February 23, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, February 22, 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). 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 Grain Conference, Mar 1
Event - Posted - Friday, February 22, 2019 

At University of Maine at Presque Isle, March 1, 8:30 am-5 pm.
Acadia Teacher Fellows application deadline, Mar 1
Announcement - Friday, February 22, 2019 

The National Park Service is recruiting six Acadia Teacher Fellows to spend the summer learning about Acadia National Park’s diverse natural and cultural resources, and ways to protect them. Apply online by March 1.
Future Farmers Scholarship application deadline, Mar 1
Announcement - Friday, February 22, 2019 

Graduating seniors from Maine high schools who are National Future Farmers of America organization members interested in pursuing a career in farming, agriculture or natural resources are invited to apply for the Ronald P. Guerrette $1,000 Scholarship through the Maine Community Foundation. Application deadline is March 1.
John Connelly book tour
Event - Posted - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

John Connelly was the first to paddle the Northern Forest Canoe Trail (740 miles) in northern New England and kayak the Maine Island Trail (375 miles), connecting them via the Saint John River and Bay of Fundy (385 miles) in New Brunswick. The grand total? 1,500 miles. He has written a book about his adventure. Here are book tour dates and locations.
Help Wanted: Island Caretakers
Announcement - Thursday, February 21, 2019 

The Maine Island Trail Association is seeking qualified seasonal island caretakers to help with the management of two islands in Casco Bay: Little Chebeague Island and Jewell Island (May to September). $8,500 stipend. Application deadline March 15.
LiDAR – Revealing Maine’s Secrets, Feb 28
Event - Posted - Wednesday, February 20, 2019 

Amber Whittaker, senior geologist for the Maine Geological Survey, will explain how LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging) uses laser beams to produce a very accurate and detailed representation of the land surface. At Camden Public Library, February 28, 7 pm.
Restoring Great Rivers, Feb 27
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Joshua Royte, conservation scientist for The Nature Conservancy in Maine and founding member of the World Fish Migration Foundation, will discuss “Restoring Great Rivers: Amazing Work in Maine and Around the World.” At Portland Public Library, February 27, 5:30 pm
North Pond Hermit talk, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Maeghan Maloney, District Attorney for Kennebec and Somerset counties, will discuss the case of Christopher Knight, dubbed “The North Pond Hermit.” At Bailey Public Library, Winthrop, February 26, 6:30 pm.
Granges talk, Feb 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, February 19, 2019 

Hundreds of grange halls once dotted the Maine landscape. They housed a secret society that served farmers’ economic, educational and social needs. Historian Doug Hodgkin will trace the history of the organization, with special reference to the Grange at Crowley’s Junction in Lewiston. At Androscoggin Historical Society’s Davis-Wagg Museum, Auburn, February 26, 7 pm.
Kennebec Land Trust historic cabin renovation, Feb 25
Announcement - Monday, February 18, 2019 

Recently, the Kennebec Land Trust renovated two historic cabins at the Wakefield Wildlife Sanctuary in West Gardiner. The project will be featured on the Maine Cabin Masters show on the DIY network, February 25, 9 pm.
Grants available for land conservation transaction costs
Announcement - Sunday, February 17, 2019 

Grant applications are available for the Great Bay Resource Protection Partnership’s Winter 2019 Land Protection Transaction Grant Program. The matching grants assist with costs for permanent land protection projects by donation and/or acquisition of full fee and conservation easements within the coastal watershed area of New Hampshire and Maine.
Owls at Hirundo, Feb 23-24
Event - Posted - Saturday, February 16, 2019 

Hirundo presents a two-part program for participants to get up close to three native Maine owls. At the Montessori School, Feb 23, 11 am- noon, and a nature walk from Old Town High School, Feb 24, 6-7 pm. $10 for one program, $16 for both for adults; $5 for one and $8 for both for youths.
‘Grasses and Rushes of Maine’ book release, Feb 22
Event - Posted - Friday, February 15, 2019 

Book release and signing by authors of “Grasses and Rushes of Maine.” At Stantec office, Topsham, February 22, 5-7 pm.
The Green New Deal
Publication - Monday, February 11, 2019 

