April 24, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Tuesday, April 24, 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
Clean Power Plan Comment Deadline, Apr 26
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

The Clean Power Plan, a groundbreaking rule that would limit pollution from dirty fossil fuel-fired power plants, is on the chopping block under EPA Administrator and polluter ally Scott Pruitt. Comment deadline: April 26. ~ Conservation Law Foundation
Endangered Species are under attack
Action Alert - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Urge your legislators to oppose dangerous riders in the federal Farm Bill that undermine Endangered Species Act protections. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Portland Trails Annual Meeting & 15x15, May 1
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Portland Trails annual meeting is a night of the best ideas in trails, transportation, conservation, and placemaking from members of our community. Presenters get 15 slides, and 15 seconds per slide, to share the story of their idea or innovation. At Space Gallery, Portland, May 1, 5:30 pm.
Trees, Trails, and Vernal Pools, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

Arborist Doug Johnson will show how to identify trees in early spring, and Board member Roger Rittmaster will discuss the importance of vernal pools to the ecology of our forests. At Sagamore Farm, Camden, April 28, 10 am - 12 pm. Sponsored by Coastal Mountains Land Trust.
Stanton Bird Club Field Trips
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

See the schedule of field trips sponsored by the Stanton Bird Club of Lewiston.
Basic Map and Compass Navigation, Apr 28
Event - Posted - Saturday, April 21, 2018 

Damariscotta River Association will offer a workshop on basic map and compass navigation and skills for “staying found,” as opposed to getting lost. Preregister, $25, DRA members $20.
Stream Smart workshop, Apr 27
Event - Posted - Friday, April 20, 2018 

Stream Smart workshop offered for professionals who are responsible for road-stream crossings. At UMaine Hutchinson Center, Belfast, April 27, 8:30 am - 12:30 pm.
Lake Lover's Raffle
Announcement - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Many prizes including a North Woods Dream Package. Benefits Maine Lakes Society.
Restoring Endangered Seabirds, Apr 26
Event - Posted - Thursday, April 19, 2018 

Susie Meadows, manager of Project Puffin Visitor Center, will talk about restoring endangered seabirds. At Maine Coastal Islands NWR Visitor Center, Rockland, April 26, 2 pm.
Climate Brews, Apr 25
Event - Posted - Wednesday, April 18, 2018 

A monthly get-together to discuss state and national environmental issues. At Cushnoc Brewing, Augusta, April 23, 5 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Bringing Nature Home, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Eric Topper will introduce what individuals and groups can do, including what plants to choose and how to manage our gardens for their full ecological function and to benefit birds. At Curtis Library, Brunswick, April 24, 7 pm. Merrymeeting Audubon annual meeting.
Adventures in Northern Quebec, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Registered Maine Guide Polly Mahoney will talk about her adventures canoeing in northern Quebec. At Alumni Auditorium, Gould Academy, Bethel, April 24, 7 pm.
Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

Sherri Mitchell, indigenous rights attorney, teacher and spiritual activist, will speak at Lincoln Theatre, Damariscotta, April 24, 7 pm.
Preparing for Sea Level Rise, Apr 24
Event - Posted - Tuesday, April 17, 2018 

90-minute multimedia interactive learning experience that explores the potential impact of sea level rise. At Gulf of Maine Research Institute, Portland, April 24, 6:30 pm.
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News Items
Letter: Trash dilemma
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, April 25, 2018 

As someone who has had to think about trash for more than 40 years, I was appalled to read that tons of garbage from area towns will be landfilled, possibly for the next 12 to 18 months. Why were no contingency plans made on the assumption that Fiberight may not open on schedule? Why is the Municipal Review Committee not suing Fiberight for breach of contract, for failing to open on time? Did no one consider that winter weather might cause delays? When I cautioned Hampden town officials about this project, I feared it was too good to be true. We were sold a bill of goods, and now the worst case scenario — landfilling tons of garbage — will be occurring. ~ Kathy W. Walker, Hampden
Ticks & Lyme: What is the outlook for vector-borne disease this year?
Maine Public - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Maine Calling guests: Rob Smith, Director & Co-Founder of the Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory as well as Director of the Division of Infectious Disease at Maine Medical Center; Chuck Lubelczyk, Field Biologist with the Vector-Borne Disease Laboratory at Maine Medical Center.
Companies Can Stave off Forest Tipping Points
Other - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Conservation Finance Network - What started as a dinner-party conversation between Apple leaders has turned into a forest-management investment initiative in the United States and China that goes beyond existing responsible sourcing practices. Apple started with a donation of 32,400 acres of conservation easements in Maine and over 3,600 acres in North Carolina. Moving past this goal involved looking into where the sourcing originates and seeing how these decisions could improve forest management.
State Reports Nearly 100 Wildfires and Many Acres Burned
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

