December 15, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Wednesday, December 13, 2017 

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
Maine Energy Planning Roadmap hearings, Dec 19, Dec 29, Jan 10
Event - Posted - Tuesday, December 12, 2017 

The Governor’s Energy Office is asking Mainers for input in developing an Energy Planning Roadmap. Public hearings:
• Dec. 19: University of Southern Maine, Portland
• Dec. 29: Energy, Utilities, & Technology Committee, Augusta
• Jan. 10: University of Maine, Presque Isle
Help wanted: Visitor Center Assistant
Announcement - Monday, December 11, 2017 

Seasonal position, May 1 - October 31, 2018, representing Audubon’s Seabird Restoration Program at the Project Puffin Visitor Center in Rockland.
Free Skiing & Learn-to-Ski Clinics, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Waterville Parks & Rec, with support from Friends of Quarry Road, will provide free trail passes, free rentals, and free learn-to-ski clinics at Quarry Road Trails, December 16.
Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond Preserve Hike, Dec 16
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 9, 2017 

Cloe Chunn will lead a hike of Meadow Brook/Hurds Pond, a preserve of Coastal Mountains Land Trust. Meet at Swanville Transfer Station, December 16, 10 am. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Tax bill would slam the brakes on solar and wind energy
Action Alert - Friday, December 8, 2017 

The tax bill passed by the Senate last Friday includes an obscure provision that could pull the rug out from under solar and wind power. The House version also takes aim at renewable energy by rolling back key tax credits. These provisions "would have a devastating ... impact on wind and solar energy," according to renewable energy industry leaders. ~ Environment Maine
Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Tim Hudson, Superintendent, will take you through the landscape of Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument with pictures. At Belfast Free Library, December 14, 6:30 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Whales of the Gulf of Maine: A Naturalist’s Report, Dec 14
Event - Posted - Thursday, December 7, 2017 

Zack Klyver, chief naturalist for the Bar Harbor Whale Watch Company and founder of Flukes whale watch ecotours, will present an engaging review of the 2017 whale watch season. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, December 14, 12 pm.
Olive oil tasting, Dec 13
Event - Posted - Wednesday, December 6, 2017 

FIORE Artisan Olive Oils & Vinegars will host an evening to support the Brunswick Topsham Land Trust at its tasting room in Brunswick, December 13, 5-7 pm.
The Arctic Needs Your Help
Action Alert - Tuesday, December 5, 2017 

Buried deep within the Senate tax bill is a provision to open the pristine Arctic Refuge, a national treasure, to oil and gas drilling, which will cause widespread pollution and harm to the wildlife and people who call this place home. Express your disappointment to Senator Susan Collins and urge her to protect our natural legacy by working to remove this damaging language before the tax bill becomes law. ~ Maine Conservation Voters
Birds from the Footbridge in Belfast, Dec 9
Event - Posted - Saturday, December 2, 2017 

Join Ron Harrell and Gary Gulezian to watch ducks, loons and other birds in the harbor. At the Belfast Footbridge, December 9, 8-10 am. Organized by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Win $1,000 L.L.Bean shopping spree and an outing with David Sibley
Announcement - Friday, December 1, 2017 

Wildlife Acoustics, makers of the Song Sleuth bird identifying app, launched the Sibley Sweepstakes on December 1. Ends March 1. No purchase necessary to enter.
Baxter State Park sign auction, ends Dec 6
Announcement - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Auction of retired Baxter State Park signs, plus the historic dinner bell from Kidney Pond Camps. Friends Baxter State Park will donate half the proceeds to Baxter State Park, and half will support FBSP programs. Ends December 6.
Blazing Ahead: the Rivalry that Built the Appalachian Trail, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Jeffrey Ryan tells the story of the unlikely creation of the Appalachian Trail. At Bangor Public Library, December 7, 6 pm. Sponsored by Appalachian Mountain Club Maine Chapter.
Celebrate CREA and the Season, Dec 7
Event - Posted - Thursday, November 30, 2017 

