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
Tardy an early favorite with GOP to replace Michaud
Other - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

The prospect of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, the Democrat representing Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, jumping into the 2014 gubernatorial race has a new crop of aspirants beginning to plant seeds of interest in replacing him. Here’s a look at a few of the names that are either rumored to be interested or have been identified by some Maine Republican insiders.
Column: 'Eel of Fortune,' coming to a stream near you
Working Waterfront - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Only in Maine could this be happening: a handful of commercial fishermen and women have struck it rich overnight (quite literally) from catching a baby fish that looks like a kid's transparent gummy worm, but which happens to be a gastronomic delicacy half way around the world to people these fishermen will never meet. This is exactly what has happened to roughly 400 men and women who happen to have the hottest commercial fishing license in Maine, which permits them to catch and sell glass eels, or elvers, the slender early juvenile stage of the American eel. ~ Philip Conkling
Letter: Stop the final run to destory the planet
Times Record - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Retired people have time to volunteer your vast and varied talents to combat the conglomerates’ final run to destroy our planet. Here are some critical pieces of legislation to support: Stop the East West Corridor (LDs 362, 870, 1304, 985, 1209, 1269); Stop Open Pit Mining (LD 1032); An Act To Ensure Landfill Capacity and Promote Recycling (LD 1363); An Act To Require the State To Divest Itself of Assets Invested in the Fossil Fuel Industry (LD 1461); An Act to Establish the Renewable Energy Feed in Tariff (LD 1085). So saddle up, seniors. Maine needs you in this final battle for Earth. ~ Jenny Gray, Wiscasset
Chewonki draws students outdoors
Times Record - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Wiscasset eighth-graders have been coming for ecology-based day programs at Chewonki for years, but only recently has it evolved into overnight experiences. A recent four-day camping and learning expedition was made possible by a grant from the Environmental Living and Learning for Maine Students Collaborative, whose long-term goal is to make residential environmental education accessible to students from all socioeconomic backgrounds in Maine.
Cianbro head to address Thomas College grads
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Peter Vigue, the president of Pittsfield-based construction company Cianbro, has been chosen as the 2013 commencement speaker for Thomas College. Vigue has been the main champion of the $2 billion proposal for a 220-mile, east-west toll road from the Calais area on the New Brunswick border to the Coburn Grove area on the Quebec border. Thomas has no official position on the east-west highway.
Lawmakers Consider Bills That Could Kill East-West Highway Project
WABI-TV5 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

The debate over an East-West Highway is heating back up again in Augusta. This comes after six bills were presented to lawmakers today that could squash the plan before it begins. [video]
Lawmakers weigh options for lowering energy costs
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine lawmakers Tuesday debated the best way for state government to offer Mainers some relief from high energy bills next winter. One approach maintains and expands energy-efficiency programs, steering millions of dollars to efforts that weatherize drafty homes and help businesses use less electricity. Another strategy would shift some of that efficiency money to cut home heating costs directly, and it could let Mainers decide whether to use a rebate to help buy a new heating system. Neither of these ideas, proposed in two bills that had public hearings on Tuesday, is destined to move ahead unchanged.
Opponents of Bowers Mountain wind site complain about effect on views
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

A scenic impact expert testifying before the state’s top environmental agency on Tuesday said First Wind’s proposed wind project “comes as close as being unreasonably adverse” in its potential impact on Bowers Mountain as any he has seen. First Wind project director Neil Kiely said the project enjoyed support from several snowmobile, ATV, fishermen and Appalachian Trail groups, plus tourism and economic development groups. Surveys the company conducted showed that the project’s opponents vastly overstated the project’s impact on recreation, he said.
Maine businesses speak out against east-west highway plan
Associated Press - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

