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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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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