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
Guilty plea a warning that Maine is committed to protecting elvers
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 31, 2014 

Accurate reports by elver fishermen and dealers are critical to keeping a multimillion-dollar industry from being shut down, Maine’s commissioner of marine resources said Monday in announcing guilty pleas by a fisherman who earned $700,000 from the baby eels in 2012 but reported less than half of his earnings. The agreement by Danny Deraps, 43, of Ellsworth to plead guilty to income tax evasion and theft calls for jail time, restitution and the loss of his elver harvesting license for this season, the state Attorney General’s Office said.
Five Key Takeaways From the Frightening IPCC Climate Change Report
Moyers & Company - Monday, March 31, 2014 

The latest report from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change focuses on how climate change will affect human society in coming years painting a picture of a world destabilized by a rapidly changing environment. Here are five takeaways from the report: 1. The food supply is in trouble; 2. The poor will be hit hardest, but the rich will feel it too; 3. The world will become less stable; 4. Wealthy countries are minimizing their responsibility; 5. The next big chance to do something is when world leaders meet this autumn in New York City for the UNFramework Convention on Climate Change.
Fish and Wildlife Department Loses Milfoil Money
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Monday, March 31, 2014 

A hike in the milfoil sticker fee has been rejected by the Maine legislature. But that’s not the end of this particularly interesting issue. The legislature found another way to expand the invasive plant eradication program by taking money from the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife and giving it to the Department of Environmental Protection.
Maine House votes to toss out proposed mining rules
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 31, 2014 

The Maine House of Representatives passed a bill Monday that would throw out proposed mining rules drafted after a legislative vote just two years ago and require the Department of Environmental Protection to write new ones. The House vote was 98-39. The bill now goes to the Senate. In 2012, when Republicans had majorities in the House and Senate, the Legislature took up a bill that required the DEP to draft new mining rules to govern an industry that had been dormant for two decades. The aim was to clear the way for open-pit mining of minerals and precious metals at Bald Mountain in Aroostook County, a site owned by J.D. Irving Ltd., the state’s largest landowner. Business groups supported the law. Environmental groups said the rules could allow contamination of waterways.
House advances bill to give Unorganized Territory more say in wind development
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

The Maine House on Monday advanced a bill aimed at giving residents of Maine’s vast Unorganized Territory a new way to slow down wind development. Since 2008, about one-third of the Unorganized Territory has been categorized as an “expedited permitting area,” meaning wind development is considered, by default, a permitted use. Some residents of the sparsely populated Maine wilderness have criticized the designation as a means to cut them out of the decision-making process. The bill would allow a majority of voting residents from any Unorganized Territory to petition the Land Use Planning Commission to have their township or plantation removed from the expedited permitting area. If the commission grants their request, any wind developer would have to go through a rezoning process with the commission, in addition to the DEP permitting process. Opponents said the law would create uncertainty in the wind market — an area where the state has committed itself to investment.
House deals another blow to controversial large-scale mineral mining rules
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

Rather than approve large-scale metallic mineral mining rules that have been under development for a year, the Maine House of Representatives Monday voted to send the rules back to state regulators for a do-over. The lopsided vote came over the objections of an Aroostook County representative who said the move would kill desperately needed jobs.
Conference to focus on water and sustainability issues
Kennebec Journal - Monday, March 31, 2014 

The Maine Water & Sustainability Conference on Tuesday at the Augusta Civic Center will focus on the future of energy, clean water and safe beaches and shellfish beds. The annual event, founded in 1994 as the Maine Water Conference, has been renamed to reflect the addition of sustainability science research in Maine sessions. The conference has become one of the largest environmentally related conferences in Maine,
Bill that would have allowed the sale of raw milk rejected for second time in two years
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

A measure that would have allowed farmers to sell unpasteurized milk directly to consumers who visit their property was rejected by the House of Representatives on Monday. LD 1786 is similar to a bill that was vetoed in 2013 by Gov. Paul LePage.
Blog: Lifetime licenses are an investment in the future
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