The Green New Deal will convert the decaying fossil fuel economy into a new, green economy that is environmentally sustainable, economically secure and socially just. The Green New Deal starts with transitioning to 100% green renewable energy (no nukes or natural gas) by 2030. It would immediately halt any investment in fossil fuels (including natural gas) and related infrastructure. The Green New Deal will guarantee full employment and generate up to 20 million new, living-wage jobs, as well as make the government the employer of last resort with a much-needed major public jobs program.
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News Items
Last Stand
Down East - Thursday, January 31, 2019 

Wabanaki basketmakers try to save our state’s ash trees — and their traditional craft — from the emerald ash borer.
Watch: A tribute song in memory of Maine’s great black hawk The hawk that flew the wrong way
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 31, 2019 

The great black hawk that has been suffering from frostbite since its rescue from a Portland Park during a snowstorm has been euthanized. Native to Central and South America, the great black hawk is the first of its kind to be spotted in the United States.
Editorial: Ending gross metering a good first step for solar development
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, January 31, 2019 

For years, Maine homeowners and others have received credits when they use alternative generation to produce electricity on their property and sell the excess into the power grid. The system, known as “net metering,” has helped promote the development of renewable energy, particularly solar. But a problematic new approach to the system, known as “gross metering,” assess fees for the transmission and distribution of that energy is charged even on power that never leaves the home or business where it is generated. While there undoubtedly are diverging opinions on what the future of solar regulation in Maine should look like — lawmakers should be deliberate in shaping that future — both sides of the aisle should unite around a common starting point: the gross metering experiment has been a failure, and it’s time to end it.
Opinion: Boothbay Harbor debate misrepresented
Working Waterfront - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

The Working Waterfront’s analysis of Boothbay Harbor’s recent planning conflicts (“The last fisherman?” February/March issue) fails to understand that the situation is more complicated than anyone who isn’t living it could believe. ~ Patty Minerich, Boothbay Harbor
Lawmakers back Mills’ environmental protection pick despite tribal opposition
Bangor Daily News - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

Maine’s top environmental lawyer won a legislative panel’s approval on Wednesday to run the state Department of Environmental Protection despite opposition from members of the Penobscot Nation and others wary of his stances on tribal water rights. Mills nominated Jerry Reid to run the Maine DEP after 25 years in the attorney general’s office. After a hearing that stretched almost six hours, he was endorsed unanimously by the Legislature’s environmental committee. He was at the center of raw legal fights between the state and tribes. Reid won support from the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the Conservation Law Foundation and Maine Conservation Voters. The Sierra Club, members of the Penobscot Nation and some progressives opposed him.
Maine 4-H Foundation purchases camp on Long Lake in Princeton
WABI-TV5 - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

The site of a former camp in Washington County has been purchased by the Maine 4-H Foundation. The 64-acre Greenland Point Center on Long Lake in Princeton is expected to open next spring as a youth camp that will focus on outdoor education, ecology, and conservation. Donors helped raise the initial $350,000 for the purchase, and 4-H is working to raise an additional matching amount to make upgrades to the camp.
Column: Eco-time’s a-waistin’
Times Record - Wednesday, January 30, 2019 

The planet may not be spinning out of control, but it sure feels that way. As I write this it’s raining outside my window, 6:30 a.m., and the porch thermometer displays an awesome 45 degrees. Forty-eight hours earlier the temp was 5 Fahrenheit, dropping to zero by midday. The most amazing part is that there are still those convinced that climate change is a false-science conspiracy undermining our deserved way of life. Having recently gained the distinction of being Maine’s hardest hit community for unrealized property value due to projected sea level elevation in the coming years, Bath needs to get some seriously proactive environmental mojo working some serious overtime. All the e-savviness in the world won’t quell a rising Kennebec. ~ Gary Anderson
Tips for attending, competing in US National Toboggan Championships
Aislinn Sarnacki Act Out Blog - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 

Zipping down a chute of ice at 40 mph while clinging to a simple wooden sled sounds a bit crazy, but that’s precisely what hundreds of people do each February at the US National Toboggan Championships in Camden, Maine. And for several years now, I’ve been one of those people, screaming my heart out and holding my teammates tight as we’ve shot down the chute and out onto Hosmer Pond. Sadly, I can’t attend the one-of-a-kind event this year. I have important travel plans. So I thought I’d ask you to enjoy the festivities for me. In case you’re new to the Toboggan Championships, I have a few tips.
As Maine debates 145-mile electric line, energy giant with billions at stake is absent
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 

