July 29, 2016  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. I have posted summaries and links to 40,000 news articles and announcements. I 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 my attention a few days after they are published. Follow us on Twitter @MaineEnviroNews. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Governor LePage and Maine’s Environment: A Dismal Record
Publication - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

For the past five years, Governor Paul LePage has supported the most anti-environment agenda of any governor in modern Maine history. He thinks Maine’s environment and economy are in conflict and that we need to weaken Maine’s environmental protections to create jobs—a false, outdated notion that no Maine governor has held in decades. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Great Maine Outdoor Weekend grants avaiilable
Announcement - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Small grants are available to help organizers partner with school groups during the September 16-18 Great Maine Outdoor Weekend. Deadline is July 29.
Gulf of Maine in Distress, Aug 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Award-winning journalist Colin Woodard will speak about the rapid warming taking place in the Gulf of Maine and the effects this is having on the species that live there. At Damariscotta River Association annual meeting, Round Top Farm, Damariscotta, August 3, 7 pm.
Farm Party, Aug 3
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Join Maine Farmland Trust and Kennebec Estuary Land Trust at Harvest Tide Organics‘ newly protected farm: 304 Pork Point Rd, Bowdoinham, August 3, 5-8 pm.
Northeast Agricultural and Biological Engineering Conference, Jul 31-Aug 3
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

The focus of this year's summit is sustainable agriculture and renewable energy. At UMaine, Orono, July 31 - Aug. 3.
A Climate to Thrive Summer Gathering, Jul 31
Event - Posted - Sunday, July 24, 2016 

Mount Desert Island residents have banded together to make MDI (its 4 towns and 17 villages) the first multi-town alliance in Maine, and perhaps in the nation, to achieve energy independence. Keynote address at this free conference by Maine U.S. Senator Angus King. At MDI High School, July 31, 3-5:30 pm.
Blueberry Field Management, July 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

UMaine Cooperative Extension blueberry specialist David Yarborough will discuss maintaining wild blueberry fields and the history of wild blueberries in Maine. Land trust staff and volunteers will highlight upcoming stewardship projects at the preserve. At Davidson Nature Preserve, July 30, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Swan Island Family Field Day, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

This is a day for the whole family to try out archery equipment, an ATV, a nature scavenger hunt, fishing, paddling, geocaching and more. At Swan Island in Merrymeeting Bay, July 30, 9 am – 4 pm, with ferry rides beginning at 7:30 am from Richmond. Reservations required.
Women and Our Woods workshop, Jul 30
Event - Posted - Saturday, July 23, 2016 

A day-long workshop for women woodland owners and foresters to learn about about forest management. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, Jefferson, July 30, fee.
Nordic Trail Festival, Jul 29-30
Event - Posted - Friday, July 22, 2016 

A celebration of community, trails and lifestyle with mountain biking, running and music in the hills of central Aroostook County. At Nordic Heritage Center, Presque Isle, July 29-30.
Schoolhouse Supper, Jul 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, July 20, 2016 

Join Andrew White and Katee Lafleur of High Ridge Farm for a casual high-summer feast of 100% farm-made tacos. At The Hub, Unity, July 27, 7 pm, $10. Sponsored by Maine Farmland Trust.
A New National Park for Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 

Eliza Donoghue of the Natural Resources Council of Maine will explain the proposal to create a National Park and National Recreation Area east of Baxter State Park. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, July 26, 7 pm. Hosted by Ellsworth Garden Club.
The Future of Solar in Maine, Jul 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, July 19, 2016 

Hear a panel discuss what comes next for solar power in Maine. At Center for an Ecology-Based Economy, Norway, July 26, 6:30-8 pm.
Chewonki Bugmobile, Jul 25
Event - Posted - Monday, July 18, 2016 

