News & Notes


Action Alert! Maine’s Little Brown Bat Needs Your Help

Posted on: Wednesday, March 25th, 2015
The little brown bat is being considered for the Maine Endangered Species listing.

The little brown bat is being considered for the Maine Endangered Species listing.

You can help add species to the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species List by encouraging your legislators to support LD 807, an Act to Amend Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List (Sponsored by Senator Tom Saviello).

You can also prevent the erosion of Maine’s safeguards for species that are at risk of becoming extinct by voicing your opposition to LD 640, a resolution that would significantly weaken the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species List by creating a working group to develop incidental take permits for Maine’s endangered species. Incidental take permits allow the killing or take of endangered species.

Take Action

Speak up for the little brown bat and other species:

Public Hearing: 

When:Thursday, April 2, 1:00 p.m.

Where: Room 206 of the Cross State Office Building (next to the State House)

Contact the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee:

Ask them to protect Maine’s biodiversity by supporting LD 807 and opposing LD 640.

Key Points:

Species proposed for listing under LD 807:Endangered:

  • Great Cormorant (currently threatened)
  • Cobblestone tiger beetle
  • Frigga fritillary
  • Six-whorl vertigo
  • Northern long-eared bat

Threatened: 

  • Roaring brook mayfly (currently endangered)
  • Clayton’s copper (currently endangered)
  • Eastern small-footed bat

Details of LD 640:

  • LD 640 encourages the creation of incidental take permits, which allow the killing or take of endangered species, for every listed species for all activities. This would essentially eliminate any protections offered by inclusion on Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List.
  • Membership in the working group charged with developing incidental take permits, would be representatives of the very industries that would be seeking the permits.

For more information on Maine’s endangered species, please visit our website.

Please contact the IFW Committee and ask them to support LD 807 and oppose LD 640.

Thank you for being part of the solution.

For more information, please contact: 

JenniferJenn Burns Gray

Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate

jgray@maineaudubon.org

(207) 781-2330 x224

 

Surfbird Spotted in Maine!

Posted on: Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

If someone asked what the next new bird species to Maine would be, I wouldn’t have guessed Surfbird. Probably not even with 100 guesses. But it happened. On March 20, a group from the Tin Mountain Bird Society spotted an unusual bird amongst some Ruddy Turnstones and Purple Sandpipers. That afternoon one of the group members, Sandra Mitchell, sent me a few photos and a great write up of the bird which sure enough was the first Surfbird to ever have been seen in Maine.

This is the first Surfbird ever spotted in Maine.

And not just Maine, the entire Atlantic Coast! There are a few records of Surfbird spottings in Texas and Florida, but those were within the Gulf of Mexico. Below is a map from eBird.org that shows the normal Eastern-Pacific range of this species (you can also see the tiny pink dot in Maine showing this sighting).

SURF Map

The bird has been seen along the rocky coastline of our East Point Sanctuary in Biddeford. This sanctuary has hosted a number of rare birds over the years, including a Chestnut-collared Longspur in June 2012 (only the second record for Maine), and the first ever sighting of Variegated Flycatcher in the entire US!

The Surfbird was seen all day on Sunday, March 22. Unfortunately, efforts to find the bird on the 23rd have been unsuccessful as of 3:30pm. If the bird is relocated, updates are likely to be posted here:

-Doug

Doug 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:

Media Release: Maine Audubon Launches New Resources to Improve Road-Stream Crossings

Posted on: Monday, March 23rd, 2015

NEWS RELEASE 

For Immediate Release

March 23, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 Maine Audubon Launches New Resources to Improve Road-Stream Crossings
New training resources will be crucial as State releases bond money for culvert replacement

Old CulvertFALMOUTH – Maine Audubon and partners launched a new educational website (streamsmartmaine.org) and video training series today for municipal employees, contractors, land trusts and other groups who are working to improve road-stream crossings throughout the state. Recent surveys have found that about 40% of Maine’s stream crossings are severe barriers for fish and wildlife movement and about 90% are barriers at least part of the year for some species.

“Many of Maine’s stream culverts were put in place over 40-50 years ago,” said Barbara Charry, Maine Audubon wildlife biologist and manager of the Stream Smart training program. “These aging culverts put roads, public safety and wildlife at risk. Replacing old culverts with Stream Smart road crossings will not only reconnect fish and wildlife habitat, it will also help towns prepare for the large and frequent storm events that have been washing out roads around the state and the northeast.”

