October 16, 2019  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Tuesday, October 15, 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
A Citizen’s Guide to Helping the Birds of Maine, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 15, 2019 

Laura Suomi-Lecker, Outreach Coordinator at Avian Haven, will show the effort and dedication required to rehabilitate eagles, owls, hawks, loons, and many species of songbirds. At Topsham Public Library, October 22, 6 pm. Sponsored by Cathance River Education Alliance.
Shells: Treasures from Maine Shores, Oct 21
Event - Posted - Monday, October 14, 2019 

Alison C. Dibble, conservation biologist, shares her passion for Maine shells ranging from clams and snails to slippers and whelks. At Moore Community Center, Ellsworth, October 21, 7 pm. Sponsored by Downeast Audubon.
Ocean Commotion 5k Run/Walk, Oct 19
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 12, 2019 

You and your friendly four legged running companions can participate in the 5th Annual Ocean Commotion 5k Race. At Hermit Island Campground, Phippsburg, October 19, benefits Marine Mammals of Maine.
Falling Leaf Fun, Oct 18
Event - Posted - Friday, October 11, 2019 

Friends of Sears Island will host a program for kids. At Belfast City Park, October 18, 2:30-4 pm.
NRCM's Annual Conservation Leadership Awards, Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Natural Resources Council of Maine 2019 Conservation Leadership Awards:
• Jon Lund, Hallowell, Lifetime Achievement Award
• Liz Caruso, Caratunk, tireless activist against the proposed CMP transmission corridor
• SolaRISE Student Activists, Portland, advocates for providing solar energy to local schools
• Sandi Howard for dedication to administering Say NO to NECEC
At Jewish Community Alliance of Southern Maine, Portland, October 16, 6-8 pm.
Bees and Blueberries: Where Does It Go From Here? Oct 16
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 9, 2019 

Pollinator Biologist Eric Venturi will present this year's Roque Island Lecture on Environmental Conservation: The future of cultivating blueberries. At UMaine at Machias, October 16, 11 am.
Evening for the Environment, Oct 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 8, 2019 

Keynote speaker Richard Louv, author of "Last Child in the Woods," speaks on nature-deficit disorder, the importance of exposure to nature for health, and the need for environmental protection. Also, celebrate policy wins for conservation and clean energy in Maine. At UNE's Innovation Hall, Portland, October 22, 5:30 pm. Sponsored by Maine Conservation Voters.
Fall Photography Walk, Oct 12
Event - Posted - Saturday, October 5, 2019 

Jim McCarthy will share secrets for creative nature photography. At Cathance River Education Alliance Ecology Center, Topsham, October 12, 9-11 am, limit 20, pre-register.
Kennebec Land Trust, Howard Hill Historical Park dedication, Oct 10
Announcement - Thursday, October 3, 2019 

Judy Camuso, Commissioner, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries & Wildlife; Howard Lake, KLT Director; Bill Bridgeo, Augusta City Manager; Augusta Mayor Dave Rollins; and Andrew Silsby, President of Kennebec Savings Bank, provide remarks October 10, 4 pm, at the historic Gannett treehouse overlook.
Insects in decline in Maine, Oct 9
Event - Posted - Wednesday, October 2, 2019 

Sarah Haggerty, Maine Audubon conservation biologist, talks about her research on Maine insect populations. At UMaine-Farmington, October 9, 7 pm. Sponsored by Western Maine Audubon.
Mitchell Lecture on Sustainability, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

E.J. Milner-Gulland, Professor of Biodiversity at the University of Oxford, UK, will speak on “An Optimistic Vision for a Sustainable, Wild, and Socially Just World.” Also, remarks by Senator George J. Mitchell. At UMaine at Orono, October 8, 2 pm, pre-register.
Fund for Maine Land Conservation seeking applications for grants to support future projects
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

The Fund for Maine Land Conservation, a component fund of the Maine Community Foundation, is accepting grant applications to support projects that encourage preservation of Maine’s land. Deadline: Oct. 15.
Pesticides disposal
Announcement - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Mainers can dispose of unusable and waste pesticides in October at four sites: Presque Isle, Jonesboro, Augusta and Portland. Registration deadline: October 7.
One Maine, One Health, Oct 8
Event - Posted - Tuesday, October 1, 2019 

Maine Public Health Association's 2019 Annual Conference, "One Maine, One Health: Uniting Maine's people, environment and wildlife for better health and economy." At Augusta Civic Center, October 8, 8 am - 3 pm.
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News Items
Central Maine casting: The traditional start of fishing season is upon us
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