Using models, costumes, and live specimens, Chewonki staff will explain the unique characteristics of four major groups of arthropods. Live "bug" species will introduce you to some of the fascinating adaptations essential for survival, such as mimicry, camouflage, armor, and the use of venom. Preschool through adult. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, July 25, 10:30 am and 12:30 pm, pre-register.
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News Items
IFW reminds customers to be wary of online schemes
Daily Bulldog (Franklin County) - Friday, July 29, 2016 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife cares about the Maine outdoors and those who enjoy it, so the department is reminding all who buy a sporting license or registration to make sure it is from the trusted and secure Maine.gov website. “This type of ‘phishing’ has no place when it comes to Maine’s outdoors, so we would like to remind all of those who purchase a license or registration to use the Maine.gov website. It’s simple and secure,” said IFW Commissioner Chandler Woodcock. Other websites that are not accessed through Maine.gov or www.mefishwildlife.com could direct users to services that are not required, provide incorrect information, charge users for services not needed, or even gather personal information in a phishing scheme. For 2015, the department sold over 330,000 fishing licenses and over 225,000 hunting licenses.
Commission to study Maine’s biomass industry to meet in August
Other - Friday, July 29, 2016 

Biomass magazine - A commission put together by Maine legislature to study economic, environmental and energy benefits of Maine’s biomass industry is scheduled to hold its first meeting Aug. 2. The commission is required to report the results of its study and any recommendations for implemented legislation by the end of the year. The commission is directed to review and evaluate the economic, environmental and energy benefits of Maine's biomass resources, as well as public policy and economic proposals to create and maintain a sustainable future for the Maine biomass industry. Its report and recommendations are due by Dec. 6.
Why I love the most remote corner of Acadia National Park
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 29, 2016 

The first time I set foot in Acadia National Park, in the early 1970s, I was little more than a toddler and the park was not yet 60 years old. Since then, over the past four decades, I’ve done more things in the park than I can count. ~ Bill Trotter
Fish Won’t Let Me Sleep
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, July 29, 2016 

Jim Babb had me worried in the first few chapters of his book, "Fish Won’t Let Me Sleep," as he wrote about his obsession with Atlantic salmon, “the fish of 10,000 casts.” I know, I know. Atlantic salmon are so hard to catch that the common description is “the fish of 1,000 casts.” For Babb, sometimes, it’s 10,000 casts. Yet he confessed to being obsessed with Atlantic salmon.
Opinion: Farewell to Doc: My friend taught me that fly-fishing and life lessons are synonymous
Bangor Daily News - Friday, July 29, 2016 

I miss my old friend and his endless fishing tips and stories. Doc taught me to be humble, grateful, hard working, loyal, loving and generous. Fly-fishing and life lessons are synonymous, he often reminded Jimmy and me. Each teaches the importance of patience, faith in the unseen and capitalizing when opportunities strike. “In fly-fishing and in life,” he said, “the memorable moments, big and small, are captured when you’re fully invested in the present.” ~ Ron Joseph, retired Maine wildlife biologist, Waterville
Letter: A change for the better for Maine’s wildlife
Ellsworth American - Friday, July 29, 2016 

Maine is a wild and beautiful place. This wildness is embodied by Katahdin, Moosehead Lake and the rocky shores of the coast, but too often we forget the lifeline that connects these landscapes: the Penobscot River. Historically the Penobscot has been one of the most productive fisheries in the Northeast, yet in the last 75 years, we’ve seen a continuous decline in wildlife, starting with fish and moving up the food chain. This spring brought with it our first glimpse of improvement on the Penobscot. We saw approximately 1.5 million alewives return to the river, compared to approximately 589,000 the year before. This near 200 percent increase is a boon to our ecosystem. The recent increase in wildlife along our river is directly correlated to the Penobscot River Restoration Project. ~ George Whitridge, Castine
The peregrine falcon has “great” year in Acadia
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

