Welcome to “Maine Environment: Frontline Voices,” the Natural Resources Council of Maine's podcast covering the latest environmental news across Maine. Every two weeks, host Colin Durrant speaks with NRCM’s advocates and experts to bring you a quick, concise summary of breaking news in the Legislature and other places that affect the nature of Maine.
Background photo: Allagash Falls by Garrett Conover
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Episode 105: What Makes the Land for Maine's Future Program So Successful, August 31, 2023 The Land for Maine’s Future program is Maine’s most successful and popular land conservation program, helping to support hundreds of conservation projects that have exceptional natural or recreational value or support Maine’s heritage industries of farming, fishing, and forestry. In 2021, the Legislature appropriated $40 million in state funding for LMF, which is being used to support many new projects. In this episode of Frontline Voices, we speak with Steve Walker, the new director of Land for Maine’s Future program, to learn more about the types of projects that have been supported, the benefits they deliver to Maine people and communities, and what the future holds for this extraordinarily popular program.
Episode 104: Stronger Clean Car and Truck Standards Give Mainers More Choices, August 17, 2023 Zero-emission cars and trucks are becoming increasingly popular but many prospective buyers are finding that supply can’t keep up with demand. Stronger standards for clean cars and trucks would give consumers in Maine more opportunities to buy electric vehicles and slash toxic tailpipe pollution that is harming human health and making climate change worse. In this episode, we speak with Scott Vlaun of the Center for an Ecology-Based Economy about his organization's experience working to encourage and support zero-emission vehicles in rural Maine, as well as their work to advance a just clean energy transition.
Episode 103: Maine's 2023 Legislative Session Wrap-up, August 3, 2023 This year's legislative session was another incredible demonstration of how Maine's strong conservation ethic continues to define our way of life, drive economic growth, and influence new laws passed at the State House in Augusta. Thousands of Mainers spoke up and took action to protect our environment, strengthen the resiliency of local communities, and accelerate a more equitable clean energy future. NRCM's Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim details how legislators listened to these voices by passing a wide range of new laws that recognize Maine’s environment and economy are inextricably linked.
Episode 102: The Experience of Maine's Local Redemption Centers, July 20, 2023The on-the-ground experience of local redemption center owners like Shandra Rubchinuk helped get the bill to modernize Maine's Bottle Bill across the finish line during this year's legislative session. Shandra, who is co-owner of Jansel Bottle Redemption in Winthrop, joins the podcast to speak about the challenges of operating redemption centers, the important role these small businesses play in making the Bottle Bill so successful, and how the two bills supported by lawmakers this year will help make things more efficient to keep redemption centers open.
Episode 101: Exploring Maine's State Parks and Campgrounds, June 22, 2023 In 2016, Ray and Danielle Ruby set a goal to visit every State Park and campground with their family…and they did it! Along the way they chronicled their travels with unvarnished reviews on their popular blog “Rubys on the Road.” Ray joins the podcast to talk about what makes Maine’s State Parks so special and get some insider tips from his family’s years of experience. NRCM is proud to partner with Mainers like the Rubys to build support for our State Parks and Public Reserved Lands because of the important role they play in our economy and way of life.
Episode 100: Every Body Belongs on the Water: A Conversation with Bri Dostie, June 12, 2023 The conservation movement and outdoor recreation have long been centered on a white, able-bodied dominant view, but here in Maine and throughout the country there's a movement to interrupt this pattern and instigate change. In this episode we speak with Bri Dostie, one of those Mainers pushing to create more welcoming, joyful spaces in the outdoor community for a greater diversity of people. Bri founded the Confluence Collective, a group that is challenging the overwhelmingly homogenous white male fly fishing community by removing barriers and supporting individual growth through a variety of events and activities.
Episode 99: What You Need to Know about Maine's Solar Success, May 25, 2023 Solar energy in Maine has grown seven-fold in the last few years. These projects are bringing enormous benefits to Mainers, including helping cash-strapped businesses and towns save money on electricity bills. We know more solar is needed to meet our climate goals, and it’s necessary to help buffer against the price spikes we’re experiencing from dirty oil and gas. Climate & Clean Energy Senior Advocate Rebecca Schultz joins the podcast to tell us what else we need to know.
Episode 98: Modernizing Maine's Bottle Bill, May 11, 2023 The Bottle Bill is a big part of Maine’s culture and environmental ethic. It’s also our most effective recycling and litter prevention program. And hundreds of Mainers have built their lives and small businesses around bottle redemption. But in the 45 years since it began a lot has changed. NRCM’s Sarah Nichols joins the podcast to talk about improvements that are needed to strengthen the Bottle Bill and make it more efficient.
Episode 97: Poetry in Nature, April 27, 2023 In celebration of National Poetry Month we rebroadcast a powerful poetry reading and discussion that former host Carly Peruccio had with Maine-based poet Richard Blanco for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. In March of this year, Blanco was awarded with the National Humanities Medal by President Biden at the White House. We hope by rebroadcasting our conversation with Blanco we have given our listeners space to reflect and rest among the very busy legislative session and lives we all lead.
Episode 96: Building a Bigger, Better Network of Trails Across Maine, April 13, 2023 Trails are part of what define the Maine experience. Although Maine currently has wonderful trails for hiking, biking, skiing, snowmobiling, commuting, and other uses, many of our trails are in serious need of repair and maintenance. The Maine Trails Bond would be the State-funded grant program dedicated specifically to supporting trail development and maintenance. Outdoor accessibility specialist Enock Glidden and NRCM advocacy director Pete Didisheim speak about the importance of trails to Maine and the remarkable coalition of more than 260 businesses, towns, and groups that coalesced to support the proposal for a Maine Trails Bond.
Episode 95: Amphibians on the Move in Maine, March 30, 2023 The snow is melting, roads are getting muddier, and amphibians are on the move! We speak with University of Maine graduate student and 2022 Brookie Award winner Greg LeClair about amphibians in Maine, and in particular the annual spring migration they take to get to breeding habitat. Greg founded Maine Big Night, a community science project to collect data and research on road-crossing amphibians across Maine, that has engaged more than 400 volunteers across 300 survey sites.