The Maine Forest Service says the number of wildfires in the state is approaching 100 and that more than 60 acres have burned so far this year.
Nimble deer dodges death, floats down Maine river on ice sheet
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

When the Allagash and St. John rivers finally begin moving after spending five months frozen over, it can be a spectator sport for local residents. On Monday, many of those residents got more than they bargained for as a young deer floated past on an ice floe. Video showed that the ice under the deer began to break apart, and the deer scrambled back toward more solid footing. The deer surfed its way downriver at least two miles before cheating death. [video]
Pruitt wades into a fraught science debate, declaring biomass burning ‘carbon neutral’
Washington Post - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

Scott Pruitt’s Environmental Protection Agency said Monday that the burning of biomass, such as trees, for energy in many cases will be considered “carbon neutral” by the agency. But the consideration of biomass as carbon neutral is contentious among scientists, who fear that forests, once cleared so that their wood can be used for energy, may not grow back as planned. “The big problem is you’re cutting old growth forests and expecting them to regrow,” said William Schlesinger, president emeritus of the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies and an EPA Science Advisory Board member. “That’s totally unrealistic in 20 years and not guaranteed over 100 years.”
A Sense of Wonder: Hog Island, Maine
Yankee Magazine - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

On a small island in Maine, explorers of all ages find a wide-open window into the natural world.
How to protect your dog from tick-borne diseases
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

As disease-ridden ticks become more numerous and widespread in Maine, many veterinarians are suggesting that dog owners invest in both a canine Lyme vaccine and some form of tick preventative treatment year round. In recent years, these anti-tick treatments have been refined and improved, offering dogs better protection against tick-borne infections that can cause serious complications and even death. Lyme disease, which can be transmitted to dogs through the bite of a black-legged tick (also known as a deer tick), is now a chief concern for pet owners in Maine.
Growing population will add to Gorham’s tax bill
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

The town, which added 1,000 residents between 2010 and 2016, could see a tax rate increase of 10.5 percent that is largely tied to the cost of serving new students and a decrease in state funding.
Deep current of record-breaking warm water causes concerns for the Gulf of Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

The deep current entering the gulf via the Northeast Channel – a deep passage between the Georges and Browns banks – normally consists of chillingly cold water originating off Labrador and Greenland, and contributes to Maine’s unusually productive ocean waters. But this month researchers recorded temperatures exceeding 57 degrees at depths of 150 to 450 feet – nearly 11 degrees above normal for this time of year and the highest seen in 15 years of surveys, prompting concerns about effects on marine life.
Letter: Squatters’ garbage ruins pleasant trail
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, April 24, 2018 

For years after it ceased to be the Oxbow Nature Reserve, the little wood behind the Lutheran Church on Cool Street in Waterville, used to offer a pleasant 20- or 30-minute walk where the dogs could even have a swim. Well, it isn’t a very pleasant spot now. Last summer the squatters moved in. Now the whole area is strewn with shopping carts, broken furniture, torn clothes and tents, and an entire summer’s worth of trash and garbage. Holes were dug in the paths for fire pits, branches were torn off trees and either burned or left where they fell. Why are these people allowed to move onto land that isn’t even theirs and so ruin it that nobody can ever again get any enjoyment from it? ~ John Wells, Oakland
More than 20 wildfires break out across Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 23, 2018 

More than 20 wildfires broke out across Maine on Monday, with some threatening homes and others causing damage to buildings. The Maine Forest Service had responded so far this year to more than 80 wildfires, which had burned close to 70 acres. History has proved that April and May tend to be the months when most wildfires occur.
LePage will allow highway signs for Katahdin monument
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 23, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage has lifted his ban of road signs along state roads showing the way to Maine’s national monument. LePage spokeswoman Julie Rabinowitz said the Maine Department of Transportation “is working with U.S. Department of Interior officials to expedite the production and installation of the KWWNM signs."
18 Months After Its Creation, National Monument In Northern Maine To Get Road Signs
Maine Public - Monday, April 23, 2018 

