March 28, 2015  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news stories and events. I have posted links to more than 35,000 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. Will Sugg is the website developer. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
Restore energy efficiency funding
Action Alert - Friday, March 27, 2015 

The Maine PUC voted 2-1 to permanently slash funding for energy-efficiency projects that a could cost Mainers $1 billion in increased energy costs over the next decade. ~ Emmie Theberge, Clean Energy Policy Advocate, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Vote for Best National Park Hikes
Action Alert - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

You can vote for Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park in the unscientific poll by USA Today.
Fix LePage’s weak phthalates rule
Action Alert - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Another new study links toxic phthalates to lower sperm count in male babies. Yet, Gov. Paul LePage is blocking action to protect pregnant women from phthalates. Will you sign a petition telling lawmakers to step up where the Governor has failed? ~ Toxics Action Center
Natural Communities of Howard Hill, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Eric Doucette, Botanist, University of Maine, will discuss the natural communities of Howard Hill behind the Maine State Capitol building. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, April 2, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
The Human Significance of Climate Change, Apr 2
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Nearly everything we do is premised on the assumption that the world we know will endure into the future and provide a sustaining context for our activities. But today the future of a viable biosphere, and thus the purpose of our activities, is put into question. By accepting our small place within the inhuman forces of the biosphere, we may discover how to live with responsibility and serenity whatever may come. At Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Moulton Union, April 2, 12:30 pm.
Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species Need Help
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 25, 2015 

YES: LD 807, an Act to Amend Maine’s Endangered and Threatened Species List, would add species to the state’s Endangered and Threatened Species List. NO: LD 640 would weaken the Maine's Endangered and Threatened Species List by develop incidental take permits, which allow the killing or "take" of endangered species.
Thoreau Society and Thoreau Farm Trust Auction
Announcement - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 

Auction ends March 27.
Release voter-approved conservation funds
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 24, 2015 

For more than two decades, the Land for Maine's Future Program has helped citizens protect the character of their towns and open spaces. The program has protected working farms and forests, ocean access, trails for snowmobilers, hikers, and bikers, and pristine lakes, ponds, and rivers. But Governor LePage is currently withholding voter-approved conservation funds in an attempt to advance a proposal to increase logging on public lands. ~ Maine Conservation Alliance
Skiing to the North Pole, Mar 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 21, 2015 

Tyler Fish will present a multi-media lecture about his first American unsupported expedition to the North Pole. At LL Bean, Freeport, March 28, 7 pm.
It's Not Just Granite, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 19, 2015 

Bob Marvinney, Maine State Geologist, will discuss the geology of Howard Hill behind the Maine State Capitol building. Learn about the metamorphic rocks and granite that record over four hundred million years of Earth history. At Ladd Recreation Center, Wayne, March 26, 7 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Land Trust.
Friendship in the Extremes, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, March 19, 2015 

Tyler Fish, with his friend John Huston, completed the first unsupported, unassisted American ski trek to the North Pole. In 2009, they skied 500 miles to the North Pole in 55 days. At Bates College, Lewiston, Muskie Archives, March 26, 7:30 pm. Sponsored by Bates Outing Club.
An Evening with the Honey Bee, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

A film, honey tasting and Q&A session with local beekeepers. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, March 25, 7 pm. Presented by Sagadahoc County Beekeepers Association.
Climate Change: Maine Wildlife in Trouble, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

A panel discussion to learn about the latest threats to Maine wildlife and plant species. At Gilsland Farm Audubon Center, Falmouth, Mar 25, 7 pm. Maine Audubon members $5; non-members $8.
Forestry for Maine Birds, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 18, 2015 

The Augusta Bird Club will present Amanda Mahaffey of the Forest Guild and Susan Gallo of Maine Audubon Society will discuss “Forestry for Maine Birds.” At Viles Arboretum, Augusta, March 25, 7 pm. Sponsored by Augusta Bird Club.
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News Items
Letter: Land for Maine
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 28, 2015 

