May 24, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Friday, May 24, 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; hey, we're all connected). 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
Maine Bicentennial Conference, May 30-Jun 1
Event - Posted - Friday, May 24, 2019 

In addition to scholarly panels ($60), several elements (museum exhibits and the keynote event by two Pulitzer Prize winning historians on May 31) are free to the public. A Maine History Festival for students and cultural organizations to present their own research and planning for the state bicentennial will be part of the conference just prior to the keynote event.
Great Maine Scavenger Hunt
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Great Maine Scavenger Hunt is back (year 3). Use this list as your Maine summer vacation guide! Do as much or as little of it as you want. Sponsored by Down East magazine.
Maine Trail Finder 3.0
Announcement - Thursday, May 23, 2019 

The Center for Community GIS has launched the third version of Maine Trail Finder with the same great trail maps and descriptions and lots of new features.
Climate action
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Urge legislators on the legislature's Environment & Natural Resources Committee to support climate action via the governor’s bill, LD 1679. ~ Natural Resources Council of Maine
Ban Aerial Herbicide Spraying for Deforestation
Action Alert - Tuesday, May 21, 2019 

Before May 23, urge legislators on the Agriculture, Conservation & Forestry Committee to support LD 1691, An Act To Ban Use of Aerial Herbicide Spraying for the Purpose of Deforestation. ~ Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association
Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours, May 25-27
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

Oyster Farms & Seal Watching Tours will run every day, 2-4 pm, during Memorial Day weekend. At Damariscotta. Benefits the Fish Ladder Restoration Project.
Birding for Kids, May 25
Event - Posted - Saturday, May 18, 2019 

A hands-on workshop for families. At Curtis Farm Preserve, Harpswell, May 25, 9 am. Sponsored by Harpswell Heritage Land Trust.
L.L.Bean & Maine Audubon Birding Festival, May 24-26
Event - Posted - Friday, May 17, 2019 

Boat trips, guided walks, live bird presentations, workshops, kid’s crafts, and activities with the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. At Freeport vicinity, May 24-26.
Forestry for Maine Birds, May 23
Event - Posted - Thursday, May 16, 2019 

Free workshop on forestry management for bird conservation. At Head of Tide Preserve, Belfast, May 23, 12-3 pm.
Tell the EPA to Follow Science on Air Quality
Action Alert - Wednesday, May 15, 2019 

As chair of the EPA’s Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee, Tony Cox—a former consultant for the American Petroleum Institute, the mining industry, and a tobacco company—is questioning if soot, causes premature death and other health issues. The science is clear that this type of pollution is very dangerous. ~ Sierra Club
Environmental Trivia Night, May 21
Event - Posted - Tuesday, May 14, 2019 

Maine Conservation Voters and the Immigrant Welcome Center are hosting an environmental-themed trivia night. At Maine Beer Company, Freeport, May 21, 6-7:30 pm.
How fish and wildlife are responding to climate change, May 20
Event - Posted - Monday, May 13, 2019 

This talk will explore phenological responses to seasonal climate drivers from the base of the food chain to higher trophic level species such as fish, seabirds and marine mammals. At Schoodic Institute, Winter Harbor, May 20, 7 pm.
Maine’s Tree City Celebration, May 20
Event - Posted - Monday, May 13, 2019 

The Maine Forest Service will present the 2019 Excellence in Community Forestry Award. At Camden Public Library, May 20, 1 pm. A tree will be planted in Harbor Park in honor of Earth Day.
Brunswick Town Commons 300th anniversary, May 19
Event - Posted - Sunday, May 12, 2019 

On May 19, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors voted to set aside 1,000 acres in Brunswick as a commonage, one of the first public lands established in Maine. It is an example of early community planning in the state and is habitat for rare pitch pine woodlands. In 2019, Brunswick celebrates the 300th anniversary of its Town Commons before, on, and after May 19.
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News Items
Column: Arctic charr restored to Reed Pond
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 31, 2018 