As Maine regulators are deciding whether to approve the construction of a $1 billion transmission line across much of western Maine, the Canadian hydroelectric utility poised to make billions of dollars from the project has been absent from the process. This has left both opponents and supporters of the line arguing about how much available energy the utility has to send through a completed line, and whether that energy will help fulfill the mission of the project: fighting climate change. And while the utility has avoided making its case before regulators, which requires submitting to cross-examination and discovery, it has engaged in a public relations campaign to try and win support from the region’s newspapers.
Column: A moment of appreciation for Maine’s gulls
Times Record - Tuesday, January 29, 2019 

Maine’s gulls are one of the most ubiquitous residents of the coast and, while in the summer they may seem to be more a nuisance, leaving their white markings on all that falls below them, in the winter I welcome their presence and am impressed by their heartiness. While their flying ability is impressive (and graceful to watch), many of them don’t travel very far. A few species migrate seasonally, but most stay in their home territory despite extreme changes in weather. That’s why they offer a welcome flutter of life even in the coldest months of winter along the Maine coast. ~ Susan Olcott
Vessel Services: Where fishing boats go to shop
Working Waterfront - Monday, January 28, 2019 

The marine economy often hides in plain sight. A case in point is Portland's Vessel Services, whose nondescript buildings are tucked down a wharf just off Commercial Street. If policy makers are going to support all segments of this sizable sector, it needs to be seen and understood.
Opinion: How the community can respond to climate change
Working Waterfront - Monday, January 28, 2019 

When communities show up in discussions of climate change, they do so as the victims of increasingly violent weather events—category 5 hurricanes, massive, drought-driven fires, and “super storms” devour communities. For the first time, we have a governor who says she shares our concerns. We hope that Gov. Janet Mills will provide additional leverage to establish Maine as a national leader in building strong climate change skills along the coast and across the state. The coast and islands are certainly on the front line of this crisis, and the rest of the state isn’t far behind. It will be through the practical actions of strong communities that the greatest strides will be made to address the threat of climate change. ~ Rob Snyder, Island Institute
Opinion: The shutdown has a high price, and national parks are footing the bill
Maine Campus - Monday, January 28, 2019 

It had been over a month since the government shut down at midnight on Dec. 22. There was one enormous factor that the media and the American people paid little attention to. The nation’s national parks, its wildlife refuges, and its endangered species were put in harm’s way and disregarded to a dastardly degree during this shutdown, and they face a far more grave fate should plans for the wall move forward. Donald Trump only cares about winning. National parks, endangered species, and regulations to protect such things are just obstacles standing in the way of a 700-mile long symbol of his ego. Future generations will look back and shake their heads. ~ Nate Poole
2 Maine eel dealers face charges after illegal sales cut lucrative fishing season short
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, January 27, 2019 

Illegal sales of baby eels that caused last year’s abrupt closure of Maine’s elver fishery have resulted in criminal charges for two baby eel dealers and new rules from the state proposing closer oversight of the lucrative fishery. The Maine dealers accused of making illegal cash purchases of elvers last spring are Roger Bintliff and Freddie Mei, according to Jeff Nichols, spokesman for the state Department of Marine Resources.
Column: Maine wildlife chief no stranger to drama like the great black hawk flap
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 27, 2019 

Little did Judy Camuso know, back when Gov. Janet Mills nominated her to head the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, that the question on everyone’s lips at her legislative confirmation hearing Wednesday will go something like this: “Would the acting commissioner please articulate, both for the committee’s peace of mind and that of the people of Maine, what’s going to happen to the hawk?” Camuso admitted in an interview Friday that she doesn’t yet know the answer. But, she conceded with a laugh, “I’m going to have to have one that’s acceptable.” ~ Bill Nemitz
Editorial: It’s time to think big in Maine agriculture
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, January 27, 2019 

Amanda Beal, Gov. Janet Mills’ nominee to head the Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, will have to help restart conservation efforts after eight years in which it was not a priority for the Blaine House. She’ll have to guide state policy in support of the resurgent forest products industry. And Beal be at the helm during a critical time in Maine agriculture. On that last count, she doesn’t have to look far for inspiration. Beal, who spent the last two-plus years as president and CEO of Maine Farmland Trust and served on the board of directors at the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association, was one of the authors of the “New England Food Vision.” The seeds have been planted for a bright future in Maine agriculture, but they have to tended the right way. It’s time to think big.
Chasing change: Maine’s great black hawk and other signs
Other - Saturday, January 26, 2019 

