June 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond; hey, we're all connected). We have posted summaries and links to 60,000 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
Tall Tales, Fish Tails, & Damn Lies, Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Maine Center for Coastal Fisheries will hold a night of music and words from a fishing community with performances and story-telling by Frank Gotwals, Dennis Damon, Bob Quinn and many more. At Stonington Opera House, June 27, 6:30 pm. Proceeds benefit a sustainable future for local fisheries and communities.
Can environmental action be good for business? Jun 27
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

An informal policy and issue-based discussions held at local businesses over coffee or beer. Speakers: Kristan Porter, Maine Lobstermen's Association; Abe Furth, Orono Brewing Company; Brad Ryder, Epic Sports. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Save Right Whales
Action Alert - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

New England’s iconic whale is on the brink of extinction. A bill in Congress called Scientific Assistance for Very Endangered (“SAVE”) Right Whales could help this key species recover. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Water: What is has to teach us, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Learn about fresh water ecosystems and new aquaculture operations in the MidCoast region. At Topsham Public Library, June 25, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Proposed Coyote Center, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Monday, June 17, 2019 

Biologist Geri Vistein will share an informative film about the future Coyote Center in Maine, followed by a discussion of Maine’s coyotes. At Lithgow Public Library, Augusta, June 24, 6:30 pm.
Teen Wilderness Expedition, July 23-25
Announcement - Sunday, June 16, 2019 

The Teen Wilderness Expedition is a 3-day, 2-night, all-inclusive adventure for 12-16 year olds at Little Lyford Lodge, July 23-25. Offered by Piscataquis County Soil and Water Conservation District and Appalachian Mountain Club.
Maine State Museum hosts Bike Day, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join the Maine State Museum, Bicycle Coalition of Maine and the Maine State Library in a free family event to commemorate the 100th anniversary of women’s right to vote and learn about the benefits of safe, relaxed bike riding. At Maine State Museum, June 22, 10 am - 1 pm.
Woodland Management with Birds in Mind, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A Forestry for Maine Birds workshop for landowners, foresters and loggers interested in learning how they can support Maine’s forest songbirds. At Somerset County Cooperative Extension office, Skowhegan, and on the adjacent Yankee Woodlot Demonstration Forest, June 22, 9 am - noon.
Hike Puzzle Mt., Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

A moderate to strenuous hike of 8.5 miles. Cross several exposed granite boulders and ledges offering views of the Sunday River ski area, Grafton Notch, and the Presidentials, June 22, pre-register. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club.
Androscoggin River Canoe & Kayak River Race, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

This event is open to all to launch canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, (and more) into the Androscoggin River and complete one of three courses of varying length and challenge. At Festival Plaza, Auburn, June 22, 9 am, $15 for single paddler, $25 for a double, benefits Androscoggin Land Trust.
Plants of Corea Heath, Jun 22
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 15, 2019 

Join Jill Weber, botanist and co-author of The Plants of Acadia National Park, to learn about carnivorous plants, orchids, stunted trees and shrubs and cotton-grass. At Corea Heath, Goldsboro, June 22, 8:30 am. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Maine Wildlife Park open house, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Friday, June 14, 2019 

The Maine Wildlife Park in Gray will hold an open house with free admission, June 21, 5-8 pm. Feeding times for moose, lynx, foxes, cougars, vultures and bears will be posted.
Call for a presidential primary debate on climate change
Action Alert - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

Democratic National Committee Chairman Tom Perez has rejected a presidential primary debate on climate change. 15 Democratic presidential candidates have joined the call. So can you. ~ CREDO Action
Trekking through Time
Announcement - Thursday, June 13, 2019 

From June through October, Lakes Environmental Association, Loon Echo Land Trust, Greater Lovell Land Trust, Upper Saco Valley Land Trust, and Western Foothills Land Trust will host the Trekking through Time Series. Once a month throughout the summer and early fall, each organization will host a historical tour of one of its conservation properties.
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News Items
Old Town mill takes another step toward reopening
Sun Journal - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