Ward Bredeau, road commissioner for the town of Phillips, Maine, noted, “As a fisherman, I know how important it is for fish to be able to move up and down stream. With the help of funding, small municipalities like ours have been able to install Stream Smart culverts. The culvert we just installed will last 100 years and improve sensitive fish habitat on the Sandy River where my son and I fish.”

Maine Audubon has offered Stream Smart trainings since 2012. The new website outlines the steps needed to implement a Stream Smart road crossing and provides guidance documents, resources and contact information for each step. The site is intended for anyone working on road-stream crossings and for professionals that work with communities, road owners and managers. The video series offers an overview of Stream Smart, field techniques for assessing a stream and five culvert and bridge construction techniques that serve as examples of Stream Smart solutions.

The approval of the water bond this past November will provide $5.4 million to towns to upgrade stream crossings. There is also a proposed $10 million bond sponsored by Representative Jeff McCabe and co-sponsored by Representative Ken Fredette (House Minority Leader) and Senator Paul Davis (the State Legislature will consider later this session), that will further fund improved road-stream crossings.

“Stream Smart road crossings also create jobs and improve Maine’s economy,” noted Matt Marks, CEO of Associated General Contractors of Maine. “Functioning stream culverts and bridges add economic value to a community, as they greatly reduce the chances of washed out roads and damage from storms, saving towns thousands of dollars in repair costs down the road.”

“To date, we have trained over 700 professionals on Stream Smart techniques,” noted Charry. “The new website and video series will supplement this training – it is important that Stream Smart training and techniques are available to towns, contractors and land owners as the state starts to release funding for culvert upgrades.”

The new Stream Smart website and video series has been made possible by a collaboration of the following organizations:

  • Maine Audubon
  • Maine Coast Heritage Trust
  • Associated General Contractors of Maine
  • Maine Department of Transportation
  • US Department of Agriculture: Natural Resource Conservation Service
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • US Fish & Wildlife Service
  • Project SHARE
  • Sustainable Forestry Initiative
  • Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife
  • Maine Forest Service
  • Maine Coastal Program
  • Maine Department of Environmental Protection
  • US Army Corps of Engineers
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
  • Maine Rivers

For more information, please contact Barbara Charry at bcharry@maineaudubon.org or (207) 781-2330 x225.

 

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. 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, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

 

 

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. 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, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

Action Alert! Ask the Governor to Release Land for Maine’s Future Bonds

Posted on: Friday, March 20th, 2015
Mount Kineo in Piscataquis County was protected in 1990 for recreational use, thanks to the Land for Maine's Future program.

Mount Kineo in Piscataquis County was protected in 1990 for recreational use, thanks to the Land for Maine’s Future program.

You may have heard the news about the Land for Maine’s Future program – Governor LePage has confirmed that he will not release the bond funds approved by the voters.

Maine Audubon is deeply concerned that Governor LePage has refused to release voter-approved Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) bonds, a program the organization has strongly supported since its inception in 1987.

The goal of the LMF program is to secure lands for recreational public access; conserve our most important wildlife habitats; preserve Maine’s farming traditions; and protect the natural environment that is vital to our sense of place and economic future.

Take Action

Your legislators need to hear from you that this is not acceptable. Please let them know the value of this program for Maine and ask them to do their best to get the funds released.

Background:

Here are three recent articles that provide more background information on this issue:

Key Points:

  • The Governor is failing to live up to promises and commitments he has made with regard to LMF funds.
  • He is failing to fulfill the wishes of Maine’s voters - 60% voted in favor of investing these funds.
  • He is failing to make critical conservation investments to strengthen our local economies and enhance our communities.

For more information on LMF, please visit our website.

Please contact your legislators and ask them to urge the Governor to release these important funds.

Thank you for being part of the solution.

For more information, please contact: 

JenniferJenn Burns Gray

Maine Audubon Staff Attorney and Advocate

jgray@maineaudubon.org

(207) 781-2330 x224

 

Maine Audubon Releases Statement on Governor LePage’s Refusal to Release Land for Maine’s Future Bonds

Posted on: Thursday, March 19th, 2015

PRESS STATEMENT

For Immediate Release

March 19, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

 

Maine Audubon Releases Statement on Governor LePage’s Refusal to Release
 Land for Maine’s Future Bonds 

me-x-coldstream-sm

The Cold Stream Forest Project is one example of a Land for Maine’s Future (LMF) program that is now jeopardized because of Governor LePage’s decision to withhold LMF bonds.

