March 20, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Wednesday, March 20, 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 60,000 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
Why Going Native Matters, Mar 27
Event - Posted - Wednesday, March 20, 2019 

Heather McCargo, found and executive director of Wild Seed Project, presents "Why Going Native Matters: Beauty, Biodiversity and Resilience." At Portland Public Library, March 27, 5:30 pm.
Urge Maine's Agencies to Investigate and Halt PFAS Contamination
Action Alert - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Highly persistent and toxic chemicals known as PFAS may be lurking undiscovered in farmlands across Maine. State records show that at an Arundel dairy farm, PFOS was in milk at the highest level ever reported anywhere. Urge Maine Ag and DEP commissioners to test the fields, stop sludge spreading, and phase out PFAS products. ~ Environmental Health Strategy Center
Retired Game Warden Randall Probert, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Author, raconteur, and retired game warden Randall Probert will speak to the Hebron Historical Society on “Maine Tales and More.” At Hebron Town Office, March 26, 7 pm.
The Forests of Lilliput: The Miniature World of Lichens & Mosses, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Maine Master Naturalist Jeff Pengel talks about the natural history of lichens, mosses and similar plants. At Topsham Library, March 26, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Celebrating Maine’s Wild Creatures, Mar 26
Event - Posted - Tuesday, March 19, 2019 

Speaker: Ed Robinson, author of “Nature Notes from Maine: River Otters, Moose, Skunks and More.” At Curtis Library, March 16, 7 pm. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Ocean Acidification, Climate Change, and You, Mar 25
Event - Posted - Monday, March 18, 2019 

Friends of Casco Bay staff scientist Mike Doan talks about warning signs and Casco Baykeeper Ivy Frignoca shares the impacts to marine species and how Mainers are responding. At Southern Maine Community College, South Portland, March 25, 5:30 pm.
Mount Pisgah winter trek, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Kennebec Land Trust Stewardship Director Jean-Luc Theriault will lead an off-trail excursion on Mount Pisgah to visit special places that are typically less accessible. Meet at the Mount Pisgah Community Conservation Area parking lot in Winthrop, March 24, 1 pm.
Maine Maple Sunday, Mar 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, March 17, 2019 

Maine Maple Sunday is a long tradition where Maine’s maple producers open their doors to their sweet operations for a day of educational demonstrations, sugarbush tours, fun family activities and samplings of syrup and other great maple products. Many sugarhouses are open Saturday and Sunday, March 23 and 24, and throughout the season.
Winter Family Fun Day at Lily Bay State Park, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Ice fishing, snowmobile tote rides, winter camping demo, bonfire, scavenger hunt and free loan of cross-country skis, snowshoes, ice skates, snow tubes and sleds. At Lily Bay State Park, Moosehead Lake, March 23, 10 am - 3 pm.
Winter wildlife tracking workshop, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Naturalists and certified wildlife trackers Brendan White and Matt Dickinson lead a winter wildlife tracking workshop. At at Long Ledges Preserve, Sullivan, March 23, 9-11:30 am. Sponsored by Frenchman Bay Conservancy.
Maine Grass Farmers Network Conference, Mar 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, March 16, 2019 

Livestock producers are invited to learn about grass-based production and how grazing systems can become more profitable and environmentally sound. At Kennebec County Community College's Alfond Campus, Hinckley, March 23, 8:30 am - 3 pm.
Maine becomes a state, Mar 15
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

On this day in 1820, March 15, Massachusetts lost over 30,000 square miles of land as its former province of Maine gained statehood. Mainers had begun campaigning for statehood for years following the Revolution. The Massachusetts legislature finally consented in 1819. What no one foresaw, however, was that Maine's quest for statehood would become entangled in the most divisive issue in American history — slavery.
Maine Land Conservation Conference, Apr 5-6
Event - Posted - Friday, March 15, 2019 

Maine’s robust land conservation community comes together to train on best practices in all aspects of land trust work, connect with peers, and grapple with the most pressing issues facing land conservation today. At Topsham area, April 5-6.
Thoreau Society & Thoreau Farm Trust online auction, thru Mar 29
Announcement - Friday, March 15, 2019 

This auction contains many rare books written about Henry David Thoreau and other items for every Thoreauvian.
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News Items
New wind turbine at Rockport high school now producing energy
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