The Old Town mill inches a bit closer to reopening last week, with the announcement that crews accepted the first batch of wood chips needed to restart operations at the mill. The mill has been closed since 2015, when former owner Expera abruptly shuttered its doors. Last October 15, however, the property was bought by ND Paper LLC, a subsidiary of Nine Dragons Paper of Hong Kong. Nine Dragons Paper is China’s largest producer of containerboard, which most commonly is used in making cardboard boxe.
Important environmental issues at the legislature
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

Here’s the latest legislative report from Maine Conservation Voters.
To boost recycling, Bangor residents may soon throw bottles and cans into the trash
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, June 20, 2019 

The days of Bangor residents separating their milk jugs, Moxie cans, Pottery Barn catalogues and other recyclables from the trash could be coming to an end. City staff have recommended that Bangor move away from its current program of having residents leave their recyclables out for curbside pick up every other week. Beginning in September, residents would mix — or “comingle” — all their trash and recycling into the same loads that they drop at the curb every week under the proposed changes. Those loads would then go to a new waste processing facility in Hampden, which has been designed to automatically divert any paper, plastic, organic material and other recyclable materials out of the waste stream.
Backing lobstermen, Rep. Golden seeks to withhold funds for right whale protections
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Rep. Jared Golden, D-Maine’s 2nd District congressman, introduced an amendment to a pending appropriations bill that would block controversial right whale regulations requiring Maine’s $485 million a year industry to cut the number of buoy lines in the Gulf of Maine by 50 percent to prevent fatal fishing gear entanglements. Golden and Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, a co-sponsor of Golden’s amendment, question NOAA’s decision to use a data tool that has not been subjected to the review of independent, third-party scientists to quantify the estimated risk to right whales. Environmentalists were especially concerned that this effort was being led by Democrats.
Somerset County residents ask commissioners to vote again on CMP corridor support
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Residents frustrated with Somerset County commissioners’ support of a controversial power line project asked the commission to vote again on their support Wednesday. Opponents of the project recently accused Commissioner Lloyd Trafton of a conflict of interest for his role serving on the board of directors for Western Mountains & Rivers Corp., a nonprofit formed to oversee the spending of $22 million in mitigation dollars from Central Maine Power, the project developer, in exchange for support. Newell Graf, chairman of the county commissioners, said in response that “the (attorney general) looked at this and said there’s nothing to it as far as Commissioner Trafton is concerned. The AG’s office and the county both said there is no conflict.”
EPA defies climate warnings, gives coal plants a reprieve
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Despite scientists’ increasingly urgent warnings, the Trump administration ordered a sweeping about-face Wednesday on efforts to fight climate change, easing restrictions on coal-fired power plants in a move it predicted would revitalize America’s sagging coal industry. Despite Trump’s repeated false claims that America’s air is the cleanest it’s ever been, there were 15 percent more days with unhealthful air both last year and the year before than on average from 2013 through 2016.
Maine agriculture takes center stage at Waterville forum
Morning Sentinel - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Jenni Tilton-Flood left Maine to “feed the world,” but soon returned when she realized that what she really wanted was to feed her corner of that world.
Maine Poised for Big Boost in Clean Energy
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Bipartisan majorities in the Maine Senate and House have given final approval to a historic solar energy bill that would give residents, businesses, and towns more opportunities to invest in affordable solar power. LD 1711 is awaiting the signature of Governor Janet Mills, who has signaled she intends to sign it into law after campaigning on the need for more solar power in Maine. The solar bill, combined with a bill that will expand the state’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) to 80% by 2030 and sets a goal of 100% renewable by 2050, represents the most significant renewable energy action in more than eight years. Previous versions of the solar bill had been passed by the Legislature but vetoed by former Governor Paul LePage, who was also a vocal opponent of the RPS.
Neighbors push back against proposed 14-lot Richmond subdivision
Times Record - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

