October 22, 2016  
Press releases, events, publications released, etc. from Maine environmental organizations and agencies. Submit content.

Eastern Promenade Birding, Oct 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 22, 2016 

Naturalist Doug Hitchcox will lead a birding walk around Eastern Promenade in Portland, Oct 29, 7-9 am, Maine Audubon members $10, non-members $15.
Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 50,000 news articles and announcements. We also post breaking stories and exclusives. Be sure to check not only today's news, but take a look at the headlines from the past several days as well. Articles often come to our attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, Editor
The Unfinished Business of the Darwinian Revolution, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Professor of biology Judy Stone discusses the Darwinian Revolution. Population thinking is arguably Darwin's most original insight because it overcomes thousands of years of typological thinking, in which variation is considered to be imperfection around the true type. Despite Darwin's brilliant insight, typological thinking persists in biology, medicine, journalism, and the public mind. It can lead to dangerous conclusions, especially when applied to the human species. At Colby College, Waterville, Lovejoy Building, Room 100, Oct 25, 7 pm.
Dam busters needed
Announcement - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

The Maine Dept of Marine Resources and and Trout Unlimited are looking for volunteers to help breach beaver dams on the Sheepscot River to facilitate upriver spawning by Atlantic salmon.
Galapagos Islands, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Derek and Jeanette Lovitch talk about the land of volcanoes, giant tortoises, Marine Iguanas, Darwin, and birds — from flamingos and penguins to Blue-footed Boobies and Frigatebirds, from Swallow-tailed Gulls to rails and a finch that uses tools. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, Oct 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
The Botanical Explorer, Oct 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Joseph Simcox, World Food Plant Ecologist and Ethnobotanist, travels the globe to identify the world’s food plant resources focusing on under-utilized crops and wild species. He will discuss how to ensure food security and nutrition for all, while developing food systems that mimic nature. At Topsham Library, Oct 25, 5:30 pm, RSVP.
George Mitchell and the Clean Air Act, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Monday, October 17, 2016 

Douglas Rooks will read from his book "Statesman: George Mitchell and the Art of the Possible," with a focus on the Clean Air Act of 1990, followed by Q&A. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, October 24, 6 pm. Sponsored by Natural Resources Council of Maine.
A Journalist's Journey Reporting on Love Canal and Three Mile Island, Oct 24
Event - Posted - Monday, October 17, 2016 

David Shribman, adjunct lecturer in American studies at the University of Notre Dame, is executive editor of PG Publishing Co. He has worked at the Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Star, and Buffalo Evening News. At Colby College, Waterville, Fairchild Room, Dana Dining Hall, Oct 24, 11:30 am
Family Forestry Day, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 15, 2016 

Learn about forest stewardship, sustainable timber harvesting practices, and tree identification through a series of demonstrations with presentations from a forester, logger, saw mill operator and log scaler. At Curtis Homestead Conservation Area, Leeds, October 22, 1:30-3:30 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Birding Hermit Island, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 15, 2016 

Doug Suitor leads an outing to Hermit Island on Small Point in Phippsburg. Expect to see ducks, grebes, and loons, as well as woodland birds. Meet Oct 22 at 8 am at Bath Plaza CVS to car pool. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Fall Reading Rambles, Oct 22-Dec 17
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 15, 2016 

Kelly Davis will be reading and leading enchanting walks along Fields Pond Audubon sanctuary trails in Holden featuring a seasonal title from Usborne Books each month. Oct 22, 10-11 am, Secrets of the Apple Tree by A. Nassner; Nov 19, 10-11 am, Waiting for Winter by S. Maschenmoser; Dec 17, 10-11 am, Bears Don’t Read! by Emma Chichester Clark. Drop ins welcome.
The Land of Fishing Legends, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 15, 2016 

Tour the Rangeley Lakes Region of western Maine with author, writer, naturalist and fly fisher, Bob Romano, as he explores the lakes, rivers, ponds and streams that fill this part of Maine. At Jesup Memorial Library, Bar Harbor, Oct. 22, 7 pm.
Wood Innovators Conference, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 15, 2016 

A day of discussion, demonstrations, workshops and socializing. The site is a former sawmill reinvented as a woods business incubator. At Hiram Works in Hiram, October 22, 9 am - 4 pm.
Birds of Prey and a Cockatoo, Too, Oct 20
Event - Posted - Thursday, October 13, 2016 

Hope Douglas of Wind Over Wings will present “Birds of Prey and a Cockatoo, Too!,” a program with live birds. At Camden Public Library, October 20, 7 pm. Hosted by Mid-Coast Audubon.
Moosehead region wind power projects, Oct 19 & 20
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 12, 2016 