Episode 94: Wabanaki Nations' State of the Tribes Address, March 17, 2023For the first time in two decades, the chiefs of the tribes in Maine appeared before a special joint session of the Legislature on March 16, 2023, for the Wabanaki Nations’ State of the Tribes address. In this episode, we give listeners an opportunity to hear the full remarks of the five chiefs during this historic moment. One of NRCM’s top priorities is to stand alongside the Wabanaki people as they work toward the State of Maine recognizing the inherent sovereignty of Wabanaki people in their homelands.
Episode 93: Maine’s Heat Pump Success an Example for the Nation, March 2, 2023 More than 100,000 heat pumps have been installed by Mainers and every day more are installed. Without a doubt, heat pumps are a runaway success story for Maine, making our state an incredible example for the rest of the nation. We speak with Andy Meyer, Senior Program Manager at Efficiency Maine, about this exciting transition in how we heat and cool our homes, and why Maine’s love of heat pumps is attracting national attention. Andy also shared tips on how to optimize performance of your heat pumps!
Episode 92: “Fly Rod” Crosby, Maine’s Legendary Outdoorswoman, February 16, 2023 Cornelia “Fly Rod” Crosby might be Maine’s most famous Mainer you’ve never heard of, but a new statue unveiled in Augusta this week aims to educate more people about her legacy. Fly Rod was a skilled fly fisher and big promoter of Maine in the 1800s who became the state’s first Registered Maine Guide. Maine Master Guide Roger Lambert and Brent West, Executive Director of the High Peaks Alliance, discuss Fly Rod’s enormous legacy and why it remains so relevant today.
Episode 91: Meet Rebeccah Sanders, NRCM's New CEO, February 2, 2023 Our new CEO Rebeccah Sanders has been on the job a little over a week and has hit the ground running, drawing on her two decades of executive nonprofit management experience in community-driven conservation work and her long-time love of Maine’s great outdoors. What has Rebeccah learned so far, and what is she looking forward to in the future for NRCM and Maine’s environment? Tune in to hear it all in her own words. Learn more about Rebeccah.
Episode 90: Previewing the Top Environmental Issues at the Maine State House, January 20, 2023 The State House in Augusta is once again bustling with activity, and NRCM’s experts have been hard at work identifying our top priorities for the 2023 legislative session that will protect Maine’s climate, water, wildlife, and outdoors. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins the podcast to highlight some of the top environmental issues and bills we’ll be tracking in the upcoming legislative session, and offers tips on how to keep up-to-date.
Episode 89: Restoring Atlantic Rivers and Their Great Fish Migrations, January 5, 2023 Scientist, educator, and author John Waldman discusses how we can restore Maine’s rivers and the great fish migrations to which they were once home. Waldman’s talk was originally delivered at an online webinar NRCM hosted in December as part of our ongoing effort to support a free-flowing Kennebec River and bring back millions of sea-run fish, including endangered Atlantic salmon. To view the webinar, including Waldman’s slides, visit https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2NSU2oHLQMQ
Episode 88: Top 10 Good Environmental News Stories of 2022, December 22, 2022 It has been an exciting year marked by big accomplishments for Maine’s environment at the State House and beyond. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins the podcast to highlight 10 areas of progress from 2022 that inspired and energized us. We hope our listeners enjoy these good news stories and it leaves you rejuvenated heading into the new year as we continue our collective work to protect what we love.
Episode 87: One Mainer’s Experience at the International Climate Conference in Egypt December 8, 2022 NRCM Rising guest host Kate Shambaugh interviews 2020 Brookie Award winner Gabby Hillyer about her experience as part of the University of Maine delegation to the COP27 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Egypt that was held in mid-November 2022.
Episode 86: What Election Results Mean for Maine’s Environment, November 10, 2022 On Tuesday November 8th, Maine voters delivered another bipartisan, pro-environment majority to the State House. What do those election results mean for our collective work to protect the nature of Maine? NRCM’s Interim CEO and Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins the podcast to provide our initial analysis of what the results of this year’s state and federal election means for Maine’s environment.
Episode 85: Conservation Leadership Award Winner Speeches, October 27, 2022 Every year, NRCM honors environmental leaders in Maine with our Conservation Leadership Awards. The speeches recipients give at our annual event are full of heart, passion, and commitment. In this episode, you’ll hear the inspirational stories of this year's five CLA recipients: Project Puffin's Dr. Steve Kress, Portland & So. Portland sustainability leads Troy Moon and Julie Rosenbach, aquafarm activists Frenchman Bay United, rockweed advocate Dr. Robin Hadlock Seeley, and Juniper Hill "close the loophole" coalition Don’t Waste ME.
Episode 84: Maine’s Outdoor Recreation Economy is Booming, October 19, 2022 Maine’s spectacular outdoors are central to our way of life, and nowhere is that more evident than in the state’s booming outdoor recreation industry. Outdoor recreation contributes $3 billion to Maine’s economy, making up 3.3%—more than double the national average in 2020. In this episode, Colin speaks with Jenny Kordick, the Executive Director of Maine Outdoor Brands, about what makes Maine’s outdoor industry unique, and what we learned from the inaugural Maine Outdoor Economy Summit held in mid-October.
Episode 83: Maine’s Clean Water Champions, September 30, 2022 On September 29th, hundreds of Mainers gathered on the banks of the Androscoggin River in Lewiston to honor some of Maine’s 100 Clean Water Champions and celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the Clean Water Act. We spoke with a few of the Champions for this podcast episode and asked them to share their unique connection to clean water in Maine. Together, these interviews provide a snapshot into the passion and dedication of everyday Mainers to protect the clean water that makes our state so special.
Episode 82: Local Mainers Speaking Out Against Wolfden Mining Proposals, September 16, 2022 In this episode, Colin speaks with two Maine residents who live in completely different parts of the state but share a common threat facing the clean water where they live. Robin Hadlock Seeley worked to share information with residents in Pembroke to pass an ordinance banning Wolfden’s mining activities, and MaryAlice Mowry has been shining a light on Wolfden’s sketchy activities in the Patten area near Pickett Mountain where Wolfden has proposed a mining operation.