If you know a child who you think might enjoy hunting or fishing in the future, I encourage you to look into buying them a lifetime license. As cliché as it sounds, it truly is a gift that keeps on giving. ~ Robin Follette
Ellsworth man who caught $700,000 in elvers in 2012 convicted of tax evasion
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

A local man who caught more than $700,000 worth of elvers two years ago has pleaded no contest to tax evasion and theft. Danny Deraps, 43, of Ellsworth will serve jail time, pay restitution and lose his elver harvesting license for the 2014 season, the state attorney general’s office indicated Monday.
Kerosene spill near Old Orchard Beach wetlands may force removal of soil
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

State environmental workers were scheduled on Monday to return to the scene of a Sunday fuel spill that contaminated a wetlands area in Old Orchard Beach. Maine Department of Environmental Protection spokeswoman Jessamine Logan said that the spill was “minor,” that only 10-20 gallons leaked. She said, “There is some product in the soil and that may need to be removed in warmer weather."
Opinion: Congress shouldn’t undermine conservation measures that can help rebuild New England fisheries
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

Decades of overfishing have severely depleted Gulf of Maine cod, yellowtail flounder and many other fish that were once staples of our coastal economy. There are a dozen New England fish stocks that are currently classified as “overfished” by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Maine’s history was built upon fishing, and for generations the sea was thought to be inexhaustible. Now, with some of our once-plentiful fish populations overfished, this has meant strict management plans and reductions in catch limits to help rebuild the stocks. We must rebuild our depleted fisheries to ensure longer-term sustainability of this important resource and long-term benefits to coastal communities. ~ Loren McClenachan, Colby College, Waterville
Opinion: Measures of Growth report offers guidance for improving Maine’s economy
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

As a longtime member of the Maine Economic Growth Council and co-chair for the recent “Measures of Growth In Focus” report, I have a high regard for the report and its value to Maine. The Measures of Growth report has been regularly revised over the years to provide our readership with the most current overview of Maine’s progress toward long-term, sustainable economic growth, and toward the council’s vision of a high quality of life for all Maine people. The council believes that a vibrant and sustainable economy supported by vital communities and a healthy environment are essential to achieving this vision. ~ State Sen. Eloise Vitelli
Dogfish ‘everywhere’ in Gulf of Maine, but sales go nowhere
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 31, 2014 

Dogfish, a voracious little shark that hunts in packs and fills its belly with anything it finds, now has so little value in the global marketplace that many fishermen who net them just throw them overboard. And here’s the problem: Scientists say there are huge and growing numbers of dogfish in the Gulf of Maine competing for the same food as more commercially valuable species, such as cod and haddock. Regulators may raise catch limits on the voracious little shark, which competes with more valuable ocean species for food.
Opinion: Collins and King should support new EPA power plant proposals
Portland Press Herald - Monday, March 31, 2014 

Climate change is getting expensive. As the president of East Brown Cow Management in Portland, I own and manage more than 20 properties in the area, so rising sea levels, extreme weather and other problems from climate change quite literally threaten the very foundations of the business I have built. I am just one of nearly 275 business owners who have added their names to Maine Businesses for Climate Action, a sign-on letter asking our senators to support EPA measures to bring the rest of the country’s power plants up to the same standards as New England’s. We hope that Sen. Collins and Sen. King will work hard for the common-sense EPA climate pollution standards for power plants. ~ Tim Soley, Portland
Letter: Commercialization of wildlife
Bangor Daily News - Monday, March 31, 2014 

The Maine Legislature has apparently yielded to special interest groups’ pressure, allowing them to sell moose hunting permits. This measure will change the Maine hunting tradition forever, creating a class that is allowed to do what others are not. I consider this the commercialization of wildlife in Maine. Allowing guides and hunting outfitters to profit from the sale of permits rather than profiting from the sale of their services and facilities is plain wrong. ~ Jay Bailey, Woolwich
Climate: CO2 hits dubious 400 ppm mark two months earlier than last year
Summit Voice - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are spiking earlier each year, scientists said last week, announcing that concentrations reached the 400 parts per million “milestone” two months earlier than last year. The rate of increase in atmospheric concentrations is consistent with the emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and the milestone serves as a reminder that, without drastic cuts in those emissions, the Earth’s temperature will continue climbing, and the world’s oceans will continue to become more acidic.
Conservative Climate Panel Warns World Faces ‘Breakdown Of Food Systems’ And More Violent Conflict
Climate Progress - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its second of four planned reports examining the state of climate science. This one summarizes what the scientific literature says about “Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability.” As with every recent IPCC report, it is super-cautious to a fault and yet still incredibly alarming. It warns that we are doing a bad job of dealing with the climate change we’ve experienced to date: “Impacts from recent climate-related extremes, such as heat waves, droughts, floods, cyclones, and wildfires, reveal significant vulnerability and exposure of some ecosystems and many human systems to current climate variability.”
Feeding Maine families: Farm-to-table movement creates community of food
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

