January 16, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

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 over 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
Feeding Maine Photography Exhibit, thru Feb 23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Feeding Maine: Growing Access to Good Food is a photo exhibit by Brendan Bullock, which seeks to document the many people working to address hunger in the state. Created by Maine Farmland Trust and Good Shepherd Food Bank. At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Auburn College, Atrium Art Gallery, January 16 to February 23, opening event January 19.
February Vacation Camps, Feb 20-23
Event - Posted - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Audubon Vacation Camps at Fields Pond in Holden and Gilsland Farm in Falmouth, February 20-23.
Nominations for Source Awards due Feb 12
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Sunday Telegram Source Awards recognize the individuals, nonprofits, businesses and institutions in Maine working to safeguard the state’s spectacular natural environment. Deadline for nominations is February 12.
Apprenticeships at MCHT Preserves
Announcement - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust has paid apprenticeships at Aldermere Farm and Ericsson Fields in Rockport. Each apprenticeship will be up to 9-months starting in March and will include a monthly stipend, benefits, shared housing, training and supervision. Applications are due Feb. 5
Land-use history of Midcoast, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Forestry experts Lloyd Irland and Ken Lausten will explore the land-use history of Midcoast Maine. At Camden Public Library, January 23, 7 pm.
Friends of Casco Bay Annual Members Meeting, Jan 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Recognition for those who help protect the health of Casco Bay, an updated Casco Bay Health Index based on data collected by volunteer Citizen Stewards over the past 25 years, and new program directions. At DiMillo's, Portland, January 23, 5:30-8 pm.
Offshore drilling public meeting, Jan 22
Action Alert - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management will hold a public meeting on a proposal to open Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) areas to oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic (and other) coasts. At Augusta Civic Center, Jan 22, 3-7 pm.
Scouting for Mammal Tracks and Signs, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Sandra Mitchell will follow up on the November tracks and signs class in the field. At Northeast Penjajawoc Preserve, January 20, 10-11:30 am.
Nature Journaling, Jan 20
Event - Posted - Saturday, January 13, 2018 

Andrea Lani will lead a nature journaling workshop at Viles Arboretum, Augusta, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm, $35 for Arboretum members, $45 for nonmembers.
Prowl for Owls, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist Kit Pfeiffer will lead a walk scouting for owls. At Carl and Barbara Segerstrom Preserve at Squam Creek, Westport Island, January 19, 6 pm. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Futures of the Maine Waterfront, Jan 19
Event - Posted - Friday, January 12, 2018 

This forum will feature panel discussions on the future of our coastal and island economy, presented with trends and analysis by key coastal leaders. At The Westin, Portland, January 19, 2-8:30 pm, $35-150. Sponsored by the Island Institute.
Meet the Feet: Mammal Tracks and Sign, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Dorcas Miller presents an evening of hands-on learning about Maine mammals. At Belfast Library, January 18, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Connecting rivers, people and fish - by bike, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Alicia Heyburn spent five weeks on a solo bicycle tour from the source of the Rhine River in the Swiss Alps to the outlet at the North Sea near Amsterdam. Learn about Europe's extensive international network of bike trails, free cultural exchange and accommodation services, the stages and benefits of re-naturalizing a river, and how to travel alone without being lonely. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, January 18, 7 pm.
Growing Farm-Friendly Communities, Jan 18
Event - Posted - Thursday, January 11, 2018 

Community leaders share policy approaches and practical ideas for ways communities and farmers can benefit from working together. At Windham Town Hall, January 18, 9 – 11 am, Maine Farmland Trust or GrowSmart Maine members $15, non-members $25.
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News Items
St. Joseph’s College Ends Deal With Company To Build Greenhouse
Maine Public - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by Cate Street Capital have ended a $750,000 agreement to build a greenhouse as part of the college’s new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation. Cate Street Capital was behind the failed bid to revive the Great Northern Paper Mill in East Millinocket in 2014, despite receiving millions in taxpayer dollars. Peter Nielsen, St. Joseph’s entrepreneur-in-residence, said, “What we had begun to explore in March of 2017 looked good at that point, but when we got to the end of the year, it just wasn’t making sense to anybody." Nielsen says St. Joseph’s is working with many other partners and will still move forward with the plan.
Dental student extracts 10-pound landlocked salmon from Maine lake
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Some of us dream of catching a five-pound brook trout before we die. Others avid anglers want to hook onto a lake trout that’ll barely fit through the hole we drill in the ice. On Jan. 11, Chris Parent ended up with a fish story like that, and he doubts he’ll ever catch a landlocked salmon to top the one he landed, which measured 30 inches long and weighed 10.2 pounds.
Maine college cancels deal with failed paper mill redeveloper
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

