August 21, 2017  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, August 21, 2017 

Thanks for visiting Maine Environmental News, a service of RESTORE: The North Woods. MEN is the most comprehensive online source available for links to Maine conservation and natural resource news and events. We have posted summaries and links to 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
Geology Walk, Aug 28
Event - Posted - Monday, August 21, 2017 

Leader: Peter Goodwin. At Bowdoinham, August 28, 4:30-6 pm. Sponsored by Friends of Merrymeeting Bay.
Georges River Land Trust marks 30 years
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 20, 2017 

Georges River Land Trust invites members and friends to get out their boat togs and dancing shoes to celebrate 30 years of conservation along the Georges River. At Lyman-Morse Boatbuilding boatyard, Thomaston, August 27, 2:45 - 6:30 p.m, $40.
Bird Monitoring, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

Join a marsh-wide survey of birds and help document all present species timed to catch the beginning of shorebird migration. At Scarborough Marsh, August 26, 7-10 am, free.
Head Harbor Passage Boat Trip, Aug 26
Event - Posted - Saturday, August 19, 2017 

A birding trip to Head Harbor Passage and the surrounding Canadian Islands. At Eastport, August 26, 10 am – 2 pm; Maine Audubon Members $60, Non-members $75.
Don’t let Trump censor climate science
Action Alert - Friday, August 18, 2017 

President Donald Trump may censor a comprehensive and alarming new report written by scientists from 13 federal agencies — research that confirms climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity and it’s already hurting people across the U.S. We deserve to know the truth about climate change — no matter how inconvenient it may be for Trump’s pro-fossil fuel agenda.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

The Life Happens Outside Festival celebrates Maine's outdoors and its passionate outdoor community. Featuring 6 outdoor villages, 40+ vendors, interactive workshops, exhibits, gear demos, food, and live music. Free giveaways, competitions, outdoor presentations, and the ability to purchase outdoor gear directly from the brands. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25-26.
Life Happens Outside Festival, Aug 25-26
Event - Posted - Friday, August 18, 2017 

Celebrate active, outdoor lifestyles. At Thompson's Point, Portland, August 25 & 26. Sponsored by Teens to Trails.
Nature Detectives, Aug 24
Event - Posted - Thursday, August 17, 2017 

Join a scavenger hunt, make your own nature notebook, and learn how to use the tools of the trade. At Scarborough Marsh, Augoust 24, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Exploring Nature Through Art, Aug 22
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

Through various art forms children (age 6-10) will discover some of the secrets of Scarborough Marsh; August 22, 10:30 am – 12 pm; Maine Audubon Child Members $5, Child Non-members $7, pre-register.
Sierra Club Maine Climate Action Conference, Sep 16
Event - Posted - Tuesday, August 15, 2017 

The theme of this year's event is "Maine Community-Based Approaches to a Clean Energy Future and Climate Change Solutions." At University of Southern Maine Lewiston Campus, September 16.
Project WILD Educator Workshop, Aug 21
Event - Posted - Monday, August 14, 2017 

This 6-hour workshop introduces educators to Project WILD materials, activities, and strategies. At Bonny Eagle Middle School, Buxton, August 21, 9 am – 3 pm; Maine Audubon Members $23, Non-members $25.
Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Maine-Wabanaki REACH offers an interactive learning experience, "Exploring Wabanaki/Maine History," a participatory presentation for adults and teens. At Reversing Falls Sanctuary, Brooksville, August 20, 4-6 pm.
CREAtive Walk, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

For more than a year, poet Gary Lawless and photographer James McCarthy have guided monthly walks that inspire conversation among participants about nature. David Reed, a dragonfly/damselfly expert, will join Gary and Jim on this final CREAtive walk. At Cathance River Preserve, Topsham, Aug 20, 9-11 am.
Kayak Scarborough Marsh, Aug 20
Event - Posted - Sunday, August 13, 2017 

Discover the wildlife and plants of Scarborough Marsh as you paddle the Dunstan River. At Scarborough Marsh, August 20, 1–2:30 pm; Maine Audubon Members $13, Non-members $15, deduct $1.50 if you bring your own kayak, must be 16+.
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News Items
Editorial: Conservation and the GOP
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