Episode 81: What We Learned from Maine EV Owners, September 1, 2022 More Mainers than ever are driving electric vehicles, and more models are coming to market every year. In this episode, we speak with NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Outreach Coordinator Josh Caldwell to discuss what we learned from NRCM’s 2022 survey of every electric vehicle owner in Maine. This was our third and most popular survey—with a record-breaking 1,230 responses from all 16 counties!
Episode 80: Katahdin Woods & Waters Turns Six, August 18, 2022 This month, we’ll be joining many others in celebrating the sixth anniversary of the creation of the Katahdin Woods & Waters National Monument. In this episode, we speak with Sam Deeran, Acting Executive Director of the Friends of Katahdin Woods & Waters, about the enormous success of the Monument, what’s changed in those six years, and what visitors can expect in the coming years.
Episode 79: What the Biggest Climate Investment in U.S. History Means for Mainers, August 4, 2022 Hope was renewed again in Washington D.C., when Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Joe Manchin announced a new deal to invest billions of dollars in clean energy and climate action. In this episode, we speak with experts at the Environmental Defense Fund and National Wildlife Federation to find out how the Inflation Reduction Act would lower energy costs for Mainers and help us meet the goals laid out in Maine’s Climate Action Plan.
Episode 78: A Conversation with Sunrise Movement Franklin County, July 21, 2022 In this episode, NRCM Rising Leadership Team member Kate Shambaugh speaks with Isabelle Rogers, Hub Organizer for Sunrise Movement Franklin County, which just celebrated its first anniversary. It is part of a national youth-led nonprofit made up of young activists working on environmental and social justice issues such as climate change. Learn more about NRCM’s new Franklin County coordinator Marc Edwards and his work, as well as which state recently became the fourth to pass an EPR for Packaging Law. Maine was the first state to pass such a law in 2021.
Episode 77: SCOTUS Clean Air Decision and the Future of Maine’s Electric Grid, July 7, 2022 Maine leaders expressed outrage at a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision limiting the ability of the federal government to reduce carbon pollution. NRCM Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro discusses what it means for Maine’s environment and also details an interesting new decision by the Public Utilities Commission that provides a snapshot into what the future of our electric grid could look like and how it’ll deliver benefits to Maine people.
Episode 76: Corporations Trying to Exploit Maine’s Environment for Profit, June 23, 2022 Though NRCM’s work in the State House is done for the year, our role as watchdog for Maine’s environment never lets up. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim speaks about some of the topics we’ll be following this summer. The unifying theme that emerges from the discussion is that many out-of-state corporations are trying to take advantage of Maine people and our environment to turn a profit.
Episode 75: American Aquafarms Too Big, Too Risky for Frenchman Bay, June 9, 2022 State agencies that were reviewing the American Aquafarms proposal to build a massive industrial salmon farm in Frenchman Bay recently announced they were terminating the project’s permit applications. But the company responded by saying it isn't going away despite overwhelming opposition from local communities. In this episode, we speak with NRCM Staff Scientist Nick Bennett about the fundamental problems with Atlantic salmon net-pen aquaculture and why the American Aquafarms proposal would devastate the clean ocean waters of Frenchman Bay.
Episode 74: Clean Water for the Passamaquoddy Tribe and Spring Fish Migration Stories, May 26, 2022 Youth clean water activist and 2022 Brookie Award winner Noela Altvater speaks about her advocacy to ensure clean drinking water for the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik. Learn more about this year’s six Brookies at brookieawards.org. Also, Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim reports back from a staff field trip to the Benton Falls fish lift and talks about the amazing story of alewives returning to China Lake for the first time in more than two centuries.
Episode 73: Protecting the Unique Character of the Moosehead Lake Region, May 12, 2022 A proposed land use plan for the Moosehead Lake region has been released that balances economic development with conservation. Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm discusses what the proposal means for the future of the Moosehead Lake area and how NRCM is working to protect the unique character of this special region. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim also gives his closing thoughts on the 130th legislative session and what’s next for NRCM’s advocacy priorities.
Episode 72: Legislature Delivers Exciting Wins for Maine’s Environment, April 26, 2022 The second session of the 130th Legislature was marked by significant progress on a broad range of environmental issues, from clean water to climate action. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim details the new laws that will benefit Maine’s environment and communities for years to come and highlights how several bipartisan votes for priority bills reflect the strong conservation ethic of Maine people.
Episode 71: Encouraging Climate Change Education in Maine’s Schools, March 31, 2022 Bangor High School students, Kosis Ifeji and Ogechi Obi, speak with NRCM Rising guest host Kate Shambaugh about their journey as climate activists and discuss their efforts to pass LD 1902, a bill to encourage climate change education in Maine public schools. As a climate action leader, Maine has identified the need for climate education – but teachers need support. The bill would support equitable access to climate change education by funding professional development for Maine teachers through community partnerships.
Episode 70: Legislative Environmental Priorities Status Report, March 16, 2022 With about one month left in Maine’s legislative session, NRCM’s Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins the podcast to provide a status report on how NRCM’s environmental priority bills are doing. Several bills have received positive outcomes at committees and will soon be voted on by the House and Senate, while details about a few others — including utility accountability, tribal sovereignty, and PFAS pollution — are still being worked out.
Episode 69: The Climate Connection to Housing and Utility Accountability, March 3, 2022 The latest international climate report included bleak warnings about the impacts of climate change accelerating faster than anticipated. But scientists also left us with a sliver of hope, making clear that if the world acts quickly on climate, we have a chance at avoiding some of the worst impacts. Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro joins the podcast to bring this international news down to a local level here in Maine by talking about the climate connection to utility accountability and housing bills being considered by the Legislature.