More than 100 small Maine businesses are speaking out against the proposed east-west highway, saying the toll road would siphon away cross-state traffic that serves as their lifeblood. A list of 125 businesses that oppose the highway was presented Tuesday in advance of a legislative hearing on six bills to slow down or kill the project.
In the Northeast, Forests With Entirely Native Flora Are Not the Norm
ScienceDaily - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Two-thirds of all forest inventory plots in the Northeast and Midwestern United States contain at least one non-native plant species, a new U.S. Forest Service study found. The study across two dozen states from North Dakota to Maine can help land managers pinpoint areas on the landscape where invasive plants might take root.
Elver fishermen urge regulators not to tighten restrictions
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Elver fishermen urged regulators Tuesday not to increase restrictions on the state’s newly lucrative elver fishery. More than 100 people attended a public hearing held Tuesday afternoon by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The hearing was held so the commission could gather public comment on potential changes to the commission’s multistate fishery management plan for American eels. Elvers are juvenile American eels that each spring swim from the Atlantic Ocean into fresh streams, rivers and lakes along the East Coast. The commission has made a finding that the eels’ population in American waters is depleted.
Column: Are beavers a nuisance animal?
Penobscot Bay Pilot - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Of all the wildlife I dealt with during my 33-year career, beavers generated more phone calls from angry citizens than any other animal. Mainers either admire beavers for their work ethic and ponds they create or despise them for occasionally flooding roads. It made little difference when I explained that the road should never have been built in a wetland in the first place. Of all the letters I’ve written or read regarding beavers, the correspondence below is a classic in the annals of wildlife biology. ~ Ron Joseph
Portland area funeral homes go green with biodegradable caskets, non-toxic embalming fluids
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

New England Green Funerals began offering environmentally sustainable services in February. They include burial in caskets made from biodegradable materials, embalming without the use of toxic chemicals, and coordinating with cemeteries that deliberately minimize their impact on the land.
Maine Small Business Owners Criticize East-West Highway Plan
Maine Public Broadcasting Network - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine lawmakers heard public testimony this afternoon on bills that would slow down or put a stop to plans for an east-west highway across Maine. Four measures before the Legislature's Transportation Committee would prohibit the use of state money to study the feasibility of building the privately-funded tollway. A coalition of small business owners along the proposed route spoke out against the project before the afternoon hearing.
College students learning lessons from farm to table
WLBZ-TV2 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Before it became a school with a focus on environmental professions, Unity College was a chicken hatchery known as Constable Farm. Now, chickens are making a comeback on campus, being bred to teach lessons and provide sustenance for the less fortunate.
NextEra to sell its oil-fired power plants in Maine
Reuters - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

NextEra Energy Resources said Tuesday it will sell its oil-fired power plants in Maine, which have a generating capacity of 796 megawatts. The company decided to sell the plants to reduce its exposure to merchant pricing and recognized a charge of roughly $41 million, NextEra said in its first quarter earnings release. The Maine plants include the company’s stake in the 822-megawatt Wyman power plant on Cousins Island in Yarmouth and the 18-megawatt Cape Gas Turbine in South Portland. In March, NextEra sold 351 megawatts of hydropower assets in Maine and New Hampshire to a unit of Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners LP.
Maine Audubon seeks anglers for Brook Trout Survey Project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Maine Audubon, Trout Unlimited and the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (IFW) are seeking volunteer anglers to survey remote ponds in western and northern Maine for brook trout this coming fishing season. Survey information collected by anglers will be used by the nonprofit organizations and IFW to help identify populations of brook trout to be eligible for conservation management practices.
Small business owners voice concerns over east west highway
WCSH-TV6 - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Small business owners expressed their concerns on Tuesday about the proposed east-west highway just hours before the transportation committee took on 6 bills regarding the project. The plan calls for a 220-mile highway connecting Calais to Coburn Gore. Other business owners worry the new highway would take traffic away from Routes like 201, 2, even Route 1; hurting businesses already thriving. [video]
Maine needs to catch up, take advantage of natural gas, officials say
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

