incentive as the season winds down. Each angler who volunteers to survey a new pond in this final push will be entered into a drawing to win one of the following prizes from Maine Audubon (supported by a state wildlife grant):

Grand Prize: A new float tube! What better way is there to explore a remote pond with comfort and ease? This high-quality, high-comfort float tube from Classic Accessories is valued at $180 and has many convenient features.

Second Place: A deluxe fly-tying kit! Tying your own flies in the off season is a great way to prepare for when the fish are biting! This fly-tying kit includes many tools for the best fly-tying experience.

Third Place: A new chest pack! Carry your flies and gear with ease in this convenient chest pack.

We will also award prizes for a number of other achievements:

  • Most ponds surveyed by one person
  • Person with the longest bushwhack/hike to a pond
  • Parent/child survey team
  • Largest survey team
  • Most interesting wildlife sighting during survey

Plus, thanks to a donation from two very generous volunteers, Ret and Karen Talbot, the first 25 volunteers to submit new pond surveys that help us reach our goal will receive a matted 8 x 10″ Brook Trout print painted by Karen Talbot (shown above).

In order to receive the print, or be entered in the prize drawing, I must have your survey in my email inbox or in my hands by October 17. If you submit your survey after October 17, you will not be eligible for prizes.

Up for the adventure? Contact Trout Survey Project Coordinator Leah Bevins at [email protected] or 207-781-2330 x207. Or get started today by going to our project website (where you will find survey forms, FAQs, a map of survey ponds in Google Earth and more!): www.tumaine.org/brooktrout.htm

 

Action Alert: Attend a Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument Listening Session

Posted on: Wednesday, September 14th, 2016

 

npsNow is your chance to share your hopes, ideas, and concerns for the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument.

This September, the National Park Service (NPS) will host a series of public discussions on the future of the new monument. This is the start of a three year process to complete the monument’s management plan that will guide the direction of future work and activities.

I hope you can attend one of the upcoming NPS listening sessions and help shape the overarching vision for the monument lands.

Upcoming Community Listening Sessions:

Staceyville, ME
September 15, 6:30-8:30 pm
Katahdin Middle/High School

Medway, ME
September 20, 6:30-8:30 pm
Medway Middle School

Millinocket, ME
September 22, 6:30-8:30 pm
Stearns High School

Bangor/Orono, ME
September 29
Location to be determined

Maine Audubon will be urging the NPS to protect and enhance:

  • Riparian habitat along more than 30 miles of rivers and streams and at least seven ponds.
  • Habitat for over 75 species of birds, including migratory forest birds that depend on this internationally significant area as their primary breeding habitat.
  • Mature forest habitat structure to support those forest birds and other wildlife like American marten that depend on or use more mature forest habitat.
  • Extensive wetlands, including Inland Waterfowl and Wading Bird Habitat designated as “Significant Wildlife Habitat” by the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
  • Critical habitat for the federally endangered Canada lynx.
  • Critical and important fish habitat – especially for wild eastern brook trout and endangered Atlantic salmon.
  • Nine rare Natural Communities identified.
  • Rare aquatic species that require clean cold water, including species of freshwater mussel, dragonfly, and turtle.
  • Landscape connections, linking the lands with other conservation lands including Baxter State Park, the International Appalachian Trail, the Debsconeag Wilderness, the 100-mile Wilderness, and the Allagash Wilderness Waterway.

It’s important that the National Park Service hears from you!  Please share your views about the future of the new national monument at one of the listening sessions to be held across the state this September.

Thanks for your support,

JenniferJenn Burns Gray
Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate
[email protected]
(207) 781-2330 x224

 

 

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

Action Alert: They’re Back! Help Us Defeat Weak Mining Rules!

Posted on: Friday, September 9th, 2016

Even though Maine’s Legislature has twice overwhelmingly defeated bad mining rules that would have allowed dangerous mines near some of our state’s most treasured places, the mining rules are back.

Let the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) know you oppose the proposed  weak mining rules by testifying at a public hearing next Thursday or by emailing them at [email protected].

Board of Environmental Protection Hearing on Mining Rules
When: Thursday, September 15, 9:00 am
Where: Augusta Civic Center.

If you can’t attend, please contact the BEP and let them know you oppose the proposed mining rules.

Maine’s Legislature has twice overwhelmingly defeated bad mining rules that would have allowed dangerous mines near some of our state’s most treasured places, including Moosehead Lake and the Down East coast.

Now The Department of Environmental Protection has revised the bad rules and the Board of Environmental Protection (BEP) is asking for public comment. While some improvements have been made, the rules are still not strong enough and, if approved, would put Maine’s water and aquatic resources at risk.