Episode 68: The Time for Tribal Sovereignty is Now, February 17, 2022 Penobscot Nation Tribal Ambassador Maulian Dana joins the podcast to discuss the bill to restore self-determination and self-governance to the Wabanaki tribes. Based on consensus recommendations from a bipartisan task force convened by the Maine Legislature, the legislation addresses long-standing issues with a land claims act passed in 1980 that governs the relationship between the state and the tribes in Maine. To learn more and take action visit wabanakialliance.com.
Episode 67: Expanding Maine’s Ecological Reserve System, February 3, 2022 We speak with UMaine Farmington forest ecologist and Professor of Biology Dr. Drew Barton about Maine’s 19 ecological reserves and the value these 97,000 acres of public lands provide to Maine people. NRCM Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm speaks about the challenges facing Maine’s woods and waters, and why now is the time to expand the state’s ecological reserve system to mitigate climate change and protect more habitats for Maine’s unique plants and animals. Download our special report at: www.nrcm.org/our-maine/publications/maines-ecological-reserves-publication
Episode 66: Art and the Environment with Brookie Award Winner Jordan Kendall Parks, January 20, 2022 In this episode, we kick off a new series of interviews with Maine’s young environmental leaders to elevate their voices and share their stories. Our special co-host NRCM Rising Leadership Team member Kate Shambaugh speaks with 2020 Brookie Award Winner Jordan Kendall Parks about connecting people to nature through art and what winning a Brookie Award has meant to her. Learn more about the Brookie Awards at brookieawards.org and visit jordankendallparks.com to view Jordan’s work.
Episode 65: Environmental Priorities at the State House, January 6, 2022 Maine lawmakers have convened for the second session of the 130th Legislature and will consider dozens of bills that could impact Maine’s healthy air, clean water, and rich natural resources. In this episode, Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim details NRCM’s top environmental priorities for 2022 and why they matter for our collective work to protect the nature of Maine. Pete provides his thoughts about the opening session of the Maine Legislature and reflections about the January 6, 2021, failed insurrection of the U.S. Capitol Building.
Episode 64: How Plastic Pollution Contributes to Waste and Climate Crisis, December 9, 2021 Two new reports showed that the U.S. ranks as the leading contributor of plastic waste and detailed how plastic production is worsening the climate crisis. We check in with NRCM Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols to get her reaction to these reports and provide updates on the steps Maine is taking to tackle the plastic pollution crisis and reduce waste.
Episode 63: CMP Loses Big at Ballot Box and DEP Urged to Pull Corridor Permit, November 23, 2021 On November 2, CMP suffered a stunning setback for its controversial corridor project and now the project’s future is in doubt. In this episode, NRCM’s Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim dissects what’s happened since the overwhelming vote by Maine people to terminate the CMP corridor. November is Native American Heritage Month, and NRCM encourages listeners to learn more about Maine’s native Tribes and the campaign for Tribal sovereignty by visiting the Wabanaki Alliance website at wabanakialliance.com.
Episode 62: Cleaner Trucks, Infrastructure Investment, and Question 1 Takeaways, November 12, 2021 Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro joins the podcast to talk about how cleaner trucks and buses will benefit Maine, what the new infrastructure bill passed by Congress means for Maine communities, and what lessons can be learned from the decisive vote by an overwhelming majority of Maine people to ban the CMP corridor.
Episode 61: CMP’s Top 10 Scare Tactics and Dirty Tricks about Question 1, October 28, 2021 CMP and Hydro-Quebec have spent more than $70 million on a desperate political campaign full of scare tactics and misinformation. As Election Day nears, and just days before Halloween, Colin and Pete tick down the top 10 spooky scare tactics and dirty tricks used by CMP. Voters should treat Question 1 as a referendum on CMP because of these tactics. NRCM urges Mainers to send CMP a message by voting Yes on 1 to reject the CMP corridor.
Episode 60: Details on Question 1 to Stop the CMP Corridor, October 15, 2021 As Election Day inches closer and closer, Colin and Pete discuss one of the top issues on the ballot: Question 1, the citizen’s initiative to stop the CMP corridor. We explore some of the key issues voters should keep in mind and why voting YES on Question 1 is the right approach for stopping the CMP corridor. Pete also highlights a major victory for Maine’s environment that came when a company withdrew its application for a polluting mine in the shadow of Katahdin.
Episode 59: The Electric Vehicle Revolution is Coming Faster Than You Expected, September 30, 2021 It’s Drive Electric Week and Ford just announced an $11 billion investment in new electric truck and battery manufacturing plants! Electric cars and trucks are coming to a dealer near you faster than any of us expected, so we sat down with NRCM's Climate & Clean Energy team to learn what’s new about EVs and to answer some frequently asked questions about electric vehicle performance and the benefits of going electric.
Episode 58: Climate Funding for Maine Pending in D.C. and Details of a New Kennebec Lawsuit, September 16, 2021 Colin is excited about the first electric school bus in Maine, and then speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the most important federal climate bill ever, and what it means for Maine’s Climate Action Plan. They also discuss a lawsuit NRCM filed against Brookfield for violating federal environmental law on the Kennebec River and killing endangered Atlantic salmon.
Episode 57: Reducing Food and Plastic Waste at Schools, September 2, 2021 As students and teachers return to school, Colin speaks with NRCM’s Sustainability Coordinator Chrissy Adamowicz about tips for reducing food and plastic waste at schools. Chrissy shares the experiences of schools she has worked with and gives some great ideas for how anyone concerned about reducing waste can get started. As we do every time, Colin also gives some quick updates on environmental stories that have been in the news recently.
Episode 56: “Code Red” Climate Report Illustrates Need for Bold Climate Action, August 19, 2021 Colin Durrant talks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the findings from the sixth report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which show that global warming is dangerously close to spiraling out of control, and that the actions that have been taken to date are nowhere near enough to avert the worst impacts of climate change. Political leaders must take immediate steps to transition away from fossil fuels and give states like Maine the resources needed to accelerate our efforts to create a clean energy economy.