A state biologist is predicting a healthy fishing season in Central Maine ahead of the tradition opening day for fishing on April 1. Despite rule changes nearly a decade ago, a Maine fisherman said fisherman usually turn out in large numbers, honoring the traditional season despite less-than-ideal conditions. The traditional open-water fishing dates of April 1 to Sept. 30 apply to rivers, streams and brooks and all waters in Northern Maine. The rules changed for the southern, central and eastern parts of the state in 2010, when lawmakers made it legal to fish in open water or on ice at any time on most lakes and ponds.
Bait crisis could take the steam out of lobster this summer
Associated Press - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

Members of the lobster business fear a looming bait crisis could disrupt the industry during a time when lobsters are as plentiful, valuable and in demand as ever. America’s lobster catch has climbed this decade, especially in Maine, but the fishery is dependent on herring — a schooling fish other fishermen seek in the Atlantic Ocean. Federal regulators are imposing a steep cut in the herring fishery this year. East Coast herring fishermen brought more than 200 million pounds of the fish to docks as recently as 2014, but this year’s catch will be limited to less than a fifth of that total.
Portland Bans Synthetic Pesticides For Lawn And Garden Care
Associated Press - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

A ban on synthetic pesticides for lawn and garden care is taking effect in Maine's largest city. The law in Portland technically took hold at the start of the year, but the slow dawning of spring weather means it's becoming relevant now. The use of the pesticides is now banned unless an emergency waiver is granted. The city has delayed the ban on some publicly owned athletic fields and exempted the municipal golf course. Portland adopted the ordinance a little more than a year ago. It means only organic treatments can be used to stop weeds and bugs on lawns and gardens.
On Public Lands, Visitors Surge While Federal Management Funds Decline
National Public Radio - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

Across the western U.S., towns surrounded by public lands are seeing a huge surge in visitors coming to play in the forests and mountains surrounding them, which is leading to an economic boom. But federal funding to manage these lands has been drying up. A recent analysis by Headwaters Economics showed that visitation to U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management land has risen by about 15 percent over the last decade, while budgets for programs that support recreation in those agencies has fallen by a similar amount. Rural counties with large recreation economies are the only ones to not report population declines since the Great Recession. Today, the outdoor recreation and service economies are generally far larger than more traditional economies like mining and logging.
York lighthouse a beacon for full-moon photographers
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

The coming together of photographers at the picture-postcard scene when the moon is full and the sky is clear has become a wintertime event that draws anywhere from a dozen to more than 100 photographers. Professionals and hobbyists alike line Long Sands Beach in York directly across the water from the 140-year-old red-and-white lighthouse, or cluster on the rocks below to shoot up at Nubble Light. One photographer offered a tip: "The (beacon’s) light goes off four times, and the first time is the brightest. So if you time it for after that, you won’t get that bright spotlight.”
Column: Teenager decides to lead a sustainable vegetarian life
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

March 26, Dear Diary, Like every good, soon-to-be liberal arts college coed, I have gone vegetarian. March 27, Dear Diary, That did not go well. Dad choked on his pork ribs and spilled a bottle of BBQ sauce as he ran from the room in disbelief. March 28, Dear Diary, Dad walked around the house with a bucket of fried chicken so that every room would smell of sizzling grease and crispy skin. Mom is attempting to be supportive. March 31, I remind myself why I am a vegetarian. It’s a more sustainable lifestyle without sacrificing quality of life. April 1, Dear Diary, I gotta go. Dad’s grilling steaks at the bottom of the stairs again, hoping to tempt me out from my room with the smell. NOTE: While the writer’s efforts to eat more sustainably by eliminating meat from her diet are real, the story of her dad pushing meat on his daughter is merely the family’s annual April Fool’s tall tale. ~ Eliza Rudalevige
Column: Ordinary Mainers track the arrival of migrating birds each spring
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

Spring migration has begun, none too soon for most of us. The first turkey vultures, killdeer, red-winged blackbirds and common grackles are widely reported in Maine already, with many species to follow. If you want to find when you should expect to see the first arrivals of a particular species, I invite you to use a tool I created for that very purpose: hobbes.colby.edu/arrival/. You can use the tool to see how the arrival dates for a particular species have changed over the 24-year period, as well as the impacts of springtime temperatures. ~ Herb Wilson
Letter: Protect Maine marine ecosystem, reject Nordic Aquafarms
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

What is amazing, given the intense opposition at every public hearing to Nordic Aquafarms’ proposal in Belfast, is they continue on like nothing happened. If we had a functioning democracy, they would be long gone. Nordic influences not only local zoning and media, but also state legislation aimed at protecting our ecosystems. Maine needs L.D. 620, “An Act Regarding Licensing of Land-based Aquaculture,” to regulate these experimental fish factories. Also: L.D. 1241, “An Act To Improve Survival Rates of Salmon …”; L.D. 197, “An Act To Convene a Working Group To Authorize a Public Trust for Maine’s Groundwater …”; and L.D. 199, “An Act To Create the Water Resources Planning Committee.” These efforts, not massive monocultures, are what Maine needs to recover our marine ecosystem and local economy. ~ Jim Merkel, Belfast
Letter: CMP trying to buy project approval
Kennebec Journal - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

