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
Cats on (Peak) Parade
Appalachian Mountain Club - Monday, April 30, 2018 

On January 8, 2008, New Hampshire held two elections. The first was the presidential primary. The second, in which more than 8,000 New Hampshire residents voted, decided the fate of arguably the most important non-human in the Granite State. That non-human was Marty, Mount Washington Observatory‘s current mascot cat. The black, long-haired Maine coon beat out opponents Wilson and Sarah in a three-way race to decide which kitty from the Humane Society would replace the recently retired mascot, Nin. Marty won in a runaway. [Caution: Lots of cat photos]
Maine Farmland Trust program awards four implementation grants to help farms scale-up
Maine Farmland Trust - Monday, April 30, 2018 

Maine Farmland Trust has awarded grants to four farms of approximately $50,000 to implement changes in order to scale up their businesses. The farms participated in MFT’s Farming for Wholesale program and spent two years working with business advisors to research and define business plans focused on scaling up for wholesale markets. These implementation grants are competitive and applications undergo an extensive review process by a committee comprised of MFT staff and industry consultants.
State and Federal Leaders Discuss Offshore Energy Safety, Technology and Production
Other - Monday, April 30, 2018 

At the 2018 Offshore Technology Conference in Houston, Maine Governor Paul R. LePage highlighted challenges confronting Mainers when it comes to access to affordable and reliable energy, and how offshore energy development could help bring relief to his state: "Our electric and natural gas cost are unnecessarily high because access to cheap gas from the Marcellus shale formation is blocked to the south and west by New York and Massachusetts," said LePage. "This blocked access may ultimately lead to rolling brownouts as we are forced to choose between light and heat."
These Two Cousins Got Drunk and Decided to Start a Lobster Truck. Now They’re Running a $20 Million Business
TIME - Monday, April 30, 2018 

Anyone who says you can’t turn your food passion into big money hasn’t met Sabin Lomac and Jim Tselikis. Raised in Maine, the two cousins channeled their love of the state’s local lobster into Cousins Maine Lobster, a food truck they started in Los Angeles that has since blown up across the United States and beyond—and is now earning them eight-figure revenue.
EPA whistleblower says Pruitt 'lied' to Congress
Other - Monday, April 30, 2018 

ABC News - A whistleblower from the Environmental Protection Agency says that Administrator Scott Pruitt was "bold-faced" lying when he told members of Congress that no EPA employees were retaliated against for raising concerns about his spending decisions. Former deputy chief of staff Kevin Chmielewski said he was "100 percent" forced out after raising concerns about Pruitt's spending on first-class travel.
Why these Mainers spent a rainy night escorting amphibians across the road ‘We should save them, since we’re the problem’
 - Monday, April 30, 2018 

The Lakes Environmental Association has run the Big Night event for nine years. Their goal is to spot and safely escort salamanders and frogs fresh from winter hibernation in the woods across the street to find food or a mate in a vernal, or temporary, pool. People get a chance to see spotted salamanders, which spend nine months out of the year hidden under rocks or brush. Plus they can better understand the cycles of nature. The group also counts dead animals, which are quickly gobbled up by predators, leaving the road clean in the morning. According to the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, 3,133 vernal pools are listed with the state for protection.
Canadian-Owned Company Says It’s Not Sure Why LePage Sent It Logs Cut From Public Lands
Maine Public - Monday, April 30, 2018 

The president of a Canadian-owned lumber mill that received shipments of timber cut from Maine public lands says he’s unaware of the equipment fire that Gov. Paul LePage has used to justify diverting those shipments away from another company whose owners have been critical of the governor’s stance on softwood lumber tariffs. Nicolas Fontaine, president of Fontaine Lumber, also says his mills never requested timber originally destined for mills owned by Jason and Chris Brochu, who last year engaged in a public dispute over the governor’s efforts to repeal some tariffs on Canadian softwood.
Moose wandering near Interstate 95 in Waterville tranquilized by warden service
Morning Sentinel - Monday, April 30, 2018 