A biologist at Acadia National Park said several popular hiking trails at Acadia National Park should open by early next week, following “a great” year for the peregrine falcon at the park. Bruce Connery, wildlife biologist at Acadia, said 11 peregrine falcon chicks fledged, or took their first flight, at the park’s three main nesting sites this year. That’s up from 7 for each of the prior two years at those sites.
Old Town to purchase defunct mill land, warehouses
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Old Town city leaders, after hearing just one question about a proposed $3 million bond to purchase the 40-acre parcel of land and some warehouses along the Penobscot River where the Expera Old Town mill once operated, unanimously approved moving forward with the process. The old mill property is owned by a consortium of liquidators and still home to the University of Maine’s Technology Research Center. City leaders hope the property can be redeveloped.
Federal aid expected for rural communities affected by mill closures
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Members of Maine’s congressional delegation are scheduled to join federal officials Friday in announcing a new initiative to help Maine’s flagging forest products industry. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Matt Erskine will join U.S. Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins, and U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin to announce a multi-million investment to help rural communities affected by mill closures.
Why money is the real power in Maine’s solar energy debate
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

At least 2,000 Maine homeowners have sunk thousands of dollars into solar power arrays. Part of their calculation in making the purchase is the ability to sell excess power back to the grid, called net metering. That means their electricity meters can reverse during times when their system generates more power than they use at home. The power companies pay them for it, and the savings help solar customers recover the cost of the equipment faster. Maine’s now taking on a debate playing out across the country over how to value that power, how to adapt the simplistic incentive of net metering to a maturing market, and whether it’s fair to change the game on existing customers.
Editorial: When dams matter to everybody but their owners
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

The owners of three dams in Washington County have tried to get them removed from federal oversight. These efforts have failed in the courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, so now Rep. Bruce Poliquin proposes to change the law to exempt the dams from oversight by FERC. Federal law is clear that the dams must be operated in a way that does not harm water quality, fish habitat and recreational opportunities. That should not change. But this case raises important questions about what should happen when impoundments such as these are more valuable as a means of regulating water levels and of more value to camp owners and anglers than they are to the people who own the dams. It is a unique problem that would be better resolved through negotiations than regulatory mandates or law changes.
Column: Time to talk about the birds and the bees — really, just the birds
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Birds come to Maine merely to fornicate. Maine is an inviting place to raise a family, because we have an awesome supply of insects. Almost all warblers, sparrows and thrushes leave us and go south when the kids are raised and temperatures are dropping. We’re seeing the results of all that baby-making now. Fledglings are everywhere. Be alert for family groups. ~ Bob Duchesne
Camden-area towns split on waste disposal options
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Representatives of four area towns — Camden, Rockport, Hope and Lincolnville — remained undecided following a more than four-hour meeting Wednesday night about where their towns’ wastes should be sent starting in 2018.
Why researchers are excited about spotting a pair of sturgeon in Milford
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Two shortnose sturgeon were captured at the Milford Dam fish lift by University of Maine researchers, marking the first time since those dams were removed that sturgeon have accessed the entire range of their original native habitat.
My mom has bats in her belfry. What next?
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

The call came at an inopportune time. It was my mom. She’d found a bat. In her house. On the floor. “So, here’s what you’ve got to do,” my game warden source told me. “Cover the bat with a towel, then step firmly — don’t stomp on it — and count to 100, until it dies.” Then it got worse. What I heard the warden say was, “Then, put it in the crisper drawer of the fridge, and deliver it to our headquarters tomorrow. They’ll send it away to be tested for rabies. Or, you could put it in a cooler, on ice. Either way works. But don’t put it in the freezer.”
Maine egg production facility not among those going cage-free
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

While one of the country’s leading egg suppliers has announced a plan to transition to “cage-free” systems, the company won’t be making changes to its facility in Maine — the same facility that was the focus of an undercover filming operation alleging animal cruelty there.
Field Expedition: Into the Proposed Maine Woods National Monument— Part 2
Free Press - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