People living close to a proposed 14-lot housing development off Route 201 in Richmond are pushing back, saying they’re worriedabout overcrowding and that their wells might dry up. About 18 acres are slated for development, another 17 acres is to be left as open space or a common area.
Mills signs wind bill, announces plans to advance offshore energy
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Stalled efforts to test a floating wind farm off the Maine coast got back on track Wednesday after Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed legislation directing the Public Utilities Commission to approve the contract for Maine Aqua Ventus, a first-of-its-kind wind project in the United States. Mills also announced two collaborative efforts to put the state back in the game for offshore wind energy research. Mills’ predecessor, Gov. Paul LePage (R), opposed wind development.
Bills to energize renewable-power development in Maine go to governor
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Clean-energy supporters are celebrating the pending passage of two bills that they see as catalysts to advance a new wave of renewable power development in Maine. The first, L.D. 1494, will update Maine’s Renewable Portfolio Standard, which requires increased production of electricity from sources such as wind, solar, biomass and hydro. The RPS bill aims to double the percentage of renewable power sold in the state to 80 percent by 2030, and 100 percent by 2050. The second, L.D. 1711, would increase an arbitrary cap on the number of customers who can receive power from a community solar farm from 9 to 200. “Mainers have been waiting for this kind of climate action for a long time,” said Kathleen Meil with Maine Conservation Voters. Jim LaBrecque, a longtime solar-policy antagonist who served as Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s adviser on energy, bashed the law and predicted it would raise electric bills.
During U.S. National Pollinator Week, attention focuses on protecting bees
Other - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

National Pollinator Week in North America recognizes the irreplaceable role that pollinators – bees, birds, butterflies, bats, beetles and other small mammals – play in the world. Pollinating over 180,000 different plant species and nearly 75% of the nation’s crops, pollinators are vital to the maintenance of a thriving ecosystem. These plants produce fruits, vegetables, nuts, oils and fibers. One of the most crucial pollinators is the honeybee, responsible for pollinating 30% of the world’s crops and 90% of the world’s plants. However, bee populations are on a steady decline, threatening healthy ecosystems and the local and international food economy. One of the things you can do to support the bees along with protecting habitat is to become a beekeeper.
River Herring Will Not Be Added To Endangered Species List
Associated Press - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

The federal government says two species of herring are not at risk of going extinct, and will not be listed under the Endangered Species Act. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says the government has finished a review of the status of alewife and blueback herring and decided against designating the fish as endangered or threatened. The fish live on the East Coast and are an important piece of the food chain.
Loomer Earthwatch Expedition Scholarship
Other - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Mount Olive Tribune (NC) - The Loomer Earthwatch Expedition Scholarship was first offered last year. Maureen Loomer, a retired biology instructor, established the scholarship in memory of her husband, Dr. Lance Loomer. She used the prize from her 2014 Wayne Community College Distinguished Chair Award to participate in an Earthwatch expedition in Acadia National Park in Maine. She said she wanted students to have the same “exhilarating, transformative experience.”
Coal comeback? Trump plan would breathe new life into aging power plants
USA Today - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

President Donald Trump is keeping a signature campaign promise to boost the coal industry but environmentalists say the energy plan his administration is expected to unveil Wednesday would lead to premature deaths and hasten climate change. Environmental groups and some states already have vowed to sue to stop the plan's implementation, just as opponents of Obama's Clean Power Plan did successfully four years ago.
What’s in your recycling bin? Interns will grade the contents this summer in 4 communities
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

For Falmouth, Scarborough, South Portland and Windham residents, interns will become a common sight this summer. Ten student are participants in a pilot program started by ecomaine, a regional waste management agency, and four of its member communities in an effort to reduce contamination of recyclable waste left at the curbside. Like the residents who recycle, the interns are also excited to be a part of Maine’s sustainability efforts.
What can and can’t be recycled through Ecomaine
Portland Press Herald - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Ecomaine’s recycling program includes various forms of paper, plastic, metal and glass. Use ecomaine’s free Recyclopedia mobile app, available at ecomaine.org/recyclopedia, to check if individual items are recyclable. Most forms of paper are OK, including books, newspapers, magazines, mail, milk cartons and paper plates, and cardboard. However, paper towels, napkins and tissues should not be placed in recycling bins.
Column: Enjoy tax-free water – for now
Kennebec Journal - Wednesday, June 19, 2019 