A moose that had been on the loose for several days in the city near the interstate was tranquilized Monday afternoon and taken away from the area by the Maine Warden Service. Enough calls came into the warden service about the moose concerning public safety that it triggered the agency’s involvement.
Sens. King, Collins push for more research on ocean warming in Gulf of Maine
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 30, 2018 

U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Angus King have urged the federal government to improve efforts to understand the causes and effects of the rapid warming of the Gulf of Maine, which threatens to disrupt Maine’s traditional fisheries and the ecosystem that supports them. Canadian scientists recently measured record-breaking temperatures in the deep water flowing into the principal oceanographic entrance to the Gulf of Maine – nearly 11 degrees above normal – and other researchers report warmer water has been intruding into some of the gulf’s deep-water basins. The senators said their letter was prompted by an April 24 Press Herald story on these developments.
Orono Bog Boardwalk to open for the season with new sections
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2018 

The Orono Bog Boardwalk, one of most popular nature walks in the Bangor area, will open for its 16th season on May 1 with several improvements. Return visitors will notice that a large portion of the boardwalk has been rebuilt since last season. After the boardwalk closed in mid October, a group of nearly 40 volunteers worked for hundreds of hours to install 96 new sections of the boardwalk, three wheelchair turnouts and two interpretive stations. The new sections are a part of an ongoing $1 million restoration project.
Wyoming is becoming a killing field
Center for Biological Diversity - Monday, April 30, 2018 

Wyoming is becoming a killing field for wildlife. First, state officials announced plans to kill 24 grizzlies around Yellowstone National Park. Now they want to allow trophy hunters to gun down 58 wolves in the state this year — a record number. Wyoming also wants to double the number of wolves that any trophy hunter can kill.
Administration backs future for offshore wind, but some states resisting
Other - Monday, April 30, 2018 

Daily Energy Insider - Although recent moves by the Trump administration seem to lay the groundwork for an offshore energy boom, and new studies show that offshore wind farms could potentially produce more energy than needed on the Atlantic Coast, some states like Maine have not fully embraced wind farms. Opponents say the disruption to tourism and fishing, dangers to birds and fish around the giant wind turbines and higher priced energy outweigh the benefits of wind farms and renewable energy.
CMP project expected to fatten parent Avangrid’s bottom line
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 30, 2018 

The parent company of Central Maine Power stands to earn roughly $60 million a year in net income from building a high-voltage transmission line through Maine to bring power from Quebec to Massachusetts. The projections are noteworthy, because they provide some measure of what’s at stake for CMP/Avangrid, as the company tries to gain a key approval this year at the Maine Public Utilities Commission.
Ospreys Rachel and Steve return to nest on Maine island: Watch live
Portland Press Herald - Monday, April 30, 2018 

Perched atop a 30-foot tower, this camera peers directly into Rachel and Steve's nest, where they reunite every spring after a winter apart. You can watch whenever you like, day or night, they care for their young, from egg to fledgling.
Why Maine Is The Only State In The US With A ‘Significant’ Elver Fishery
Maine Public - Monday, April 30, 2018 

While Maine is the only state with a commercial elver quota, it’s also legal to fish elvers in South Carolina and sell them. But a very small number of people do it, and the volume of elvers they catch is very small. That’s why you read that Maine is the only state with a “significant” elver fishery. While it’s unclear what’s in the future for the American eel, elvers or the fishery, right now fishermen in Maine are in the middle of one of the best seasons they’ve had in years. The catch is good, with the DMR reporting that the quota will likely be met for the first time in a few years, and at about $2,500 a pound, they’re getting the highest price they’ve ever gotten.
Letter: Time for Pruitt to go
Bangor Daily News - Monday, April 30, 2018 

The EPA was founded in 1970 by Republican President Richard Nixon to protect America’s natural treasures. Pruitt’s attempts to ignore and eradicate science from the work of this agency are frightening. Instead of protecting the environment, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Scott Pruitt is busy rolling back more protections than any EPA administrator before him. We need an EPA administrator who respects science. More than 170 members of Congress have called for Pruitt to resign immediately or be fired. I urge the rest of Maine’s congressional delegation to do the same. ~ Bonnie S. Wood, Professor emerita of biology
Acadia adds $284M to economic benefits of national parks, local businesses
Acadia On My Mind Blog - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

