June 18, 2018  
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Maine Environmental News
Announcement - Monday, June 18, 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
Maine Forests and Their Importance to People, Nature, and Our Climate, Jun 25
Event - Posted - Monday, June 18, 2018 

Andy Cutko, Director of Science at The Nature Conservancy in Maine, will speak about special habitats and places in Maine, what is threatening them, and strategies for conserving Maine’s natural heritage. At Highland Green Community Center, Topsham, June 25, 7 pm.
FarmYard Jam, Jun 23
Event - Posted - Monday, June 18, 2018 

Multiple musical acts, food trucks, farm tours, corn hole, games for kids, farm animals and mini horse cart rides. Benefits Growing to Give, which grows organic food at Scatter Good Farm using climate-friendly methods, and donates it to local people with food insecurity through food banks and pantries. At Scatter Good Farm, Brunswick, June 23, 5-9 pm, $10 per adult, 12 and under free.
Your fundamental rights are under attack
Action Alert - Sunday, June 17, 2018 

Greenpeace is launching a month-long campaign to raise $500,000 between now and July 14 — money that is desperately needed as we continue our work across all our programs and defend ourselves against SLAPP lawsuits.
Urge Maine Legislative Leaders to Authorize Clean Water Bond
Action Alert - Sunday, June 17, 2018 

Maine's legislative leaders are expected to strike a deal concerning water bonds on June 18. Calls needed by their constituents to:
• Senate President Mike Thibodeau, Waldo County: home (207) 223-5177, cell (207) 949-1481
• House Minority Leader Rep. Ken Fredette, Newport: home (207) 368-5562, House Republican office (207) 287-1440
Scott Pruitt's next goal: Destroy science
Action Alert - Sunday, June 17, 2018 

In one of his most outrageous moves yet, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is pushing a proposal to grant himself the power to censor science — including research that demonstrates the harmful impacts that his big polluter allies have on our clean air and water, our land, our wildlife, and our climate. ~ Natural Resources Defense Council
Field Trip: Brunswick Town Commons South, Jun 24
Event - Posted - Sunday, June 17, 2018 

Participate in a citizen science project to survery breeding birds along this town-owned property looking and listening for breeding birds. Meet at Brunswick Town Commons parking area off Harpswell Rd. (Rt. 123), June 24, 6:30 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
Field Trip: Brunswick Town Commons North, Jun 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 16, 2018 

Participate in a citizen science project to survey breeding birds along this town-owned and Bowdoin College property. Meet at Brunswick Town Commons parking area off Harpswell Rd. (Rt. 123), June 23, 6:30 am. Sponsored by Merrymeeting Audubon.
48th Maine Lakes Conference, Jun 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 16, 2018 

This year’s conference emphasizes community action and the connections between ourselves and the natural world. At University of Maine at Farmington, June 23, 7:30 am - 3:30 pm.
Ferns of Merrymeeting Fields, Jun 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 16, 2018 

Maine Master Naturalist volunteer Alan Seamans will lead the way to uncover the world of these often overlooked flowerless, seedless plants. At Merrymeeting Fields Preserve, Woolwich, June 23, 10 am. Sponsored by Kennebec Estuary Land Trust.
Swanville Grass Walk, Jun 23
Event - Posted - Saturday, June 16, 2018 

Maine is home to around 235 species of grasses. Meet some of the common grasses with Matt Arsenault, co-author of “Grasses of Maine.” At Thanhauser-Chunn farm, Swanville, June 23, 10 am 12 pm. Sponsored by Belfast Bay Watershed Coalition.
Bald Pate Summer Solstice Hike, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Celebrate the summer solstice with the Loon Echo Land Trust annual hike up Bald Pate Mountain. Meet at Bald Pate Preserve parking area, Bridgton, June 21, 3 pm.
Solar Walking Tour, South Portland, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Join ReVision Energy for a walking tour of the 1 MW solar array at the South Portland Landfill. In 2017 the City installed 2,944 photovoltaic panels on the 34-acre former landfill. June 21, 9 am.
Solstice by the Sea, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