Since 2009, the people of Maine have approved bonds totaling roughly $11.5 million for acquiring public lands through the Land for Maine’s Future program. Maine residents have made clear their desire to protect the right of public access, preserve working farms and waterfront, and their willingness to earmark public funding to that end. The funds, however, remain unavailable. Gov. Paul LePage refuses to issue the monies until the Legislature approves a plan that enables more timber harvesting on state-owned land. The governor is not interested in the voice of voters but rather in using Maine’s resources as he alone sees fit. It’s time for the governor to stop being petty and do what the voters have mandated be done. ~ Nancie Bogart, Brunswick
LePage takes aim at Malloy in speech
Other - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Briston (CT) Press - Calling himself “a spokesman for the conservative cause in New England,” Maine Gov. Paul LePage took aim at Connecticut’s Democratic governor during an address to city Republicans this week. LePage said that Gov. Dannel Malloy “believes in giving everything free” to people instead of attaching conditions that will provide them with education and experience to make a living on their own. The Maine leader said environmentalists “don’t like us” because they “would rather we starve or freeze” than take the steps necessary to lower the cost of energy in New England. State Democratic Party official Alynn Woischke called LePage “so radical he makes Ted Cruz blush.”
Millinocket council rejects holding public vote on national park
 - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Local voters won’t get the chance to tell the Millinocket Town Council in June whether they support the proposed 150,000-acre North Woods national park and recreation area. Councilors on Thursday debated placing on a ballot for the annual school budget referendum in June a question asking voters whether they support Lucas St. Clair’s proposed gift to the National Park Service. The council voted 6-1 against the notion.
Editorial: Stand down
Bowdoin (College) Orient - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Bowdoin Climate Action (BCA) announced that it would escalate its fossil fuel divestment campaign by turning to civil disobedience, starting with a sit-in that will occur in the coming weeks. More than 50 students have pledged to participate. We agree with BCA’s goal of working toward climate justice, but we do not believe that a narrow focus on pressuring the Trustees to divest is BCA’s best path forward. BCA would be better off reaching out as opposed to sitting in. Climate change is one of the most pressing issues our generation faces. However, the single-minded pursuit of a symbolic goal is not the best way for Bowdoin students to address it. Sitting in will do little more than perpetuate a divestment campaign that is, for the time being, a lost cause. If BCA wants to make a difference, it should begin to pursue other options.
Our Maine Heritage: Legends of outdoor writing gather for a meal
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, March 27, 2015 

The names are nearly mythical: Just saying one of those names aloud elicits a response. Mention the BDN’s own Bud Leavitt and I can hear the theme song from his TV show. Talk to me about Gene Letourneau, longtime scribe for the Gannett papers, including the Portland Press Herald, and I automatically think “Sportsmen Say,” which was the name of his column. And Bill Geagan, also a BDN writer, took us along with him on a fantastic adventure in his book, “Nature I Loved.” Utter his name and I wonder what it would have been like to have lived alone out on Hermon Pond.
Hearing on bats with white nose syndrome set for April 2
Associated Press - Friday, March 27, 2015 

A bill that proposes to add two bat species that have been severely reduced by white nose syndrome to Maine’s endangered species list will be the subject of a public hearing before the Committee on Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. White nose syndrome is a disease caused by a fungus that interrupts bat hibernation. That robs them of energy and stored fat. It has been identified in many states. The hearing is set for 1 p.m. on April 2 in the Cross Building in Augusta.
Report shows growing impacts of ocean acidification
Summit Voice - Friday, March 27, 2015 

The steady increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide is already causing large-scale shifts in the ocean carbon cycle, according to scientists. The study shows that a ubiquitous type of phytoplankton, tiny organisms that are the base of the marine food web, appears to be suffering from the effects of ocean acidification caused by climate change. The scientists used satellite measurements and statistical methods to calculate the calcification rate — the amount of calcium carbonate these organisms produced per day in surface ocean waters. The findings highlight the vulnerability of shell-building organisms and marine ecosystems.
Microbead ban becomes law without LePage signature
Associated Press - Friday, March 27, 2015 

A bill banning synthetic microbeads in personal care products has become law without Gov. Paul LePage’s signature. Republican Sen. Tom Saviello’s proposal went into law this week after LePage took no action on the bill. Microbeads are non-biodegradable plastic particles used in facial cleansers and toothpaste. They will have to be phased out of most products over three years. The law will go into full effect in 2019.
Column: A cruise for duck counting in Isle Au Haut
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Last Saturday, Island Heritage Trust and Isle au Haut Ferry teamed up for the third annual Duck Cruise, and this one was as lucky as the first two. The long, cold winter abated long enough to entice 30 birders to search for wintering waterfowl. Harlequin ducks were the chief target, but we were game for anything. ~ Bob Duchesne
Antarctic Floating Ice Shelves Melting at Alarming Rate
TIME - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Some of Antarctica’s floating ice shelves are up to 18% thinner than they were two decades ago, according to a new study shedding light on climate change. Science Daily reports that researchers at the UC San Diego’s Scripps Institution of Oceanography examined satellite data from the past two decades and discovered that ice shelves are thinning at precipitous rates, which are accelerating over time.
He Said, She Said: A Katahdin region for hipster beards or the non-ironic sort?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 27, 2015 