Nearly everything we value is taxed today. So it was good news when the Legislature rejected a bill that would have taxed Poland Spring for the water it bottles and sells. To do that, the Legislature would have had to take away the right that all of us have to the water underneath our property. And you are naïve if you think it wouldn’t take them long after taxing Poland Spring to start taxing all of us for that water. Consider what they are taxing now: the money you make, your property, most of the things you buy, gambling on sports, your inheritance, enjoying a state park, travel on the turnpike, and on and on it goes. ~ George Smith
What We Eat Now and Why It Has to Change
Outside - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Our collective diet has shifted in the past century. Two new books take us around the globe to examine how—and why—our eating habits have changed. How will we get our meals in the future? "For The Fate of Food: What We’ll Eat In a Bigger, Hotter, Smarter World," Amanda Little roved the planet for three years asking that very question. "The Way We Eat Now: How the Food Revolution Has Transformed Our Lives, Our Bodies, and Our World" by Bee Wilson focuses on the transition from unique regional menus with unprocessed, locally grown ingredients to a globally homogenous diet heavy in packaged snacks and calorie-laden beverages. The books are perfectly complementary. While the former contextualizes the world in which we live, the latter looks to what lies ahead, providing hope if not a definite conclusion.
Hiker rescued from Mount Washington may have to foot the bill
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

An 80-year-old hiker who was rescued trying to reach the summit of Mount Washington could end up footing the bill for the emergency services, New Hampshire officials said Tuesday, amid efforts to raise awareness about the dangers of the popular tourist destination. Authorities may even file criminal charges in the case, after two relatives left James Clark behind. The NH Fish and Game Department has recommended that nine people be billed so far this year. Twenty-five people were billed in 2018. Clark said that he blamed himself for telling his two grandsons to go ahead without him.
Purchase of Bethel forestland completes 3,500-acre conservation area
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

The national Trust for Public Land, Bethel-based trail organization Mahoosuc Pathways and the Northern Forest Center in New Hampshire achieved a five-year goal of creating the 3,500-acre conservation area by purchasing the 978 acres that will become the Bethel Community Forest. A decade ago, the town of Bethel acquired the 2,411-acre Bingham Community Forest, located in Newry next to Sunday River, a parcel that originally had been managed to protect the town’s water supply. It became a first step in Mahoosuc Pathways’ vision to create the larger area of protected land for recreational uses.
Kingfield cidery awarded development grant
Sun Journal - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

A small-but-growing local business has received a substantial economic development grant. At their Monday night meeting, Kingfield selectmen learned a Community Development Block Grant of up to $45,000 has been awarded to the Orchard Girls Cidery.
Movers, shakers of Maine arts gather in Portland for summit
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

About 200 artists, creative entrepreneurs, community leaders and big thinkers gathered at Ocean Gateway in Portland on Tuesday to try to figure out how to turn Portland into a world-class art community – or make people aware that it already is. David Brenerman, Creative Portland’s board president, said, “The City Council endorsed the plan early this year, and now we have to make it happen." U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree spoke about the importance of the arts as an economic catalyst statewide and tout the work that she and her colleagues are doing to ensure that funding for the arts continues at the federal level, despite attempts by the Trump administration to eliminate it. The arts contribute $1.5 billion to Maine’s economy every year and have created more than 16,000 jobs in the state, Pingree said.
U.S. air quality slipping after years of improvement
Associated Press - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

After decades of improvement, America’s air may not be getting any cleaner. Over the last two years the nation had more polluted air days than just a few years earlier, federal data show. There were 15 percent more days with unhealthy air in America both last year and the year before than there were on average from 2013 through 2016. Health experts say it’s troubling to see air quality progress stagnate. President Trump has repeatedly claimed, “We have the cleanest air in the world, in the United States, and it’s gotten better since I’m president.” That’s not the case. Trump is moving to loosen regulations on coal-fired power plants and cars that scientists credit for cleaner air.
A Democratic and Republican Governor Both Sign Bills Outlawing Plastic Bags on Same Day
Other - Tuesday, June 18, 2019 

Law & Crime - If you’re headed to New England this summer, make sure you remember your reusable bags. On Monday, the governors of Maine and Vermont–one a Democrat and the other a Republican—signed laws to prohibit single-use plastic bags. Maine’s statute, signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills (D), will go into effect on April 22, 2020, in time for Earth Day. Vermont Governor Phil Scott (R) signed a similar measure into law in his state that’ll go into effect in July 2020. New Jersey recently proposed a measure that would outlaw all single-use paper and plastic bags–even those that are recyclable or could be sold at the point of sale.
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