Join Friends of Sears Island to celebrate the longest day of the year. At Sears Island, June 21, 6 pm to sundown.
35 Years of Maine Audubon’s Loon Count, Jun 21
Event - Posted - Thursday, June 14, 2018 

This multi-media presentation covers the natural history of the Common Loon, from where they go in winter to where they build their nests and what they feed their young, as well as the many lessons learned over 35 years of loon counting with thousands of volunteers. At Rangeley Region Guides and Sportsmen’s Association, Oquossoc, June 21, 6-8 pm.
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News Items
37 Million Bees Found Dead After Planting Large GMO Corn Field
Other - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Millions of bees dropped dead after GMO corn was planted few weeks ago in Ontario, Canada. The local bee keeper, Dave Schuit who produces honey in Elmwood lost about 37 million bees which are about 600 hives. “Once the corn started to get planted our bees died by the millions,” Schuit said. While many bee keepers blame neonicotinoids, or “neonics.” for colony collapse of bees and many countries in EU have banned neonicotinoid class of pesticides, the US Department of Agriculture fails to ban insecticides known as neonicotinoids, manufactured by Bayer CropScience Inc.
Trump and Zinke: A Disaster For Public Lands
Other - Monday, May 28, 2018 

The Trump Administration under the direction of Secretary of Interior Ryan Zinke is playing dodge ball with our national heritage by throwing out so many development proposals that no one can effectively keep up with them, much less thwart them all. ~ George Wuerthner
Browntail Moth
Other - Monday, May 28, 2018 

The browntail caterpillar has tiny hairs that on sensitive individuals cause a skin rash similar to poison ivy and/or trouble breathing.
Conservation deal halts commercial salmon fishing in Greenland for 12 years
Other - Monday, May 28, 2018 

A deal has been reached that will halt commercial salmon fishing in Greenland and the Faroe Islands for the next 12 years to allow adult wild Atlantic salmon to return to rivers in Canada, the United States, and Europe. The coastal waters of Greenland and the Faroe Islands are critical feeding grounds for the salmon, and many come from endangered populations in rivers like the Saint John in New Brunswick and the Penobscot in Maine.
Visa woes have Maine summer businesses looking to Puerto Ricans
Associated Press - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Frustrated by red tape and visa limits on foreign workers, tourism businesses from Maine to Missouri are turning to Puerto Ricans who are fleeing a shattered economy and devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. Employers large and small are seeking alternative solutions as demand continues to outstrip the annual allotment of H-2B temporary visas, which are issued for workers holding down seasonal, nonagricultural jobs. Immigration politics are playing a role in program changes.
Blog: Escape from the Bully Agenda
Citizens Task Force on Wind Power - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Maine has a Canadian electric connection with New Brunswick with a transfer rate up to 700 megawatts, could be 1000 megawatts if transmission constraints didn't exist. Maine can obtain another Canadian connection with Hydro-Quebec with a transfer rate of 1200 megawatts with the NECEC project. The combined total power from these two sources can provide most of Maine's power needs. Is it time for Maine to severe ties to ISO-NE and escape the overbearing, overpriced agenda forwarded by the bully states of New England? ~ Dan McKay
Column: Arctic warming might be reaching a tipping point
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Here are two interesting facts. The winter temperatures in the Arctic this year were the highest ever recorded. The other interesting fact, revealed last month in two articles in Nature, one of the world’s leading scientific journals, is that the Gulf Stream is slowing down. It is now moving more slowly that at any time in the past 1,600 years, which is as far back as studies have gone. This could be very bad news. ~ Gwynne Dyer
UMaine marine research lab to get new pier, seawater facility
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 28, 2018 

At University of Maine’s Darling Marine Center loading people and gear onto research vessels in the Damariscotta River has become more of a challenge over the past few years since they had to severely restrict the use of their main pier, which was built in 1969. One glance at the underside of the pier and it is easy to see why land access to the pier has been fenced off. There are gaping holes, big enough to stick your hand through, in the support I-beams underneath the pier’s decking. The center is in the planning phase of a $3 million upgrade, which will include rebuilding the boat ramp next to the water, renovating the center’s flowing seawater laboratory, and upgrading the pump system that provides water from the tidal river to the lab.
Letter: Please, people, don’t call a wind turbine a ‘windmill’
Portland Press Herald - Monday, May 28, 2018 