The big, historic change in the complicated recent ownership of Maine’s north woods over the past half century didn’t happen when Roxanne Quimby bought the East Branch country with the intention of giving it to the National Park Service. One of the big changes that indicated a new kind of Monopoly game was going to play out in the northern forest happened in 1988, when timber company Diamond International sold almost a million acres of Maine forest to real estate developers intent on creating vacation house lots along the lakes and rivers. The Diamond sale wasn’t the beginning, either.
Should fish be killed, just to prove they were there?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Bob Mallard recently had a letter published in my local newspaper that challenged the process of killing fish just to prove they are there. Over the years I challenged the use of gill nets by fisheries biologists, because all the fish that are caught in the nets are killed. I am pleased to report that I’ve been told the use of gill nets has been significantly reduced, but they are still being used, and that still bothers me. Bob’s column challenged the use of fishing techniques that often kill the fish, used in a survey of sea-run trout. I’d like to know what you think.
Blog: Three things to teach your kids before they get lost in the woods
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, July 28, 2016 

Here are three critical things you need to teach your kids about getting lost in the woods: 1. Stop walking. 2. Make noise. 3. Ask for help. ~ Cherie Galyean
President Obama’s National Monument To-Dos Before He Leaves Office
Other - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Natural Resources Defense Council - President Obama has so far designated 24 national monuments, but plenty of threatened national treasures still need some serious help from his presidential pen, including Maine Woods. For two decades advocates have been fighting to make the 3.2-million-acre wilderness a national park. To that end, preserving a smaller section of the forest as a national monument would be a crucial first step.
Opinions clash on proposed Brunswick coastal access
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

The Brunswick Planning Board on Tuesday tried to take a “narrow approach” after being asked by the Town Council to provide a recommendation about a new public park at Mere Point. But after the meeting, emotions in the debate over the 4-acre parcel at 946 Mere Point Road spilled over, when an opponent of the project threatened one of its supporters.
Petitions circulate in Topsham for bag fee, foam container ban
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

Petitions are circulating in Topsham to require November referendums on ordinances that would impose a 5-cent fee on single-use shopping bags and ban polystyrene foam containers. The Bring Your Own Bag Midcoast group advocates a nickel fee on “single-use, carry-out plastic and paper bags at all retail stores,” such as grocery and convenience stores, and pharmacies where food comprises more than 2 percent of gross sales. Foam containers provided for beverages or food at restaurants, stores or other shops would be banned under the second ordinance. Portland, South Portland, Falmouth, Freeport, York and Kennebunk already regulate single-use bags. Portland, South Portland and Freeport have banned foam food containers, and a ban will take effect in October in Brunswick.
Bath land trust to expand mission of 'LOCAL' garden
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

A community garden has an expanded mission and longer calendar under new management by the Kennebec Estuary Land Trust. The city’s “Leading Our Community in Agricultural Learning” garden, or LOCAL for short, for the past several years had been organized under the auspices of Regional School Unit 1, and was used as an outdoor classroom and school field trip destination. But stewardship has passed to the land trust, which intends to offer the garden for year-round demonstrations, with programs and projects geared toward children and adults.
Environmental group takes on PUC over Efficiency Maine budget
Mainebiz - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

The Conservation Law Foundation is suing the Maine Public Utilities Commission in Maine Supreme Judicial Court, arguing that the PUC is not making full use of allotted energy efficiency incentives. The environmental group objects to the PUC's 30% cut in the budget proposed by the Efficiency Maine Trust. The trust provides resources and financial incentives to residents and businesses in the state to become more energy efficient.
Brunswick solar farm, greenhouse get OKs
Forecaster - Wednesday, July 27, 2016 

The Planning Board on Tuesday acted on three projects that could change the face of the town. A solar farm at Crystal Spring Farm, and a greenhouse and bakery at Tao Yuan restaurant on Pleasant Street received final approvals. The board unanimously approved a special permit for the 76-Kilowatt solar farm at the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Crystal Spring Farm on Pleasant Hill Road. Steve Weems, a representative of the Crystal Spring Farm Community Solar Association, a nonprofit set up to run the operation, said the new verson eased some of the neighbors’ worries by moving the panels to a less visible portion of pasture and adding deciduous and coniferous trees as screening.
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