The American Fisheries Society recently presented the fisheries division of the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife with a national award for cutting edge work in the restoration of the native Arctic charr to Big Reed Pond in Piscataquis County. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Letter: Animal lives matter
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 31, 2018 

As innocent American citizens continue to be murdered by disturbed men armed with military-style assault rifles and high-capacity magazines, three organized groups can be counted on to resist life-saving, common-sense gun control: the National Rifle Association, Safari Club and the so-called sportsmen’s clubs. There is a documented link between the abuse and killing of defenseless animals, among many mass murderers, that often precedes the killing of people. The continued, state-sanctioned sport killing of native wildlife sends a message to disturbed people that taking innocent life is acceptable behavior when it should not be any longer. All lives matter. ~ Robert Goldman, Portland
Letter: Changes having negative impact on North Maine Woods
Fiddlehead Focus (St. John Valley, Aroostook County) - Saturday, March 31, 2018 

Ah, the days of going deer hunting in the North Maine Woods. Heading out to Allagash, seeing all the deer hanging at the sporting camps was quite the sight. Things have changed in the last 5 years. The clearcutting and spraying of our natural forests doesn’t provide the shelter and food for our deer and other animals. How did it get to be like this? I blame our politicians, period. Thank God I can bring my grandchildren to Baxter State Park, Debouille Public Reserved Land, the Katahdin Woods and Waters National Monument, and Acadia National Park. We are so lucky to have these parks. ~ Pat Labbe, Fort Kent
Letter: Cote’s environmental concern refreshing
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 31, 2018 

Being in my 80s, and having served in many environmental and conservation positions – including as executive director of the Maine Audubon Society, commissioner of the Maine Department of Conservation, chair of the board of the Gulf of Maine Aquarium, member of the Maine Board of Environmental Protection and several others – I am writing today to endorse Adam Cote for our next governor. ~ Dick Anderson, Portland
Provincial Pumas in the Northeast Urban/Wildlands Interface
Other - Friday, March 30, 2018 

ecoRI News - The mountain lion is the most widespread of any large terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere. European settlers eliminated them from most of their former territory in the East centuries ago. But in some parts of Canada they survived. Their descendants, found in New Brunswick and Quebec today, may be secretive but they aren’t ghosts, cases of mistaken identity or figments of our imaginations. Cougars are highly efficient predators that are well adapted to life in the densely settled Northeast. This is especially true along Maine’s mid-coast region, where most of the state’s citizens live. It’s also where most of the state’s whitetails are concentrated. That’s one reason why the Atlantic Coast is perfect habitat for cougars.
Opinion: It's Time for the Outdoor Industry to Buy Its Own Politicians
Other - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Outside - Right now, the outdoors is facing an unprecedented political attack. Efforts to halt climate change are being withdrawn. Agencies that protect the environment are being defunded. The Endangered Species Act may be “rolled back.” And efforts are underway to sell off our public lands. There’s even talk of drilling for oil in national parks. Why is this happening? In part because the oil and gas industries have bought off our politicians. Rather than complain about the state of politics, work to be the change we believe in, or espouse some other well-meaning but ultimately ineffective slogan, why don’t we borrow a leaf from the Koch brothers’ playbook and buy our own politicians?
Mainers Brace For Trump's Expected Rollback Of Auto Emissions, Efficiency Standards
Maine Public - Friday, March 30, 2018 