The WindPlanners, a group of students who had the goal of bringing the Northwind 100 tower to their campus, took eight years to conduct the research, get school board permission, get town permits and fundraise the $500,000 needed to erect the turbine, which they did last week. A 122-foot-tall wind turbine began generating energy for Camden Hills Regional High School in Rockport. The WindPlanners have already learned a lot. They did scientific research, math, they interviewed experts, gave testimony to Maine’s Legislature, wrote grants, hosted fundraisers, filed permits with the town and more.
Opinion: Obama's Monumental Opportunity
Other - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Daily Kos - The president has a unique power. When Congress passed the Antiquities Act 106 years ago, it gave the commander in chief sole authority to designate public land as a national monument. Many of our most treasured wild places were first protected in this way, from Muir Woods to Joshua Tree to the Grand Canyon. If I were president for a day, I'd take the opportunity to protect America’s best wild places. Think how big of a dent Obama could make in a year. Go wild, Mr. President, and show us what you can do! One more thing: A little encouragement never hurts. Let the president know you support the designation of new national monuments.
Portsmouth Naval Shipyard gets $15.8M for energy conservation, repairs
Associated Press - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard has received $15.8 million in funding for energy conservation and repair work. This is the third round of funding — a total of $91.8 million — that’s been announced for the shipyard this month.
Letter: Reducing wind power impact
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

We appreciate the factual look at the issue of wind farms and bird safety in the Sun Journal (March 21), “Peru committee learns about wind turbine impact on wildlife.” It sounds like environmental consultant Steve Pelletier did an excellent job conveying the fact that wind energy is far less harmful to the environment than any of the other more traditional sources of energy generation. The wind industry currently supports nearly 80,000 American jobs. The case for continuing to invest in it is very strong. ~ John Anderson, American Wind Energy Association
Opinion: More jobs promoting green energy than actually making green energy
Kennebec Journal - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Though tasked with an admittedly difficult project, the Bureau of Labor Statistics created a definition of green jobs that is so broad as to make it a meaningless measure of the green economy. Here's a sneak preview: There are 33 times as many green jobs in the septic tank and portable toilet servicing industry as in solar electricity utilities. The meaninglessness of the green-jobs count has not stopped cheerleaders for green mandates and subsidies from pointing to it as justification for more of the same. They point to the nearly 500,000 green jobs in the manufacturing sector. Maybe they have visions of 500,000 people assembling windmills and hybrid cars. ~ David Kreutzer, The Heritage Foundation
Maine environmental regulators checking Freeport fields permit
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

Controversy over Freeport's athletic fields continues as the Maine Department of Environmental Protection reviews the construction permit it issued in June for the athletic fields on Hunter Road, which were built last fall. DEP officials are checking the basic permit in the wake of the Town Council's decision Feb. 28 to reject a zoning change that would have allowed Seacoast United Maine to build an indoor-outdoor soccer complex next to the fields. The Seacoast project, which would have been built on land provided by the town, would have triggered a comprehensive environmental review of all fields and structures built or planned on a 60-acre swath of town-owned land between Hunter and Pownal roads. Given the town's involvement in the Seacoast project, DEP officials are trying to determine whether the town should have sought a comprehensive review for entire athletic field development.
Opinion: Tree growth clarification
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 31, 2012 