Jim Fossel’s recent column about opposition to the proposed Central Maine Power transmission line project, the NECEC, seemed very biased with the ultimate intent and purpose being to discredit the opposition. The truth is that the No NECEC opposition is a grassroots effort organized by whitewater guides wanting to protect the beauty and natural resources of the area from CMP’s plan to bring hydropower to Massachusetts by destroying 53.8 miles of Maine’s western mountains, streams and remote lakes and ponds containing native brook trout. Fossel‘s next column should be about how two billion-dollar foreign corporations are using gaps in Maine statutes to gain approval for a project that does not benefit Maine people. ~ John Nicholas, Winthrop
Letter: CMP project has earned Maine’s support
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

The Central Maine Power transmission line will bring clean hydropower from Quebec. The power will mean Maine and our neighbors will be less dependent on older power plants that pollute more. The project will pump $1 billion into Maine’s economy over the next decade. In addition, another $140 million will be set aside to reduce electric bills for Maine ratepayers and $50 million more will reduce bills for low-income customers over the next 40 years. Finally, the project brings good-paying construction jobs. This project is backed by both Gov. Janet Mills and and former Gov. Paul LePage. Politicians are giving bipartisan support. So should we. ~ Dan Bernier, Waterville
Letter: CMP line opponents communicate poorly
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, March 31, 2019 

One basic premise of successful communications is that they provide accurate, very specific and easily understood information. Opponents of the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect transmission line project from Central Maine Power continue to present inaccurate, ambiguous, confusing and easily misunderstood public communications. They claim that the proposed 150-foot-wide transmission line clearing through Beattie Township to Moxie Gore inclusive will be wider than the New Jersey Turnpike. This is not a valid comparison. A more readily available comparison is to the width of a standard football field. The 150-foot-wide transmission line clearing is 150 feet wide, 10 feet less than the width of a standard football field. ~ Harold M. Klaiber, Waterville
After 12 feet of snow, Northern Maine is ready for spring
Associated Press - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

A scarcity of snow in March has likely erased the possibility of a new snowfall record in northern Maine, but most folks aren’t shedding any tears. There’s still more than 30 inches of snow on the ground in a region that was pummeled by more than 12 feet that started accumulating in the fall. All told, Caribou has received about 154 inches of snow for the season – about 44 inches shy of the all-time record.
New partnerships pay off in St. George River Race
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

In all, 182 paddlers in 105 craft — canoes, kayaks and standup paddleboards — finished the 40th edition of the St. George River Race Saturday. Top honors went to kayaker Ben Randall, who posted the fastest time in 40 minutes, 48 seconds. The fastest canoeist was Rod McLain, who sped to a 43:05 finish in his one-man racing boat. The top canoe tandem was Mark Ranco and Chris Francis, who posted a time of 44:33.
Column: Special moose hunts honor disabled vets
Sun Journal - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Within Maine’s outdoor community there are a large number of patriotic and compassionate hunting and fishing guides, as well as sporting camp operators, who are donating their time and energy showing disabled vets a memorable time in the woods and on the waters of Maine. One such program is the Disabled Veterans Controlled Moose Hunt. The Maine Bureau of Veterans’ Services is now accepting applications for the 2019 moose hunt. This requires each hunter to team up with a registered Maine Guide who has specific training for the Controlled Moose Hunt and is open only to veterans with a disability rating of at least 50 percent. ~ V. Paul Reynolds
Federal judge declares Trump’s push to open Arctic, Atlantic oceans to drilling illegal
Washington Post - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

A federal judge in Alaska declared late Friday that President Trump’s order revoking a sweeping ban on oil and gas drilling in the Arctic and Atlantic oceans is illegal, putting 128 million acres of federal waters off limits to energy exploration. The decision by U.S. District Judge Sharon Gleason is the third legal setback this week to Trump’s energy and environmental policies. The judge, who was appointed to the federal bench by President Barack Obama in 2012, also blocked on Friday a land swap the Interior Department arranged that would pave the way for constructing a road through wilderness in a major National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska.
3 Acadia trails closed because of nesting falcons
Associated Press - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Acadia National Park officials are closing trails to protect nesting peregrine falcons, which have returned to several locations and are defending their territories, necessitating measures to protect the birds and their nests. Trails have been temporarily closed near the Precipice, Jordan, and Valley Cove cliffs until further notice. Entry into a closed area is a violation of federal regulations. Superintendent Kevin Schneider said the park’s success with peregrine falcon nesting “is one of our great conservation stories.”
CMP president returns to Lisbon classroom
Turner Publishing - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