Moosehead Region Futures Committee will host two informational meetings on proposed wind power projects in the Moosehead region. At Jackman Town Office, Oct 19, 6 pm; and at Greenville High School, Oct 20, 6 pm.
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News Items
Downeaster’s $13 million layover facility in Brunswick ready to roll
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 21, 2016 

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority will finally unveil its new train layover facility in Brunswick this weekend, more than five years after it first proposed the project to improve service on the Amtrak Downeaster. Once it becomes fully operational Nov. 21, the layover building will allow the Amtrak Downeaster to operate a third daily train between Brunswick and Boston. The passenger rail service operates five round-trips daily between Boston and Portland – with stops in Wells, Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Two of those round-trips continue on to Freeport and Brunswick. Its ridership since 2005 has grown from just under 300,000 passengers to more than 500,000 annually.
Bait crisis is over, but Maine lobstermen are still feeling the pinch
Portland Press Herald - Friday, October 21, 2016 

The lobster bait crisis that plagued New England this summer is finally over, now that fishermen have begun to catch herring off Georges Bank. But the price of lobstermen’s favorite bait fish, which rose dramatically when the offshore fleet wasn’t landing enough herring to refill empty bait freezers, has remained high through the end of peak lobster season, typically August through late October. Although there’s been no appreciable effect on consumer prices, lobstermen agree the shortage hurt their bottom line.
Column: Finding the elusive barnacle geese in Caribou
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

I have chores to do, but they can wait. When two birds from Europe show up in Maine, it’s time for a wild goose chase. A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned that if anyone sees a barnacle goose, they should let me know right away. Almost immediately, an alert reader tipped me off to two barnacle geese visiting Collins Pond in Caribou. ~ Bob Duchesne
Expert kayaker talks late-season paddling on the ‘Amazing Reversing Bagaduce’
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

Yellow and orange leaves floated on the surface of blue-green water, mingling with tendrils of rockweed and kelp. Near the shore of the Bagaduce River in Castine, the trees were aflame with fall colors on Oct. 19, when registered Maine Guide Karen Francoeur paddled her sea kayak up the river from Castine. For most people in Maine, autumn is a time to put away water toys like kayaks, canoes and sailboats. But for a number of avid paddlers like Francoeur, foliage season is the perfect time to get out on the water.
Concerns aired about water quality, out-of-state waste at Old Town landfill expansion hearing
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

Residents opposed to the plan to double the capacity of Juniper Ridge Landfill in Old Town expressed concerns this week at a two-day public hearing hosted by the Maine Board of Environmental Protection. Casella Waste Systems, the company hired to operate the state-owned landfill, and the state Bureau of General Services filed an expansion application with the Maine Department of Environmental Protection in 2015 to add 9.35 million cubic yards to the landfill’s existing permitted 10 million cubic yards. The state acquired the former Georgia-Pacific Corp. landfill in May 2003 to help keep the Old Town mill operating. It was renamed Juniper Ridge Landfill in 2005.
Mainers believe that mountain lions walk among us
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

Last week, knowing that Mainers are passionate about their cougar/mountain lion/puma/cougar sightings, I asked readers for their stories…and photos. Unfortunately, but predictably, the responses were short on photographic proof of mountain lions in the Maine woods. Fortunately (and also predictably), plenty of folks were willing to share their stories; the consensus among those respondents: We many not have photos, but the big cats are out there.
Acadia transportation draft plan unveiled
Mount Desert Islander - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

The National Park Service has unveiled “preliminary concepts” for a comprehensive transportation plan aimed at reducing traffic and parking congestion, improving safety and promoting high-quality visitor experiences. Options range from creating a reservation system for popular parking lots to restricting the number of vehicles that can be on some sections of the Park Loop Road at any given time. The possibility of changing many of the Loop Road’s current access points to exits only also is included.
Conservationists to Release Thousands of Salmon in Maine
Associated Press - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

A group that seeks to restore the endangered Atlantic salmon will release 200,000 of the fish into the East Machias River this week. The Atlantic salmon has been declared endangered in 11 Maine rivers, including the East Machias. The Downeast Salmon Federation is among a number of conservation organizations that is focusing on restoring the salmon. The restoration effort is part of the salmon federation's "Parr Project'' to grow the salmon population. The project has stocked hundreds of thousands of juvenile salmon, which are called parr. The federation says the Parr Project has improved the success of stocking to a degree not seen in more than 20 years.
Trapping restrictions to protect Lynx have hurt research on other species says DIF&W
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