Meet new Executive Director Wendy Van Damme, hear about new programs and plans, and contemplate the joy of winter activity at the Cathance River Education Alliance’s 235 acre nature preserve in Topsham. At Frontier Cafe, Brunswick, December 7, 4:30 to 6:30 pm, RSVP.
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News Items
Raffle to support Maine Envirothon for high school students
Morning Sentinel - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The Somerset County Soil and Water Conservation District is hosting the Maine Envirothon raffle for a chance to win cash prizes. All proceeds from the raffle support the Maine Envirothon, a natural resource-based educational program benefitting high school students throughout the state.
Lawyers spar over where Lac-Megantic wrongful death claims should be decided
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

A federal judge heard arguments Friday in a case that centers on whether Maine or Illinois should be the place of jurisdiction for wrongful death claims associated with the July 2013 derailment and explosion of a Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway train in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Robert Keach, the trustee overseeing MMA during its bankruptcy proceedings, on Sept. 13 filed a motion to transfer those cases to the federal district court in Maine so as to consolidate the legal proceedings associated with MMA’s bankruptcy. Daniel Cohn, a lawyer representing the victims’ families believes keeping the cases in Illinois gives his clients a better shot at receiving damages in a timely manner.
Mining for Tar Sands Oil: A Photographer's View
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Supporters of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline got a boost today when a long-awaited review by the U.S. State Department found the project would have no significant effect on climate change. Tonight in Portland, two people who know first-hand what tar sands production looks like and how it's mined in Alberta, Canada are speaking at the University of Southern Maine. Garth Lenz is a Canadian photographer, whose work has been featured in Time Magazine, the New York Times and the Christian Science Monitor. And Eriel Deranger is a member of the indigenous Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation in North Alberta, who will be talking about the effect tar sands is having on her community.
Maine's Oakhurst Dairy Sold to Kansas Farmer Co-op
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Friday, January 31, 2014 

After nearly a century in business, Maine's biggest family-owned milk company has been sold to a national cooperative. Today, Oakhurst Dairy was acquired for an undisclosed price by Dairy Farmers of America. Both entities say nothing will change. And so far, reaction from dairy farmers has been cautiously optimistic.
Report: Keystone pipeline will not affect Canada oil sands growth
Reuters - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The proposed Keystone XL oil pipeline is unlikely to increase the pace of Canadian oil sands development, a State Department study said on Friday, raising pressure on President Barack Obama to approve a project environmentalists see as a major climate change problem. The massive 11-volume environmental impact study released on Friday did not recommend whether President Obama should grant or deny an application by TransCanada Corp. to build the $5.4 billion line, which would transport crude from Alberta’s oil sands to U.S. refineries. But a State Department official who briefed reporters ahead of the report’s release said that blocking Keystone — or any pipeline — would do little to slow the expansion of Canada’s vast oil patch.
Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway lawsuit blames owner of crude oil for Lac-Megantic disaster
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The trustee overseeing the bankrupt Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway has sued the companies that owned and arranged for the transportation of the crude oil that MMA was carrying at the time of the deadly July train derailment in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. Robert Keach, a bankruptcy attorney serving as MMA’s trustee during its Chapter 11 proceedings, argues in the lawsuit, which he filed in U.S. Bankruptcy Court on Thursday, that if it were not for the “negligence” of World Fuel Services Inc., which owned the oil, and Western Petroleum Co., which leased the tank cars and arranged for the oil’s transportation, the derailment and explosion on July 6 that killed 47 people and destroyed a significant portion of downtown Lac-Megantic could have been avoided.
Train carrying fuel oil derails, spills in Mississippi
Reuters - Friday, January 31, 2014 