Acadia National Park last year pumped $284 million in jobs and business activities into the regional economy, according to an annual report on the economic benefits of national parks. Acadia National Park supported 4,163 full and part-time jobs in 2017. The total economic output for Acadia in 2017 was $338.8 million.
Fairfield solar project wins Maine DEP approval
Morning Sentinel - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

NextEra Energy Resources won approval April 11 from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to move forward with the Fairfield project and is awaiting approval for a similar project in Clinton, two towns just outside of Waterville. The two projects are expected to produce 20 megawatts of energy each, enough to power upwards of 3,000 homes, and are projected to cost $30 million each.
Lobster Festival bans all politics from parade in Rockland
Courier-Gazette - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

The Maine Lobster Festival board voted Tuesday to exclude all political organizations and candidates from the annual parade scheduled for the first Saturday of August. “We want to celebrate the lobster industry, celebrate the community and not necessarily make a political statement,” said Board President Cynthia Powell. She said in these highly charged political times, there were other entrants to the parade who did not want to be marching alongside and be associated with various political groups.
Maine authorities warn homeowners about hungry black bears
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is warning homeowners who leave food in their yards that they could be attracting a very unwanted visitor. The department said it has already investigated 27 nuisance black bear complaints this spring, with most of them originating in the Kennebunk and Arundel area.
Town of Cumberland pursuing deal with ReVision Energy for municipal solar array
Portland Press Herald - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

The Town Council voted 6-1 last week to work with ReVision Energy on potential installation of a solar farm to meet most of the town’s electricity needs. The array would be built atop a capped landfill on Drowne Road. No public comment was taken at the council’s meeting last week, which riled several audience members who live at the nearby Village Green housing development. The neighbors have concerns about the visual impact of a solar farm, as well as adverse effects on their property values.
How a poker game inspired an environmentally focused business that became a Belfast institution
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

For 25 years now, the Green Store in Belfast has been a local institution. Where else would you find such diverse items as composting toilets, toxic-free paints, cheeky bumper stickers, sweatshop-free clothing, reusable cloth menstrual pads and much more? But unlike most Main Street institutions, this one began with a friendly poker game in Montville in the early 1990s.
Who knew that lobsters and moose could be so funny?
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

From the first cartoon of Maine’s four seasons (summer, fall, winter, and black fly) to the last cartoon of the LochNess Lobster, Lobster Therapy & Moose Pick-Up Lines is a very funny book. Edited by Mike Lynch and published by DownEast Books, the work of 5 cartoonists are featured. All have been widely published. From the little boy standing in front of a bin full of lobsters, with his Dad saying “Stop giving them names. Just pick out one to eat!” to the bull moose in “moose therapy” wining that “She left me for a guy with a bigger rack” you’ll spend a lot of time laughing.
This machine from Japan could transform Maine’s scallop fishery
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

A $300,000 grant to CEI, a Brunswick business development organization, from the Foundation for Food and Agricultural Research will help fund efforts to test the economic viability of cultivating scallops on ropes at aquaculture sites in Maine’s coastal waters. As part of that effort, Bangs Island Mussel in Portland and Pine Point Oyster in Scarborough are testing machinery made in Japan that should help automate much of the labor-intensive process of attaching and growing scallops on ropes vertically suspended in the water.
In almost eight years, fewer than half of LePage’s proposed bills have become law
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, April 29, 2018 

Gov. Paul LePage is leaving office with a bang, sponsoring more bills in the 128th Legislature than at any time in his tenure — but that doesn’t mean his success is increasing as his administration succumbs to term limits. LePage has sponsored 267 bills while in office, of which 113 made it into law. In 2014 and 2015, the governor put forward 81 bills, of which 30 made it into law. They included a bill that sought to block the federal government from establishing a national monument in Maine (which ultimately happened anyway). And let’s not forget LePage’s successful proposal to name the lobster Maine’s official crustacean.
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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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