Episode 55: Top Priorities Now for Two of NRCM’s Policy Directors, August 5, 2021 Climate & Clean Energy Director Jack Shapiro and Forests & Wildlife Director Melanie Sturm join Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim to discuss the top issues they are paying attention to now that the Legislature has adjourned and work is heating up in other places.
Episode 54: Bold Federal Infrastructure Investment for Maine, July 22, 2021 Federal Program Director Emmie Theberge joins Colin to discuss how a bold infrastructure investment from Congress would benefit Maine people, our environment, and our economy.
Episode 53: Exciting Progress on Climate Action in 2021 Legislative Session, July 7, 2021 In this episode Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins Colin to highlight some of the climate mitigation and adaptation bills that made climate action a stand-out theme of the 2021 legislative session. Though the work of implementing Maine’s Climate Action Plan has just begun, the victories this year help lay the foundation for tackling climate change in Maine.
Episode 52: Big Victories for Maine's Environment at the Legislature, June 17, 2021 Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim joins Colin to discuss the furious pace of lawmaking at the State House in recent days as they voted on hundreds of bills, including many big victories for Maine’s environment. Pete will describe some big themes that emerged from this year’s action, what’s left to be done, and when lawmakers will finally adjourn.
Episode 51: Consumer-owned Utility and Suspending Drilling in ANWR, June 3, 2021 In this episode Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the proposal to create a consumer-owned utility and the Biden Administration's suspension of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Pete also provides a legislative update as lawmakers return to the Maine State House for the first time.
Episode 50: Improving Recycling in Maine with EPR for Packaging, May 21, 2021 Colin speaks with Sustainable Maine Director Sarah Nichols about one of NRCM’s top legislative priorities for 2021: LD 1541, a bill to save taxpayers money and improve recycling by implementing an Extended Producer Responsibility for Packaging program. The bill asks big corporations to share responsibility for the flood of packaging that is increasing waste disposal costs for cities and towns across the state, like they're already doing in other countries. Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim highlights record alewife numbers and provides updates on legislative action, Kennebec River, and CMP corridor.
Episode 49: New Funding for State Parks and Climate Action, May 7, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about why we’re excited to see a broad range of investments for Maine’s people and environment in the plan announced by Governor Mills to distribute American Rescue Act funding. Pete also gives updates from an extremely busy legislative session on tribal sovereignty, plastic pollution, and many other issues.
Episode 48: Saving Salmon by Restoring Maine’s Kennebec River, April 22, 2021 Colin speaks with Staff Scientist Nick Bennett to discuss why removing four dams on the Kennebec River between Waterville and Skowhegan is our best chance to save endangered Atlantic salmon. Colin also provides updates on federal climate action, some positive votes in Maine’s Legislature, and Hannaford’s commitment to zero food waste.
Episode 47: On climate and environment —Maine and Biden Administration leading by example, April 8, 2021 In this episode Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim to dissect what a recent state climate report and President Biden’s infrastructure plan say about the importance of leading by example to protect the environment and address climate change. Pete also provides updates on a balloon bill, dam removal on the Kennebec, clean cars, and more.
Episode 46: Attacks on solar, CMP’s illegal leases to cross public lands, March 25, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about a public hearing on several bills aimed at rolling back solar energy in Maine and a court ruling that the State of Maine violated the law and the Constitution by signing lease agreements with CMP to cross public lands with its controversial transmission corridor without legislative approval.
Episode 45: Maine environmental ethic sinks natural gas proposal for Midcoast, March 11, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the defeat of a proposed $90M natural gas pipeline expansion that faced blistering opposition from residents and elected officials in Midcoast Maine. Pete also highlights recent activity in the Legislature, including a vote to defeat bills that would have reversed the ban on single-use plastic bags.
Episode 44: Remembering George Smith, CMP referendum, plastic pollution, February 25, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the passing of legendary Maine outdoorsman George Smith, a legislative hearing on bills to repeal the ban on single-use plastic bags, and the Secretary of State’s announcement certifying more than enough signatures for the referendum opposing the CMP corridor to move forward. Visit the Take Action Toolkit mentioned in this episode at: www.nrcm.org/get-involved/take-action/take-action-toolkit.
Episode 43: Huge EV announcement by GM, CMP's solar snafu, and what's happening with offshore wind, February 11, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about a study in contrasts. On the one hand, there’s General Motors’ bold commitment to a clean energy future with a huge announcement to go all electric with their cars and trucks, and on the other, Maine’s largest utility, Central Maine Power, failing in a colossal way in doing its job of helping solar projects connect to the grid.
Episode 42: Biden-Harris climate action, EPC priorities, and CMP corridor updates, January 28, 2021 Every two weeks, Advocacy Communications Director Colin Durrant speaks with advocates and experts to bring you a quick, concise summary of the latest news and information you need to know about Maine’s environment. In this episode Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about the Biden-Harris Administration’s bold climate action plans and efforts to rebuild the nation’s environmental laws, details the Common Agenda bills identified by NRCM and the Environmental Priorities Coalition, and discusses a few significant development regarding the controversial CMP corridor proposal.
Episode 41: Kennebec restoration, new legislative session, and federal climate action, January 14, 2021 Colin speaks with Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim about what’s ahead in this year’s unique legislative session, a new effort to restore the Kennebec River, and reflects on the seismic changes happening on the federal level.
Episode 40: On Wilderness, December 23, 2020 Maine has some of the wildest landscapes east of the Mississippi, with more than half the state – 10.5 million acres—in our Unorganized Territories, with no municipal governments, very few services, and few permanent dwellings. Maine’s 600,000 acres of State-owned Public Reserved Land includes wild places that for many come as close to wilderness as they will ever experience. But what does the word “wilderness” mean? That’s the question we pose to several people who live in Maine and know the state’s wild places, in some cases like the backs of their hands.
- Bill Houston, Maine Guide from Kingfield
- Jen Brophy, Owner of Red River Camps
- James E. Francis, Sr., Director of Cultural and Historic Preservation for the Penobscot Nation
- Kevin Slater, Co-owner of Mahoosuc Guide Service
Episode 34-39: Conversations with the 2020 Brookies Award Winners, August 5, 2020 We're so excited to share the stories of the inaugural group of Brookie Award winners as part of NRCM Rising's new program to recognize & celebrate Maine's young environmental leaders.