It has been 18 months since former President Barack Obama designated the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument in northern Maine — but there are still no road signs to direct interested visitors where to go or how to get there. Republican Gov. Paul LePage made headlines last year when he forbade the placement of signs pending the outcome of a review by the Interior Department. That review was completed months ago, and the signs are expected to be erected soon.
CEI wins $300,000 grant to study scallop farming
Associated Press - Monday, April 23, 2018 

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, a nonprofit corporation established by the 2014 Farm Bill, has awarded Hugh Cowperthwaite of Coastal Enterprises Inc. a $300,000 matching research grant to investigate the economic viability of a Japanese scallop production technique that has been shown to grow scallops faster and produce larger meat yields.
Scope of Koch influence on Trump climate and monuments policy under scrutiny
Think Progress - Monday, April 23, 2018 

Senate Democrats are probing the Koch brothers’ influence on a number of Trump administration policies at agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of the Interior. The move comes after a report circulated to members of a seminar last year linked to the conservative billionaire Koch family appeared to take credit for a number of policy decisions, including the rollback of the Clean Power Plan and efforts to scale back national monuments.
Farm bill forestry title potentially disastrous for national forests
Other - Monday, April 23, 2018 

U.S. House Republicans have been promoting highly controversial legislation called the “Resilient Federal Forests Act.” Many conservationists and others have strongly opposed the bill because it would undermine bedrock environmental laws and take away opportunities for public involvement.
Officials Setting Fires In White Mountain National Forest
Maine Public - Monday, April 23, 2018 

You might see smoke rising or trails blocked off in parts of the White Mountain National Forest over the next six weeks. The U.S. Forest Service will be setting as many as 20 fires across in an effort to keep the forest healthy. Fire management officer Patrick Johnson says the fires' locations depend on what the forest needs every year. He says the fires create natural clearings for wildlife to live in, and let in sunlight to help new trees grow.
Scarborough Marsh gets Earth Day TLC
Forecaster - Monday, April 23, 2018 

Volunteers pulled trash out of standing water at Scarborough Marsh on Sunday, April 22. The 25th Earth Day clean-up was sponsored by Maine Audubon, Friends of Scarborough Marsh, Maine Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the town of Scarborough.
Maine Towns Allowed To Ban Sex Offenders From Parks, Fields
Associated Press - Monday, April 23, 2018 

Maine towns will be able to ban sex offenders from any state or municipal park, athletic field or recreational facility serving children. A new law allows municipalities to prohibit sex offenders from coming within 750 feet of such property.
Don’t let the blackflies kill you like they did this falcon
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 23, 2018 

As we eagerly await blackflies you may enjoy this story of a young falcon that was killed by blackflies in Minnesota. This Associated Press story was published in the Bangor Daily News on June 19, 1986. For some reason I kept this. Here it is. "Blackflies Kill Young Falcon"
Will a transmission line run through the wilds of Maine?
Boston Globe - Monday, April 23, 2018 

The broad, endless sky, curving over the vastness of the deep woods. Stillness broken only by the whooshing of white water and the squawks of wildlife. This is what drew Kevin Ross to the North Woods. “It’s pristine, untouched land — pure wilderness,” said Ross, a 32-year-old rafting guide. “It’s a place where you can say goodbye to civilization for a while.” But the grid finds even the most secluded places, it seems. Central Maine Power wants to run a new transmission line through more than 50 miles of the North Woods, the largest undeveloped forest east of the Mississippi River, to deliver Canadian hydropower to Massachusetts.
Developer to unveil updated plan for Saco Island
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 23, 2018 

A developer, Bernie Saulnier, Tuesday will unveil updated plans for The Waters, an ambitious $40 million mixed-use development on Saco Island. The Island – also known as Factory Island – sits in the Saco River between the downtowns of Biddeford and Saco. It links both cities’ historic mill districts, where developers in the last decade have transformed former textile factories into housing and commercial and light industrial spaces. Renderings of the development released ahead of the meeting also show a walking path along the river.
Dexter council looks to open seven streets to ATVs
Piscataquis Observer - Monday, April 23, 2018 

In an effort to help town businesses and bring in more visitors, the Dexter Town Council is considering a proposed ordinance that would open seven town streets to ATVs.
Great Maine Bike Swap draws 2,000 people
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, April 22, 2018 

A crowd estimated at 2,000 people showed up Sunday morning at the Sullivan Recreation and Fitness complex, located on the Portland campus of the University of Southern Maine, for the annual Great Maine Bike Swap. The event, organized by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine, offered a convenient venue for bikers to buy and sell quality used bicycles.
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