In an attempt to encourage more trapping and to help the agency collect the data they need, DIF&W will extend the 2016 furbearer hunting and trapping seasons for a couple of weeks, to allow more opportunity to pursue some species. DIF&W held a public hearing on September 26 in Portland, with 60 people in attendance. The agency also received 164 written comments about the rules. A majority of comments at the public hearing, and in the written comments, were negative toward extending the furbearer seasons. Thankfully, the Fish and Wildlife Advisory Council unanimously enacted the new rules, just as they were proposed by DIF&W.
Opinion: Current fisheries science supports increasing menhaden quota
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, October 20, 2016 

Maine’s lobstermen recently caught a break with the reopening of the state’s menhaden fishery. A key source of fresh bait for Maine’s lobster fishery, menhaden has been an increasingly common presence in Maine waters. But the fishery’s reopening is only a temporary patch. Scientists have determined that the menhaden stock is in great shape. But the fishery suffered steep cuts in quota by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission because the stock assessment conducted in 2012 had erroneously concluded that the stock was overfished. Maine’s lobster industry generated nearly $2 billion in economic activity for the state in 2015. This month, the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission has the opportunity to reverse its flawed decision to cut the menhaden harvest. ~ Patrice McCarron, Maine Lobstermen’s Association
Knight’s Pond Preserve, whose funding was caught up in politics, gets its money
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Several groups that conserved 215 acres in Cumberland and North Yarmouth last year were reimbursed for part of the cost this week from state funding that had been withheld by Gov. Paul LePage. On Tuesday, three land trusts filed documents with the Cumberland County Registry of Deeds to secure $225,000 in Land for Maine’s Future funds. The day the deal was completed, LePage issued a news release blasting the towns and conservation groups for “dragging their feet” on the state financing after criticizing him for withholding the bonds. Getting the Land of Maine’s Future funds was delayed for two months because the groups had to resolve a title question before filing the deed.
‘A new phase’: Trail network, cabins part of Camp CaPella expansion plans
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

After having fallen into disuse and neglect a decade ago, a lakefront camp in Dedham that caters to children and adults with disabilities is poised for a major expansion. Camp CaPella has plans to build two new overnight cabins, a site that can accommodate up to five tents, a new parking area and a network of community trails on 25 acres of hillside overlooking Phillips Lake. Doris Buffett, sister of billionaire investor Warren Buffett, has pledged to donate $80,000 to go toward construction of the two cabins. Doris Buffett, who owns a summer home in Rockport, gave the camp half a million dollars in 2010.
USDA Offers Energy Grants for Small Rural Businesses and Farmers
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

The application window for small, rural businesses and agricultural operations to apply for an energy grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture has opened, and will close in less than two weeks. "The demand for solar among Maine's businesses and agricultural producers is just growing by leaps and bounds," says Virginia Manuel, who heads USDA Rural Development in Maine. Manuel says while solar projects are proving to be among the most popular, the program will consider any number of projects designed to improve energy efficiency, from weatherization to the installation of energy saving LED lights, and the development of other alternative energy sources. USDA will fund projects of up to $20,000 for rurally-located small businesses and agricultural operations.
Dam Operator Accused of Killing Thousands of Fish in Maine
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Conservation groups are raising red flags about what they say are two significant fish kills in Ellsworth and Brunswick over the past week. They say both illustrate how the dam owner’s plan for fish passage isn’t working. The groups are also frustrated with what they say is a lack of response from federal and state fishery regulators. Both dams are operated by Brookfield Energy. A spokesman for the company declined to talk on tape, but in a written statement Brookfield said it is “constantly working to minimize the potential environmental impacts associated with our operations and activities.” Brookfield said it is in communication with Maine regulators to modify operations when needed as a way to avoid fish mortality. Dwayne Shaw of the Downeast Salmon Federation disagrees. He says Brookfield, which is in the process of relicensing the Ellsworth dam for 30 years, has not taken corrective action to protect alewives and other fish.
State investigates high lead levels in central Maine school’s water
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

The Kennebec Water District has found dangerously high levels of lead in tests conducted Friday at Benton Elementary School, prompting the school to turn off drinking fountains and the state to investigate. The water district tested three sites in the school, finding lead levels of up to 40 times the federal standard for water in a school. Poland Spring responded by donating eight water bubblers and about 20 5-gallon jugs of water to the school.
Speaking In Maine: Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Speaking in Maine goes to Portland for an address by Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell at the Maine Conservation Alliance 2016 Evening for the Environment: Celebrating 100 years of the National Park Service and the new Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument. [audio]
Maine's Strong Summer Tourist Season Boosts Tax Revenues
Maine Public - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