The corporate board room and a pre-kindergarten classroom intersected in a unique way March 26. Doug Herling, Lisbon native and president and CEO of Central Maine Power, took time out of his day to read a story to preschoolers at Lisbon Community School.
Downeast Audubon awards 2019 camp scholarships
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Downeast Audubon has awarded several students and one educator full scholarships to attend summer nature camps. The funding this year, valued at $11,975, comes from the previous year’s birdathon earnings. Awardees:
• Calvin Nelson, Blue Hill
• Debra Bishop, Sargentville
• Emma Snow, Harborside
• Chloe Sheahan, Sedgwick
• Clementine Bannon, Blue Hill
• Skye Howard, Gouldsboro
• Cassandra Carter, Trenton
Debrief: State PUC Recommends Approval Of CMP Transmission Project - What Now?
Maine Public - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission last night recommended approval of Central Maine Power’s proposal to build a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine. They say the 53-mile cleared corridor that would cut through western Maine would have a ‘significant and detrimental impact’ on scenic resources and the associated economy. But they write that the values that would be compromised are localized, and not as significant as the broader energy market benefits the project would produce. Sandra Howard of Say No to the Corridor says, “There’s nothing in this report that changes the facts that this transmission corridor is a bad deal for Maine and it’s deeply unpopular. The people of Maine have told the PUC loud and clear that they don’t want the Corridor.”
Great kid’s guide to Acadia National Park
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

If you are headed to Acadia National Park with kids, you’ll want a copy of The Kid’s Guide To Acadia National Park by Eileen Ogintz, published by Down East Books. This book is a treasure, full of great ideas for the amazing things that kids will enjoy in and near the park.
This ‘grand vision’ could transform Rockland’s waterfront as we know it
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

If the conceptual plans a developer come to life, a part of the Rockland’s industrial waterfront will change dramatically. Valerie Landsburg wants to buy the former Bicknell Manufacturing Co. building near Tillson Avenue with plans to turn it — and surrounding buildings — into a large, mixed-use complex for public and private development. Landsburg told city councilors Monday, “The idea would be to have commercial, residential, private and public spaces that add to what is already a flourishing downtown.”
Opinion: Aquaculture has potential to bring cascading benefits to Maine
Portland Press Herald - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Missing from the ongoing conversation we Mainers are having about the proposed development of large-scale aquaculture projects in our state is an acknowledgment of the cascading benefits these projects would bring with them. Beyond the impact of the fish they produce, these farms create jobs at multiple levels of our local workforce. They promote growth in hatcheries, feed production, processing, waste reutilization, transportation, supplies, machinery, financial services and other industries. For this and other reasons, we should welcome the aquaculture industry’s proposed investments in our state. ~ Barry A. Costa-Pierce, UNE North: The Institute for North Atlantic Studies, Portland
Letter: Still unsure about Belfast fish farm
Bangor Daily News - Saturday, March 30, 2019 

Despite the presentation by Nordic Aquafarms in Belfast on March 26 about four very complicated permit applications, I remain unable to make up my mind whether the land based fish farm is a good idea or not. Here’s why. It is just not a fair level playing field when lay people have to immediately digest two hours of data and then quickly try to formulate and ask sensible limited two-minute questions of the paid industry consultants who helped create those permit applications, much less fully understand their answers. I fear the fish farm not well vetted, it may cause long-term substantial environmental harm. I suggest we all await the results of the BEP hearings before coming to our conclusions. ~ Sidney Block, Northport
Bates College gathering brings student research to forefront
Sun Journal - Friday, March 29, 2019 

Scores of Bates College students gathered Friday to show off their academic work. The annual Mount David Summit is a celebration of student research, art and community-based scholarship that displays an astonishing variety of interests. Senior Andrew Mikula, for example, looked into the impact of state environmental regulations on housing development. He determined there isn’t much. One group of students carried out a food policy audit to figure out where Auburn is falling short in ensuring residents have access to nutritious, affordable food.
Maine PUC Staff Recommends Approval Of CMP’s Transmission Project
Maine Public - Friday, March 29, 2019 

Staff at the Maine Public Utilities Commission is recommending approval of Central Maine Power’s proposed transmission line through western Maine. In a long-awaited “Examiner’s Report,” the Commission’s analysts said the controversial project “is in the public interest.” The opinion does not mean, however, that the commission will authorize the “Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity” CMP is seeking: rather, it is a 162-page analysis of whether the project meets all the legal and technical standards set by law.
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