Episode 39: Hear from Gabrielle Hillyer. Gabby is the co-developer & project coordinator of the Maine Shellfish Learning Network & designed the innovative data-gathering tool—the Bucket Drifter!
Episode 38: Hear from Jordan Kendall Parks. Jordan is a sustainable materials artist, as well as the developer & curator of interactive outdoor art exhibitions—including Surface First Tilts West & Windward Exhibition!
Episode 37: Meet Riley Stevenson, founder of the Coastal Youth Climate Coalition & outreach director for Maine Youth Climate Strikes!
Episode 36: Hear from Logan Parker — field naturalist, founder of the Maine Nightjar Monitoring Project, & organizer of annual conferences for nightjar researchers in North America!
Episode 35: Meet Sirohi Kumar, a climate activist, author, & co-founder of the Climate Emergency Action Coalition.
Episode 33: A Climate Action Conversation with Mike Williams of the BlueGreen Alliance, June 30, 2020 The Maine Climate Council is charged with developing a new statewide Climate Action Plan that will grow Maine’s economy by reducing carbon pollution and transitioning to clean energy. In this episode, we speak with Mike Williams, Deputy Director of the BlueGreen Alliance and member of the Climate Council’s Transportation Working Group, about how the Climate Council can support and uplift working people in Maine. The BlueGreen Alliance is a national partnership of labor unions and environmental organizations.
Episode 32: A Conversation with Aislinn Sarnacki, May 13, 2020 Aislinn Sarnacki is an outdoor reporter and editor of the Act Out section of the Bangor Daily News, where she writes about outdoor recreation, wildlife, and conservation. She also produces a 1-minute adventure series where she has already documented more than 350 trails and waterways in Maine and is the author of three hiking guidebooks. In this episode, Carly Peruccio speaks with Aislinn about her extensive experience hiking on Maine trails, reporting on Maine’s outdoors, and reflections on the importance of conserving Maine’s special places.
Episode 31: Maine Nature Poetry Mini-series: Richard Blanco, April 24, 2020 For many of us, the power of nature serves as an inspiration for art, poetry, and action. To recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and April as National Poetry Month, the Natural Resources Council of Maine created this special series of five podcasts featuring poems by Maine-based poets. In this poetry reading and conversation you’ll hear from award-winning writer and poet Richard Blanco from Bethel, Maine, who was the fifth poet to read at a U.S. presidential inauguration (Barack Obama’s second inauguration).
Richard Blanco was born in Madrid and immigrated to the United States as an infant with his Cuban-exile family. He has been a practicing engineer, writer, and poet since 1991. His collections of poetry include "City of a Hundred Fires" (1998), which won the Agnes Starrett Poetry Prize; "Directions to the Beach of the Dead" (2005), winner of the PEN/American Beyond Margins Award; "Looking for the Gulf Motel" (2012), winner of the Thom Gunn Award, the Maine Literary Award, and the Paterson Prize; "One Today" (2013); "Boston Strong" (2013); and "How to Love a Country" (2019). In 2013, Blanco was chosen to serve as the fifth inaugural poet of the United States. Blanco performed, “One Today,” an original poem he wrote for the occasion, becoming the youngest, first Latino, immigrant, and openly gay writer to hold the honor. He has received numerous honors for his writings and performances, including the Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellowship, a Florida Artist Fellowship, and a Bread Loaf Fellowship, as well as honorary doctorates from Macalester College, Colby College, and the University of Rhode Island. Blanco is currently Distinguished Visiting Professor at Florida International University.
Episode 30: Maine Nature Poetry Mini-series: Russell Libby, April 23, 2020 For many of us, the power of nature serves as an inspiration for art, poetry, and action. To recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and April as National Poetry Month, the Natural Resources Council of Maine created this special series of five podcasts featuring poems by Maine-based poets. In this poetry reading and conversation you’ll hear the owner of Three Sisters Farm, Mary Anne Libby, reading a poem from her late husband, environmental visionary Russell Libby of Mount Vernon, Maine.
Russell Libby liked to quote his distant relative, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Robert P.T. Coffin, when he describes his personal philosophy: "We eat from the earth, the sky, the water." With degrees in resource economics, he launched a lifelong career in food and agricultural policy at the state, regional, and national levels while also working—with his wife Mary Anne and their three daughters—his own "Three Sisters Farm" in Mount Vernon, Maine. As executive director of MOFGA (Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association), Libby oversaw the organization as it became the country's largest state-level organic association.
Episode 29: Maine Nature Poetry Mini-series: Gary Lawless, April 22, 2020 For many of us, the power of nature serves as an inspiration for art, poetry, and action. To recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and April as National Poetry Month, the Natural Resources Council of Maine created this special series of five podcasts featuring poems by Maine-based poets. In this poetry reading and conversation you’ll hear from poet, bookstore owner, book editor, publisher, and Bates College associate professor of literature Gary Lawless of Nobleboro, Maine.
Gary Lawless is a poet, book editor, publisher, and co-owner of Gulf of Maine Books in Brunswick. He is an associate professor of literature at Bates College in Lewiston and has been poet-in-residence for the town of Sitka, Alaska, and for the National Park Service at Isle Royale National Park at Lake Superior. After graduating from Colby College in 1973, Lawless left Maine to spend a year in California studying with poet Gary Snyder. When Lawless returned to Maine, he brought the idea of the budding bioregional movement with him. In 1987, he organized a Gulf of Maine Bioregional Congress, bringing together a diverse group of back-to-the-land and "green" folks from across northern New England and eastern Canada for a four-day series of workshops and presentations.
Episode 28: Maine's Outdoors with Legendary Journalist Bill Green, April 20, 2020 Legendary Maine journalist Bill Green was an anchor and reporter for more than four decades at News Center Maine, most recently hosting the popular weekly television series called "Bill Green’s Maine" before retiring in 2019. In this conversation with Bill we explore his love for Maine’s outdoors, why Maine is such a special place to live and explore, and learn about some of his favorite places to visit.