The proposed rules are problematic because they would:

  • Allow mining on and under Maine’s spectacular Public Reserved Lands.
  • Allow tailings impoundments, the most dangerous type of mine waste disposal facility.
  • Leave Maine taxpayers on the hook for mining disasters, which happen far too often.
  • Allow even the most hazardous parts of mines—such as wasterock piles and tailings ponds—in floodplains and flood hazard areas.

In the past, legislators defeated the rules because they from heard from you loud and clear that the proposed rules did not protect Maine’s clean water and taxpayers. Please speak up again by attending the public hearing or by contacting the BEP.

Learn more about the rules and open pit mining in Maine on our website.

To sign up for Maine Audubon’s Action Alert e-mails, please click here.

Confidence and Optimism in Northern Maine

Posted on: Wednesday, September 7th, 2016

Maine Audubon supported the creation of the the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument because of the area’s value as wildlife habitat and the important role that it plays in providing corridors for wildlife movement. In August, I was fortunate enough to attend the monument’s opening celebration. The National Park Service has already opened an office in downtown Millinocket, complete with park rangers handing out maps and letting visitors know what there is to see and do in Maine’s new national monument.

millinocket1

Still from Too Hot, Too Cold

I first visited Millinocket for the state high school track championship back in 1985. I remember being struck by a photo I saw on that trip of the local high school basketball team that had won the New England Championship sometime in the 1960s. The players looked confident, full of determination to take on the world and win. And today I wonder, with all of the changes in our economy that cause many towns in Maine to struggle, do Millinocket’s young people still have that same confident optimism?

While I can’t claim to definitively answer that question, I see signs that Millinocket’s youth retain the attitude I saw in the basketball team photo. This spring I watched an interesting movie called Too Hot, Too Cold by filmmaker Ross Knowlton of Millinocket. Part skate board flick, part nature walk, and part informational documentary about Millinocket, the film earned Knowlton the Best Young Filmmaker award at the Maine Outdoor Film Festival in 2015. It’s fundamentally an optimistic film, firmly grounded in Millinocket.

millinocket2

Still from Too Hot, Too Cold

If the Maine north woods are to survive as an intact large-scale ecosystem, northern Maine towns like Millinocket need to survive, too. Conservation and stewardship of the environment is fundamentally a local effort, and while the national monument will draw international attention to the area, most of Maine’s northern woods will be looked after by local year-round residents.

Preservation of the north woods is as much a social and economic justice issue as it is an environmental one. We need vibrant towns in northern Maine. And while the national monument alone will not solve all of the region’s problems, the determination and optimism shown by past and present residents of Millinocket make me think that things will be okay in the long run. So it’s time to roll up our sleeves and seize the opportunities created by the Katadhin Woods and Waters National Monument  — and begin thinking more broadly how we can help rural Maine experience success.

-Ole

ole-squareOle Amundsen is Executive Director of Maine Audubon. He has more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.

Who has been chewing on our building?

Posted on: Thursday, August 11th, 2016

While photographing a Sigmoid Prominent outside our Environmental Center, I noticed a series of long narrow marks along the wood siding of the building. We shared a photo of them as a quiz on our Facebook page. Do you know who made these bizarre markings?

quiz photo

It didn’t take long before their creator returned and continued the job:

Bald-faced Hornet from Doug Hitchcox on Vimeo.

If you guessed Bald-faced Hornet in our photo quiz, you are correct! Points will also be awarded to anyone who guessed one of the ‘paper nest wasps’ (or anything in Vespidae) as I doubt this photo is diagnostic for a single species. These wasps (they are not actually hornets) will use dead wood for constructing their large papery nests. Here is an excerpt from a PennState’s College of Agricultural Science ‘Entomological Notes’ with details on their nesting process:

The queen collects cellulose from weathered and rotting wood, chews the wood adding her saliva, and takes this paste and makes a papery material to construct the nest. She creates a few brood cells within the nest and deposits eggs in them and feeds the larvae when they hatch. This first brood will assume the duties of nest building, food collection, feeding the larvae and protecting the nest. As the summer progresses, the colony grows until there may be 100 to 400 workers.

We currently have one of these nests on display in our Discovery Room at Gilsland Farm

bfho nestAnd here is a closeup of the nest showing how the color of each ‘layer’ varies depending on the color of the substance the wasps are using to make it.

nest closeup

 

-DougDoug Hitchcox Head Shot - please credit  M. Kathleen Kelly (1)

Meet Doug Hitchcox, Maine Audubon Staff Naturalist A Maine native, Doug grew up in Hollis and graduated from the University of Maine in 2011. Throughout college Doug worked at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center and was hired as Maine Audubon’s staff naturalist in the summer of 2013, a long time “dream job.” In his free time, Doug volunteers as one of Maine’s eBird reviewers, is the owner and moderator of the ‘Maine-birds’ listserv and serves as York County Audubon board member and Secretary of the Maine Bird Records Committee.