It is heartening to see that the Maine Tree Growth Tax Program is under scrutiny. The intent of the program is worthwhile. Landowners engaged in forestry are taxed based on their use of the land, not on its “highest use” potential. Unfortunately it is a loosely regulated program that invites almost anyone with 10 or more acres to reap the tax break. When that involves shorefront and summer-use residential and recreational property, the tax break is enormous. There is one misconception: the tree growth law prevents “prized forest land from being developed.” If an owner wishes to withdraw land from tree growth and open it to development, a hefty fine for withdrawal would be levied. But a landowner wishing to develop tree growth land can, without penalty, convert it to another “current use” program and then withdraw it from that program, paying a significantly smaller penalty. ~ Surry Board of Selectmen
NStar’s Cape Wind pact pays $940 million over market
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Massachusetts utility NStar has agreed to buy power from the proposed offshore Cape Wind farm for more than double what conventional energy is projected to cost during the length of the 15-year deal. The contract filed with state regulators Friday totals about $1.6 billion, assuming Congress renews certain tax credits. The contract says that’s $940 million above the market price of electricity during that period. NStar estimates the deal will add $1 to the average customer’s bill.
FDA rejects call to ban BPA from food packaging
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Food and Drug Administration has rejected a petition from environmentalists that would have banned the plastic-hardening chemical bisphenol-A from all food and drink packaging, including plastic bottles and canned food. The agency said Friday that petitioners did not present compelling scientific evidence to justify new restrictions on the much-debated chemical, commonly known as BPA, though federal scientists continue to study the issue.
Editorial: Maine is better off being on the way to somewhere
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Maine will never be a shipping hub in the way Newark, N.J., or Seattle are. But the state is poised to become a link in a developing commerce conduit. Maine, and especially the central, eastern and western parts of the state, lies along an “as-the-crow-flies” corridor between the maritime ports of Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St. John, New Brunswick, and the distribution hub of Montreal. Montreal is on the St. Lawrence River, with access to the St. Lawrence Seaway, which in turn links to Detroit and Chicago, which give shippers access to the midwestern U.S. Building a road across Maine linking highways in New Brunswick to highways in Quebec would substantially enhance shipping through the two-nation region.
Birders need to keep etiquette in mind
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Birding behavior is changing. Advances in digital photography have brought affordable cameras and long lenses into the mainstream. When we were merely in visual pursuit of a bird, our hobby was relatively unobtrusive to others. With good binoculars, it was sufficient to admire a bird from a respectful distance. Even for those of us who keep a life list of birds we’ve seen, it has always been adequate to identify a new bird from afar. But I submit that cameras are changing the boundaries. ~ Bob Duchesne
Maine Mining Proposal Debate Pits Jobs Against the Environment
Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Opponents of a last-minute proposal to change Maine's mining regulations to accommodate a strip-mine project in northern Maine turned out at a public hearing at the State House today. They say the bill is being rushed through the Legislature in order to benefit a single company, and if approved, could expose Maine's environment to significant harm. Supporters, however, including one veteran lawmaker from Aroostook County, say the bill will contain safegaurds against environmental damage, and will create several hundred badly-needed jobs.
County residents, officials support mining bill, others leery
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A proposed bill in the Legislature to change the state’s mining laws generated significant public comment Friday, with support for the legislation mainly coming from Aroostook County business and economic development leaders and residents. Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, submitted the bill in early March, saying he was prompted to introduce it because of the increasing price of minerals and the potential for mining gold, silver, copper and zinc on Bald Mountain in Aroostook County. Bald Mountain is located northwest of Ashland and Portage. J.D. Irving owns the land with Prentiss & Carlisle.
Salmon farm considered at former Navy site in Corea
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A Connecticut startup company is looking to establish a local presence while getting into the high-end seafood market. Palom Aquaculture LLC is applying to town, state and federal officials for permits to build and operate a land-based salmon farm on former Navy property in the village of Corea. The company plans to avoid using pesticides, antibiotics or growth hormones in its operations though it would use some mild chemicals as part of its routine cleaning of tanks. There are no organic standards for the aquaculture industry, but the company plans to raise the fish in a low-impact, sustainable way and to market them accordingly as a high-end product.
Deadline approaches for new Maine Master Naturalist Program
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Maine Master Naturalist Program, an independent organization founded just a year ago, is accepting applications for its 2012-13 Belfast and Lewiston courses to become a Maine Master Naturalist. The 10-month training, September-June, includes 10 evening classes and six daylong field trips at a cost of $300. The application deadline has been extended to April 30. The nonprofit corporation was started in the spring of 2011 by a group of four Maine naturalists — Dorcas Miller of Chelsea, Fred Cichocki of Wiscasset, Susan Hayward of Lewiston and Cloe Chunn of Belfast.
Spring tradition: Anglers vied to catch Penobscot’s presidential salmon
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