The Trump administration is expected to announce next week that it will relax greenhouse gas emissions and fuel efficiency standards for cars and trucks that were last approved more than five years ago. Auto manufacturers are welcoming the move as a way to keep prices more affordable. Environmentalists, however, say the move will undo years of progress making cleaner cars and will result in more pollution, especially in a state like Maine. “I think this issue is going to get bogged down in the courts for a long time,” says Adam Lee, the chairman of the Lee Auto Group, one of the biggest car dealers in the state. Lee is an anomaly in the world of auto sales, a dealer who has long supported clean emissions and fuel economy standards because he thinks they’re better for the environment and for consumers, who save more money at the gas pump.
Emmy-winning Wildlife Conservationist and TV host Jeff Corwin to Deliver Unity College Commencement
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Internationally renowned wildlife conservationist and television personality Jeff Corwin, who has inspired a generation of the conservation-minded by sharing stories about the wild on shows including “Ocean Mysteries with Jeff Corwin” and CNN’s “Planet in Peril” with Anderson Cooper, will speak at Unity College’s 2018 commencement.
Wildlife Encounters
Maine Public - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Guests: Maynard Stanley Jr., Critter Catcher wildlife control; Josh Sparks, Sparks’ Ark Animal Services; and Bob Cordes, Department of Inland Fisheries biologist.
Brewers' 'silent partner': Portland Water District honored for protecting Sebago watershed
Mainebiz - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Maine Coast Heritage Trust, a statewide land conservation organization, named Portland Water District as the 2018 recipient of its annual Espy Land Heritage Award. "Portland Water District is tasked with providing clean water for 200,000 people in 11 Greater Portland communities and their goal was to do it without the use of expensive chemical filtration systems,"said MCHT President Tim Glidden, who presented the award to the district on March 22 at the 35th annual Maine Land Conservation Conference in Rockport. "To achieve their goals, they collaborated with local land trusts and towns within the watershed to secure local forestland and provide natural buffers to protect water sources."
Column: Project FeederWatch can turn you into a scientist
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Project FeederWatch is a citizen science survey where average citizens simply look at the bird feeder and occasionally count what they’re seeing. The survey happens in winter, when large flocks of birds are meandering all over the continent. The birds have to be somewhere. If they’re not at your house, they’re at somebody else’s, perhaps several states away. The Cornell Lab or Ornithology started Project FeederWatch as an easy way to track movements and trends. Based on thousands of reports from households all over the country, they can get a sense of where these winter wanderers are going. They can also detect if populations are growing or declining. ~ Bob Duchesne
Susan Gallo wins much deserved award
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Friday, March 30, 2018 

Susan Gallo has been doing great things at Maine Audubon for Maine’s wildlife since 1998, so it was nice that her work was recognized this year with Source’s Conservation award from the Maine Sunday Telegram.
New 3D models of Baxter State Park to give visitors a new perspective
Bangor Daily News - Friday, March 30, 2018 

This spring, new 3D terrain models of Baxter State Park will be installed throughout the park at visitor centers, campgrounds and ranger stations for the public to use while planning their backcountry adventures. Donated by Friends of Baxter State Park, these state-of-the-art displays were produced by Solid Terrain Modeling, the same company that makes terrain models for the National Geographic Explorers Hall and Smithsonian Institution. The donation consists of 10 models, which cost $65,000, making it the largest single donation Friends of Baxter State Park has ever made to the park.
Letter: Negative effects of climate change will worsen unless we act now
Portland Press Herald - Friday, March 30, 2018 

As Maine physicians, outdoor enthusiasts, parents and grandparents, we call on Mainers to stabilize our climate and protect the natural bounties that our state offers. And we entreat our elected leaders in Congress and the State House to endorse and support a bipartisan, revenue-neutral strategy (carbon fee and dividend – visit citizensclimatelobby.org for more details) that protects our well-being. We have too much to lose through delay or inaction. ~ Edward Pontius, M.D. andNicholas Bartenhagen, M.D.
Deal allows disputed expansion of Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens to proceed
Portland Press Herald - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

The 4-1 vote by the town’s Board of Selectmen is the latest in a drawn-out battle over a proposed $30 million expansion of the popular attraction that was first announced in 2016. Two related lawsuits will also be dropped as the agreement brings a bitter battle to a close, but details of the resolution have not been released.
Opinion: Concerns Regarding the Nordic Aquafarms Land-Based Salmon Farm Project
Free Press - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

I am not in support of the zoning changes needed for the Nordic Aquaculture Salmon Farm at the Little River site on Route 1. This project proposal is being rushed too fast to be able to have accurate, fully fleshed out details on a project so large and which will have such a huge, long-term impact on our environment and our community. ~ Wendy Watson, Belfast
Maine won’t extend its ice fishing season this year
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