After the first three months of the budget year, state revenues are more than $32 million above estimates. State Finance Commissioner Richard Rosen says a good summer tourist season is the reason. Overall, sales taxes are more than than 7 percent higher than a year ago, with auto sales and meals and lodging taxes all above projections. Corporate income taxes are up as well, exceeding estimates by 20 percent so far this year, while individual income taxes are on target.
Opinion: Maine can’t afford to lose more manufacturing; Congress should reject TPP
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Poor trade deals are hurting Maine’s economy and costing us jobs. This must stop. As House chair of the Maine Citizen Trade Policy Commission, I am committed to standing against agreements that harm our state and people. We have extensively reviewed the Trans-Pacific Partnership. I am opposed to the TPP. I am not necessarily against “free trade,” but our review of the TPP shows that very little of it will open markets and increase economic activity for Maine companies. Rather, it focuses on regulatory standards and enforcement provisions that will benefit only large multinational corporations. ~ Rep. Robert Saucier, D-Presque Isle
Editorial: Maine’s drought response too late to do much good
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

Maine residents are learning that ongoing lack of rain can be as disastrous as surging waters. Now eight in 10 Mainers are living in drought, wells are drying up and some municipal sources are scrambling to meet demand – showing why Maine would be better off addressing the risk of drought before it occurs instead of taking eleventh-hour action during an ongoing crisis.
Letter: Maine’s quality of place
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, October 19, 2016 

When President Barack Obama designated 87,500 acres east of Baxter State Park as Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, he provided Maine with an incredible opportunity to capitalize on the central recommendation of the 2006 Brookings Institution report, Charting Maine’s Future, which urged that we invest in Maine’s outstanding quality of place and that we brand it. A few weeks ago, I joined 40 people from all over Maine to participate in a hike to the summit of Barnard Mountain on the monument. It was easy to see why, after his visit to the same area in the mid-1800s, Henry David Thoreau asked, “Why should not we have our national preserves?” ~ Liz Armstrong, Topsham
Blog: Switching from Whiskey to Beer and the False Promise of Woody Biomass
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Like the alcoholic who switches from whiskey to beer, replacing coal and oil with woody biomass at first seems like it would serve to put less CO2 into the air because trees take up carbon through photosynthesis. Not so fast. There are important caveats to using woody biomass to generate power. Our elected leaders lack the basic ecological literacy to question the claim that burning biomass is carbon neutral. The two senators from Maine, Susan Collins and Angus King introduced a bill that would require the EPA not to count the carbon from woody biomass as a source of emissions. Its enactment would spell disaster for our forests and the climate. I urge you to demand science-based solutions to salvage a livable planet for all future generations. Remaining silent is more than irresponsible, it is ethically reprehensible to place this burden on our children. ~ Stephen Mulkey, PhD, President Emeritus, Unity College
Developer proposes 108 more apartments for Westbrook project
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Risbara Bros. wants to add nine buildings to the Blue Spruce Farm development, where almost 200 housing units are under construction. A group of residents has called for a moratorium on residential building permits.
Poliquin, Cain spar over taxes, economy, honesty in 2nd District debate
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Rep. Bruce Poliquin and Democratic challenger Emily Cain sparred during the first of three scheduled debates for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District race. Poliquin attacked Cain for supporting a carbon tax, but he refused to answer questions directly regarding his own record on taxes and whether he ever put any personal property into the state’s Tree Growth Tax Program that allowed him to lower his personal taxes. Poliquin previously has come under fire for placing 10 acres of his Georgetown estate in the program aimed at preserving forest land and later removing it after he was accused of skimping on tax. They also differed in their responses to a question on how best to approach the decline of the state’s paper industry. Cain focused on supporting small businesses, agriculture and the forest products industry with services such as better transportation and broadband access, while Poliquin emphasized a need to lower energy costs and taxes and cut down on regulations.
Earth’s 16-month record-setting hot streak eases
Associated Press - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

Earth’s 16-month sizzling streak of record high temperatures is finally over, according to one group of federal meteorologists. NOAA said last month’s 60.6 degrees was merely the second-hottest September on record for the globe. That’s ever so slightly cooler than the record set in 2015. But it was quite a bit warmer – 1.6 degrees – than the 20th-century average. NASA, which averages global temperature differently, considers last month as record hot.
Safety gets spruced up for a day in streets of Waterville
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, October 18, 2016 

During its annual conference, GrowSmart demonstrated small measures that can make downtowns more inviting and less dangerous for pedestrians and bicyclists.
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