I don’t know how, except through your good paper, to ask people to call wind turbines “turbines.” They are not windmills; they do not mill anything. They are converting wind to energy, electricity. They are wind turbines. ~ Ruth Rankling, South Thomaston
Letter: Reject St. Clair
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Lucas St. Clair has showed that he does not believe the majority of voters in this region are competent decision-makers. Several towns in this area voted down a national park. So, he used the back door to Washington to get a monument. I don’t have any issues about the monument, just that the president of the United States went against the voters of our region. ~ Scott Leavitt, Millinocket
Letter: Pruitt attacks clean air
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 28, 2018 

President Donald Trump and his Environmental Protection Agency administrator, Scott Pruitt, are making gas prices even higher. They are working to repeal the clean car standards that save families money at the pump and increased fuel efficiency. Pruitt’s rollback of state authority is a direct assault on the 113 million people who have moved beyond the EPA to protect their communities. States must be allowed to manage vehicle pollution within their borders as the Clean Air Act intended. ~ Ryan Kittl, Portland
Letter: America needs good leadership
Bangor Daily News - Monday, May 28, 2018 

Republicans hold majorities and have shown that they choose not to lead us but only to get their way or whatever the Heritage Foundation tells them is best. Democrats have not performed much better. We need some strong centrist philosophy that draws upon ideas from both sides of the canyon. Fix what is wrong and uphold what is right. President Donald Trump’s gutter language, vile narcissism and autocratic idealism may lead us to a cliff with no other plan but to jump into chaos. Trump gets an F for more than 3,000 lies told, unnecessary trade wars and allowing unregulated corporations to poison our water, air and land for money. America is in dire need of qualified leadership. ~ Dennis St. Jean, Chelsea
Another Scott Pruitt?
Other - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Before he was Trump's failed EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt was the Koch Brothers' rubber stamp as Oklahoma's Attorney General and the chair for the Republican Attorneys General Association. He sued President Obama's EPA 14 times to help his corrupt backers. Now, dozens of Republican Pruitt wannabes are running for Attorney General seats across the country, funded by deep-pocketed special interests.
Police issue warning for foxes near homes in Wells
WGME-TV13 - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Police are issuing a warning this weekend after foxes were seen coming close to homes in a Wells neighborhood. Police posted a Facebook message with a photo, advising residents to keep an eye out for two foxes in the area of Natanis Ridge Circle.
New Jersey leading resistance to offshore drilling
Washington Post - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

The Trump administration’s bid to expand offshore drilling sounds like a sweet deal when the oil and gas industry sells it: more jobs, increased local revenue and possibly an energy surplus that could lower home heating costs. But Asbury Park Mayor John Moor’s opinion of the proposal to drill off the Atlantic Coast for the first time in decades is set:”I don’t think the risk is worth all the money in the world.” At congressional hearings in March, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke assured Pacific coast officials that a paucity of easily extractable oil there makes it unlikely that drilling will happen. Later he said something similar about Maine.
Managing growth a major issue in Falmouth Town Council race
Forecaster - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Hope Cahan is running for a seat on the Falmouth Town Council. She works as an environmental and transportation policy analyst. She said the town’s “major issue is growth management,” adding that “the people are not being heard” by the current councilors. “We need to make sure that growth is in line with what the schools can handle, while maintaining a stable tax base."
Alone on a Maine river, fly-fishing again
Bangor Daily News - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

John Kirk rolled into the parking lot of Veazie Salmon Club on Saturday afternoon in a pickup truck full of fly rods — seven to be precise — and other assorted fishing gear, eager to see if he could catch an early arriving American shad. Not that the species of the fish really mattered, mind you. The fishing did. “Here goes day 52,” the Portland attorney said with a grin, explaining that since the first of the year, he has spent at least part of the day fishing exactly that many times.
Opinion: Good Having You Back
Down East - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

