December 17, 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
From winter festival to summer camping, Schoodic offers lots to do
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Schoodic Peninsula has long been the quieter side of Acadia National Park, across Frenchman Bay and a world away from the summer hubbub of Bar Harbor. But increasingly, the only section of the park on the mainland is becoming a four-season draw for educators, students, citizen scientists, researchers, birders, families with young children, artists and others.
Who Are the Mainers?
Mark W. Anderson's Stirring the Pot Blog - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

For me there are some unscientific answers to the question of what makes one a Mainer, that is, someone who wants to stay. Mainers are happy to share the beauties of the state with visitors (particularly if they drop a little cash when they are here) and we are equally happy when they go home. Mainers are skeptical of both natives and those from away with big plans to “develop” our state. We thought a bid for the winter Olympics in the 1970s was a poor idea and we doubt an East/West highway today will help very many people. We do get fooled from time to time (think urban renewal in Bangor, sugar beets in Aroostook, or the New Market Capital Investment Program), but we tend to learn from these mistakes.
Harmony mill does wool-gathering the old-fashioned way
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

A 150-foot-long spinning mule races back and forth on steel wheels and thin rails like a small railroad train at Bartlettyarns woolen mill in Harmony. Built in 1948, the mule is spinning 240 bobbins of wool into yarn and it’s the last of its kind in the United States, said Lindsey Rice, who with his wife, Susan, owns and operates the three-story woolen mill on the banks of Higgins Stream. Known for its wool yarn, wool roving, knitwear, weaving, rug yarns, supplies and gifts, Bartlettyarns this month was named one of eight recipients of state grants totaling $250,000. The Rices plan to use the grant money to upgrade their operation with a commercial wool baler.
Farm vendors share advice in Hallowell
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

The eighth annual Maine Farmers’ Market Convention on Sunday drew more than 100 farmers market participants from Madawaska to Kittery and up to the western mountains, said Leigh Hallett, executive director of the Maine Federation of Farmers’ Markets. Attendees at the daylong convention Sunday at Maple Hill Farm Inn and Conference Center chose from workshops offering advice on topics such as food safety guidelines, creative use of space at cramped market stalls and the challenges of pricing products for market.
Walk my woodlot with me – Chapter Two – Two days two bucks
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

We’re sitting behind a small ledge, and just over there to the left you can see a large grouping of boulders. Porcupines reside in the crevices under the boulders, and one year I found a dead coyote there. The coyote hadn’t been dead long, and I have no idea what killed it. You see so many amazing things while you’re hunting.
New rail link to Maine waterfront could revive port
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Freight trains are rolling through New England carrying the first-ever shipping containers loaded on the Portland waterfront. The new train service is the product of years of planning and millions in investment, with the goal of connecting this once-thriving port by rail with freight customers throughout North America. State officials see the rail link as key to reviving the port, which has fallen in past decades to a near-dormant state. The state has spent $29 million in state and federal money to modernize the terminal and expand it by about 1,500 feet to reach the end of the rail line, which previously had only carried bulk cargo, like rolls of paper, to and from the port. Skeptics question whether there will be enough demand to make the operations economical.
A look back at the history of Verso's Androscoggin Mill
Sun Journal - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

With the local community still reeling from the 300 jobs lost at Verso's Androscoggin Mill late last year, people are wondering how much longer the paper mill will survive. The mill is an institution in the community, providing good jobs for people in the region for more than 50 years.
Rumford mill evolves over years
Sun Journal - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

The original Oxford Paper Co. mill was completed in October 1901. Production began a month later and the first paper machine went into operation near the end of that year. At the time, it was considered one of the most modern mills in the country. In 1967, Oxford Paper Co. was sold to Ethyl Corp. In 1976, the mill was sold to Boise Cascade. Twenty years later, in 1996, the mill and accompanying woodlands were sold to the Mead Corp. And in January 2002, Westvaco merged with the Mead to form MeadWestvaco. In 2005, MeadWestvaco's Printing and Writing Paper business was sold to the investment firm of Cerberus Capital Management for about $2.3 billion to form NewPage Corp. In October 2014, Catalyst Paper Corp., based in Canada, announced the $74 million purchase agreement for the Rumford mill.
Chisholm's influence still seen in Rumford
Sun Journal - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