According to the Maine Organic Farmers and Growers Association, Maine is home to more than 180 includes (CSA) farms. Close to 7,000 residents buy shares every year, creating a unique farm-to-table community of farmers and food enthusiasts young and old.
EPA wants to ease restrictions on Augusta Superfund site
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

After 30 years of monitoring and millions of dollars of cleanup work, the O’Connor Superfund Site on Eastern Avenue is ready to be removed from the national priorities list, according to the federal Environmental Protection Agency. The 28-acre parcel formerly housed the F. O’Connor scrap metal business and is owned by Central Maine Power Co. The Augusta-based utility discarded transformers, capacitors and other electrical equipment there for more than 30 years beginning in the 1950s. In 1983, the former junkyard was designated a Superfund site because the land and groundwater was polluted by high levels of toxic chemicals that drained from that equipment.
‘Large’ kerosene spill reported in Old Orchard Beach wetlands
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection went to West Tioga Street on Sunday morning after a report that “a large volume of kerosene” had leaked into the wetlands. Old Orchard Beach Fire Department personnel were notified about 11 a.m. that kerosene had leaked from an old tank in a home and been carried by stormwater into the nearby wetlands, according to Chandler Green, a firefighter and EMT.
Opinion: Embrace restraint at Acadia National Park, rock by rock
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

From time immemorial, humans have constructed cairns to mark travel routes, and that functionality is easily understood. But there is a creative, artistic side to all of us as well, and a desire to leave our mark on the landscape. In a national park with seven-digit visitation annually, an area created primarily for its natural beauty, is it OK to express that creative side through cairn construction if you are not a member of the trail crew? After 30 years of observing, hiking, photographing and reveling in Acadia National Park, personally and professionally, I can say unequivocally and without hesitation: It is not. ~ Charlie Jacobi, Acadia National Park
Opinion: CMP needs to cover costs, but that shouldn’t stall Maine colleges’ renewable energy advances
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

A new “standby” fee proposed by Central Maine Power Co. would penalize Maine colleges and universities and effectively create a significant disincentive for our pursuit of the economic, environmental and educational benefits associated with onsite generation of renewable energy. Our institutions are large consumers of electricity, and we recognize the need for CMP to cover the infrastructure costs associated with the delivery of that electricity. We also acknowledge the value of having electricity from CMP on standby when alternative onsite sources of power are unavailable. However, the fees associated with this service should not be permitted to stall or eliminate advances that can lower our costs and engage our academic communities in valuable work on alternative and renewable sources of energy. ~ Robert Clark, Maine Independent College Association, et al
Hidden Valley Nature Center branching out
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

The simple black-and-white sign hanging casually on Egypt Road beside the entrance of the wilderness area told only part of the story. The 1,000 acres of forestland; the beaver dam at the large bog; the birch trees lining the path to Little Dyer Pond; and the undeveloped shore of the 109-acre pond told the rest of this developing tale. At Hidden Valley Nature Center, the potential for wilderness discovery abounds and has grown since 2009 when this grassroots, literally homegrown outdoor organization started. Today Hidden Valley has as many as 50 programs a year; a vast network of interpretive signs about forestry, botany and ecology; and seminars on innovative forestry practices that have put this nature center on the map.
Column: Questions in the garden? There are lots of apps for that
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 30, 2014 

Some of the most useful give you information when you actually need it. ~ Tom Atwell
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