In spite of spring conditions that have left many of the state’s lakes and ponds with thick coverings of ice, the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has decided it won’t extend ice fishing season on northern lakes and ponds beyond the end of March.
Longtime warden promoted to landowner relations slot
Bangor Daily News - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

The Maine Warden Service beefed up its commitment to landowner relations recently, as it promoted Dave Chabot to game warden corporal. Chabot joins Cpl. Rick LaFlamme as the second warden in the landowner relations program. Chabot will focus on small landowners, according to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife.
Questioning Benefits of Power Transmission Proposal
Public News Service - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

Environmental groups are challenging an electric transmission line proposal that was rejected by New Hampshire and now has been shifted to a route through Maine. The "New England Clean Energy Connect" project would carry power from Hydro-Quebec in Canada to Massachusetts. It replaces the Northern Pass proposal, which was rejected over concerns about environmental damage in the Granite State. According to Dylan Voorhees, climate and energy policy director of the Natural Resources Council of Maine, the impact would be similar in Maine, including fragmenting wildlife habitat by cutting through 50 miles of undeveloped forest.
Kennebec Land Trust receives donation of Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area
Sun Journal - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

Mt. Vernon residents George and Linda Smith have helped Kennebec Land Trust reach the 6,248 acres conserved mark with their donation of the 125-acre Ezra Smith Wildlife Conservation Area Forest in Mt. Vernon. The 125-acre hilly property conserves a 50-acre wetland with a large vernal pool, a well-managed mixed hardwood-conifer forest and a deer wintering area. The extensive undeveloped uplands and wetlands along the Hopkins stream corridor provide wildlife habitat for ducks and wading birds.
Letter: Plastic bag ban a slight inconvenience for real gain
Morning Sentinel - Thursday, March 29, 2018 

Do we, recognizing that a segment of society cannot be bothered with proper disposal of plastic bags, inconvenience ourselves by carrying a canvas tote in and out of the grocery store? The children are watching us as we debate this issue, as their future is hanging in the balance. Also, my 10-year-old canvas tote is now part of my right arm, and I get some exercise out of shopping. ~ Rob Pfeiffer, Solon
The ultimate road trip: America’s quietest roads revealed in pictures
Other - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Maine's US Route 201: This 150-mile odd road offers users a greener backdrop tracing the Kennebec River through Maine. The road winds from Gardiner to The Forkers where road trippers can follow the road up into the north woods mountains.
Offshore Winds Enough to Power Maine
Other - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Offshore wind power could be the power source for Maine’s clean energy future. Winds blowing off the Maine coast could provide 35.9 times that amount of electricity each year than the state currently uses, according to a report released today by Environment Maine. Even if Maine converted all activities currently powered by gasoline, natural gas and other fossil fuels (like transportation and home heating) to electricity, the energy provided by offshore wind turbines could still produce 13.7 times as much power as they would use.
Nation’s Leading Enviro Groups Want Trump to “Boot Pruitt”
Sierra Club - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Only in Donald Trump’s hall-of-mirrors administration would someone so fundamentally opposed to environmental protections and public health be the head of an agency specifically created to protect the environment and public health. And greens have apparently had enough. A united front of the nation’s 10 biggest and most influential environmental organizations launched a multimedia “Boot Pruitt” campaign today to force Scott Pruitt, the administrator of the Environmental Protection Aagency, out of office.
EPA staffers get talking points downplaying human role in climate change
Washington Post - Wednesday, March 28, 2018 

Environmental Protection Agency staffers received a list of “talking points” this week, instructing them to underscore the uncertainties about how human activity contributes to climate change. The email is based on controversial – and scientifically unsound – statements that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has made about the current state of climate research.
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On May 8, 1719, the Pejepscot Proprietors 
voted to grant 1,000 acres in commonage 
forever to the residents of Brunswick, 
one of the earliest dedicated 
public lands in Maine.

The 300th anniversary is celebrated 
on May 19, 2019, due to the change 
from Julian to Gregorian calendars.

Photo © Jym St. Pierre

 


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