By 1900, the following animals were extinct or nearly extinct in Maine and everywhere else east of the Mississippi: 1) any wild canid larger than a fox, 2) wild turkeys, 3) beavers. Today, from Maine to Florida and from the Atlantic to the Mississippi, large wild canids (Eastern coyotes fortified with a bit of gray wolf DNA), wild turkeys, beavers, and whitetail deer are everywhere. Furthermore, they do not behave in the least like timid and traumatized refugees from oblivion. They act like they own the place. I cannot say that the return of dispossessed mammals to their ancient haunts is the most important thing that has happened in my lifetime. But it does seem the unlikeliest, most paradoxical, and most pleasing. ~ Franklin Burroughs
Wildlife officials to hold piping plover meetings
WGME-TV13 - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Summer in Maine always means plenty of people heading to the beach. An endangered visitor is also coming for some beach time, and state wildlife officials are working with coastal communities to make sure these visitors enjoy their stay. The Maine Department of inland Fisheries and Wildlife will hold meetings in Bath and Scarborough about the piping plover, an endangered bird who comes to Maine each summer to nest. Officials said the birds have struggled to thrive because of the loss of habitat and a lack of undisturbed nesting sites.
Lewiston’s New Roots Farming Co-Op Is Blossoming
Maine Public - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

On a farm in Lewiston, fresh garlic is growing plentifully, and beet greens and spinach are popping out of the ground across three acres of farmland. Not long ago, though, there wasn’t anything growing here. Four new Mainers, originally from Somalia, have been farming this land in Lewiston since they broke ground in 2016, but they have all been farming much longer. New Roots Cooperative Farm is run by Abdi, Mohammed Abukar, Seynab Ali and Batula Ismail. The New Roots farmers began their work in Maine through Cultivating Community’s New American Sustainable Agriculture Program in 2006. The program offered an intense study about both farming and marketing.
Lisbon's scenic and popular trails
Sun Journal - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

The town of Lisbon began planning a community walking and cycling path in 1999. The first section of the trail to be undertaken, the Paper Mill Trail, was completed in 2004. The second portion of the trail, the Ricker Farm Trail, was completed in 2010. The crowning achievement of the project and the longest segment of the trail, the Androscoggin River Trail, opened in August 2014. All together, the nearly 4-mile, paved, three-segment trail runs from a spot near Lisbon Center through woods and field, to the joining of the Androscoggin and Sabattus rivers, and then along the Androscoggin to Lisbon Falls, with several access points along the way. On any given day on the Lisbon trail system, there are a variety of users and almost every form of locomotion.
Can the lure of no energy bills add up to sales for Maine homebuilders?
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Net-zero isn’t a new idea, and there’s no definitive source to identify net-zero neighborhoods in Maine. But what is clear is that for developers, selling a subdivision of all net-zero homes has been a challenge in Maine. At least a couple that hit the market in recent years had to change course, when buyers balked at the price. It seems that for all the griping Mainers do about high energy bills, many buyers are more interested in kitchens than kilowatts when they invest in a new house.
Maine’s worth a visit, but a lifetime? Young professionals may need convincing
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Maine offers an enviable quality of life, with fabulous natural scenery, a laid-back lifestyle, low cost of living, safe neighborhoods and outdoor activities everywhere. What it doesn’t have is everything else, or at least that’s what some people think. It turns out sandy beaches, cute villages and peace and quiet on their own aren’t quite enough to attract the kind of businesses and workers needed to stimulate Maine’s sluggish economy and forestall a demographic winter threatening the nation’s oldest state.
Choice facing Maine Democrats: Nominate unabashed progressive or someone ‘electable’
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

Maine Democrats are hoping to hit reset as they prepare to decide which of seven primary candidates is best equipped to convince Mainers that the state needs a dramatically different – and, they insist, more civil – approach to government post-Paul LePage. Adam Cote is Janet Mills’ biggest rival, but he’s sought to distinguish himself from Mills on issues such as the environment. Betsy Sweet has a 35-year track record of advocating in Augusta on behalf of progressive issues, including the environment.
With Republican gubernatorial candidates unified on policy, vote will turn on personality
Maine Sunday Telegram - Sunday, May 27, 2018 

All four Republican contenders to replace combative, plain-talking Gov. Paul LePage agree on a lot, so voters must decide whether to choose a LePage 'heir' or a more moderate choice. [No mention of environmental issues.]
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