Falmouth – Maine Audubon is deeply concerned that Governor LePage has refused to release voter-approved bonds for Land for Maine’s Future (LMF), a program the organization has strongly supported since its inception in 1987. The goal of the LMF program is to secure lands for recreational public access; conserve our most important wildlife habitats; preserve Maine’s fishing, farming and forestry traditions; and protect the natural environment that is vital to our sense of place and economic future.

This is the first time that LMF has been made into a political issue; LMF bonds have consistently received strong bipartisan and public support. Republican Senator Roger Katz was the sponsor of the last successful LMF bond bill and he has submitted another bond bill this session.  Democrat Representative Jeff McCabe has also been a strong champion of the program. Most importantly, the LMF program enjoys strong public support. 60% of Maine voters in 2010 and 2012 voted to invest these conservation funds – this is not a partisan or political issue.

Projects that LMF committed funding to as recently as this past summer are now at risk of not being completed. According to the LMF website, “At its July 15, 2014 meeting the Land for Maine’s Future Board allocated $9.1M of the Land for Maine’s Future bonds approved by voters. Projects include: working forests & farmland, salmon habitat, deer wintering areas, rugged mountains, coastal islands, urban trail connections, working commercial waterfronts, sand beaches, rock climbing areas, wildlife habitat, and many other conservation and recreation assets.”  These 30 projects are now at risk because the Governor is not following through on the administration’s commitment to provide its share of the funding for the project.

Many LMF projects protect valuable wildlife habitat. The Cold Stream Forest Project is one such LMF project currently on hold because of the Governor’s refusal to release the bond money. According to the Trust for Public Land’s website, this project  “consists of 8,000 acres known as Cold Stream Forest—a refuge for the wild native brook trout, threatened Canada lynx, and dwindling northern Maine deer herd that have attracted generations of hunters, naturalists, and fly fishermen. The trout pond populations on this property alone are larger than those found in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Vermont combined.”  Wildlife species that depend on this protected habitat are now at risk because of the Governor’s refusal to release the bond money.

Another project that was scheduled to close by June with LMF funding in hand is being pursued jointly by a private landowner, the Cumberland and Chebeague Land Trust, the Royal River Conservation Trust, the Trust for Public Land, the Towns of Cumberland and North Yarmouth and hundreds of individuals. This project  will protect nearly 300 acres, including one of the best Inland Wading Bird and Waterfowl habitats in southern Maine and surrounding forestland that harbors a rare oak hickory forest. Together, these areas provide habitat for ducks, geese, great blue heron, beaver, muskrat, weasels, fox, porcupine and a myriad of songbirds.

After so many people have worked so hard to conserve these resources on behalf of the public, it would be a travesty if these projects fail simply because the Governor refuses to release voter-approved bonds. Maine Audubon will continue to work with legislators and partner organizations to ensure that these vital LMF bonds are released.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. 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, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon

Fields Pond Greeters (Year-round)

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Volunteers are needed to greet people at Fields Pond Environmental Center (Holden, outside of Bangor). Greetrs welcome and orient visitors and and answer basic questions. Other duties include answering the phone and assisting with various projects.

Time commitment: one four-hour shift per week.

Shift Options:

  • Thursday afternoons, 1:00 – 5:00 pm
  • Saturday afternoons, 1:00 – 4:00 pm
  • Sunday afternoons: 1:00 – 4:00 pm

For more information: contact Cyndi Kuhn at (207) 989-2591

Volunteer Naturalists (Fields Pond)

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Volunteers are needed to lead nature explorations Monday through Friday for groups of all ages at Fields Pond Audubon Center. No experience is needed, just a love of nature and a desire to share your passion with others. We provide training in teaching techniques, species identification and wetland ecology.

Upcoming Training Dates:

Wednesday, April 29, 10:00 am – noon

Friday, May 1, 1:00 – 3:00 pm

For more information: contact Cyndi Kuhn at (207) 989-2591

Volunteer Naturalists (Scarborough Marsh)

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Volunteers are needed to lead nature explorations Monday through Friday for groups of all ages at the Scarborough Marsh Audubon Center. No experience is needed, just a love of nature and a desire to share your passion with others. We provide training in marsh ecology and leading groups.

