September 21, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links conservation and natural resource news and events in Maine (and a bit beyond). 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
Stand with Hunter in opposing Kavanaugh for the Supreme Court
Action Alert - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

Hunter Lachance, a 15-year-old Mainer with asthma, testified against the nomination of Judge Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court. He explained why Kavanaugh’s opposition to curbing air pollution that crosses state lines would harm Maine and people like him. Urge Senator Collins to vote “no” on Brett Kavanaugh. ~ Kristin Jackson, Natural Resources Council of Maine
Evening for the Environment, Oct 3
Event - Posted - Thursday, September 20, 2018 

A night of camaraderie, celebration, and inspiration for those who care about protecting Maine's environment. Keynote speaker Gina McCarthy, former EPA Administrator. At Brick South on Thompson's Point, Portland, October 3, 5:30-8:00 pm. Organized by Maine Conservation Voters.
Solar 101, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy to learn about the benefits of solar technology. At Scarborough Public Library, September 26, 2018 6:30 pm.
Activist Training for Maine's Environment, Sep 27-Oct 11
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Maine's environmental community is hosting a series of trainings. Learn skills to be a powerful activist and meet fellow environmentalists who want to make a difference in Maine. September 27, Biddeford; October 4: Auburn; October 11, Jefferson; October 18, Falmouth.
Naturalist's Notebook, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Bowdoin biology professor Nat Wheelwright will speak about the book he wrote with Bernd Heinrich, "The Naturalist's Notebook: An Observation Guide and 5-Year Calendar-Journal for Tracking Changes in the Natural World Around You." At Portland Public Library, September 26, 5:30-7:30 pm.
Weasels of Maine, Sep 26
Event - Posted - Wednesday, September 19, 2018 

Shevenell Webb, Wildlife Biologist with IF&W, talks about weasel ecology and natural history. At Augusta Nature Club luncheon, at Capital Area Technical Center, Augusta, September 26, 11:30 am, $7 for lunch.
NRCM online auction, thru Sep
Announcement - Tuesday, September 18, 2018 

Online auction benefits Natural Resources Council of Maine, through September.
Help wanted: Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

The Natural Resources Council of Maine is seeking applications for the position of Director of Media Relations and Advocacy Communications. The position provides leadership in advancing NRCM and the organization’s advocacy work through the news media. Deadline: October 11, 2018.
MCV Action Fund 2018 Endorsements
Announcement - Monday, September 17, 2018 

A list of candidates endorsed by the Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund.
Bringing an ocean perspective to an urban estuary, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Karina Nielsen, director of San Francisco State University’s Estuary and Ocean Science Center, will speak at the UMaine Darling Marine Center, Walpole, September 24, 12:15 pm.
Maine's Beaches are Public Property, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Author and law professor Orlando E. Delogu speaks about public access to Maine’s beaches. At Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick, September 24, 6:30 pm.
Why Natural History Matters, Sep 24
Event - Posted - Monday, September 17, 2018 

Tom Fleischner, Executive Director of the Natural History Institute, will describe how the practice of natural history provides the foundation for the natural sciences, conservation, healthy society, and our own well-being. At Gilsland Farm, Falmouth, September 24, 7 pm, Maine Audubon members $12, nonmembers $15.
Save our Shores Walk, Sep 23
Event - Posted - Sunday, September 16, 2018 

Learn how climate change may affect our shores and how CLF is working to ensure a resiliant Maine coast. At Ferry Beach, Saco, September 23, 2:30-5 pm. Sponsored by Conservation Law Foundation.
Help restore cottontail habitat, Sep 22, 28, 29
Event - Posted - Saturday, September 15, 2018 

The Rachel Carson National Wildlife Refuge will host a volunteer work day to help restore native scrubland habitat, home to many species including the New England cottontail rabbit. Volunteers needed. At Libby Field, Scarborough, Sep 22, 28, 29, 9 am - 2 pm.
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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.
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.
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.
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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