Mike Cianchette: Well, Bangor’s council has decided they want a national park almost 100 miles to the north. Who is next to put their thumb on the scale? Portland? Cynthia Dill: Millinocket, the “magic city,” had better weigh in quickly before it disappears! Its population has dropped from 7,700 to 4,500 and keeps dropping.
Legislators worry LePage about to put public lands in pro-harvesting hands
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 27, 2015 

State lawmakers and conservation groups are raising concerns that Gov. Paul LePage will soon appoint the current director of the Maine Forest Service to also oversee the Bureau of Parks and Lands. Forest service Director Doug Denico said Thursday that he knew “zippo” about a potential appointment. Nonetheless, the prospect of Denico maintaining his current job while also overseeing the agency that manages the state’s conservation and recreation areas was seen as a foregone conclusion at the State House. His appointment could effectively advance the governor’s proposal to dissolve the Bureau of Parks and Lands and fold its duties into the forest service, even if the Legislature rejects the proposal this session. Denico would also oversee the administration’s plan for increasing timber harvests on publicly owned land.
Letter: Bangor Council right on park
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 27, 2015 

The Bangor City Council has shown it understands the difficult economic challenges facing our state — particularly in northern Maine and the Katahdin region. I want to thank the strong majority on the council for their support for a resolution supporting a new national park and recreation area east of Baxter State Park. I want to thank Bangor for its leadership and support as we work to rebuild our economy. ~ Anita Mueller, Millinocket
Businesses Announce Support for Proposed Park
Fox News - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

More than 200 businesses from the Greater Katahdin and Bangor Region are supporting the creation of a national park and recreation area on 150,000 acres of land, East of Baxter State Park. Elliotsville Plantation, Inc. would donate the land, as well as a $40-million endowment to pay for operations and maintenance costs. The group is now sending letters to Maine's Congressional Delegation for support.
Maine politics block quick fix to energy-efficiency funding error
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Prospects dimmed Thursday for a quick fix to a one-word error that could cost a state energy-efficiency program up to $38 million. Republicans and Democrats disagree on how — or perhaps whether — to correct a clerical error in a 2013 law that was intended to provide a new, steady source of income for an Efficiency Maine program that helps Mainers and businesses reduce their electricity usage.
Republicans Block Bill Aimed at Fixing Energy Efficiency Funding Glitch
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Republicans on the Legislative Council blocked consideration of a bill aimed at overturning a controversial Maine Public Utilities Commission decision that would slash funding for energy efficiency programs. House Republican Leader Ken Fredette, who last week called for legislation to clarify the issue, moved to block a potential fix. At issue is a two-to-one vote by the PUC where Gov. Paul LePage’s two appointees, Mark Vannoy and Carlisle McLean, chose to follow the precise wording of the sweeping omnibus energy bill passed by the Legislature in 2013. The problem is that a single word was missing from a crucial definition in the law. And so instead of increasing the cap on funding for Efficiency Maine, as the Legislature intended, commissioners voted to limit it.
Viewing area at Acadia’s Thunder Hole to be shut down for repairs
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