St. Joseph’s College and a company backed by private equity firm Cate Street Capital have called off a partnership to develop a greenhouse on the college’s Standish campus, which was tied to a $750,000 donation to the college. The greenhouse is a major feature of St. Joseph’s plans for its new Institute for Local Food Systems Innovation, a college effort to help New England food producers grow crops locally that the region typically has to import. The private equity firm’s failed 2011 restart of the Great Northern Paper mill in East Millinocket left behind a trail of debt that the attorney overseeing the mill’s bankruptcy attributed in part to mismanagement.
Group Acquires Parcel Key To Maine Dam Removal Project
Associated Press - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

A conservation group has acquired about seven acres in Down East Maine as part of a dam removal project. The Downeast Salmon Federation says it has taken ownership of the parcel in Sullivan that surrounds the head of tide of Smelt Brook, which has been blocked by a stone dam for more than 50 years. The group says the acquisition is part of a "multi-faceted land conservation and habitat restoration project'' designed to reconnect Smelt Brook to Smelt Cove. The restoration is expected to help create habitat for fish such as brook trout and rainbow smelt. The group says by removing the dam it can support recent work to improve fish passage in the area. The project also seeks to provide an outdoor classroom for a high school.
Canada’s oil-sands region now facing 340 billion gallons of toxic sludge
Bloomberg News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Amid the bogs and forests of northern Alberta, the heart of the Canadian oil patch, lie some of the largest waste dumps of the global energy business. In the shadow of the pipes and smokestacks that turn oil sands into flowing crude, earthen dams as long as 11 miles encircle lakes of toxic sludge, the byproduct of decades of extraction. These waste pools, known as tailings ponds, represent perhaps the most serious environmental challenge facing the oil-sands industry. Now, the battle over how quickly to clean them up – and fears about who will pay – are escalating anew. Critics say the industry could end up sticking taxpayers with the estimated $22 billion bill.
Katahdin Woods And Waters National Monument Officials To Discuss Winter Use
National Parks Traveler - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

With winter swirling all about the Northeast, the folks at Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in Maine are planning to host a public meeting on winter use in the monument. The meeting, set for January 24, is designed to help the National Park Service better understand the diversity of opportunities and concerns related to winter activities and to help inform the development of a management plan for the national monument.
MCHT’s Largest Preserve: Rocky Lake
Maine Coast Heritage Trust - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

Thanks to generous donors, 2,352 acres of dense forest and over six miles of shoreline have been permanently protected in Maine Coast Heritage Trust’s largest preserve. Situated between Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge and the Cutler Coast Public Reserved Land, protection of this land creates a wildlife corridor for animals like fisher, bobcat, moose, and black bear. It is also a critical piece of a larger MCHT Initiative to restore the Orange River watershed and rejuvenate once-abundant river herring populations—an important first step toward bringing ground fishing and jobs back to the area.
The Damage Done by Trump’s Department of the Interior
Other - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The New Yorker - Under Ryan Zinke, the Secretary of the Interior, it’s a sell-off from sea to shining sea. Zinke is, in many ways, a typical Trump appointee. A lack of interest in the public interest is, these days, pretty much a precondition for running a federal agency. In the decades to come, one can hope that many of the Trump Administration’s mistakes—on tax policy, say, or trade—will be rectified. But the destruction of the country’s last unspoiled places is a loss that can never be reversed.
Maine opposing push to require all lobstermen to report catch data
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