A Canadian National Railway Co. train carrying fuel oil and other hazardous materials derailed and was leaking in southeast Mississippi on Friday morning, forcing the evacuation of nearby residents, officials said. No one was injured in the incident which involved the derailment of 18 railcars, some of which were carrying methanol, a Canadian National Railway spokesman said.
Keystone XL oil pipeline clears major hurdle
Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline cleared a major hurdle toward approval Friday, a serious blow to environmentalists' hopes that President Barack Obama will block the controversial project running more than 1,000 miles from Canada through the heart of the U.S. The State Department reported no major environmental objections to the proposed $7 billion pipeline, which has become a symbol of the political debate over climate change.
Maine rail bankruptcy likely to spawn more lawsuits
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The friendly phase of the Montreal, Maine & Atlantic Railway bankruptcy is over. Lawyers at a hearing Friday arguing whether to consolidate 20 related wrongful-death cases and move them to Maine said it is likely that various companies involved in the massive Chapter 11 reorganization case will begin filing lawsuits against each other. Their goal will be to divert blame away from themselves for a July 6 derailment and explosion of a train loaded with crude oil that killed 47 people, injured countless others and destroyed 40 buildings in the heart of Lac-Megantic, Quebec.
Blog: When it comes to it, what Maine really cares about is the moose
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Google “Maine population concerns” and you won’t get economists’ worries that Maine people getting older will impact our economy.… at the top of the results, anyway. ~ Pattie Reaves
Quebec train victim settlement expected to be ‘nine-figures’
Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The trustee for a bankrupt railroad said Friday that he anticipates victims of a fiery derailment that killed 47 people in Quebec could eventually share in a "nine-figure" settlement fund. Robert Keach outlined his vision for how victims will ultimately be compensated Friday as attorneys clashed over whether lawsuits filed in Illinois should be moved to federal court in Maine, where Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railways filed for bankruptcy following July 6 disaster in Lac Megantic, 10 miles north of the Maine border.
After 92 years as a family business, Oakhurst Dairy to be acquired by national cooperative
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

On Friday, Oakhurst Dairy announced it had been acquired by Dairy Farmers of America, a national farmer-owned cooperative based in Kansas City, Mo. The sale to DFA, which represents 13,000 farmers around the country, is the end of a 92-year independent streak for Oakhurst. Bill Bennett, chairman of Oakhurst’s board and a third-generation member of the Bennett family to manage the business, said that the deal would not have any effect on Oakhurst’s 210 or so employees, its management team or the 70 independent Maine farmers who supply Oakhurst with their milk.
U.S. Senators launch a new Climate Action Task Force
Other - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Senator Angus King and colleagues have started a new Senate Climate Action Task Force to "Wake Up Congress" and address climate change.
Maine’s Oakhurst Dairy sold to farmer cooperative
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 31, 2014 

One of northern New England’s best-known dairies was sold today for an undisclosed price to a national dairy farmer-owned cooperative. Executives from the family-owned Oakhurst Dairy of Portland announced the company has been acquired by Dairy Farmers of America, a national cooperative owned by more than 8,000 farms in 48 states. Company officials said they will continue to source milk from the 70 independent Maine farmers that currently supply Oakhurst Dairy. Milk products will still be processed and bottled in Portland at the Forest Avenue plant.
Law to allow lodges to buy some moose permits: Boon or boondoggle?
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

An effort to jump-start the economy in parts of rural Maine led to legislative passage of a bill that would allow hunting and fishing lodges to purchase a limited number of moose permits, which they could then sell to interested sports at a premium. But along the way, the bill morphed into something its proponents didn’t expect. When it was finally passed, LD 738 defined “hunting outfitter” as “a person who operates an eating and lodging place…and who provides package deals that include food, lodging and the services of a guide.” And that, some say, means that any lodging establishment — even one far from the rural districts where moose hunting takes place — could scoop up permits and hire any guide they would like.
Old Orchard Beach will expand local hiking trail system
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The town of Old Orchard Beach will develop two town-owned areas as community managed forests using a grant from the state’s community forestry program. The $8,000 grant from Project Canopy, the state’s community forestry program, will allow the town’s Conservation Commission to expand a local trail system and extend access to natural recreation areas. Both properties have easy access to the Eastern Trail and will offer off-street parking.
Low Pay and High Energy Costs at Center of Struggle for Maine Residents
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

According to a report released by the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED), the 2014 Assets and Opportunity Scorecard for Maine shows that although Maine scores better than other states in policies and outcomes, there are areas in which the state scored poorly. Rising energy costs are increasing the financial burden on families.
Spending a whole paycheck on organics? Turns out conventional produce is perfectly healthy
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Slate - It is not about whether organic agriculture is worth supporting for its environmental benefits (it is) or whether we as a society should care about the chemicals found in our foods and household products (we should). This is about whether it’s worth buying organic produce for your kids specifically because you think the pesticides on conventional produce could harm them. We should stop worrying so much about whether the apples we buy are organic or conventional — we should just start giving our kids more apples. (And, sure, wash them when you can.)
New York considering allowing baiting, trapping, hounding bears
John Holyoke Out There Blog - Friday, January 31, 2014 