When you enter the lobby in the Rumford Town Hall, you'll likely notice a bust of Hugh Joseph Chisholm, whose influence in this region goes far beyond opening the Oxford Paper Co.’s Rumford mill in 1901. Born in Ontario, he started several pulp and paper companies in Western Maine, including Umbagog Pulp Co.; Otis Falls Pulp and Paper Co.; Rumford Falls Paper Co.; Somerset Fibre Co.; Oxford Paper Co.; Rumford Falls Sulfite Co.; Continental Bag Co. And with the Hon. William A. Russell, Chisholm co-founded International Paper Co. in 1898. Rumford Realty Co. was set up in 1901 by Chisholm to acquire the land needed for a large-scale housing project. Chisholm conceived of the idea of what is now called Strathglass Park, laid out in the shape of an oval, with 51 two-family brick dwellings in the center of Rumford. The company had constructed 186 dwelling units plus two large boarding homes by 1904.
Stockholm man dies in snowmobile crash
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

A 32-year-old Stockholm man died late Saturday night as the result of a snowmobile crash in New Sweden, according to the Maine Warden Service. John Anderson was traveling north on Interconnecting Trail System 83 on a Polaris 600 Fusion around 9 p.m. when the machine drifted to the left side of the trail and struck several trees. Speed appears to be a factor in the crash, which remains under investigation. Saturday’s snowmobile death was the second in less than a week. On Jan. 24, Robert Milhomme, 61, of Saint George died from head injuries he suffered in a crash that occurred on a plowed private way in South Thomaston. Milhomme was not wearing a helmet.
Editorial: There are more productive ways for Maine to spend $23 million
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Bonus depreciation should have been put to bed long ago. Instead, the business tax benefit is taking center stage in a debate over a proposal from Gov. Paul LePage’s administration to conform Maine’s state tax laws with the federal code. Businesses can claim a tax benefit as the value of business equipment. Bonus depreciation accelerates that schedule. The state would give up $23 million in revenue over the next two years to fund the tax breaks. There are a number of reasons lawmakers should reject this state-level bonus depreciation with a questionable funding source. Instead of bonus depreciation, Maine could find ways to spend $23 million that could produce a more meaningful return on investment.
Maine to begin taking campground reservations for 2016
Associated Press - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Maine’s state parks are ready to start accepting campground reservations. Reservations for Sebago Lake open on Monday and all other parks (except Baxter State Park) follow on Feb. 8. The reservation fee has been increased from $2 to $5 per night. Individual campsite fees vary based on the campground. More than 2.6 million people visited Maine state parks in 2015.
FBI negotiates with defiant Oregon refuge holdouts
Reuters - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

The FBI negotiated with four armed occupants at a remote federal wildlife refuge in Oregon on Saturday while the holdouts in a video posted online expressed their mistrust of the government and reluctance to leave. Supporters staged a rally in the nearby ranching community of Burns on Saturday night. About 30 pick-up trucks and other vehicles honked horns and waved U.S., Confederate and Gadsden flags. County Sheriff Dave Ward earlier this week said the protesters went too far in their armed occupation.
Feds expand critical whale habitat to include entire Gulf of Maine
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Over the past 35 years, the population of right whales in the North Atlantic Ocean has not expanded nearly as much as scientific understanding of the endangered species. In February, acting on data compiled in recent decades, federal regulators will greatly expand the marine mammals’ designated critical habitat areas off southern and northern portions of the East Coast in the hope the whales’ population numbers might follow suit. Only 500 or so right whales are estimated to exist in the North Atlantic.
Maine’s quality of life is great, but it’s not enough to retire here, this analysis says
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Maine’s a nice place to live, but that’s not necessarily a good enough reason to retire here, according to a new state ranking of the best places to live in your golden years. Wallethub crunched the numbers on a variety of factors it says makes for a good place to retire. The results don’t add up in Maine’s favor. The state ranked 30 out of all 50 states and Washington D.C., though it ranked relatively high in quality of life.
Kate Dempsey, new Nature Conservancy director, driven by desire to give back
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

This month, Kate Dempsey was named state director of The Nature Conservancy in Maine. She’s been with the international nonprofit’s Maine chapter for 12 years, most of it serving as the conservation group’s senior policy advisor for federal affairs. We called her up to talk about her new responsibilities and learned how Quaker school steered her life course, what it means to follow the legacy of Rachel Carson and why people talk about “doing a Penobscot” in China.
Fryeburg farm putting a value on potatoes
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Farmer Don Thibodeau grows potatoes on 725 of his 2,400 acres at Green Thumb Farms in Fryeburg, and adds value like nobody’s business. Through Maine Distilleries, which Thibodeau co-founded, he has a means of making use of his ugly potatoes. His prettiest potatoes are being used for value-added products like “Steamables,” a product available nationally via a network of eight family-owned farms called Fresh Solutions Networks, of which Thibodeau is an owner/director. Joining Fresh Solutions Network and selling under the Side Delights brand is not Thibodeau’s first deep dive into clever diversification. About 12 years ago, his musings about what to do with his imperfect potatoes led directly to Maine Distilleries Cold River Vodka, now sold in 18 states.
Leg Work: Homeowners want to be able to walk everywhere
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Families are seeking walkable neighborhoods when they scout out where to live. Houses in greater Portland advertised recently on included these enticements: “Steps to the Greenbelt walking trail” in South Portland. “Neighborhood access to Robinson Woods & Cape (Elizabeth) trail system.” “Within walking distance of the Mountain Division Trail” in Windham. “All lots abut open space with a nature trail” in Freeport.
Turn your food waste into a potluck party
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