One of Maine’s most popular natural attractions will shut down Friday and remain closed to visitors until Memorial Day weekend, and possibly beyond. The entire viewing area at Thunder Hole, a tidal cavern in Acadia National Park, will be off-limits to visitors through at least May 22 so crews can repair the attraction’s stairway and observation deck, which have eroded.
Strimling and Harriman Discuss Proposed National Park
WCSH-TV6 - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Chris Facchini: In January, A virginia based economic development firm tells Millinocket it needs to promote public lands and tourism. Late last month, Medway’s select board endorsed a national park. The Penobscot Nation has. Earlier this week the Bangor City Council endorsed it, and today the Natural Resources Council of Maine and business owners from Bangor through the Kathadin Region urged support. Ethan Strimling: The economic circumstances as reality has set in. People are starting to realize, you got to diversify, you got to try to find a new path and thankfully, I think people finally are. Phil Harriman: We already have the Baxter State Park. Why wouldn’t we just let the Baxter State Park Authority expand its mission to include this area rather than bringing in the Federal government to run a National Park right beside one of the most sought after destinations in Maine?
Supporters of New National Park in Maine Say Idea Gaining Momentum
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Supporters of a proposal to establish a new national park east of Baxter State park say their cause is gaining steam after a group of 200 business owners fired off a letter to Maine's Congressional Delegation this week. The letter cites the jobs and economic benefits such a park could bring to an area of the state that's suffered from a lack of jobs since the region's paper industry folded. This week, the Bangor City Council also threw its support behind the 150,000-acre Maine Woods National Park proposal.
Businesses Announce Support for Proposed National Park
WABI-TV5 - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

More than 200 Bangor and Katahdin area businesses are calling on Maine’s leaders in Washington to draft legislation to move the park proposal forward. It comes as many Eastern and Northern Maine towns struggle to find an economic base. “From Millinocket to Lincoln, Brewer to Bucksport, the trends are clear and they are not good. The loss of high paying jobs is staggering, but the social costs are amplified by the region’s lack of economic diversification,” said Rob Lilieholm, a forest economist at the University of Maine. Business owners from Millinocket to Bangor say the ripple effect of a park would be felt statewide.
Bald eagles awe photographer in Hampden
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Old Town wildlife photographer Andy Anderson wasn’t having a very successful day. He was looking for snowy owls, but they were nowhere to be seen. Then, all of the sudden, his luck changed. It was about 3 degrees Fahrenheit when he got out of the car and rested his camera on the guardrail to photograph the majestic raptor. Through his high-power camera lens, he watched the bald eagle feed on the remains of a bird, scattering long banded feathers on the snow. A few minutes later, Anderson watched as a second bald eagle swooped down and landed in the snow beside the first.
Conservancy seeks input as it develops plan for acquired Machias-area land
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

The Downeast Coastal Conservancy is seeking public input as it develops a plan for two pieces of land acquired for about $1.2 million in 2013. The conservancy solicited ideas from about 35 people at a public meeting on March 24, and it will be seeking more thoughts on what to do with the Middle River Park and Machias River Preserve, said Rich Bard, conservancy executive director. The two properties on the Machias River and the Middle River in the Machias Valley area total more than 1,000 acres and boast 4½ miles of shoreline. They also are connected by the Down East Sunrise Trail.
Hope residents may vote to acquire former Superfund site
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

Hope residents may decide in June whether they want the town to acquire a 12-acre lot that had been the site of one of the worst environmental pollution cases in the state. The property on Route 17 was the site of the Union Chemical plant, which handled paint stripper and petrochemical-based solvents. Union Chemical operated at the site from 1967 until the state shut it down in 1984. When it the plant was closed, there were 2,000 drums and 30 storage tanks of hazardous wastes on site. Since 1984, more than $20 million has been spent trying to clean the soils and groundwater on the property.
Legislature hears lots of support for letting younger kids hunt
George Smith's Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

"Hi. My name is Danielle Armiger. I want the law to change so that little girls that are 8 years old can hunt. I am ready to hunt because I’ve been hunting with my Mom and Dad since I was four years old...." I doubt that any of us needed to testify for LD 156, An Act to Lower the Eligibility Age for a Junior Hunting License, after this delightful young lady, a first grader from Pittsfield, stood on a chair to deliver her testimony. And boy, she was terrific! When she finished, Danielle got a big round of applause, something you don’t hear much at the legislature.
200 Maine businesses endorse proposed Katahdin-area national park
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 26, 2015 

More than 200 businesses from around the state endorsed a proposed 150,000-acre national park and recreation area in the Katahdin region Thursday. The endorsement, which included a letter signed by all the businesses to Maine’s congressional delegation urging the creation of the park, is the latest public approval of the controversial gift to the nation first proposed by entrepreneur Roxanne Quimby in 2011. Now an initiative fronted by her son, Lucas St. Clair, the 75,000-acre park and 75,000-acre recreation area would go on family land east of Baxter State Park. Three Millinocket town councilors blasted the Bangor council’s endorsement Thursday afternoon.
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News Feeds