While we in Maine are considering banning the use of bait, traps and hounds by bear hunters, a draft of the black bear management plan from New York State shows biologists there are proposing that they study the potential benefits of allowing one or more of the methods. Some have taken to warning those who would vote to ban the three bear-hunting methods in Maine that doing so will lead to some pretty gruesome stuff. The more alarmist have suggested that bears will attack people, eat their babies and terrorize us all. That’s just hyperbole, and has no place in the upcoming debate.
Maine seafood company set for ‘exponential’ growth as Silicon Valley investor buys in
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Darrell Pardy and his business partner, Ray Swenton, have already grown their company, Bristol Seafood Inc., into one of the largest seafood processors in Maine. From its facility on Portland’s waterfront, the company employs 75 people and does $40 million a year in business. Pardy thinks they could at least double that in the next several years and become an international player in the seafood market. It’s doable, Pardy says, but requires additional capital, as well as some top-shelf business expertise. Pardy and Swenton have signed a deal with a new equity investor from Silicon Valley, David Roux, who brings both to the company.
Maine, N.H., Vt. snowmobile weekend begins today
Associated Press - Friday, January 31, 2014 

Snowmobilers in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are taking part in a three-day weekend when riders registered in any one of those states can explore the trails of the other two states for free. All other host state regulations apply.
Opinion: They don’t have to be extreme mountaineers, but rescue volunteers must recognize every minute counts
Bangor Daily News - Friday, January 31, 2014 

We see stories of lost people in the news from time to time: potentially injured hikers disappearing from the trail, lost hunters, frightening cases of missing people who may be the victims of crimes, or the very old and the very young wandering away from home. We also read about the efforts to locate those folks, and we might ask, “Who is searching? Should I go out and help?” When local authorities get the call that somebody is missing, they contact the game wardens, and the effort expands from there. ~ Eva Murray, Matinicus
Letter: Tar sands ban reflects public opinion
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 31, 2014 

The letter “Moratorium on tar sands oil ignores voters’ decision” (Jan. 23) misrepresents many key facts about events in South Portland. In 300 words, I can correct only three. First, the Nov. 5 vote was on a specific ordinance change, not tar sands in general. Second, South Portland’s history is not “built largely on oil.” Trans-shipment of bulk crude oil arrived only within living memory in 1941, after 311 years of prior settlement. Third, tar-sands so-called “oil” is not oil, but bitumen/tar, a gooey substance that sinks in water. ~ Bob Whyte, South Portland
Letter: Governors’ natural gas push not the best energy solution
Portland Press Herald - Friday, January 31, 2014 

What bringing in natural gas would cost could build thousands of new ZeroEnergy homes. Building Maine homes would employ carpenters, electricians, plumbers and the rest of the devastated construction trades. Lumber yards, forest products and home furnishing stores, all Maine small businesses, would prosper. No new energy needed. Instead, we will get some flagger jobs on the torn-up roads, with out-of-state companies sucking the money away. This is so we can switch to natural gas — the “methadone” for oil addiction. ~ Tom Fullam, Vassalboro
Letter: Climate change should be part of investment strategy
Kennebec Journal - Friday, January 31, 2014 

On Jan. 15, more than 500 global financial leaders gathered at the United Nations for an Investor Summit on Climate Risk to discuss the growing urgency of climate change and highlight investor actions that are needed to mitigate escalating economic risks. Christiana Figueres of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change made it clear that the less action there is on climate change policy the greater the financial risk to investment portfolios. The Maine Legislature’s Committee on Appropriations has called for the creation of a task force to study the environmental and societal factors that MainePERS should make when choosing investments. The risk of climate change must be one of those environmental and societal factors. ~ Read Brugger, Team 350 Maine, Freedom
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