In recent years, the Republican party seems to have lost its conservation ethic. The most recent example is the current legislative debate over the Land Use Regulation Commission. Testifying in support of a bill to abolish LURC and give its duties to the counties, Senate President Kevin Raye said “the acronym LURC is synonymous with heavy-handed government bureaucracy and overreach.” What has the commission done that is so egregious? It has protected the North Maine Woods from haphazard development that would have diminished the region as a national and international draw for thousands of sportsmen every year. Reviewing LURC makes sense. Engineering such a review so it concludes LURC is “not worthy of a democratic society” is counterproductive.
LURC imperiled by GOP-led commission
New Maine Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

A partisan fight over who will control development and planning in Maine’s sparsely populated unorganized territory came to a head last week as Republican members of the Legislature’s Agriculture Committee pushed through their plan for a Republican-appointed commission that is likely to propose abolishing the Land Use Regulation Commission (LURC). Committee Chairman Roger Sherman (R-Aroostook) told Democrats there would be no more compromises. “The majority is going to do what it’s going to do,” he said.
Meaning In a Meadow
New York Times - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

Justin Martin's biography "Genius of Place: The Life of Frederick Law Olmsted" explains that Olmstead's central insight was that there was an indissoluble unity between landscape and the social and economic order. Olmsted was America's first landscape architect, and Central Park was his first great work. After designing it in 1858, he would go on to create many of the country's loveliest parks, including some in Maine.
Three midcoast towns seek opportunities offshore wind power could bring
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

Officials from Searsport, Stockton Springs and Belfast listened to Habib Dagher on Tuesday in Belfast. The DeepCwind Consortium, which is made up of the University of Maine and several companies, is working to generate 5 gigawatts of deep offshore wind energy in Maine annually by 2030. That’s the equivalent of what about five nuclear power plants can produce. To do this, companies will need to set up space along the Maine coast. That might mean jobs.
LePage administration questions feasibility of offshore wind power
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

A $20 billion offshore wind project proposed for the Gulf of Maine that was supported by former Gov. John Baldacci is being viewed with skepticism by the administration of Gov. Paul LePage. Habib Dagher and his partners at the DeepCwind Consortium say that electricity produced in the gulf by deep-water offshore wind turbines will reduce the state’s dependence on foreign oil. But advisers to LePage with knowledge of the energy industry question the consortium’s assumption. Ken Fletcher, director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Independence and Security, said that initially the price of electricity from offshore wind would be very high and it is unclear how long it will take to reach the point of affordability. James LaBrecque, an energy policy adviser to LePage, said technologies such as offshore wind and solar power are not viable because of their high cost and low performance rates.
Cell phones a ‘possible’ carcinogen — like coffee
Associated Press - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

A respected international panel of scientists says cell phones are possible cancer-causing agents, putting them in the same category as the pesticide DDT, gasoline engine exhaust and coffee. The classification was issued Tuesday in Lyon, France, by the International Agency for Research on Cancer after a review of dozens of published studies.
Opinion: Increasing investment in energy efficiency is a must
Bangor Daily News - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

We cannot do much about the weather, but we can take greater control over our energy costs. Increasing investment in energy efficiency projects is one very simple step we can take to reduce high energy prices. For every dollar it has invested, customers of Efficiency Maine have saved more than $3, a total of more than $500 million dollars in seven years. Efficiency Maine has leveraged $20 million in public funding to attract $75 million in private capital for energy saving investments in fiscal year 2010 alone. ~ Charles S. Colgan, Chip Morrison, Jim Wellehan
Opinion: Maine Land Use Commission Gets a Year Reprieve
George Smith BDN Outdoor News Blog - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

The drive to abolish Maine’s Land Use Regulation Commission has stalled. A task force will now be charged with examining all of the contentious issues revolving around LURC and report back to the legislature with recommendations no later than January 4, 2012. LURC is the planning and regulatory state agency for the 10 million acres of unorganized territories, what many think of as the North Woods. The work sessions on this bill were disorganized, partisan, and sometimes ugly. The Agriculture, Conservation, and Forestry Committee missed a great opportunity to come together on the task force proposal. ~ George Smith
Opinion: Fisheries-wildlife department needs a little help from friends
Kennebec Journal - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