Submit your question for Doug:

Occasional Overnight Site Manager

Posted on: Tuesday, August 9th, 2016

Location: Borestone Mountain, ME
Immediate Supervisor: Borestone Property Manager
Department: Properties

Maine Audubon is a widely respected conservation organization with headquarters located in Falmouth, Maine, with state-wide influence. Our mission is to conserve Maine’s wildlife and habitat through conservation, education, and citizen action. We are seeking an individual with property management experience to occasionally staff the rental lodges at Borestone Mountain overnight in order to be on hand to address any facility or guest needs that may arise.

The Occasional Overnight Site Manager is responsible to assist the Borestone Property Manager and staff with property operations on occasional overnights in order to provide a welcoming, friendly, safe and clean environment for overnight guests at our lodge facilities. The Occasional Overnight Site Manager works under the direction of the Borestone Property Manager and Borestone Assistant Property Manager. Responsibilities include assisting lodge renters during their stay, maintaining the operation of basic systems such as the water supply system, performing minor repairs, and other tasks to maintain and enhance the value of the property. It is the intent that the Occasional Overnight Site Manager will have a minimum of 8 hours of sleep time per overnight in a furnished room, barring emergencies in the overnight period.

Essential and Specific Functions

  • Staff the Boathouse area in order to be on hand to assist with overnight management operations at Borestone Mountain Lodges
  • Welcome guests and visitors, providing information and shuttling guests to and from lodges via vehicle and boat
  • Perform minor property maintenance and repairs on a timely basis to insure a positive guest experience and maintain the quality of the existing structures
  • Contacts Borestone Property Manager in the event of any facility or guest emergencies during occasional overnight rentals
  • Deal with guest requests and concerns on a timely basis to insure guest satisfaction
  • Perform minor administrative functions as needed, such as recordkeeping of repairs, emergencies, etc.
  • Assist in the operation of the water chlorination system, fireplaces, and other systems, as needed
  • Performance of some housekeeping duties such as cleaning, garbage removal, etc. to insure a positive guest experience
  • Occasionally prepare lodges for occupancy and clean up after visitor stays
  • Other duties as assigned

Qualifications

  • Prior experience working with property rental and maintenance
  • Exceptional customer service skills and a friendly outgoing manner
  • Participate in training in order to comply with new or existing laws
  • Ability to work occasional overnight schedule, including weekend nights
  • CPR/First Aid certificate desirable
  • Must possess a valid driver’s license
  • Must be able to pass a background check
  • Physical abilities required: ability to stand, sit, bend at waist, lift and carry up to 50 lbs.
  • Ability to paddle and manage a canoe and motor boat safely

Timing, Pay, and Benefits

  • Variable schedule dates due to rental and staffing schedules
  • Work day for Occasional Overnight Site Manager typically encompasses a 26 hour period, 8 am to 10 am the following day; with 18 hours paid time and 8 hours unpaid sleep time (except in the case of overnight emergencies, for which sleep time is not deducted)
  • Pay rate is $14 per hour
  • Position runs until early October, 2016
  • Temporary position – not eligible for benefits

To apply, please submit resume and cover letter to [email protected] with Borestone Occasional Overnight Site Manager in the subject title.

Experience Maine’s Wildlife

Posted on: Monday, August 8th, 2016

Greetings,

Summer is in full swing for Maine Audubon and we are hosting a variety of programs designed to help people engage with wildlife. One of the best ways to get out and experience the Maine summer is by paddling a canoe or kayak at our Scarborough Marsh facility. You can rent a boat or take a tour with a naturalist. The full moon tours are always a big hit and an unusual way to see this distinct habitat and the creatures who call it home.

This year the demand at Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center has been overwhelming and we are looking for volunteers to help. It’s not the typical desk job and people from all over the world come through this facility so it’s an exciting place to be. All experience levels are welcome and this is a perfect opportunity for students looking to beef up their college application, earn community service hours, or add experiences with nature and science to their resumes.

On  August 18, our Speaker Series brings you a Live Birds of Prey show with Hope Douglas from Wind over Wings. At this 21+ event, enjoy a beer or glass of wine while saying hello to the visiting raptors, including Queen Solomon, a Great Horned Owl. These shows are extremely popular so get your tickets soon!

September will be here before you know it, and if you miss the birds of prey show, you can always get your raptor fix by joining us for the Bald Eagles of Merrymeeting Bay cruise sailing out of Boothbay Harbor on September 10. Over 60 eagles were counted during last year’s trip, which is a testament to the rebound of this majestic bird.

When you belong to Maine Audubon, there are so many opportunities to explore Maine’s habitats and experience Maine’s wildlife. Hope to see you outside this summer!

-Ole

Ole Amundsen became Executive Director of Maine Audubon in March 2016. He brings more than 25 years of experience in conservation leadership, with a focus on landscape scale conservation, environmental education and finance. Amundsen most recently served as program manager for the national land trust, The Conservation Fund.