The state’s top fisheries official says Maine lobstermen should not be subjected to stricter requirements for reporting their catch to federal regulators. Patrick Keliher, commissioner of Maine Department of Marine Resources, also said he is confident he can convince the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission to drop the idea. The commission is accepting public comment on the proposal until 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 22.
China disrupts ecomaine and other recyclers with ‘foreign garbage’ ban
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

China has prompted “a crisis in the recycling world” with its decision to no longer accept what its regulators call “foreign garbage” such as paper contaminated with pizza grease. The action by China, long known for its willingness to import and repurpose recyclables from the United States and elsewhere, is being felt in Maine and around the nation. “They put the hammer down,” said Kevin Roche, chief executive officer of ecomaine, the nonprofit that handles recyclables for about a third of Maine’s population.
Letter: No oil drilling off Maine coast
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 16, 2018 

I was encouraged to see that both Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have come out against President Donald Trump’s proposal to open Maine’s coastline to offshore oil and gas drilling. Gov. Rick Scott has already had the entire coastline of Florida taken off the list, so we know it can be done. I can see Republicans taking Maine off the list when the House of Representatives passes the legislation to stabilize health insurance markets that Collins was promised for her yes vote on that same tax reform bill. ~ Warner Vaughan, St. George
Maine Conservation Corps Gives Away Winter Wear at Augusta Warming Center
WABI-TV5 - Monday, January 15, 2018 

As part of the national Martin Luther King Jr. Day of service, the Maine Conservation Corps teamed up with the Augusta Community Warming Center on Monday to hand out winter wear to folks in need.
D-Day Approaches for Northern Pass
Other - Monday, January 15, 2018 

Next week Massachusetts’ three major electric distributors and the Department of Environmental Resources will announce which proposals to produce 10 terawatt hours of clean renewable energy over the next 20 years will be selected to negotiate long-term contracts. The 46 proposals present a buffet of options for energy officials and are expected to help meet Massachusetts’s clean energy goals. A majority of the proposals would use wind power. The wind and solar power in many plans would be supplemented by large hydro when wind and solar are not available. After the selection committee makes its recommendations, the projects have until March 27 to negotiate long-term contracts before they are presented to the Massachusetts DPU in April.
Freeport to talk goals, fighting climate change
Times Record - Monday, January 15, 2018 

The Freeport Town Council will meet Tuesday evening to consider a recommendation by the Freeport Sustainability Advisory Committee to endorse a the “Climate Mayors Statement to adopt the Paris Climate Agreement.”
Editorial: Lawmakers have one more chance to fix nonsensical solar rules
Bangor Daily News - Monday, January 15, 2018 

In 2016, the Legislature passed a bipartisan bill to update the state’s rules around solar power generation. LePage vetoed that legislation. When it came time for the override vote, many House Republicans reversed their earlier support for the legislation and voted to uphold LePage’s veto. In his veto message, LePage repeated untrue accusations. Lawmakers have one more chance to fix this by passing LD 1686 before the PUC begins assessing the new costs on Maine electricity customers.
Cumberland veterinarian plugs into solar power
Forecaster - Monday, January 15, 2018 

Veterinarian Tom Netland hopes that from this spring forward, his power bill will be about zero, along with his business’ impact on the environment. Netland and his wife, Lauren, recently installed 160 solar panels behind their Cumberland Animal Clinic. The array of 10 ground mounts has been up and running nearly a month, and is expected to produce 66,000-kilowatt hours of energy over the course of a year. The return on the investment could be three to eight years, thanks also to a tax rebate incentive. Since the life of the array is supposed to be 30 years, Netland said, “from eight to 30 it’s all gravy.”
When deer yards disappear so do the deer
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, January 15, 2018 

In the Maine Sunday Telegram on December 24, Bob Humphrey’s column on deer wintering areas was a good one, thoughtful and provocative. With Bob’s permission, I am sharing his column with you today.
Deep freeze may reduce some insect populations in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 15, 2018 