For 19 years, I have unsuccessfully advocated for public funding for the Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife. It has been my greatest frustration and biggest disappointment. Sportsmen pay all the bills of this agency, even though the work of the department benefits all the people of Maine. L.D. 563 is a constitutional amendment that would provide the department with 1.25 percent of the revenue from the sales tax. That's about $10 million at current levels. If the agency gets the money, sportsmen still will pay 80 percent of the department's bills, while the public will pay 20 percent. ~ George Smith
Award-winning website a place to find tips and trails in Maine
Portland Press Herald - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

Joel Alex heard about the Kennebec Highlands trail while working on the website MaineTrailFinder.com, which is redefining how people discover Maine's trail systems. Alex works with three others to gather trail features, from global positioning coordinates and landowner permission to photos and hikers' anecdotes. They work out of an office in Farmington for the Center for Community GIS. Volunteers, land trusts and other agencies also tell the nonprofit group about trails. Everything they find is put on the website. People can search the site for trails based on difficulty, location and other features listed alongside maps, current weather and tips on each trail. MaineTrailFinder.com was named by American Trails as the best website in 2010 for finding trails and their feature.
Letter: AmeriCorps volunteers make U.S. a better place
Morning Sentinel - Tuesday, May 31, 2011 

I discovered my environmental heart after graduating college. My AmeriCorps experience allowed me to gain an environmental background and new skills. I held interpretive programs at state parks, volunteer days, mapped trails and worked amongst people who care just as much as I do. AmeriCorps members make a difference all over the United States, making a better, safer and caring place to live. ~ Laura Keating, Randolph
Editorial: Is paper in Katahdin region’s future?
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 30, 2011 

The paper mill in East Millinocket was shut down in April when negotiations with a potential buyer broke down. The Millinocket facility was closed in 2008 because its reliance on oil for energy made it cost prohibitive to operate. Now, neither mill has a customer base. Both would need major investment to make the operations more efficient and, perhaps, to convert to more profitable products. At the same time, many in the Millinocket area have been resistant to embracing tourism as key to the region’s economic future, despite the fact that the town is the gateway to Baxter State Park, the Allagash Wilderness Waterway and the North Maine Woods. Roxanne Quimby has generated vociferous criticism for buying up land in the area and putting some of it off to motorized access. She also would like her holdings to become part of a future national park. Maine is making more paper than ever, but with fewer people, so it seems prudent to grow other parts of the local economy as well.
Opinion: Lurching toward LURC reform
Forecaster - Monday, May 30, 2011 

The new Republican majority in Augusta last week proposed eliminating the Land Use Regulation Commission, the body that has regulated the unorganized territories for 40 years, and handing its authority over to county commissioners. There’s a lousy idea. LURC may be better served by a three-member, full-time board along the lines of Maine’s PUC. But before we can even start down the road to reform, we need to overcome the notion that only people who live in the unorganized territory should have any say about what happens there. The idea that we would allow less than 1 percent of Maine’s citizens to control the fate of 50 percent of the state is absurd. Whatever its fate, we all live downstream of the North Maine Woods. Whether LePage and his tea partiers like it or not, private property everywhere is subject to regulations that protect the public interest. That’s why we need LURC. ~ Edgar Allen Beem
Opinion: Energy will define the world in 2050
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 30, 2011 

Everybody in the financial world now has more or less the same picture of the future in their minds: Asia and Latin America up, Europe and North America in a holding pattern, Africa and the Middle East down. But maybe the predictions are wrong. Just when the poorer countries finally start to catch up economically with their former imperial masters, the warming caused by two centuries of greenhouse gas emissions by the rich countries knocks them back yet again. Which may also knock all those predictions that the emerging economies will soon overtake the developed ones into a cocked hat. ~ Gwynne Dyer
Flock stock
Mainebiz - Monday, May 30, 2011 

If one person can be credited with having the vision to turn Maine into a birders’ paradise, it’s Bob Duchesne. Duchesne, a Democratic state representative from Hudson, has almost single handedly made Maine more birder friendly. This comes in part from his sense of public duty, and also from his own birding obsession, which started when he was a first-grader. Yet he knows that to reap more benefit from bird devotees, he and others in Maine need to work harder to more closely knit birding with economic development. “We have to connect what we’re doing with the people offering resources,” he says, such as nature guides, innkeepers and boat tour operators.
Don't feed the bears, officials warn
Sun Journal - Monday, May 30, 2011 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is asking people to bring their bird feeders inside and not to leave food waste outside. Black bears have emerged from winter dens and are looking for easy food.
Back to the earth at Good Will-Hinckley
Morning Sentinel - Monday, May 30, 2011 