A 2011 report by two University of Maine economics professors characterized the types of residential waste flooding the state’s landfills and incinerators. Roughly 22 percent of the material thrown out could have been recycled. Over 38 percent was organic matter (food) that could have been composted, leaving just 40 percent or so that was actual garbage. My mom used to hold a soup and bread open house in the middle of winter when it had been too long since anyone had seen anyone else walking around the neighborhood. I recently relocated the tradition from her home to mine by hosting my own Waste Not, Want Not potluck supper.
Week in review
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

Central Maine Power and Emera Maine announced the two companies have submitted a joint proposal to deliver enough clean energy to power at least a quarter-million homes in Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Once the primary supplier of glossy paper to the likes of Time magazine, Verso Paper Corp. filed for bankruptcy reorganization. Expera Specialty Solutions, sold the Old Town pulp mill to MFGR, the same four companies that bought and are dismantling the Lincoln Paper and Tissue mill.
Groups envision trail network linking three preserves in York County
Sun Journal - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

The Great Works Land Trust's Kimball Farm North Preserve in South Berwick was acquired three years ago. The trails here have yet to be finished, but the preserve has become the catalyst for a larger trail network that would join the two preserves next to it. Not a quarter-mile down the road sits the 175-acre Hilton-Winn Preserve owned by the York Land Trust. That could connect to Kimball Farm North Preserve using a trail of 3 to 4 miles extending from the road over the Ogunquit River. Between those preserves sits 48-acre Hilton-Winn Farm, where owner Nancy Breen runs the Youth Enrichment Program, an outdoor education center. Breen said the vision of a larger trail network excites her.
Column: Hare-raising advice for hunters
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

While most hunting seasons are over or rapidly drawing to a close, the real action for a few species is just heating up. One group is predators like foxes, coyotes and bobcats. Another, which lasts through the end of March, is snowshoe hares. When prepared right, these furry forest dwellers make for fine table fare. ~ Bob Humphrey
Column: A long list of long-lost ski areas
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

During the halcyon decades from the 1940s to the 1970s, there were 36 ski areas operating within 30 miles of the coast, there were another 20 in central Maine, and 25 others were introducing people to the sport in western and northern Maine. Some 80 of those areas have fallen into the dust bin of history. Despite the diminution of the number of areas and the fact that not a single new Alpine area has been launched in the state in more than 40 years, skiing today in Maine is a vibrant industry. Today there are 17 Alpine areas operating in Maine (18 if Saddleback reopens) and 18 Nordic centers. ~ John Christie
Opinion: One percent solar threshold too low to count as significant contribution
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, January 31, 2016 

While the 1% solar threshold apparently was reached in 2015, it was not 1% of the energy required throughout the state for the entire year. The threshold was exceeded at one particularly sunny point on one day in August. So, even under ideal solar-energy-producing conditions, solar was producing a hundredth of the power required by the grid at that moment. The idea that this represents a significant contribution to our energy production is ridiculous. Residents who take advantage of net metering do not pay nothing when they produce more power than they use in a month. If they’re hooked up to the grid, all Central Maine Power customers pay a monthly fee for electricity delivery of $11.51 for a residence. Therefore, CMP already recoups costs to maintain the grid, and arguing that residents who take advantage of net metering aren’t paying their fair share is disingenuous. ~ Derek Pelletier, Portland
Column: Busiest month of the year on deck for skiing
Sun Journal - Saturday, January 30, 2016 

When we hit the first of February, it’s hard to believe how much of the season is behind us. In terms of days, it’s a bunch. But in terms of top ski days, not only are the best ahead, but we can enjoy another two-and-a-half months. As we head into February, we have had day after day of temperatures near perfect for snowmaking and every trip to the slopes we see the guns going on arrival somewhere on the mountain. The month ahead is full of special events. The high school ski championships always take place during vacation week, and ski areas add plenty of other attractions to bring out skiers for a few extra days. The biggest event on the world stage will take place in Aroostook County when the Nordic Heritage Center in Presque Isle hosts a World Cup Biathlon. ~ Dave Irons
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