Union Leader (NH) - The recent rescue of a great black hawk in Portland, Maine, has my imagination going wild. What vagrants of centuries past are now considered native species? When you lengthen time scales, our human-generated lists of species and population maps and birds who don’t belong fade into the mist. There’s a living, breathing, ever-changing ecosystem out there and if humans are present, you’d best be sure we’re in the mix, too. ~ Emily Lord
Mills takes first step to install solar panels on Blaine House
Associated Press - Saturday, January 26, 2019 

Maine’s new Democratic governor is taking steps to install solar panels on the governor’s mansion as she calls for the state to be more welcoming of renewable energy. Gov. Janet Mills’ administration posted a request for proposals Friday to move ahead on plans to design and install a photovoltaic system that would supply 50 percent of the Blaine House’s electricity needs.
Landowners Getting A Trespass Fee
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, January 26, 2019 

We’re very lucky in Maine to have free access to so much private land. You probably know that access to private land in many states is not available. I recently read a story about an online marketplace in the Western states that allows landowners to list their property for use by hunters, anglers and other recreationists who must pay a trespass fee. Check this out at EntryG8.com. There’s another platform, WikiparX, that allows land owners to sell permits for many types of recreation on their property. It is important to all of us who recreate on private land in Maine, to develop good relationships with the landowners and to make sure they know how much we appreciate the opportunity to enjoy their properties.
Opinion: Legislators can take steps to prevent Maine’s coming regulatory storm
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, January 26, 2019 

During her recent inaugural address, Gov. Mills warned Maine residents that a recession could be on the horizon. While to some extent recessions are inevitable, the next economic slump could be entirely manmade. That’s because, according to a new analysis, regulatory requirements in the state are piling up by the tens of thousands. All this red tape could hit the state’s economy like a regulatory tsunami. If Gov. Mills is truly worried about the possibility of a recession, now is an opportune time for meaningful regulatory reform that boosts the economy for years to come. ~ James Broughel, Mercatus Center at George Mason University in Virginia, and Jacob Posik, Maine Heritage Policy Center
Gulf of Maine, Explained: Bluefin Tuna
Other - Friday, January 25, 2019 

Bluefin tuna are special. Their large size and unique physiology (these fish are warm-blooded) are part of what makes them so interesting, but on top of that, bluefin tuna also have a relatively mysterious life history. It’s these mysteries that drive Dr. Golet’s fascination. Bluefin can be a source of confusion for the public, especially as contradictory information swirls in the news media. In this video, Dr. Walt Golet shares some of what we know about bluefin in the Gulf of Maine.
NYDEC helps Maine game wardens ticket Glens Falls man
Other - Friday, January 25, 2019 

Adirondack Daily Enterprise - Earlier this month, New York Department of Environmental Conservation officers George Lapoint and Alan Brassard assisted the Maine Warden Service in its investigation of a deer shot from the road in Allagash, Maine. The investigation determined the deer was shot by a Glens Falls man who had returned to New York the same night.
Connecting people with the outdoors
Sun Journal - Friday, January 25, 2019 

Kevin Frost, a registered Maine guide and owner of Bug’n Out Adventures, specializes in recreational adventures and wilderness education. In the warmer months, Frost holds introductory gold panning clinics at Coos Canyon in Byron, and leads guided hikes to destinations such as Angel Falls and Tumbledown. “Bug’n Out Adventures is committed to promoting Maine through a combination of education and adventure,” said Frost.
Conservationists Take To The Skies To Observe Rising Sea Levels Along The Maine Shoreline
Maine Public - Friday, January 25, 2019 

This past Tuesday, more than 20 LightHawk volunteer pilots around the country took to the skies to record the effects of a natural phenomenon that happens twice a year: a King Tide. Volunteer Peter Slovinsky, is especially interested in showing Rep. Lydia Blume, a Maine lawmaker who serves on the Marine Resources Committee, areas of the coast at risk for flooding.
As Fiberight plant nears completion, municipal representatives seek clearer communication
Morning Sentinel - Friday, January 25, 2019 

The schedule for completing the facility has been revised three times, delaying its opening a full year, and at the latest meeting town officials voiced their frustrations with mixed messages they've received.
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