Episode 27: Maine Nature Poetry Mini-series: Kristen Lindquist, April 21, 2020 For many of us, the power of nature serves as an inspiration for art, poetry, and action. To recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and April as National Poetry Month, the Natural Resources Council of Maine created this special series of five podcasts featuring poems by Maine-based poets. In this poetry reading and conversation you’ll hear from award-winning poet, avid-birder, and daily haiku writer Kirsten Lindquist of Camden, Maine.
Kirsten Lindquist’s publications include the chapbook Invocation to the Birds (Oyster River Press, 2001), Transportation (Megunticook Press, 2011), which was a finalist for a Maine Literary Award, and Tourists in the Known World: New & Selected Poems (Megunticook Press, 2017). Her work has received various awards, including the Bread Loaf Poetry Prize, the Red Fox Poetry Prize, the Maine Writers & Publishers Alliance's Penobscot Watershed Poetry Prize, and the Maine Postmark Poetry Contest. Garrison Keillor read three of her poems on National Public Radio’s The Writer’s Almanac. Since 2009, Lindquist has maintained a daily haiku blog, Book of Days, and she currently serves on the Town of Camden's Budget Committee, as chair of the Maine Community Foundation's Knox County Fund, and as treasurer of West Bay Rotary.
Episode 26: Maine Nature Poetry Mini-series—Karin Spitfire, April 20, 2020 For many of us, the power of nature serves as an inspiration for art, poetry, and action. To recognize the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day and April as National Poetry Month, the Natural Resources Council of Maine created this special series of five podcasts featuring poems by Maine-based poets. In this poetry reading and conversation you’ll hear from author and former Belfast, Maine, Poet Laureate Karin Spitfire of Belfast, Maine.
Karin Spitfire is the author of a full-length book of poetry, Standing with Trees, and a chapbook, Wild Caught. Her poem, "What is to Be Offered," published in The Kerf, was nominated for the Pushcart Award. Spitfire is the author of "Incest: It’s All Relative," a performance/dance poem that toured nationally from 1982–86. She is a past Poet Laureate of Belfast, Maine.
Episode 25: A Conversation with Dylan Voorhees, April 2, 2020 For the past 14 years as NRCM’s Climate and Clean Energy Director Dylan Voorhees has quite literally been a voice on the frontlines of the most important climate and clean energy conversations at the Maine State House. Dylan’s moving on to a new and exciting professional opportunity, and in this episode of Frontline Voices, you’ll hear from him about the clean energy solutions he’s been part of and the lessons he’s learned from his decade plus of climate advocacy at NRCM. (Dylan will be a Senior Consultant at VEIC. The nonprofit is headquartered in Vermont but plans to work remotely from Augusta, demonstrating that working from home can sometimes be a choice, too!)
Episode 24: Recycling Reform in Maine, February 25, 2020 NRCM's Sustainability Director Sarah Nichols talks about an exciting recycling model that happens around the world—and now there's a bill that would bring it to Maine, too. LD 2104 incentivizes companies that make products with packaging to use less-wasteful packaging in the first place—and they would help Maine towns fund their recycling programs.
Episode 23: Youth Voices for Climate Justice, February 11, 2020 On a cold day in February, the Maine Climate Council met for the second time as part of their work to hammer out a new statewide Climate Action Plan. Just down the hall, more than 100 Maine youth gathered to call on the state’s leaders to take bold climate action. Host Carly Peruccio spoke with some of those youth about their hopes for the future. Listen and get inspired!
Episode 22: Stories that Gave Us Hope in 2019, December 23, 2019 From leaping sturgeon and huge returns of alewives in Maine’s rivers to solar wins and youth climate activism, NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim sits down with host Carly Peruccio to talk about some of the stories and successes from 2019 that gave us hope. As the year comes to an end, Pete also shares what these exciting developments mean for what we can expect in 2020. Happy New Year everyone!
Episode 21: SolaRise Students from Portland, October 22, 2019 Students at three Portland, Maine, high schools formed the coalition, SolaRise, and organized a march to build support for using solar to power Portland public schools. In August, 2019, the school board voted to support an off-site solar power project. SolaRise received a 2019 NRCM Conservation Leadership Award for their work. Three members of SolaRise speak about their work and share advice to others for those who want to get involved.
Episode 20: From NRCM to the State House, August 12, 2019 This conversation between former NRCM Executive Director Brownie Carson and Deputy Director Joan Welsh covers their time at NRCM and their transitions from NRCM to the Maine State House. After leaving NRCM, Joan served in the Maine House of Representatives, and Brownie is currently in his second term in the Maine Senate. Coincidentally, they’ve both served on the Joint Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. Hear more in the latest “Maine Environment: Frontline Voices.”
Episode 19: An Interview with George Smith, July 25, 2019 This episode features George Smith, a writer, activist, conservationist, sportsman, and birder. You may know him from his column in the Kennebec Journal or as the former director of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine (SAM). In our conversation with George, he shares his perspective on the future of wildlife and fisheries protection in Maine; his observations of the impacts of climate change on the North Woods and in his own backyard; and his memories from working in Maine politics for more than four decades.
Episode 18: Reviewing the 129th Legislative Session, June 25, 2019 NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim reflects on Maine’s 129th legislative session—and Maine’s environment was a big winner! Governor Janet Mills signed bills into law that will help reduce carbon emissions, support renewable energy development, maintain clean waters, and reduce plastic pollution in our state. It’s refreshing to report that we’re moving forward!
Episode 17: Climate Action in Maine, May 29, 2019 Maine is poised to take its most substantial action on climate change in over a decade by passing legislation that would update our state’s climate action plan for the first time since 2004. The legislation would also create Governor Janet Mills’ climate council. In this episode, you’ll hear our Democratic Governor Mills, the lead Republican sponsor of the bill, a lobsterman, and NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann testify at the State House about why this action matters and how it can benefit Maine. Lisa and NRCM Climate Outreach Coordinator Sophie Janeway offer reflections on the public hearing and the exciting progress Maine can make if we continue to move forward and the Legislature passes this legislation.