It’s cheap, it’s proven, it’s under U.S. soil and there’s a lot of it, but Maine has fallen well behind in the natural gas business, state and industry officials said Tuesday. “We are literally a baby in the natural gas businesses,” Jerry Livengood, general manager of Bangor Natural Gas, said during an Action Committee of 50 event held at Husson University. Nationally, about 60 percent of U.S. households are heated with natural gas, while oil still dominates the Maine heating market, according to Patrick Woodcock, director of Gov. Paul LePage’s energy office. Just 5 percent of Mainers use natural gas to heat their homes.
Maine DEP holds first public hearing for Bowers Mountain wind project
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Opponents and proponents have begun two days of public hearings before the state’s top environmental agency arguing the merits and problems with an industrial wind site proposed for Bowers Mountain. Project intervenors will have two full days of testimony and cross examination followed by night sessions for more public comment on Tuesday, April 30, and Wednesday, May 1. The Maine Department of Environmental Protection is giving the public a full opportunity to contribute to the process by which First Wind of Massachusetts’ project will be approved or denied, a DEP spokeswoman has said. The public hearing is DEP’s first for a proposed wind project.
East-west highway foes say project would hurt businesses, environment
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

A proposed 220-mile east-highway across Maine will hurt local businesses and destroy wildlife habitat, opponents of the project said at a State House event Tuesday. Patrick McGowan, a former Route 2 business owner, Maine conservation commissioner, legislator and Democratic candidate for governor, said Tuesday that “people in this Capitol have rejected the notion of an east-west highway since 1937.” He called the proposal “the single largest destruction of fisheries and wildlife habitat in the history of this state by a private entity.”
Clinton farmer faces DEP penalties after constructing trout pond out of ‘interim stream’
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Richard Lary says he always wanted a trout pond on his Clinton farm. Lary eventually built that pond by damming what he says is a temporary stream that exists only during periods of high water. But all is not perfect on the shores of Lary’s quarter-acre pond. The farmer has also aggravated a neighbor and caught the attention of the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The neighbor is frustrated that the dam that Lary built causes water to back up and cover a farm road that allows access to wooded land beyond a pasture. The DEP says Lary filled a wetland, altered a stream and discharged soil into water — all against the law — and the agency wants the pond removed and Lary to face monetary penalties.
NOAA Fisheries announces catch limits for 2013-2014 Northeast groundfish stocks
Other - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Based largely on advice from the New England Fishery Management Council, NOAA Fisheries announced today final management measures for the Northeast groundfish fishery, including much lower quotas for some key groundfish stocks, and actions that will help fishermen better manage and adjust to these quotas.
Testimony: East West Highway
Natural Resources Council of Maine - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

We oppose the current concept of a private, controlled-access highway from Calais to Coburn Gore. We have three recommendations: First, rescind the East-West corridor study authorized last year. Second, require that any documents related to an East-West corridor project that are viewed by state personnel be made available to the public and not kept confidential. Third, direct the Department of Transportation to remain focused on cost-effective upgrades to existing roadways and rail assets to enhance east-west transit, and do not provide any assistance—in terms of public funding or access to public property—for any proposed private highway. We encourage the Committee to develop a bill that addresses these issues, but in a way that does not give the private East-West corridor concept more credence than it deserves. ~ Lisa Pohlmann, NRCM Executive Director
Testimony: East-West Highway/Corridor a Bad Idea for Maine
Maine Environmental News - Tuesday, April 30, 2013 

Cianbro officials have been unwilling to reveal the precise route, but it appears that the proposed East-West Corridor would cross, come perilously close to, or be in the viewshed of more than five dozen significant conservation and recreation areas. The road and pipelines would impede the movement of wide-ranging animals, threaten wild brook trout waters, and jeopardize rivers where millions of dollars have been spent on Atlantic salmon restoration. Central and northern Maine are not “hollow” places on the map. They are places where people live, farm, and recreate. Some are pastoral; some are wild. They deserve better than to be to be filled with more industrial developments. The East-West Highway/Corridor is a bad idea. ~ Jym St. Pierre, RESTORE: The North Woods
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