One hundred years ago, a local fly-fisherman decided to send an Atlantic salmon, the first one caught in the Penobscot River, to the president of the United States. This is the story of that fisherman, and the tradition he began.
Opinion: Sen. Susan Collins leads on boiler rules that affect Maine’s paper mills
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Recent hyperbolic claims on the op-ed pages of the Bangor Daily News by critics of Sen. Susan Collins’ Boiler MACT legislation assert their own facts on this issue. Those who purport to want the regulations are precisely the ones who have drawn out the process and had the previous rules vacated by the courts. Put simply, Collins has shown true leadership in working to allow for rules to be actually implemented. ~ Keith Van Scotter, Lincoln Paper & Tissue; Mark Gardner, Sappi; and Mike Jackson, Verso Paper
Lawmakers study new gold mine in Aroostook
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Hollie Umphrey, Portage Lake's town manager and others from northern Maine testified Friday in support of L.D. 1853, a bill sponsored by Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, that would streamline and update mining laws. While supporters say northern Maine needs the jobs, opponents say they fear damage to lakes and drinking water. "Polluted water could have devastating effects on our fish, wildlife and human health," said Beth Ahearn, who spoke on behalf of Maine Conservation Voters. "This, in turn, could impact the sectors of Maine's economy, like fishing and tourism, which rely on clean water, abundant fish and wildlife and a healthy environment."
Glacier inside volcano could help UMaine researchers learn more about climate change
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Atop a glacier inside the crater of an active Chilean volcano, a group from the University of Maine’s Climate Change Institute recently drilled deep into the ice to open a window to the past and, they hope, the future. The UMaine team returned in late February from a joint expedition to the Andes Mountains with the Climate Change Institute and the Centro de Estudios Cientificos from Valdivia, Chile. Led by the institute’s director, Paul Mayewski, UMaine climate scientists Bjorn Grigholm, Mariusz Potocki, Daniel Dixon and Andrei Kurbatov were joined by a contingent of Chilean scientists. Mayewski said ice core research is vital to predicting what effect global climate change will have around the globe. “At the rate we’re going, by the year 2100, Antarctica will be about 3 degrees centigrade warmer than it is today.” Mayewski said. “The last time Antarctica was that warm was about 20 million years ago, when Antarctica didn’t have any ice on it.”
Blowing in the wind: Maine’s energy past and future
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The nearly 400-foot-tall turbines atop Mars Hill Mountain had been spinning for several months when, on March 27, 2007, the facility quietly marked a historic moment in Maine’s energy history by selling electricity into the power grid. The Mars Hill project formally opened the door in Maine to a renewable energy industry that had been discussed for decades but, prior to that day, had never amounted to more than talk. Five years later, Maine is the largest source of wind energy in New England. The 205 commercial wind turbines spinning on Maine mountaintops, ridgelines and coastal islands are rated to produce enough juice to light more than 6 million 60-watt bulbs. But like most growth spurts, Maine’s rush into wind energy has not been pain-free.
Wind tax credit bites dust again
Other - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The Senate argued about U.S. energy policy for two days this week before Republicans closed ranks and turned away legislation Thursday to raise taxes on major oil companies — a bill that also included the much sought-after tax credit for wind power manufacturers such as Vestas.
Editorial: Senators should back toxic regulation update
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 30, 2012 

A 1970s law based on 1960s science is all we have to protect us from toxic substances in our environment. Regulations that envisioned smokestacks and drainpipes as the prime sources of dangerous chemicals should be updated to look out for toys, baby shampoo and a wide variety of consumer products as the vehicles for dangerous chemicals to enter our bodies and harm us. Such a bill is now before Congress and Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins should sign on as co-sponsors.
Whole Foods to stop sale of unsustainable seafood
Associated Press - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Whole Foods Market said Friday that it will stop selling fish caught from depleted waters or through ecologically damaging methods, a move that comes as supermarkets nationwide try to make their seafood selections more sustainable.
Maine Senate debates pipeline politics
Sun Journal - Friday, March 30, 2012 

Election-year presidential politics came to the Maine Senate on Thursday as lawmakers voted along party lines to urge President Obama and Congress to complete the controversial Keystone XL pipeline. Led by the majority Republicans, senators voted 17-15 to pass the resolution just one day before Obama's scheduled campaign fundraiser in Portland. The resolve, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Jonathan Courtney, R-Springvale, has no legal bearing on the project, which would transfer tar sands oil from Alberta, Canada, through several U.S. channels. Courtney is running against U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-Maine, in the 1st Congressional District.
Maine Senate passes Tree Growth survey, keeps management plans sealed
Sun Journal - Friday, March 30, 2012 

The state Senate on Thursday passed a measure that will evaluate "questionable" properties enrolled in the Maine Tree Growth Tax Law program. The bill, LD 1470, directs the Maine Forest Service to randomly sample properties in Tree Growth and to report its findings to the Legislature. It passed unanimously. Several Democrats said the bill could have gone further. Sen. Troy Jackson, D-Allagash, attempted to amend the proposal to make it so some information in landowners' confidential forest management plans would be made public. Jackson's amendment was defeated on a party-line vote, 19-15.
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