This September, Cody Buzzell plans to be one of the first students at the Maine Academy of Natural Sciences on the campus of Good Will-Hinckley Home for Boys and Girls. Farmland, barns, greenhouses, walking trails, ponds and sugar shacks will be his classrooms. Buzzell, a sophomore at Madison Area Memorial High School, said he's excited to attend the first high school in Maine to offer experiential learning in agriculture, sustainability, forestry, business, alternative energy and the environment.
Herbicide spraying will be limited
Kennebec Journal - Monday, May 30, 2011 

Augusta plans to continue with limited herbicide spraying on major thoroughfares this summer, but not in neighborhoods, as it studies how to respond to residents' concerns the chemicals are putting people at risk.
Opinion: Wind turbines could be feature of the landscape, not a blot
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 30, 2011 

Modern-day Luddites are doing a disservice to Maine. They don't recognize that we are in a new period, that of peak oil and global warming. Instead of quixotically jousting with wind turbines, any self-proclaimed "friend" of the mountains should embrace them. Large-scale wind generation should dot the mountain ridges with turbines even in our precious parks and preserves. Small-scale wind generation should make smaller turbines as ubiquitous as television antennas used to be before the advent of cable television. ~ Steven R. Small, Portland
Seeking cheap power, firms look to the sky
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 30, 2011 

The world's strongest winds race high in the sky, but that doesn't mean they're out of reach as a potentially potent energy source. Flying, swooping and floating turbines are being developed to turn high-altitude winds into electricity. The challenges are huge, but so is the potential. Scientists estimate the energy in the jet streams is 100 times the power used worldwide annually.
Maine urging people to leave young animals alone
Associated Press - Monday, May 30, 2011 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife is urging people who find young animals in the wild to leave them there. The phrase "If You Care, Leave Them There" is aimed at fawns, robins, raccoons, moose calves and other young wildlife. People often stumble upon young animals and mistake them for being abandoned. The animals are most likely waiting for adults to return with food.
Oyster farmers crack open a hungry market
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 30, 2011 

Oyster aquaculture in Maine is centered on the Damariscotta River, where research at the University of Maine's Darling Marine Center in South Bristol and warm water create a hospitable environment. More than 72 percent of last year's harvest -- some 2.96 million oysters -- were from the Damariscotta River. Maine oyster farmers cannot grow enough to satisfy demand, and it's not uncommon for growers to have to ration the number they provide to each account.
Opinion: We may be headed for a long June
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 29, 2011 

One bill proposes to abolish LURC and divide its duties among the counties -- a truly preposterous idea. Counties struggle to perform their basic mission of law enforcement, prosecution and registries. None has the wherewithal to begin doing land use planning, and providing that capacity would cost far more than LURC There is a problem with LURC, which is understaffed and can take far too long to approve a routine driveway or garage permit – something best handled by local government, if there were a local government. The answer should be to streamline procedures, simplify regulations for homeowners and provided swifter response. Unfortunately, Republicans are not interested in streamlining rules; they’d rather propose abolition. ~ Doug Rooks
Conservation organization warns large Atlantic salmon could face cod's fate
Other - Sunday, May 29, 2011 

An international conservation organization is warning that large Atlantic salmon could suffer the same devastating collapse as the cod stocks off Newfoundland unless Canada steps up protection efforts and sets a good example for other nations. The Atlantic Salmon Federation says it's especially concerned that fishermen in Greenland have expressed an interest in resuming a commercial fishery next year for the first time in a decade, despite science that suggests there are too few salmon to support a harvest of any kind.
Some surprised at Maine’s high bike-friendly ranking
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 29, 2011 

When the League of American Bicyclists released its annual rankings of bicycle-friendly states, it singled Maine out for its “steady rise” through the rankings. Maine this year was second only to Washington state. Even though some cyclists may be perplexed by the Pine Tree State’s positive performance on the survey, Nancy Grant of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine said that there are more factors at play than road condition and fast drivers.
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