Upcoming Training Dates:

Monday, April 27, 9:30 – noon

Tuesday, April 28, 9:30 – noon

For more information: contact Linda Woodard at (207) 781-2330 x213

Gilsland Farm Greeters (Year-round)

Posted on: Wednesday, March 18th, 2015

Volunteers are needed to greet people at the Environmental Center at Gilsland Farm (Falmouth). Greeters welcome and orient visitors and answer questions from the public. Other duties include answering the phone and assisting with various projects.

Time commitment: one four-hour shift per week.

For more information: contact Linda Woodard at (207) 781-2330 x213

MEDIA ADVISORY: Senator Angus King to Unveil New Solar Panels at Maine Audubon on March 20

Posted on: Monday, March 16th, 2015

Solar PanelsMEDIA ADVISORY 

For Immediate Release

March 16, 2015

Contact: Michelle Smith, Communications & Marketing Manager
msmith@maineaudubon.org
(207) 781-2330 x209
Mobile: (207) 838-0511

Senator Angus King to Unveil New Solar Panels at Maine Audubon

WHAT: Senator Angus King will help Maine Audubon formally unveil its new solar panel installation on the first day of spring (March 20) at its headquarters, Gilsland Farm Audubon Center in Falmouth. The installation is a result of a unique partnership between Maine Audubon, Revision Energy and Moody’s Collision Centers.

Revision Energy installed the 42 kW solar system in early January. Moody’s Collision Centers paid for the equipment and installation of the project. The renewable energy project allows Moody’s to qualify for federal income tax incentives (as a nonprofit, Maine Audubon does not qualify for these credits). As part of the “power purchase agreement” between the two organizations, Maine Audubon will buy electricity from Moody’s for the next six years. At the end of the six year period, Maine Audubon has the option to buy the solar installation. Moody’s will be able to recoup its costs through the electricity payments, federal tax credits and repayment cost of the system.

“Climate change poses a major threat to the health and long-term sustainability of our ecosystems and wildlife, and no group understands that harsh reality better than Maine Audubon,” said Senator King. “With this collaborative renewable energy project, Maine Audubon, Moody Collision Centers, and ReVision are stepping up to lead in the important fight to preserve our environment for generations to come.”

The solar installation will produce an average of 74,000 kWh of electricity each year, providing close to 80% of the organization’s electricity. The project is the largest array of solar panels installed by a conservation organization in the state.

WHO: Senator Angus King (I-ME)
Phil Coupe, Owner of Revision Energy
Shawn Moody, Owner of Moody’ Collison Centers
Charles Gauvin, Executive Director of Maine Audubon

WHEN: Friday, March 20, 10:00 am

WHERE: Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, 20 Gilsland Farm Road, Falmouth

WHY: Climate change is the number one threat to wildlife and habitat in Maine. As the state’s largest wildlife conservation organization, Maine Audubon is taking action to reduce carbon emissions. The unique partnership with Revision Energy and Moody’s Collision Centers also demonstrates the innovative approaches nonprofits can take to incorporate renewable energy into their operations.

HOW: The press conference will take place in the Environmental Center at Gilsland Farm. Following the conference, there will be an opportunity to take photos of Senator King and speakers in front of the solar panels (weather dependent).

Light refreshments will be served.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS:

The solar installation consists of six solar trackers (for a total of 144 panels) and a rooftop array (composed of 24 panels) on the Environmental Center.  The solar installation is connected to the electricity grid and will feed back energy when more electricity is produced than the facility is able to use. Maine Audubon will receive credit for excess generation.

The six solar trackers (manufactured by AllSun of Vermont) use GPS technology to move throughout the course of the day and year to follow the sun, which provides up to 40% more electricity than a fixed array system. The first six years of operation are expected to offset 222 tons of carbon emissions, which is equivalent to 238,453 pounds of coal burned.

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About Maine Audubon
Maine Audubon’s science-based approach to conservation, education and advocacy advances wildlife and wildlife habitat conservation in Maine. 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, with 15,000 members and 2,000 volunteers.

Conserving Maine’s wildlife.

Please visit www.maineaudubon.org for more information.
Facebook: & Twitter ID: Maine Audubon