People who know bugs and trees say there could be an upside to the sustained freezing temperatures that have challenged Mainers for more than a month, besides providing ideal conditions for ice fishing and pond hockey. The daunting cold could tamp down insect populations that threaten backyard landscapes and woodlands across Maine, according to entomologists and tree experts. The devastating winter moth and hemlock woolly adelgid – and possibly the brown-tail moth and spruce budworm – may be especially susceptible to subzero temperatures.
Opinion: Maine will win when New England Clean Energy Connect comes online
Portland Press Herald - Monday, January 15, 2018 

Today, we are on the threshold of an exceptional contribution to Maine’s and the region’s well-being. It is known as Central Maine Power’s new England Clean Energy Connect, a well-designed and cost-effective path to New England’s clean-energy future. Over the course of some years, CMP has assembled a strategic transmission corridor from the Canadian border down to Lewiston, the major energy hub for our state and our gateway to the New England electric grid. CMP’s proposed corridor would be a resource from which all of Maine may benefit, as it provides a steady supply of clean, reliable hydropower from Quebec to all New England. ~ Richard Anderson and Richard Barringer are both former Maine conservation commissioners and residents of Portland
Letter: Wind, solar, biofuel should power Maine
Forecaster - Monday, January 15, 2018 

I’m worried for Portland and all the cities that are going to be threatened by rising waters as a result of climate change. In order to reduce carbon emissions and reverse climate change, Maine should use a combination of three energy sources: wind, solar, and biofuels. Wind power creates jobs, is renewable and affordable. In the short term it is really expensive, but in the long run it will be worth the expense. Solar energy is another renewable energy source that will move Maine into the future. Biofuels are one more source that Maine could use to take into the carbon neutral future. By using these three energy sources, Maine could be carbon neutral. ~ James Cagney V, Portland
Letter: Oppose Trump's plan for offshore drilling
Forecaster - Monday, January 15, 2018 

At a time when we need to be moving away from fossil fuels, the Trump administration’s new offshore drilling plan would open up Maine’s coast to drilling by oil and gas companies. From the fishing industry, with lobsters and other marine life, to recreational activities like sailing and whale-watching, our ocean supports some of the best parts of life in Maine. It makes no sense to be opening our coasts to drilling when we can meet our energy needs through greater efficiency and tapping into our renewable energy potential. I invite Mainers to join me in opposing the Trump administration’s drilling plan Jan. 22 at the Augusta Civic Center from 3-7 pm. ~ Jacqueline Guyol, Environment Maine, Portland
Tour Series to Focus on Woodland Stewardship
Associated Press - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Officials in Maine are leading tours around the state to give the public a look at examples of woodland stewardship and conservation by private landowners. The Knox-Lincoln Soil & Water Conservation District and Maine Forest Service are co-sponsoring the tours, which are open to landowners, loggers, foresters and other people interested in care of small woodlands.
Cod catch at all-time low, but rebound could be near
Associated Press - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Atlantic cod were once the backbone of New England’s commercial fishing fleet, but catch has plummeted in the wake of overfishing and environmental changes. The 2016 catch, which is the most recent to be fully tabulated, was the lowest in recorded history, according to statistics from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. But NOAA officials said there are some positive signs for the cod stock, and quotas are set to increase slightly this spring after years of heavy cutbacks.
Opinion: Climate change is burning a hole in our pocketbooks
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

As we continue to notice the compounding decay in climate stability around the world, Mainers have largely avoided the catastrophic effects of climate change. But we are already beginning to notice the toll it has taken on our economy and on our own wallets. It is imperative that we remember the cost associated with consumptive lifestyles, but it is equally important that we harness our unique position as members of a free society. We have the privilege of standing up to certain pollutive agendas that, while intended to boost economic growth, inevitably damage infrastructure, contribute to disease, and drain our bank accounts. ~ J. William Somes is studying economics and political science at UMaine
Celebrated poster unveiled for 2018 Common Ground Country Fair
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 14, 2018 

Two adorable kunekune pigs grace the poster for the 2018 Common Ground Country Fair, which was unveiled last week by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association. The artwork on the poster, created by Arika von Edler of San Francisco, was selected by the MOFGA board of directors and fair’s steering committee, will advertise the 42nd annual Common Ground Country Fair, to be held Sept. 21-23, in Unity.
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