Episode 16: Maine Brewshed Alliance, April 16, 2019 Great beer needs clean water, and NRCM is collaborating with breweries throughout the state to protect Maine’s waters through education and advocacy. In this episode, you’ll hear about our newly-launched Maine Brewshed Alliance from NRCM Federal Outreach Coordinator Kristin Jackson and three brewers who are part of the alliance: Christie Mahaffey (Foundation), Abe Furth (Orono Brewing), and Dan Kleban (Maine Beer Company).
Episode 15: Staff Scientist Nick Bennett on LD 640, March 19, 2019 NRCM supports LD 640. This bill would require the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to pursue an independent investigation of Central Maine Power’s claims that its proposed power line would reduce greenhouse gas emissions. On March 15, 2019, NRCM’s Staff Scientist, Nick Bennett, delivered testimony in support of the bill in front of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. This episode features Nick’s testimony. (Note: When Nick refers to the Sea Brook nuclear power plant, he meant to say the Pilgrim plant.)
Episode 11: A Day at the Maine State House with Pete Didisheim, February 8, 2018 Have you ever wondered what actually goes on at Maine’s State House? NRCM’s Advocacy Director, Pete Didisheim, has more than two decades of experience working at the Capitol to advocate for policies to protect Maine’s environment. In this episode, our host, Carly Peruccio, joins Pete for a visit to the State House. Pete deconstructs how the legislative process works and how citizens can shape state policies.
Three-part Series on Land for Maine's Future
The Maine Land Conservation Task Force recently released a report with recommendations to guide the future of land conservation in Maine. The group recommended a $95 million investment in bond funding to support the Land for Maine’s Future program and address the maintenance backlog in Maine’s State Parks. In this three-part series, NRCM hears from Task Force co-chair, Tim Glidden, and Task Force members, Senator Cathy Breen and Representative Pat Corey, about their experiences serving on the Task Force and the reasons they support Land for Maine’s Future.
Episode 14: Representative Pat Corey, LMF Part Three, March 12, 2019 Rep. Pat Corey (R-Windham) served on the Maine Land Conservation Task Force, and he is one of over a hundred co-sponsors of LD 911 to support LMF and Maine’s State Parks.
Episode 11: A Day at the Maine State House with Pete Didisheim, February 8, 2018 Have you ever wondered what actually goes on at Maine’s State House? NRCM’s Advocacy Director, Pete Didisheim, has more than two decades of experience working at the Capitol to advocate for policies to protect Maine’s environment. In this episode, our host, Carly Peruccio, joins Pete for a visit to the State House. Pete deconstructs how the legislative process works and how citizens can shape state policies.
Episode 10, CMP Transmission Line Proposal: Bad for Maine, January 24, 2019 CMP wants to build a transmission line through Maine’s treasured North Woods. In this episode we’ll tell you why it’s bad for Maine’s environment and people. NRCM’s Clean Energy Staff Attorney Sue Ely walks you through our concerns, shares updates about the review process, and lets you know how to get involved.
Episode 9: Looking Back and Looking Ahead with Lisa Pohlmann, January 8, 2019 2019 is a big year for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. This is our 60th anniversary! In this episode, NRCM CEO Lisa Pohlmann looks back on NRCM's key achievements from 60 years of advocacy, reflects on Augusta's current political climate, and shares her long-term goals for NRCM. Enjoy!
Episode 8: NRCM Polar Bear Dip & Dash, December 20, 2018 Hear from NRCM staff members who have participated in our annual Polar Bear Dip & Dash over the past 10 years to find out why they do it, why they think YOU should do it, and hear their advice and memorable moments from past dips. You don't want to miss this event on New Year's Eve Day in Portland, Maine.
Episode 7: Interview with Judy Berk, December 19, 2018 After 28 years of outstanding service, NRCM’s media guru Judy Berk retires this week. She sat down with our podcast host Carly Peruccio to talk about her work and to share some memorable experiences during her time at the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Thank you, Judy, for all of you have done to protect the nature of Maine.
Episode 6: November 2018 Election Results and the Year Ahead, December 4, 2018 With Maine’s new legislators being sworn in tomorrow, NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim breaks down November’s election results and what they mean for the year ahead. You’ll also hear our take on what to watch for as we transition to the 129th Legislature and a new gubernatorial administration.
Episode 5: 2018 Legislative Wrap-up, July 25, 2018 "Maine Environment with NRCM" podcast host Carly Peruccio speaks with Senior Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim. Pete reflects on the setbacks and successes of Maine’s 128th legislative session on environmental issues related to food waste, clean air, solar power, and more. He also looks ahead to the 2019 session.
Episode 4: A Record Year—5 Million Alewives, July 2, 2018 Nate Gray of the Maine Department of Marine Resources describes the largest alewife run in the US at Benton Falls in central Maine. NRCM Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim shares the story of the Edwards Dam removal on the Kennebec River and how the work of NRCM and the Kennebec Coalition helped begin restoration of this fishery.
Episode 3: Shining the Light on Maine Solar Legislation, March 2, 2018 NRCM Climate and Clean Energy Project Director Dylan Voorhees and Outreach Coordinator Sophie Janeway give an update and information about how you can take action on the solar bill currently being discussed in the Maine Legislature. The bill passed the Maine Senate by an overwhelming margin on March 1 and will go to the House for a vote next.
Episode 2: 2018 State of the Union and State of the State, February 8, 2018 features NRCM Senior Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim talking about the current environmental issues facing Maine in both Augusta and Washington, DC. Pete is joined by NRCM Forests and Wildlife Outreach Coordinator Carly Peruccio.
Episode 1: Stopping Drilling Off Maine's Coast, January 25, 2018 features NRCM Senior Advocacy Director Pete Didisheim providing the scoop on actions at the State House, while Federal Project Outreach Coordinator Kristin Jackson shares what’s happening with federal challenges that could have an impact on Maine.