Maine Organic Farmers
and Gardeners Assn

Popular weedkiller deemed carcinogenic: Herbicide may cause cancer, World Health Organization says.
By Ismat Sarah Mangla - The active ingredient in Roundup, one of the world's most popular weed killers – and the most commonly used one in the United States – has been declared a "probable carcinogen" by the World Health Organization. The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the WHO, released the results of its review of five herbicides and pesticides on Friday.
3/20/2015 11:00:00 PM

New Report Highlights Crops with High Pesticide Residues and Benefits of Organic
A new pesticide residue report just out requires context for those wishing to use their purchasing power to protect health, the environment, and those who grow and harvest our food. For consumers who care about the environment, farmworkers, and want to reduce pesticides in their diet, organic agriculture continues to be the best choice.
3/19/2015 11:00:00 PM

Roundup is endocrine disruptor in human cells at levels allowed in drinking water
Roundup is an endocrine disruptor and is toxic to human cells in vitro (tested in culture dishes in the laboratory) at levels permitted in drinking water in Australia, a new study has found. This is the first study to examine the effects of glyphosate and Roundup on progesterone production by human female cells in an in vitro system that models key aspects of reproduction in women.
3/19/2015 11:00:00 PM

'Growing Local' focuses on farming in USA's oldest state Screening of film at Alfred Town Hall provokes discussion about costs, potential
By Chris Hull - The more than two dozen people who attended the March 12 screening of the film “Growing Local” at the Alfred Town Hall were reminded that Maine is a graying state. The film highlighted two family farms and the relationship between an older generation of farmers looking to retire and a younger generation looking to continue the farming tradition. Featured in the film are Richard and Adam Beal, a father and son from Rocky Ridge Organic Dairy in Litchfield.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

Pesticides in produce
Consumer Reports' new guidelines show you how to make the best choices for your health – and for the environment.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

Portland poised as leader in improving local food economy
By Kathleen Pierce - An economics professor, Michael Hillard, at the University of Southern Maine led a daylong conference Monday titled “Scaling up to Local,” which examined ways Maine farmers, fresh-food purveyors, politicians and institutions can work together to strengthen this system.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

How Maine’s vast pastureland can help farmers grow revenue
By Rick Kersbergen - Maine is seeing a surge in small farms, with more than 1,000 farms added in the last 10 years, according to the 2012 Census of Agriculture.
3/18/2015 11:00:00 PM

VIEW FROM AWAY: A costly farm bill
Remember how backers of the 2014 farm bill promised that it would reform costly and wasteful agriculture subsidies and save taxpayers money? And remember how the critics of the bill said it was basically a scheme to repackage and perpetuate the old system, potentially at a higher cost? Well, it turns out that the critics were right, according to the first comprehensive estimate of the bill’s impact.
3/17/2015 11:00:00 PM

Natural Resources Council
of Maine

The Magic Ingredient
Keep a bottle of vinegar (any kind) in your cupboard. You can use it to wash your windows, remove tough food r...
3/28/2015 4:00:45 AM

200 Maine Businesses Sign Letter Backing National Park Concept
By The Associated Press Portland Press Herald news story   BANGOR — A group of more than 200 Maine busine...
3/27/2015 8:31:04 AM

Businesses Announce Support for Proposed Park
By Erin Thomas, Fox 22 staff reporter Fox22 news story BANGOR – Hundreds of businesses from Central and ...
3/27/2015 8:27:53 AM

Businesses Show Support for National Park Proposal
By Kayla Binette, WCSH6 Staff WCSH6 news story   BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — More than 200 busine...
3/27/2015 8:21:25 AM

Strimling and Harriman Discuss Proposed National Park, Sen. Willette, Adj. General Campbell
By Chris Facchini, WSCH Staff WCSH6 news story   BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — The following is a t...
3/27/2015 8:18:24 AM

Businesses Announce Support for Proposed National Park
By John Krinjak, WABI staff WABI news story   Business owners gathered in Bangor today to announce their ...
3/27/2015 8:12:31 AM

200 Maine Businesses Endorse Proposed Katahdin-area National Park
By Nick Sambides Jr., BDN Staff writer Bangor Daily News story BANGOR, Maine — More than 200 businesses from a...
3/27/2015 8:03:11 AM

Supporters of New National Park in Maine say Idea Gaining Momentum
By Jennifer Mitchell, MPBN staff writer MPBN news story     AUGUSTA, Maine – Supporters of a p...
3/27/2015 7:54:59 AM
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